Stress. It happens to me when my dream’s delayed. My husband sees it and says I’m eating myself. My fingernails are so short they can go no further, the side of my lip has a wound on it. When eating I overbite into my lower lip and there’s a sore on my elbow where I picked off some dry skin. Yes, stress can eat us up and destroys us from the outside while it works on us from the inside.
The remedy? For me, it’s continuing my daily activities, but taking rest breaks to garden, hike, and read. Gardening connects me with God’s provision as the earth shoots forth new life in its time and each insect, plant, bird, and animal contributes. Hiking works similarly but takes me out of my area into a place where I am the stranger. There, in the woods, my only job is to watch and listen. And as I do, God reminds me that He is great and I am small and that all will be well in His timing.
And finally, I read (or watch a good movie or TV show). Reading takes me away for awhile to a place where problems are solved or wrestled with, to a place of hope. For in truth it is hopelessness that leads to my stress. Once I see the way ahead, I relax. What am I reading? I’m finishing these two books which you wouldn’t think would be related, but they are:
|God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution|
|Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery|
Also on my reading pile:
|Half of a Yellow Sun|
And to contrast it:
|Snow Day: A Novel|
|Slow Way Home|
What do you do to relieve stress?
Picture by Michelangelo Buonarroti [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons