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Katie seems stressed for having been in the car WAY to long.

Sometimes it is hard to keep your mind in the game. Life brings on stressors that we many times cannot avoid. These can range from small things like – The feed store won’t have any chicken feed back in stock until tomorrow… or, these can be more extreme – The nanny goat died giving birth and we lost the kid as well. Life stressors don’t only have to be related to animals though. Our car had a flat tire this morning, or our teenager skipped school last week, for instance.

Hopefully, the more extreme stressors are non-existent in your life, or at least minimal. However, we all cannot be that lucky all the time. In today’s world with so much going on, it’s hard to avoid stress. We wear a lot of hats and get involved in so many things like jobs, home, children, parents, animals, pets, friends, bills, etc. So what can we do to avoid it? NOTHING. What we can do is find ways to handle these things in a healthy way.

How I personally handle stress:

Breathe –

I know, you’ve heard this before. I’m not meditating for 30 minutes to an hour though. That works for some people, me though… not so much. I simply breathe. Deep breaths for about 2 minutes are a quick enough fix for a stressful moment. Granted, there are times where it may take me 10 minutes, but two normally get me to where I can gather my thoughts.

Exercise –

This isn’t your normal exercise though. I’ve been asking Jeff to get me a punching bag for years. The ability to physically exert my stress onto an inanimate object is not only relaxing to my mind but should build up some muscles. However, I still don’t have one… I do have my next best option; a BASEBALL BAT! You would be surprised how stress releasing a baseball bat to the side of a hill can be. Wear safety glasses though; Dirt flies everywhere! Last option if there is no bat handy (or you can’t find it because you threw it into a pile of Kudzu on a really bad day). A machete is a good substitute. NO... Do not go crazy here! I'm talking about the kind of exercise that also allows you to accomplish a goal - like clearing out some of those pesky vines. If you don't think of it as a chore, you get your exercise, reduce some stress, and maybe even find your bat!

Get Crafty –

One of my favorite stress relievers – making soap. I know, it may sound silly to some, but I’m sure many of us have that one thing we enjoy doing and it’s the thing we run to when we just want to focus on anything other than what is driving us crazy. Some people bake (certainly not me), some people paint (defiantly not me), some even read (I have Audible). For me though, I make soap. There is something so satisfying about creating something that is not only beautiful, but useful as well.

Love –

Last on my list, but certainly not least.

This is my #1 stress reliever, and it will normally come before and after every other option I try. I look to God and pray, but he doesn’t vocally talk back. Prayer helps, but sometimes I need that shoulder, that physical presence to hug me and tell me what I need to hear (not always what I WANT to hear, but NEED to hear). So, when I need that physical and vocal stress reliever, I talk to my husband. He is there for me in everything and has an uncanny way of showing me if my stress is warranted. He will not hesitate to tell me if my problems are my fault, but he helps me regardless. I’m sure you may be asking, “Doesn’t he cause you stress”? Ummm – Yep! “So how do you handle stress from him”? Easy, I love him. We talk and communicate very well. If one of us is causing the other stress, we talk it out. Sometimes, I may have to say another prayer, breathe, or go make soap after we are done talking, but at the end of the day – we love.

Everyone will need to find their own ways of dealing with stress, I just thought I would share mine.

Let me know what you do to deal with stress – it may be something that I need to try!

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