Christmas is supposed to be a wonderful time of the year. So how come you are so stressed?
You can be at peace this Christmas and you can find that peace now, so that you actually enjoy Christmas this year. It’s not complicated. I’ve got three simple steps for you. Take these steps seriously, and follow them, and they will give you the strength to not just survive the season, but to thrive in it.
- List your stressors. Put them down on paper. Don’t just list them in your mind. You have to actually write them down. As someone has said, “Thoughts untangle themselves over the lips and through the fingertips.” Just writing down the things weighing on you will help you find clarity and lead you to relief.
- Pray over your list. And I mean PRAY. Get on your knees and talk to God out loud. Go through your list, one by one, and tell him why each of those things are causing you anxiety. Ask him to give you wisdom to know what to do, and strength to handle the pressure. Then promise to trust him with whatever outcome there is to each of the things you are worried about.
- Plan your attack. Stress is energy and it needs an outlet. If you don’t direct that energy towards solving the problems stressing you out, it will find its way to damaging other areas in your life (relationships, work, health, etc.) causing additional stress. So after listing out your stressors, and asking God for wisdom in finding solutions, write down the specific things you can do to solve the problems that are stressing you out. And transfer those planned actions on to your calendar, so you can see the date and time in front of you when you will do something about it. It might be scheduling a few hours for shopping or meal preparation. It might be setting aside a few minutes to send a note declining an invitation, while expressing your appreciation. It might be scheduling a family meeting to arrange how the responsibility will be shared to get things done…or to talk about how funds are tight and there will be a wonderful family Christmas without a lot of gifts (we’ve had those meetings).
Some of the things stressing you out have no solution. There are some things that by praying about them, you simply have to let them go and let God shoulder the weight. He can handle it…you can’t. So let him have it.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Jesus (Matthew 11:28–29 NLT)