Today is a New Day!
I love the fresh start of a new day. Each morning signals a new beginning. It means that yesterday is completed and today is new. Yet, often as we face the morning we feel bogged down by yesterdays' troubles and tomorrows' worries. In doing so we forget to enjoy the present moment of our lives. Wearily we reach for the cup of strong hot coffee, hoping it will revive our bleary eyes and jump start us with fresh motivation. Still, desire can evade us as we press forward through the day.
Some of us are bogged down by financial stress, relational stress, and others of us face challenges at work with a difficult boss, or in looking for a job. Many women are juggling career and kids. The list of stressor's can be long. How do we get a new perspective for a new day? How do we get past that dreaded feeling that we will never break out of the rut we are in?
Prioritize: Take time to write a list of what is important to you. Not just what you need to do. I have a policy; "People before tasks." Time with friends or family can revive you and make life fulfilling. Forget the dishes and schedule coffee, forget less important "To Do" items and spend time with the people you love. I have a long current "To Do" list and I added one item; "-don't freak out" is on there to remind me to stay calm and keep perspective.
Simplify: If you are overloaded with too much to do, it may be time to eliminate some things. I know it can be difficult to say "no" but it is an important skill to learn. Us overly responsible types will say yes to just about anything and then wonder why we are so stressed out. Practice saying no and stop feeling so guilty about it. It really is okay to simplify your life so your mental and emotional well-being is intact. Your friends and family will thank you for it.
Slow down: Slow down and enjoy the beautiful moments of life. Savor them. Cherish them. Sometimes stress is so prominent that we fail to enjoy the good things in our life. Breathe deeply and look around you. Listen to the sounds. Stretch your arms and legs and even sit down for 5 minutes to pray or think or just be. It will help you.
Gratefulness: Take a moment to thank God for what you are blessed with. It can be as simple as; "Thank you God that I can walk," or "Thank you that I have a car that gets me places." It calms me when I think of the basic things I appreciate. The problems are still there but I am reminded of the problems I don't have and am glad. It may spur me to pray for others and get me out of my own self absorption.
Bite sized pieces: I know when I look at the whole problem or many problems at once I tend to freeze. I don't know where to start. Sometimes it helps to stay in the present moment and ask yourself; "What can I do right now?" A favorite verse of mine helps me to remember not to worry too far ahead; "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." (Matthew 6: 34)
Finally, We also have a bigger perspective when we remember that our struggles are temporary and that one day we will be free from our troubles; "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16: 33) We all will have our fair share of struggles to face in this life but one day we can rejoice that it has been completely overcome and we are free. Hang in there and enjoy the parts of life that make it truly meaningful.
Blessings to you! Gretchen