There is no better time to peak your stress potential than the week before Christmas! This weekend, in particular, seems overwhelming to me as my husband and I attempt to wrap up house projects before our holiday party tonight and my Mom’s arrival on Wednesday.
To help me de-compress, I stopped by our local coffee shop to steal away 15 minute of alone time on my morning dog walk. I grabbed the funnies from the paper and delighted in reading them while sipping my short rice milk latte (went for the caffeine version this morning!)
One cartoon brought tears to my eyes though. It was a family in a store with signs above each display saying “Don’t Forget Candy! Don’t Forget Lights!” Then in the last screen the family (loaded down with purchases) is walking past a church. In front of the nativity scene sprawn out on the lawn is a sign..Don’t Forget.
I remembered something I had forgotten to do for myself. Pray.
Prayer is such a powerful stress reliever. And what an amazing time of year to utilize the gifts Jesus gave us. This simple act has been the number one coping skill that helped me push through and overcome many hard life circumstances. I use it often; although lately my heart has been in giving prayers to others. This, of course, is really great too.
On my walk back home this morning, I started piecing some recent memories together. In several different situations, the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr has popped up in front of me; twice in different books, another in a TV show, then again in a conversation.
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
I used this prayer a lot the year I got married but haven’t really focused on it since. Another quote that has come up time and time again over this year has been one from scripture.
Has this ever happened to you? Something sparks your memory and then different events and signs start falling into place. That is kind of where I feel I’m at today.
The power of prayer in stress management. The eating component is that myself, much like many of you, are prone to emotional eating when faced with too much stress. I often counsel my clients to go underneath that umbrella term and name the causes. For example, I feel overwhelmed by my to-do list and short time line. I feel pressure to be perfect and complete the entire list today. My tendency to deal with this is eat something chocolaty or cheesy.
However, just because that is my tendency, it does not make it a reality. So for today, I will say the serenity prayer and remember this scripture. And say good bye to sweet cravings.
How is my story similar to yours? Has this inspired your own memories?
Zen Recipe Corner:
Healthy Holiday Brunch menu by Food Network.