We are nearing the end of a school year and a long season of busyness. This is leaving many of us sleep-deprived, stressed, and even depressed about a variety of things. Here are a few reasons why:
- You don’t have adequate rest.
- You aren’t enjoying moments.
- You aren’t getting enough sleep.
(Yes, sleep and rest are two very different things, and we need both to live calm lives.)
Here are several ways you can de-stress your life as we approach a new season, starting with obvious ideas and going into deeper strategies.
1. Get some sleep.
Yes, you need it, and coffee won’t solve all your problems for you. Our society seems to be tired all the time, and it isn’t healthy. Tonight, try beginning your “going to sleep” routine a little earlier. Tidy up your room, lie in bed and read something, and let yourself calm down.
2. Slow down.
Stop rushing. Plan ahead. Do some things slowly. Think about what you’re doing. Think about your life. Think outside of your life.
Let it out. Tell God. Your prayer life doesn’t have to be all about asking God, you can just tell Him things sometimes. Explain how you feel and why you feel it. Ask Him to help you.
4. Talk to someone.
Call up a friend. Text someone. FaceTime your family. Just please, don’t post something depressing on Facebook. Find people you can unload on, and let them unload on you. Talk things out together.
5. Take a walk.
When’s the last time you took a walk, and it wasn’t to get somewhere? If your answer is yesterday or today, you probably don’t need to hear this. But if you can’t think of the last time, then just go! Listen to nature or the cars or whatever you hear outside. Use it as time to think through things.
6. Read a book.
Have you ever felt like reading a book took you out of your own situation? That may just be what you need right now. I don’t think it’s healthy to run from your life or your problems, but it’s certainly helpful to take a break now and then. (Here’s a shameless plug for you: if you’re looking for reading material, my book The Fantastical Journey of Gavryn Wickert comes out in August – hopefully. Here’s an update on it.)
7. Do nothing.
Just sit for a few seconds and hit pause. You might be surprised how much you need it.