The past eight years have been what I call the stress years. We have seen many of the stressors that are said to lead to depression, divorce, etc. We have gone through lay-offs, new jobs, unemployment and financial loss, loss of my brother, loss of my husband's mom, loss of our dog of 12 years, two moves, a miscarriage and two births, a diagnosis of Down syndrome and other personal struggles.
We've managed to keep going for two reasons. Both my husband and I have a certain amount of sticktoativeness. When adrenaline hits, we seem to have more fight than flight. A roll up the sleeves, get 'er done attitude.
The second reason is faith and God's grace. God provided time and time again, in found income, a caring friend, a new opportunity, a flexible workplace, a sense of hope, a fairy Godmother.
But as we seem to be entering a more stable period in our lives, I realize how much the stress has taken its toll. I believe all that stress is a big reason why the weight seems to cling to me. Cortisol, the stess hormone, has set up shop. Paired with insulin resistance and I'm really the underdog in this battle.
Lately, God has been speaking to me. I believe he is saying, "I've carried you through, now you need to rest in me."
Resting is something I don't do well. I'm a "doer" even my ideas for restful activities involve me doing something.
Lately, in the verses I study, the books I read, the talks I listen too, I'm being encouraged to slow down, cut back, revive. If I want to harvest a memorable life for me and my family, I need to listen. When I am stressed out and overweight it is hard to live a memorable life. You live on the sidelines making comparisons, listing the "should haves," feeling less than, trying to measure up. I don't want that.
So how do I rest, and reduce that Cortisol supply in my brain? Here are some of my stress reducers:
Play with the kids
Work in the yard
Self spa treatments
Take a walk
Play a game
This weekend, I am going on my company retreat with my husband to a nice resort. We will have lots of free time. We plan to rest and do some of activities listed above. I have also promised not to add anything else on our calendar for the rest of the year (beyond what I already anticipate). I'll continue to work in more of the activities I've listed into my schedule and most importantly to listen to what God is trying to tell me and follow where he leads.
He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; (Psalms 23:2 CEB)
What are your super stress relievers?