Today’s Verse: Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”
Our daily lives are filled with stress. We are always rushing from one place to another, with too many things to do in a day. We are raising kids, working , we feel overworked and under-appreciated; you name it and it probably brings stress into your life.
With stress comes bad health, and bad habits. How often do we hear about stress and overeating or stress causing us to calm our nerves with drugs? How many of us yell at our spouses or kids when they really did nothing wrong? How many of us hate our jobs, because they are so stressful?
So what to do? Here are some proven ways to reduce stress. No, I am not going to say breathe in, breathe out (although that works too). These are more creative, fun ways to relieve stress. They won’t relieve it altogether, but they will help you to relax and have fun.
1 . Color! There are thousands of adult coloring books out now and they are addictive. I have been coloring for a while now, and it allows me to take my mind off everything around me and focus on just coloring. It is super relaxing. Here are some of my creations.
2. Do puzzles.
Much like coloring, puzzles allow you to melt away from the real world for a while and focus on something besides life. It is good for the brain, but it also helps us to relax and have fun for a while. It can be fun for the entire family, and spending time doing something fun as a family will reduce stress levels.
3. No time for coloring and puzzles? Eat dark chocolate – at least 70% cacao. The flavonoids (antioxidants) in chocolate will help you relax and de-stress by relaxing your blood vessels. But only eat small amounts, and take time to savor every bite. The time alone with your chocolate is like a mini spa – relax and enjoy. One of my favorite ways to reduce stress!
4. Get a pet! Pets are a lot of work, but they are a proven stress reliever. There is nothing like a cat purring in your lap to help you calm down. Or the unconditional love of a dog waiting for you when you come home. The shelters are full of kittens at this time of year, so save a life and help yourself at the same time. Here are my furry stress relievers. As you can see, they don’t require too much action in their lives to make them (and me) happy.
5. Try gardening. I thought I would hate gardening, because I am impatient and want immediate results. But there is something about digging in the dirt and pulling weeds that is so relaxing, and in the end the flowers that bloom are well worth the wait. Research has shown that having plants and flowers can elicit a positive mood and reduce stress levels. Here are my current blooms, with the hydrangeas and hostas just getting ready to burst open.
6. Lean on God. God will help you carry your burden. He does not want us to be stressed and overworked. He will help you relax and carry your burden, no matter how big or how small. Don’t stress – just turn it over to God. Spend time every day in prayer with God, and put your burdens on him – he can handle it!
Blessing to all and may you find some comfort and relaxation today!
Healthy Living Menu for today – Yummy Bean Salad
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
- 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from 1 medium lemon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, garlic, onion, parsley, and mint.
- For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the beans and veggies, add salt and black pepper to taste and carefully toss with a large metal spoon. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so flavors combine.