Actively and consciously resist continuing to take excessive stress upon yourself. Stop perpetuating the negative cycle and start a new positive cycle instead. This starts with not picking up more stress. We will encounter daily measures of stress from now until this life ends, so we don’t need to add more stress that wasn’t ours to carry in the first place. When we think about the priorities we made for our individual selves, this list should guide where we spend our energy.
We only have so much time in the day, so it is important that we see the day from the perspective of its whole—understanding that time is a precious commodity. Fifteen minutes is all we really need to make progress each day on any given thing, and while this might seem insignificant in comparison to the multiple hours we would prefer to devote to a particular task or project, it’s enough to have real effect if we are consistent. This means that if we are consumed in commitments that takes up multiple hours of our time at once, perhaps multiple times a week, we need to make sure that it is high on our priority list. Otherwise, we are giving away too much of our time to things that aren’t contributing in a positive way to our overall goals for our life.
When we have children, our priorities change to meet the evolving needs of our children. Tending well to our children requires enough of our time, attention, and energy as it is, so anything that we add to our parenting responsibilities should be added with great forethought and consideration. It is no wonder that parents of young children, and stay-at-home moms like I am, undergo a season (and a perpetual season it is as our children grow from stage to phase to full-grown adult) of this-is-the-hardest-thing-I’ve-ever-done-in-my-life. Because it is, in fact, the hardest thing any of us will ever do—raise children. It requires such strength, determination, and heart that none of us can do it well at all without finding our own internal anchor—our source of strength beyond our own strength.