Happy New Year from my blog to you! I thought I'd start out the year with something helpful we can all work on together. Most of us have busy, stressful lives, so I gathered some things here that will take some of the stress off of us. If we do these five things, I know we will be on our way to a more peace-filled life.
1. Wake up earlier, so you have some "you time" before the craziness begins.
The best way to start the day without being stressed out is to have some breathing room between waking up and dashing out the door. I'm always a "sleep is more important than anything else" person, so it's a struggle for me to get out of bed before I have to. But I've found that when I actually get up, read my Bible, catch up with people who messaged me during the night, maybe even eat breakfast, I'm in such a better state of mind than when I'm brushing my teeth in the shower five minutes before I have to leave. Start the day right! Don't let your circumstances control you from your first waking minute on.
2. Shoot to be early everywhere.
Early, early. That seems to be my motto this post. But seriously, this is my #1 tip for myself. I don't know about you, but I HATE being late. And with a job where I don't have to be in at a certain time, this is rough, because I often tell myself that I can be fast and then end up stressed to the max, worrying that I'm going to be late. It's crazy how giving yourself ten extra minutes will really take that pressure off you. If you're not a punctual person, this might not bother you as much, but for me, giving myself time to be early will literally save me from a lot of physical problems.
3. Move your body!
Yeah, super obvious. Yet this is always the first to go. I'm not saying you have to go to the gym every day, though that would be wonderful, but do something to be active. If your job is an active one, or if you have gym class, that's awesome. I'm talking to those of us who spend all day sitting and standing, practically not moving at all. Go on a walk. Spend ten minutes stretching in your bedroom. Let your body release those natural endorphins that make you feel so much healthier.
4. Make time for rest.
Ugh. This is hard for me. I feel like this whole blog post is dedicated to me and my struggles. To me, rest means writing a book. I don't like wasting time on things that aren't productive. On my days off, I often end up doing work, just to make some extra money. Rest is hard.
If you're in college or working to get to college, this can be a struggle for you, too. The weekends probably mean catching up on homework or working a part-time job. But God didn't make us like that. We need to rest. We need a break from the everyday activities.
If this is hard for you, start small. Pick an evening when you don't do anything work or school related. Go out with your friends. Or watch Netflix all night. Or go to a park. Do something you normally can't do. Right now, the highlight of my week is Saturday morning, when my husband is sleeping after his night shift. I go to a coffee shop alone and spend a few hours just writing. I know, it might sound like work to you, but to me, it's the most restful thing. Normally, I look up three hours later and wish I could keep going. That's my rest. What's yours?
5. Spend more time with Jesus.
Yes, Jesus is always the answer. Spending time, thinking about who He is and why He put you here really helps you forget the school drama and little work problems. They become small in comparison to who He is. So find time to spend with Him every day, even if it's a little bit! He will give you a peace you never knew you could have.
Hope you have a wonderful new year! There's something about fresh starts I love. It's a great time to reflect and reevaluate. Make this your year to stop living under stress. Work to be more mentally healthy, and the rest of your life will become better.