At times, we are faced with handling multiple stressors. Rarely do we get to do one hard thing at a time. Perhaps your children are facing challenges while you are dealing with health issues, or you are providing care for a family member while working an intense job. These scenarios, and others unique to you, can feel overwhelming and change the landscape of your days. That’s why learning to effectively juggle stressors is an important life skill.
Following are some keys to consider:
Accept Lack of Control
While living in a season of multiple stressors, accept your lack of control. Attempting to control circumstances that are beyond your reach only add to anxiety and stress levels. When possible, gain information and assess resources, but realize you cannot force or manipulate some situations.
Make Headway Where Possible
One of the main problems when dealing with multiple stressors is the inability to focus. When many big issues are vying for your attention, the tendency is to default to inactivity and look for a means of escape. Instead, find some area of the problem where you can make headway and focus on it. Any forward motion you attain provides a sense of accomplishment that propels you onward.
Find a Time and Place to Decompress
My escape spot, my sanctuary, is our deck. Sitting there in nature early in the morning allows me to think and pray. For those moments, I can push stressors aside and bask in the beauty of creation. I come away from “deck time” refreshed and energized to tackle what lies ahead, knowing I can retreat there again when stressors weigh heavily.
Sometimes, we try to bear burdens on our own, but often, wise counsel lightens the load. Even if you are dealing with something you have dealt with before, new innovations and options may exist. If you don’t ask and research, you won’t know what is available. Seek heavenly wisdom as well. God cares about our concerns and provides direction if we are willing to accept it.
Remember the Seasonal Quality of Stress
Often, when in the throes of multiple stressors, we forget stresses moderate after a season. Human nature causes us to look ahead, speculate, and posit outcomes and time frame. Instead, remind yourself your current circumstances will change just as seasons do. Focus on what you can do today, or this week, to decrease pressure. When a season of multiple stressors ends, rejoice, and give thanks.
“When anxiety overtakes me and worries are many, Your comfort lightens my soul” (Psalm 94:19 VOICE).
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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