Wednesday, May 18, 2011



SO! How do I deal with my CRAZY STRESS? Do you remember the ‘Magic Carpet Bag” that Mary Poppins carried to her new “Nanny Job”? She pulled a plethora of magical items and tools from the depths of her bag to help her with her new ‘charges’, Michael and Jane! Well, Over the years, I have developed my OWN “CRAZY CARPET BAG” full of ideas and methods, that help me deal with my ‘stress filled’ moments! 

Today, my stress is a simple matter of my work day, running home to teach 2 hours worth of private violin lessons, then packing for a trip for which I leave tomorrow on a bus at 6 a.m. And the kicker- I will be chaperoning 24, 5th graders for 3 days. I am SO thankful that these are some of the BEST of the BEST students at my school ~ and we are going to Orlando ~ FUN. Then I have to hop on a plane, Sunday morning at the crack of dawn, and PRAY that it is a smooth, ON TIME flight, so I will be home in time to attend my babies graduation (oh yeah…. Add purchasing waterproof mascara to my list of things to do ~ YIKES)! Did I say this was SIMPLE STRESS! Oh My! Where is the chocolate??? 

With a list like this, I could SERIOUSLY develop a ‘booger of a blood pressure’ problem, or maybe some deadly ‘unmentionable’ digestive issues, or a ‘MAJOR Migraine’. BUT ALAS, I am going to share with you my ‘carpetbag’ full of tips and tricks that help me deal with stress, and I am going to provide some links that I have gone to, in an effort to find these tips and tricks!

My first plan that I put into place is: a reflective time. This reflective time does not have to be a long extended period of time, but it is a time to relax, reflect, and calm the senses. I have spent time in prayer and meditation, I have taken a bubble bath complete with candles and music, I have completed many a yoga session (Love me some yoga)! I have also from time to time treated myself to a massage, but no matter what method I choose to reflect and relax, I always begin with the following scripture verse: 

Philippians 4:6-7 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV) 

This starts my time of reflection off on a positive note, with a positive promise. IF I am not anxious, but spend time in prayer, God will grant me peace. I find that my time of reflection is more profitable when I begin it with this wonderful verse of scripture. 

After my time of reflection, my mind is now more alert and clear to think about the ‘stressfilled’ situation facing me. SO, next step: I have created a notebook from a composition book (oh so cheap)! I decorated my composition book with a positive phrase, cute stickers, my personal initials… just something FUN for me to look at! I call this my BRAIN BOOK! Now that my brain is clear from my ‘reflection’ time, I can sit down with my brain book, and usually of course a cup of Chai Tea (yummo), and label each page with the date at the top (I usually do a week at a time). I begin listing things I have to do on a daily basis: extra jobs, phone calls, errands, ANYTHING that I need to accomplish over the course of the week! This gets everything I need to do OUT OF MY HEAD and into my Brain Book ~ once again clearing my brain! I am a very visual person, so for fun, I use stickers, and I will use colored highlighters to mark things off as I accomplish them. It always makes me feel good knowing that I am accomplishing the necessary things on my list, and it also helps me to remain organized, and being organized creates less stress! 

After I have had my ‘brain book’ session, before DIVING into my list, I take some time just for me. Ways that I make some time for myself include: spending time with my family, taking walks, doing a craft project, reading, calling a friend, exercising, cooking, writing, taking some pictures… anything that relaxes me and helps my mind, body and soul to remain calm. 

NOW! I feel less stressed and mentally ready to begin tackling my list in a clear, organized, methodical, and ‘less’ stressed manner. I can accomplish SO much more, when I have mentally prepared and organized myself to accomplish a big goal! 

Another tip once you begin your work, if you already know that the task you are starting on is one that may cause your’ ‘internal temperature to RISE’, set your timer and work on that difficult task for maybe 15 minutes, and then take a ‘small personal break’ and come back to it! This makes any task that is ‘crazy scary’ a lot more manageable! 


Here is a great medical link that details stress ‘symptoms’, although I am quite sure you already KNOW if you are stressed, but it also has other GREAT ideas for ways to relieve stress that I have not even covered. I have simply told you the things that work for me! 

I am also including prayer that I found online. I keep a copy of this in my purse and refer to it often. In fact, I had it laminated so it won’t be messed up jingling and jangling around with the rest of my purse contents! 

"Dear Lord, 
I need you now because I am full of stress and anxiety. Reading your Word brings comfort, as I ask you to come and take my heavy burdens. I take each burden, one by one, and lay them at your feet. Please carry them for me so that I don't have to. Replace them with your humble and gentle yoke so that I will find rest for my soul today. I receive your gift of peace of mind and heart. Thank you that I can lie down tonight in peace and sleep. I know that you, Lord, will keep me safe. I am not afraid because you are always with me. Please keep me daily, Lord, in your perfect peace. 

I found this prayer at the following link: 
I totally believe in, and have benefitted from the power of prayer. 

SO my friends, if the STRESS MONSTER is staring you in the face, remember that with a clear mind, a well laid out plan, and a calm spirit you can accomplish anything! 

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Living, Laughing, and Loving my less stressful week,