Slow down and remember what is most important

For many of us, it’s hard to relax. In today’s tech-heavy world, it’s hard to break away from the millions of distractions and choices placed in front of us 24/7. Our brains have a lot to process each day, which can cause a lot of lingering stress—even when we should be taking a break. We all have our unique challenges, but with the holidays just around the corner I wanted to share a message of peace to remind everyone the importance of taking a step back from the craziness of life and taking time to be fully present.

Our children don’t always understand the stress that comes with hard work and chasing a dream—and they don’t necessarily need to yet. But what they do need to understand is that despite the struggles you may face, you’ll always be there for them in their good and bad times. The holidays are an especially memorable time of year, and it’s so important that we remember to take a break from work and channel our energy into making the most of every moment during this time we’re given to be with family. It’s not only beneficial for your children, but it’s important for your own mental health, too. If it’s especially hard for you to mentally separate your work life from your personal life, here are a few strategies that may help.

Hit the “Off” switch

Turn everything off. Your phone. Your laptop. The TV. Any type of technology that distracts you, turn it off. If you don’t know what you’re missing, you can’t be stressed about it. All you’ll have to focus on is the people in front of you, and those people in front of you are way more important than any information a screen could give you.

Get moving

Your body physically carries emotions—that’s why your neck gets tight when you’re stressed or your hips get sore when you’re sad. One of the best ways to combat negative feelings is to exercise them out. It might be too cold to run outside, but there are plenty of ways to blow off steam from the warmth of the indoors—and your kids could join the fun, too. Look up some kid-friendly yoga, Zumba, or other exercise articles and videos. You’ll benefit your physical health while sharing some laughs along the way.

Let go and let God

There are plenty of books, sayings, and quotes that remind you to stay grounded, but there’s no peace like the peace we receive from God’s promise.  Anytime throughout the day that I feel tension or some stress, I stop and say “let go and let God.”  It always helps me to relax, find peace in that moment, and move forward. Here are a few verses I love:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26

“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