10 Tips for Thriving in Seasons of Stress and Doubt

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Happy Monday guys! This month is off to a great start and I'm excited to start a new week. These first weeks of the New Year and really, the whole month of January was actually really stretching one for me, and not in a fun-new-year-fresh-start kind of way. But I've learned a few things throughout it all and that's never a bad thing. We moved into a new work space and started a new church home study program at home. Both of those things have made me think bigger picture for myself, my family and my business. But it's actually been a lot harder than I expected. It's been stressful and I've struggled with self doubt and wrestled with some fears. So if your goal setting month also has you feeling a little undone- today I want to share a few thoughts I've tried on to cope with the turbulence.  


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1. Small steps get us where we want to go. It's easy to forget that we literally get everywhere on this planet one footstep at a time. They all add up and we do big things. Every success I've had in the past has been through consistent small steps. One blog post at a time. One email at a time. One conversation at a time. They all add up- and small things today will add up in the future. 

2. Keep trusting your gut. Sometimes when things get stressful or the stakes get higher, I get nervous. I think maybe I was wrong about something in the past (totally possible) but often it's just me being uncomfortable sitting in the unknown zone. Give your gut credit for where it's gotten you so far and keep trusting it.

3. Thinking short term magnifies stress. Short term fixes do too. It's human nature to want a quick fix. I get questions all of the time about my fitness or my diet- as if I have a magic answer. And I don't. My answer is so long. It starts with eating disorder treatment years ago, lots of books, starting a business, etc. It's not a replicable short term fix. Lately I've been worried about lots of things and I keep trying to think of what would fix it now. But those stabs at fixing it actually stress me out more, especially if they don't play out like I hoped. Long term fixes take patience- short term fixes are impatient and usually a miss. 

4. It's okay to be uncomfortable and not have the answers. This one is just hard. It's that idea of sitting with the discomfort. And not letting the worry get to you. 

5. Take time to think. I've been thinking a lot more this last month. Which sounds funny, but you know, like meditating or taking time to question things. It's meant a lot of long hot showers, but what better month to sit in a hot shower than January??

6. Do the work to learn. I've also been reading a lot. I think it's important to always keep learning and adding to our knowledge base, not matter what we do. But I'm guilty of not taking the time to do it. Reading more this month has given me new concepts to chew on and new thoughts to consider as I try to think bigger. 

7. Celebrate the wins. You could also call this giving yourself grace. Celebrate small steps, positive experiences and attempts to do things better. 

8. Stay in the moment. In the last year we had many unknowns relating to our son's health and care. It was hard not to think about what "might" happen or the worst case scenarios. But that kind of worry never helped! I've learned that the only thing we can control is what we do in the moment and we can always choose to succeed there. We can handle the present and as long as we continue to do so, we'll be fine.

9. Be honest about your concerns. I've been trying to practice sharing my worries with a few safe people. And it helps it from getting blown out of proportion in my mind. Talking to Soren and my mom and other friends has been a great way to get things back into perspective. And get help!

10. Take care of yourself. I'm not one to talk. But I do notice that the less sleep I get, the less water I get and the more I stress, the it all gets. If you have worries, don't stay up late! That's when they get you! I've been trying to go to bed earlier, get up earlier and stay hydrated so I can think clearer and push those negative thoughts right out. 
I 100% believe that struggling is part of growing and part of life. But I do think that we can do things to make it work in our favor instead of sending us to a negative place. Hopefully some of these ideas are helpful if you find yourself in a season of worry or fear. Of course I also believe that prayer and a relationship with God are also critical to living a life of faith over fear. Our choices, our thoughts and His grace will help us navigate all of the unknowns and stretching periods in our lives. 
What else helps you? How do you navigate seasons like this?

3 comments

  1. 1. Prayer, prayer then more prayer! Learning "do not be anxious in anything but with prayer and petition and thanksgiving make your request known to God and the peace of God which goes beyond what we can imagine, will guard your heart and your mind."
    2. One "rule" we've had, save heavy discussion until morning--which means no sad, stressful conversations after 8:00 pm. 2 of my kids are intense and easily thrown off by anything they consider stressful. They are now 22yo and 14 yo--even now if the 14 yo is upset at night I say "oh! it's after 8:00. We'll talk about this in the morning!" Usually a hug and "don't forget to bring this up tomorrow." is enough...they rarely bring it up the next day :)

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  2. Great post! So needed this. Thanks

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