Hello Tired, Stressed Mama!

Monday, May 1, 2017

We all have those days, weeks, or (oh, my!) even months when we struggle with being exhausted and stressed out from just taking care of day to day things. When you feel like a walking zombie, your nerves are stretched, and it takes the strength of a warrior to keep going. Yes, we are warriors. Warriors to the end. And, in the end we collapse, literally, in bed.

So, what can we do to replenish our energy to keep us going strong in mind, body, and spirit each day? I have learned some ways that have helped me keep my sanity and energy throughout the day. Now I am not saying that I NEVER collapse into my beloved bed totally exhausted. Because I do have days like that. But, I am able to handle them better by doing a few things. I have also included some of my favorite Bible verses.

1. Realize and accept your limitations. 

Remember that you are human. You can only do so much. Trying to "be all" and "do all" is just not realistic. It can be very energy zapping and frustrating. Believe me, learning to say "no" can be hard. I have been there, but it can be done. Ask yourself, is this something God would want me to add to my plate? Sometimes, you can tell the person you need to think about it first and that you will get back to them by a certain time. Then pray about it and seek God's guidance. God has a specific plan for you and that plan is not the same plan that he has for someone else.

Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Proverbs 19:21: "Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails."

2. God gives support and strength.

I never start my day without some time with God. Even if that means praying during my shower. Yes, you heard that right. I pray in the shower. Praying is one of the first things I do in the morning. And, if I have a very busy day, I use my shower time for my morning prayers.

Prayer is such a comfort for me. I feel like I can do anything with God and so I pray, and pray, and pray. I have what I call my "little mom prayers" throughout the day. For times such as the ice tea jug being spilled all over the kitchen floor. Little mom prayer to the rescue. "God, give me strength and lots of patience to handle this situation. May I be a Godly example on how to handle this. In Jesus name, I pray." Ok, little mom prayer done, take a couple of deep relaxing breaths, and clean up the floor.

3. Have a plan.

I am an organizer and planner. Sometime during the weekend I will put together a plan for the upcoming week. I usually include any appointments or activities, a general guide on how our time will flow for the week, a "to do" list, and a meal plan. One very important guideline to remember: BE REALISTIC with your plan. Don't try to be Superwoman on steroids. Keep in mind #1 from above:realizing your limitations. When I am planning I always plan the most important things first and limit the "to do" list. This way I can almost always accomplish what I have for the day. Do I get disruptions? Do we veer off course? Oh, definitely! That's part of life. I deal with what comes up and then go back to my plan. It may even take some of those "little mom prayers." But, my plan is there waiting to help me get back on track.

4. A few of your favorite things.

Surround yourself with some of your favorite things. A couple of my favorite things are music and candles. When I light a candle it helps to create a relaxing mood and a warm atmosphere. Plus, it makes things smell good, too. Many times I will play music even if it is real soft in the background. I love music! It can stir one's soul to heavenly heights or create a peace and calm like no other. My favorites are classical, hymns, and instrumentals with nature sounds.

5. Get Rest.

I have found that getting enough sleep is of vital importance to the healthy functioning of our bodies and minds. Sad to say, I have learned this the hard way many times. I would stay up late because I wanted to work on whatever for whatever reason was valid in my mind at the time. Then, the next day I was functioning on zombie mode most of the day. After a few days of staying up late my mind would not function well at all. Those days were not pleasant days. I finally came to the realization that I just had to get more sleep. I could not stay up until midnight or 1:00am in the morning anymore. This wife and mom needed sleep to function correctly in order to be my best for those who needed me.

This is when I started limiting my "to do" list. I now have a bedtime routine, and I am in bed no later than 9:30pm most nights. Sometimes 10:00pm if I am able to sleep in a bit the next day. Gotta love those days.

6. Eat healthy and exercise.

I think this is a no brainer. Garbage in, garbage out. I feel better and have more energy when I eat a healthy balanced diet. Years ago, I started making changes to the way we eat in our house. It has not always been easy. And, at times, it still is not easy. This is one reason I love having a meal plan for the week. I also try and do as much of the food prep the weekend before, thus saving me much needed time during the week.

And, just like eating healthy is a no brainer. So is exercising. I used to be really faithful in this area. And, it really paid off as I felt great and looked a few pounds lighter (*sigh* to be that size again.) Although, I do make sure to do stretching each day. I have had problems with my right hip since I went through pregnancy. If I don't keep the muscles stretched, over time it will become uncomfortable to sit or walk for periods of time. So, stretching is always on my agenda. As for cardio and strengthening exercises, finding the best time each day to do this is proving more difficult as time goes by. This is one area in which I need to be more diligent. I know how great I feel when I get some form of exercise daily, so I want to make more of an effort to accomplish this.

These are some things I find important in helping me face each day's challenges. And, each day does brings its own unique challenges. Life is not always perfect or pleasant. It has both good and bad. But, God is always there with us helping and guiding us along our journey of life. Seek Him in all that you do. He will provide you with a peace and calm that only He can. He will give you strength to handle those challenges.

Philippians 4:6-7: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

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