As I ponder the question that was asked of me “how do you handle, deal with or overcome stress,” I can’t help, but respond with a puzzled face like... "what do you mean handle???" I don’t think I’m "handling" anything! I’m losing it. Kids eating all the food, husband working as well, infant stuck to my hips, house is getting torn apart and I’m just looking for a way to manage it all. How can I possibly help someone else when truthfully, I’m trying to figure this thing out myself?
As a young woman who wears many hats: wife, mother of 4 (if you include our fur baby), working a full-time job remotely, stuck in the house and still trying to grow in my walk spiritually, this is a lot to take in. My emotions are like a whirlwind right now: crying, angry and don’t know why, wanting to quit on adulting until all I can do is shout, "Lord, Help Me!!!"
Well... He did just that.... He HELPED Me. He showed me that we are all dealing with trying times, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, but each one of our experiences are different depending on our lifestyle. I was accustomed to the same routine Monday-Sunday and now MY schedule has been interrupted and I’m having to adapt to life according to the current and ongoing changes. What seems unfamiliar at first is now becoming easier day by day to adapt to. I’m dependent on God's help daily, because I can’t do ANY of this in my own strength. I need His help daily to assist me with this work/home-life balance.
So, if I were to give some tips or suggestions that have helped me, the following is what I would say:
1. Create a schedule- I have a schedule for the hours that I must work to keep the older children occupied. Now, for the newborn that’s a different story we just take that day by day.
2. Accept help- It's okay to let go of some control and allow others to help you.
3. Let go of unrealistic expectations- This is new for most of us, and I had to stop putting unnecessary demands on myself; no perfect mom over here!
4. Separate work/home- Treat work just like you were in the office... there is a stopping point.
5. Repent- I have had to repeat this step multiple times for being overly frustrated or allowing my emotions to be the driving force in my life.
6. ME TIME- Even though I'm in the house, I had to find time to get away and just have time to myself; whether that’s praying, reading a book, working out in the house or front yard. Take time for yourself. It’s necessary for your mental stability.
7. Talk to others- Find someone who may be in the same or even similar situations as yourself. You can be an encouragement to one another.
8. Count your blessings- This has helped me not to get overwhelmed thinking about what I do have and what is working vs. what’s not, etc.
10. Play some worship or praise music- This will help change the atmosphere. When I feel like the "presence" is not right, I put on something and blast it throughout the house. Trust me, it makes a difference.
Well... it’s a day-by-day process. However, I know that I'm not doing it alone and I have to always remember that "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). God will help me. If I didn’t get it right today, I start again the next day. As I stated previously, this is my journey and what has helped me to have peace of mind. Now, you must seek Him to see what works for you.