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The Struggle Is Real

faceless woman with cardboard box on head against pond

Stress, struggle and overwhelm: Do these words describe your life? Is this something you deal with on a regular basis? Well, I’m not immune to this, either, because it happens to all of us and how you deal with it is the real key to living life to the fullest. The struggle is real, people, but it’s also manageable. Let me share with you how I handle stress, struggle and overwhelm.

This is the last week of my 21 Day Challenge. This has been a tough one for me because I went against my own advice and added a 4th habit. This one has taken all of my willpower and focus. I added not eating sugar for 21 days! That’s right, sugar. That means no sodas, no cakes, cookies, or candies! It’s so hard, but I’m doing it! And I’ve been so focused on this one habit that I have let the others slide a bit.

Trying to do so many improvements at the same time can be overwhelming. I’m drinking my water, but a couple of days I included my coffee to get in the 55 oz. for the day. I’m pretty sure coffee doesn’t count. I also haven’t been posting quotes regularly on Facebook. I’ve been falling asleep early in the evenings.

It’s ok if we don’t do everything perfectly, if we don’t always achieve our task or goal every time. We should’t beat ourselves up because we are learning how to be disciplined and to do things in moderation. We are learning how to deal with the struggle in our everyday lives by changing our habits. Every day we have to get back up and try again. Celebrate the small wins when they do happen.

Setting Boundaries

How do you deal with stress, struggle and overwhelm? Stress can sometimes cause us to overeat, make us worry or even get sick. It is very often the reason for disease. Learning to lessen our stress throughout our day is a key to living life with joy and peace. A lot of stress is just reactive emotion. It’s not having boundaries set in place.

We need to learn to stop jumping to everyone else’s emergencies (unless it is a real emergency!). You have to set boundaries and say no sometimes. Have a routine to your day and a plan with your priorities on your calendar. Don’t react to every one else’s needs and demands in their time, but on your time. Set up some blocks of time and let others know when you aren’t available. Set some quiet time for yourself and process your day and what you want to accomplish in it. Don’t pick up your phone 50,000 times a day. (An exaggeration? Maybe.)

Getting Rest

Don’t think you have to do everything in one day. Break up your tasks over time. Make sure you take time to rest in between the striving to accomplish your tasks. Rest isn’t bad, it’s rejuvenating. When we rest, our bodies are rebuilding and recovering. God has made us to be quite remarkable human beings who can do amazing things!

Getting needed rest has become a challenge for many of us. I think there is something to be said about our big screen TVs and devices interrupting our sleep. Every electronic device has a light on it. Get a sleep mask if you must. –My granddaughter has a wonderful unicorn one that I’d like to try.

If you want to sleep better, stop eating and snacking after the dinner hour. Stop drinking caffeinated products in the evenings. An hour before bed, read something that can calm your mind down. I remember when I was trying to read through the Bible there were many passages that put me to sleep! Try that. Take a relaxing warm bath with Epsom salts and lavendar essential oil. Get your rest.

Letting Go of Fear

This has been an unbelievable two years of sickness, conflict and differing opinions on how we should deal with it all.–Talk about stress, struggle and overwhelm! Some of us learned new ways to be social, of working from home, and how to do things differently. But many of us also grabbed onto fear.

Did you ever think you would live in a world where fear was so rampant? Isn’t this America, land of the free and home of the brave? What happened? Fear is exhausting! We can’t live in fear. We aren’t wired for that. How many times does the Bible tell us to “Be not afraid?”

Do all you can to overcome fear. Fear is “false evidence appearing real.” Fear is a lie. Trust that God has a plan for your life. Do your best to improve your health. Make wise, informed decisions. Boost your immune system. Take vitamins, get the vaccines if you feel you need to, lose some weight. Do whatever is necessary, but trust in the Lord. We can’t become monks in our own homes. We were meant for relationship with God and others.

Don’t be afraid to live life to the fullest. Figure out how you can be a positive force in this world and get out there!

Staying Positive

Do your best to protect your health, to protect your time, to protect those relationships that you value but we also want to protect our mental health. We need to stay positive because negativity is so draining! Gloom and doom are the results of negative thinking when you allow them to take space in your head. Get rid of negativity and choose to be positive. Appreciate life! Always look for the good in every situation. Read some books on a positive outlook. One classic read is the Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. It’s a great place to start.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— Ecclesiastes 3:1

Take Action

Struggle isn’t always bad, if you are learning a lesson from it. We need to experience struggle and pain in order to appreciate the good in our lives. –And we have to appreciate the good.

So what can you do today to overcome stress, struggle and overwhelm?

  • Spend some time in silence with Jesus. Ask Him to help you figure out what you need to do.
  • Plan your day as best as you can with your goals and priorities in mind but don’t be afraid to be a little spontaneous, to go with the flow for a little fun in life.
  • Ask for help from family or friends. Get advice from someone who has gone through a similar situation. God puts people in your life for a reason.
  • Learn how to delegate things to others. You don’t have to do it all.
  • Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 in the Bible. Verse 12 is especially good!

I hope this has helped you in some way. Learn to let go of stress, struggle and overwhelm to find peace, joy and live life to the fullest!

I’m looking forward to a big piece of chocolate cheesecake next week! Thanks for following along. Be sure to share this message with friends or family. Everyone out there is struggling with something.

I appreciate you. God bless.–Barb


Wife, mother, church secretary, seamstress, child of God.

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