Manage Stress

5 Simple Ways To Manage Stress

Quick Personal Update

A quick update on my personal MS health. I feel incredibly lucky that I have been healthy and my MS has not been an issue for me in this postpartum period. I still have several months left of breastfeeding before I have to get another scan and start my medication again. I am trying to enjoy this last bit of normalcy before having to start injections again.

The “Stress” Trap

If I am being honest, I had planned a different topic, more specific to MS, but it just didn’t feel right. I will save it for another day. I am still feeling pretty challenged by a lot of hard things going on in my life and in the world right now.

It almost feels as if someone or some force is trying to throw everything possible at me to try to get me to stress out and have a relapse. I am a firm believer in the devil doing what he can to tempt us to slip and fall. He knows that anxiety and stress are an easy trap for me and it feels like he is working hard to get me to go back to old patterns. I am counting my blessings every day that I have not had a relapse. But, I feel like I have to work extra hard to do things to keep my mental and physical health in the best possible shape. 

I know I am not the only one overwhelmed by the amount of “disaster” happening in life right now. Some of these things I mentioned in a previous blog, but they are still weighing heavily on my heart: 

  • Politics and all issues surrounding politics.
  • Natural disasters like the fires that were impacting our area.
  • Two people I love are battling cancer.
  • Not being able to see friends and family very easily thanks to COVID.
  • Worried about if these friends and family know that I still think about them all the time.
  • Fear of how everything going on right now is going to impact my children.
  • Wondering when things are going to go back to normal, or if they ever will.
  • Managing time between a baby and a toddler with big emotions and both with high needs.

I am sure some of these things are on your list. You may have a few different things that are top of mind for you. I feel like more now than ever I have to work to be well-aware of the concerns of this world and yet make sure that they do not overwhelm me.

Five simple ways I manage stress-inducing circumstances: 

  • Limit the amount of news, media, and social posts regarding these things. I have found over time that indulging in the news and social posts regarding hot topics only stress me out more. They are constantly reminding me of the bad things happening and the things that I should be worried about. I end up not trusting people, I live in a state of fear, and I get angry. Plus, virtually every media source and every person is biased and quite frankly confrontational. This is unhealthy to have mass amounts of this poured into your life. Limit the intake. Keep scrolling if there is too much in your social news feed.
    • I would say a good counterbalance to this issue is to find a good book to read. Reading can be so beneficial to our health and mental state-of-mind.
  • Incorporate exercise into my day. I know I have mentioned this before, but I make sure to get out and go for a walk every day, rain or shine. It is so healthy to get fresh air and to get your body moving. This past summer, I also started to wake up early a few times a week and exercise as the first thing to get my day going. Every time that I dread rolling out of bed to exercise, I try to remind myself that someday I may not be so lucky as to even have the option to get out of bed to exercise. It is more motivation to keep moving while I can.
  • Find time to be quiet, to reflect, pray, and be still. For me personally, I have found that I have to carve out that quiet time early in the morning. Truthfully, one day I tried to carve out this time while my kids were napping and I ended up falling asleep on the couch. I have also found if I do this mid-day or in the evening I find other ways to make myself busy. So, I try to wake up a little early, go exercise, shower, and sit quietly before my kids get up. I usually read my bible or pray. Some days sleep definitely is more tempting, but I am finding this to be so valuable to start my day in the right mindset. If you don’t believe in God, you could spend this time meditating and being still to quiet yourself.
  • Treat Yo Self! Big Parks and Rec fan here and this motto felt especially relatable. While spending loads of cash once a year may not be realistic, making sure you do something for yourself is doable. I am trying to do something for myself at least once a week. This may mean getting in the car to go for a drive to get a coffee drink, or maybe running a few errands without the kids. Now that Mitchell is back at work, he is taking 10 minutes to go outside and walk around alone. I think there are small things these days that can make a big impact on our overall health. We need to care for ourselves better.
  • Reach out to someone and check-in with them. I recently had a gut-check when I was hearing a couple of friends talk about how overwhelmed they are feeling with everything going on. These friends have multiple young children doing virtual school. They have to keep them on task, be there to help them when they have questions, and continue to run the household. It was eye-opening to me to see that they need help too. Everyone is just keeping their head above water as best as possible. I think when we take a minute to consider someone other than ourselves, we can forget our own stress and extend love to someone else in need.

Find Comfort and Rest in God

Times right now are extremely tough. The devil is working hard at making us feel alone, afraid, and out of control. He is looking for ways to divide us, create stress, and wreak havoc on our lives. I was reminded in a sermon this week that God is watching everything and he cares for us. We don’t have to live in fear and need to control everything going on. We can rest assured knowing that God is right there to comfort us and we can surrender to Him. 

Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:7-10

If you need someone to talk to, please reach out. Don’t let yourself sink in the disasters that are happening all around us right now. Please know that you are not alone and that we all could use a little bit of help. Most of all, know that there are ways to manage and help alleviate stress, but these do not solve our problems. 



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