7 February Stress Busters

*I’ll be taking a blogging break during Valentine’s week. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

With the flip of the calendar to February, it’s time for another installment in our Stress Busters blog series. I started it in September and I pray it’s been a blessing to you. Hopefully you’ve discovered some new ideas for reducing stress as we think of strategies especially appropriate for each month of the year.

Since February is the month of love, some might think stress should disappear, but alas, the expectations of Valentine’s Day can actually add stress to some of our lives. Combine that with the other stresses that invariably rise up to drag us down, and yes indeed, it is a very good idea to consider how we might reduce our stress levels.

So here, my friends, are seven stress busters for your February days:

  1. Say “I love you” to someone every day this month. Whether saying the words, writing a note, or posting a meme on someone’s Facebook page, brighten days for others and lift your own spirit as you share love. See how many different people you can touch.
  2. Perform a random act of kindness. Offer an encouraging word, hold a door, leave an extra generous tip, or pay for the person behind you in line. Surprise someone unexpectedly. Not only will it make you happy, but you might just change the course of someone’s day, week, or life.
  3. Offer a comforting touch or hug as often as an opportunity presents itself. Loving touches have a way of helping stress melt away for both parties involved. Bless others—and let others bless you—with a hug.
  4. Show yourself some love with an out of the ordinary treat. Get a massage, indulge in a candlelit bubble bath, order your favorite dessert, or take a day (or afternoon) off to do something fun. Enjoy yourself!
  5. Make a list of the things you love about your life. The biggies will come to mind first, but nothing is too small to include. If it brings you joy, jot it down. As you do, whisper a prayer of thanks.
  6. Call a friend or family member you rarely get to see and share some love and laughs. Sometimes hearing a distant loved one’s voice soothes our spirits the way nothing else can.
  7. Read and reflect on a passage from the Bible—God’s love letter to us—each day. Let the Word of God infuse your spirit with peace and joy and wisdom. Let it refresh and recharge you to deal with the demands of your life.

Your stress is sure to diminish if you put these ideas to work this month. As you do, may your February be filled with love and joy. And chocolate. Don’t forget the chocolate!

“Love never fails . . .” 1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV 

*Which of these stress busters will be the easiest for you to carry out? Which will be the biggest challenge?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Tania_Cataldo, Creative Commons License

Adventure Booster

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If you read the last issue of my Life Notes inspirational newsletter or if you caught my blog posts in January, you know that adventure is on my mind this year.

Adventure is my theme word for 2016 in fact.  But since it’s easy to forget a theme word as the year goes along, I thought June, the mid-point of the year, would be a good time to go a little more in-depth with it here on the blog.

So here is an acrostic of ideas and avenues for adventure—an adventure booster so to speak. Even if adventure is not your own personal theme word for the year, maybe you’ll find something here to incorporate into your life this summer. No time like the summer for adventure, right? Enjoy!

Ask someone to join you in trying out a new restaurant or ice cream shop.

Drive to a familiar destination by a new-to-you route.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen, a special needs camp, or other outreach for those in need.

Educate yourself on a topic that interests you.

Notice the amazing beauty and creativity of God’s ever-changing sky each day.

Travel to a place you’ve always wanted to visit.

Unwind with a new-to-you book and a different variety of chocolate, coffee, or tea.

Risk a physical challenge that will push you out of your comfort zone or test your limits.

Enter a contest that spurs you to excel at one of your talents or abilities.

So here is the challenge: If an idea here caught your eye, determine now to make it your next adventure. It’s time to get out there and do something new!

“I will sing a new song to you, O God . . .” Psalm 144:9a

*What adventure are you going to try?

*CCO Public Domain photo

Holiday Blogging Break Plus Wedding Planning Help

7980406309_3524c3f3bd*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, here is an updated encore post I hope will be helpful to those of you who weren’t MOBs when I originally posted it last December.

Mother of the Bride, I’m taking a holiday blogging break until the first of the year, but I have a little gift for you—a gift of help! Allow me to point you in the right direction to find some great ideas and tips. Maybe at some point over the holidays, you’ll have a little time to wear your MOB hat. The chances may not be good, but you never know!

Three great sources of help are right here on my website. Glance over to the right sidebar and scan down until you see the Favorite Posts section. There you will find links to some important or super-helpful posts here on the Mother of the Bride Blog. Also, if you would like info or help on a certain topic, just use the search feature right under my picture on the header. It will pull up all kinds of help in an instant. You can check my Archives as well (the last item on the right sidebar.) Click on each year and then click on each month. When you click on the month, then you will see a list of the post titles. I bet you will spot some posts that will be especially helpful to you at this stage in your Mother of the Bride journey.

Another great source of helpful ideas can be found on my Pinterest page. I have eighteen wedding-related boards filled with terrific ideas for you. When you go over to check it out, be sure to follow me while you’re there so you won’t miss out on great new pins I post each week.

How’s that for some MOB help this holiday season? Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

*Find my annual Christmas poem over on my home page. Hope you enjoy—and see you in the new year!

*Flickr photo by top10things, Creative Commons License