Okay, mama, let’s talk about the elephant on your chest right now. I think I know the feeling quite well. Life is too fast, too full, too complicated, TOO MUCH sometimes. Am I right or am I right?!
To say I’m in a season of stress would be quite the understatement.
And it’s all the GOOD kind of stress.
Let’s recap this season, briefly.
—There’s my son’s wedding which is only THREE WEEKS AWAY. (cue the waterworks and the excitement and ALL THE FEELS!!!) Also? How cute are they? These two darlings have been living with me off and on for most of this year. Taylor is in his 4th year of medical school and Mary Kate just graduated from PA and started her new job at the same office where I used to work. AND? They just rented their first house so we’re moving stuff in and going to look for furniture today and it’s all just SO REAL and amazing and this mama is on the verge of tears two EVERY TWO SECONDS.
—This is has been a season of much teaching and travel for me. Stevie and I flew to Portland for a conference & to see Mal, a week later I spent 5 days in Nashville for my niece’s wedding and last week I flew to Dallas to speak at a Young Living rally.
For this homebody mama who wears an apron and cooks ALL THE FOOD everyday, it’s been a little jolting. All good, just a LOT. And it’s not over. I have a big trip coming up after the wedding, at which time, I may never ever leave my house again. EVER.
p.s. Remind me sometime to tell you some of the CRAZY stories Aunt Glenda told me on our ride to and from Nashville. Priceless, I tell you. I may just have to write another book.
—And did I mention we are remodeling a house that we plan to start renting out this winter? Oh yeah, there’s that little project. Amazing and fun, but WHEW!!!!!
We actually raised the roof on this baby and reconfigured the whole main level. We’re no Chip & Joanna, but still, it’s been a pretty amazing transformation, so far.
At which point, I would like to say that it’s now time to pick out paint colors, which in the past has been so fun, but now feels like a HUGE decision. Stress makes mountains out of mole hills.
Add to that all the other stuff that comes with family and jobs and relationships and commitments, and it can feel like overwhelm.
And I know that your list looks different but the end result may be the same.
Overwhelm. Stress. Trouble focusing. Trouble sleeping. Stress eating or other bad stress habits that creep in when we feel like life is dragging us around.
Well, I’m no expert, but I have been around the block a time or two and figured out some things that really help me stay present and engaged and able to enjoy these fleeting moments we call life.
- The first thing I do is PAUSE and PRAY and readjust my mindset and then WRITE THINGS DOWN.
I get to be in charge of how I walk into my life.
I’m in charge of my reactions, of my mindset, of my energy, of my attitude. And pausing to pray helps me remember that this is all so fleeting and I don’t want to look back and have it be all a blur of stress. I want to remember wedding planning and furniture shopping and practicing for my mother son dance. (I mean, obviously, I had to choose Stand By Your Man as part of this amazing memory.)
There’s so much to be thankful for, so much to notice, so much joy to be had.
And I can get to that faster if I write everything down and stop letting the chaos just swirl around in my head. My method for doing that is my bullet journal. It’s my security blanket. It’s where ALL my creative thoughts are, all my goals and dreams, all my brainstorming sessions, my meal plans, my gratitude list, the notes I took from that podcast or audiobook. Literally EVERYTHING is in there. So I can stop carrying so much around in my heart and mind. If you don’t have a system that’s working for you, go download my video and let me teach you (in less than 10 minutes) how I double my creativity and productivity with this simple method of journaling.
2. Ask for help.
Why, tell me why, is this so hard for us? We want people to read our minds. We get angry or aloof when they don’t. We need their help but we won’t ask for it. I told my teenage girls recently about how stressful this season is for me, how emotional, how wonderful but hard. I asked for their help. I asked for their patience and forgiveness. I need them and I don’t want to alienate them or resent them during this time. I did the same thing with Stevie. “Hey, honey, I’m feeling really emotional and kind of overwhelmed so thank you for any support or help you can offer.” Your people LOVE YOU and WANT TO HELP you but you have to tell them HOW they can help.
Maybe you need to hire help. I did this recently for something for the wedding and it removed SO MUCH STRESS. I also keep the prize in mind. I keep this picture close and look at it a lot. I pray for them and pray for their special day. I don’t want the stress of it all to ruin my joy. So I’m learning to ask for help!
3. Get physical
(Cue all the Olivia Newton John right now.)
Your stress is not just in your head. You are carrying it around all day IN YOUR ACTUAL BODY. And to get it out, you need to help your body out a little. Eat better food. Eat to nourish your body. Eat food that God made. Just make little changes that tell your body you are fighting for it.
And MOVE. Your body is made to physically work and move and most of us spend our days not doing that. I started doing Crossfit 6 months ago, after years of doing stuff on my own like running or weight training or yoga. I’m telling you that having a coach or a mentor or a partner to do this with is SO MUCH BETTER than doing it on your own. You won’t show up as much or challenge yourself as much.
And then my last physical soap box is SLEEP. Mama, you need it. SO MUCH. And I know there are seasons when it’s harder to get, but at least make an effort to make it a priority. I’ll tell you in the next section how I get AMAZING SLEEP!!!!!!
4. Oils & Supplements
It’s no secret that after 3 years of using Young Living oils and supplements, I’m a crazed maniac. I can’t even imagine my life without them. I would NOT be thriving through this season of stress without them. They make my sleep ONE HUNDRED times better (I use Lavender & Cedarwood at night), they reduce my stress like NOTHING I’ve tried. EVER. They support my immune system so much that my doctor hasn’t forgotten my name. (not really, because he used to be my partner, but still…)
Y’all. If you’ve been on the fence and are needing something to nudge you over the edge, take my word for it and do it. I practiced medicine for many years and I’ve NEVER been so amazed by something so simple as the incredible benefits of the natural oils that can be distilled from plants. It shouldn’t have surprised me so much because God is pretty awesome at making things. But it does surprise me and amaze me everyday and if you haven’t tried it, I promise, you’ll wish you had done it sooner. My favorite oils to support mood are Frankincense, Orange, Valor, Peace & Calming, Inner Child, and Lady Sclerol. Don’t EVEN get me started on Lady S. SO GOOD FOR THAT CRAZY HORMONE LIFE.
Maybe this class I taught on essential oils and emotions will convince you! It’s my FAVORITE thing about oils—how and why they so powerfully effect our emotions.
Head over here and get started with me and as soon as you get signed up I’ll add you to my private FB group where I teach you everything I’m learning.
So, those are my favorite tricks for getting through a stressful season without losing your mind. That and lots of prayer!
Mucho love to you as your navigate your tough mama seasons.
You are strong and capable and ENOUGH.