Every time my college classes start up again, I have a hard time keeping up on my blog. I’m just being real here. This summer semester happens to be more frantic than usual, as I’ve spent most of it in Phoenix, Arizona with family. On top of being away from my own bed, desk, kitchen, food, and all the normal comforts of home, the summer semester classes are a week shorter (which actually makes a huge difference!), and I’m going through some things emotionally that are making it very hard to study.
So, my blog has fallen to the very last priority on my list, and since the list keeps getting longer, my blog has been neglected. It’d be cool if I could develop robot-like abilities during stressful, busy times, and get it all done. Unfortunately, I’m human just like everyone else. Maybe your family is struggling with illness, relationship issues, too-busy schedules, or something else. Whatever it is, remember that we’re all human and that you can’t do everything all the time. Oh, and that’s OK. It really is.
Today, I thought I’d talk about five things you can focus on when life feels unmanageable, because I think we all feel that way at some point. Keep on chugging, exhausted one. This, too, shall pass. I’m reminding myself, also; we’re in this together.
1. God – Sometimes, when we focus on our relationship with God, other things become less important. Other times, we gain clarity and understanding through prayer and studying the Word. Really, you can’t go wrong with having some quiet time with God every day and seeking His solace.
Bonus: I believe that God gives us certain people in our lives that can help us when we struggle, if we allow them to. Use the resources God has provided for you.
2. Your health/self-care – Eat well. Choose healthy snacks when you can, stay hydrated, and try to sleep when you can. If your body feels like garbage, your whole life suffers. Get some sunshine every day and go for a quick walk, even if you don’t feel like spending more time outdoors. The vitamin D and exercise will boost your mood, which helps when you’re going through a particularly stressful time. When you’re stressed, your immune system actually suffers. Try to treat your body well during this time.
3. The people directly in your care – You might be tempted to take on extra projects even though you’re already stretched thin. Pick and choose wisely. Say no if you need to. Make a list of priorities and be sure to include the basics, because they are important. If you have a spouse and kids, those things go at the top of the list, right underneath caring for yourself. Beyond that, you need to decide how much you can tackle right now. Be kind to yourself, and carefully choose what you can reasonably handle.
4. Things you enjoy doing – It’s alright to enjoy something that seems frivolous. As long as it doesn’t become your whole life while you ignore your responsibilities, scheduling time to do things you enjoy is crucial to your mental well-being. When you are in the right frame of mind, you can handle the stress of life so much better. Don’t feel selfish. Our spouses, kids, friends, and family should know that we enjoy doing things for ourselves also. We’re human after all, right? Have fun. Laugh. Smile again. Enjoy your life; this is it.
5. Finding joy in the small things – There’s something beautiful in remembering that sunshine on flower petals is special, that a child’s smile can touch your heart if you let it, that drinking a cup of coffee is a sweet spot in the day, and that a kind word is better than gold.
Find your joy in the small things, and the big things seem a little smaller. It won’t make them go away, but it will help you remember that not everything is terrible. It will remind you that God has a plan for you… that tough times now don’t mean tough times forever… that life is good, even when it sucks.
Do you have anything else you try to focus on when life is trying? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Until next time, take care of yourselves, and I hope that you find joy and light in your day.