Dealing With Stress – Working in the Now

January 20, 2014 in Creating Simple Living by Lorilee Lippincott

Image: posterize FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The last 3 months have been probably some of the hardest months in my life.  (not including the months after the kids were born… those months I don’t really remember I was so sleep deprived so they were probably worse).

The last 3 months has included an incredible amount of change, un-known, and risk.  And it isn’t over.  We still have a lot of change coming ahead and I don’t know what our lives will look like in another 2-3 months.

A few weeks ago I wrote about a bunch of this change and a huge online campaign I was involved with.  The work we put into making that happen (while going through so many other changes) was more than we could emotionally handle.

To be honest with you (cause bearing my soul to a bunch of strangers is a perk of blogging), now that most of the work on that project is done, I have been on the verge of tears for a week just trying to release some of that boiled up stress.

However, I have learned a lot through the past few months.  I have learned about commitment, determination, big ideas, overcoming fear, and team work.  But probably what helped the most was learning how to deal with stress by working in the ‘now’.

… now, to be honest, I learn slow.  I wish knowing this and living it were they same but usually it is a struggle :)  Processing the ideas to write about it really helps me.

I’m not sure where you are in life right now.  I hope you are stress free sitting on a beach somewhere with  healthy relationships, and money in the bank.  But, that is probably a small (very small) percentage.  The rest of us go through seasons of life that are much more stressful – either with good stress or bad stress.

Sometimes bad stress is unavoidable and many times good stress is what creates space for growth and learning.  Stress is not healthy, but a life with no seasons of stress is probably not realistic. Not having healthy stress to push us to something better or help us to learn isn’t healthy either.

Living in the ‘Now’

Usually I think of this as a way of making sure to enjoy the positive parts of life.  It is a way of practicing contentment.  Not missing the childhood years and ‘smelling the roses’.  But in the past few months I have been forced to practice this idea to deal with stress because otherwise I would be completely overwhelmed.

When the month seemed impossible to tackle, the week impossible to tackle, and often the day impossible to tackle it is a great opportunity to really focus into the task at hand and block everything else out.

  • Right now I just need to get out of bed.
  • Right now I need to feed the kids.
  • Right now I need to …..

If I started focusing on much more I would become overwhelmed and start avoiding the things that really needed to get done.

However, the great thing is that this practice benefits the positive times as well.  Now that life has calmed down I have a much better understanding of living in the moment.  As much as I have written about it in the last few years it is still a concept that I struggle with.

This idea doesn’t mean not planning for the future or ignoring it.  In stressful seasons there is probably even more need for planning and a clear goal with steps along the way.  The difference is that once that plan and those steps are made the big picture can be released from the mind to allow for the small pieces to have full focus.

Try and hold onto the big picture and everything that is happening/needs to get done and it is easy to become overwhelmed with stress.  Deal with the one thing that needs to be done now and what felt like it was impossible can become possible.

What is the most important thing for you to do now?

Maybe you aren’t going through a stressful time but you are still avoiding or allowing other things to distract you from what is difficult.

What is the most important thing for you to do now in your relationships?

What is the most important thing for you to do now in your growth?

What is the most important thing for you to do now in your space (home or schedule)?

What is the most important thing for you to do in your job?

It might not be something that changes your life but it is a step toward it.  Consistent steps can start to cover amazing amounts of ground.

Motivation is found from dreaming and looking at the big picture, but the challenges the change creates are conquered in the small pieces of time called ‘now’.

As always, thanks so much for reading!