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Four Ways I Am Learning to Let Go of Stress

There is no shortage of stress in this world and especially when you have a family dynamic - think about how much work it is just to take care of yourself, then add a spouse and each child to your tower of juggling plates. If you know what I mean, you know that the weight of the endless list of things to do and people to take care of can really beat you down into the dust. 

Sometimes, it feels like you are stuck - you can't turn back now, but you just don't have the strength to keep moving forward. And, the pressure of being a caregiver is overwhelming on top of your exhaustion. The truth is, you really can't do it all and you shouldn't expect yourself to be able to - even with technology, expert advice, caffeine and a good attitude. 

The problem is, no one has the exact same life as you - there isn't a magic parenting package that is standard issue. There isn't a standard issue marriage relationship or extended family dynamic. Sure, we can all relate to each other at certain points, but the truth is, you can't fit your life into someone else's box. Stuff hangs out all over the place and it isn't pretty. 

You might be thinking - ok, Jessie, what is the point? The thing that we all forget from time to time is that we are all just figuring it out as we go - everyone is. Even the people who seem like they have it all together - they don't. People who seem to have their financial portfolio squared away, people who seem to have a perfect marriage, people who seem to have perfect well rounded children... they are subject to the same variables that you are and, unfortunately, no one gets a free pass for a trouble-free life. 

So, this is the first step to letting stress go - understanding that you are completely normal and give yourself a break. Technology has made the world accessible at our fingertips and we are all exposed to a constant flow of information, images, possibilities, problems, solutions, expectations. The more information we gather, the more things we try to add to enhance ourselves and our life, the higher we set our bar - the more impossible it is to be content and at peace. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should or that it is the best fit for your life. Turn off the flow of information sometimes, connect with your surroundings and realize that you are ok. Take a deep breath.

The second way to let stress go: name it. What is bothering you? Say it out loud. Write it down. Whisper it to yourself. The thing is, when you speak it, it loses some of its power over your thoughts. And sometimes, it sounds really silly when you hear what is actually bothering you. Sometimes it isn't silly at all - sometimes you need to take action. When you name the thing that is bothering you, you put it into a more realistic perspective and it is not just a phantom of your mind. 

The third way to let stress go: do what you can do, today, and then put it down. When you really look at life, you only have today. No matter how big of a project it is, how long it might take, how much money you need or time or energy to finish it - you only have today, right now. The thing about life is that we all just have a certain small amount of time here on earth. You and everyone here with you right now is only here for a short time - maybe 100 years at the most? We all just have today - so do what you can and that is enough.

The fourth way I have learned to let stress go: ask for help. For me, I pray. Everyday, I ask for help. As simple as that sounds, I say "Please help me today." And if you haven't tried it before, I recommend it! You wouldn't believe the help I've gotten by just asking! It's miraculous even.

I hope that this bit of advice has been encouraging to you - I know how it feels to be stuck in the swamp of stress and life's burdens. I think that we all have to practice laying our burdens down - it's not something that comes naturally. Sometimes it is just helpful to know that you are not alone - that's what I wanted to share with you today!

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