7 November Stress-Busters

The calendar has turned the page to another new month so that means it’s time to offer you another set of month-appropriate stress-busters. I hope you’re enjoying beginning each month with some ideas designed to help you relax and refresh in the face of stress.

Whether dealing with the normal daily stresses of life or additional major stresses, we all need ways that can help us step back for a few minutes and intentionally put that stress on a back-burner. If we do that often enough, we may find our overall feelings of stress diminishing as we learn to better cope with them day by day.

May the stress-busting strategies below come in handy in November when you find yourself in need of refreshment and relief. Be blessed, friends!

November Stress-Busters

  1. Take a few minutes to watch the leaves fall from the trees and dance their way to the ground. As you watch them float gently down, imagine your stress falling from your head, your shoulders, your arms, your hands, your legs, and your feet in the same way. Consciously relax your body.
  2. Before going to bed each night, jot down at least one thing that happened that day for which you’re thankful. Gratitude has a way of changing our perspective and lessening the worries of the day. By the end of the month, you may decide to keep a gratitude list or journal year-round.
  3. As you begin thinking ahead to Christmas, decide on at least two ways you can simplify your life or the celebration of the season in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. If you can go beyond making two changes, wonderful. Anything you can do to ease the increased demand of the holiday season will be well worth it.
  4. Enjoy some Thanksgiving nostalgia. Recall and share with family or friends some of your memories of childhood Thanksgivings. Welcome and listen to others’ stories as well. End by sharing your most memorable Thanksgiving whether long past or fairly recent. Let the comfort of past joys soothe your spirit today.
  5. Head outside for some impromptu physical activity. Get in a little leaf-raking therapy or go on your own little turkey trot around the neighborhood. Or you might grab some loved ones and challenge them to a quick game of basketball or touch football. Let your adrenaline pump that stress right out of your mind and body.
  6. Reach out to someone hurting or in need and in the process watch your stresses fade into the background. No question about it—you will be blessed as you bless someone else.
  7. Simplify at the end of a busy day and have breakfast for dinner. Set aside an evening of time-intensive dinner prep and cleanup and fix pancakes and bacon or scrambled eggs and sausage instead. You’ll still enjoy a hot meal with a touch of comfort to boot.

Add to these November stress-busters the ultimate stress-buster of dropping your burdens at the feet of Jesus and peace will be your portion this month rather than worry. Can’t beat a trade like that!

“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’” Matthew 11:28

*Share with us—tell about your most memorable Thanksgiving or mention what you’re thankful for today. We’ll all be blessed!

*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.)

*Flickr photo by Vijay Gunda, Creative Commons License

The Pull of the Past

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Is there an activity, a place, an aroma, a taste, a sight, or a sound that transports you back in time? Most of us long for times gone by on occasion. We long for loved ones no longer with us, we yearn for a simpler time.

Nostalgia can be good for us. It causes us to remember our blessings and even inspires us to look forward to a heavenly home where we’ll be reunited with our loved ones, where we’ll be safe and happy in the presence of our Lord.

So indulge in some nostalgia today, friends. May my “Pull of the Past” give rise to your own. And may it lead to all our eyes looking heavenward!

The Pull of the Past

As I travel down the country road
the pull of the past is strong.
Decades suddenly disappear
as my heart is drawn like a magnet
to the farms, to my grandparents,
to our family as it was then.
The crunch of gravel under the wheels
and the smell of dust wafting behind
stirs memories so deeply held
my heart aches from the longing.
Oh to go back in time,
to find everyone at home
waiting with ready smiles and welcoming voices,
waiting to share the day together.
Those bottled memories
so real yet just out of grasp
stir a precious joy
trailed by a touch of sadness
that keeps me lifting my eyes
to the sure hope of the future,
to the promise of reunion.
And so the pull of the past
becomes the hope of heaven
where one day I’ll find
everyone at home
ready to share forever together,
ready to praise and serve our Lord.

“I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” Psalm 143:5

*What triggers the pull of the past for you?

*The Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is underway. Details are in my Oct. 19 post and sign-up is to the right under “Free For You.” Deadline is 6 p.m. Nov. 11. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

*My photo