Over the last year – or maybe two! 🙂 – I’ve been involved in a lot of different projects – school aside, there’s mainly music once a week, and the recipe book we made for Mothers’ Day in May; Keepers (life-skills program) and its homework every fortnight; I helped out with the Carols by Candlelight night last December, and I organised a couple of Activity Bag swaps. There were other things too, and sometimes I had several projects on the go at once, which caused me some pressure! What helped me to get through those things was Mum’s listening ear, who after hearing me rant about’ how I was feeling stressed’ and ‘had too much on’ and how I ‘didn’t want to do it anymore’, helped me to pull myself together – because I can’t back out now! – and then helped me think through what things I needed to do next.
When I have several jobs buzzing around in my brain, big or small – everyday things or a one-off opportunity – and I start to feel the pressure mounting, I like to go through this process:
- Stop. Count to ten. Breathe. Go for a walk and get your act together! This is not the end of the world – believe it! The Bible says, ‘cast all your cares on to him who cares about you’ (1 Peter 5:7), so when I feel stressed because I can sense the deadlines creeping up on me, I need to hand them over to God and know that he is control of every little thing in this world. I like to remember that the sky is not falling on me, and that I am not stuck in this situation forever – I will get through this!
- Now that the pressure is gone, it helps to take the mental space to think through what needs to be done. For example, heres’ some things I needed to do this week (and in no particular order):
· I need to finish my keepers homework
· I need to bake for mainly music’s adult morning tea
· I need to practice the piano
· I need to finish the magazine I’m typesetting
- What is the most important thing to do? What needs doing now? If I have something happening in on Tuesday and on Friday that both need preparation, I obviously should do the Tuesday’s preparation first, because I can finish my work for Fridays’ commitment after Tuesday is over! It sounds obvious, but I do fall into the trap of doing the least important thing, first.
- Go do it! Instead of making a list and then following it, I’m prone to fluff around and procrastinate. Generally speaking, it doesn’t get the jobs done, so I recommend putting down that list, choosing a job and rising to tackle the challenge.
What have you found helps you when you feel under pressure?
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