The Lenten and Easter season is upon us. Many pastors tell me that in addition to the spiritual aspects, these seasons bring additional stress and busyness!
Of course, some stress is normal and even helpful. As always, the real question is, “How do you cope with the stress you are experiencing?”
Well, here are three common but completely dysfunctional stress coping strategies. All three definitely fall into the “avoid these” category.
Junk food, anyone? Excessive snacking? Skipping breakfast?
Your body and mind perform much better when you start the day with a healthy breakfast, eat balanced meals, and snack on nutritious foods such as fruit. Slipping into emotional eating habits? Here’s one practical tip: plan ahead. Have apples in your office instead of candy bars, for example.
Hey, I like my coffee, too! We have a cute little sign in the coffee nook at our office: “All things are possible with prayer and coffee.”
However, I’ve consciously cut back lately. Should you? Remember, caffeine is a drug, an addictive one. Are you in the dependence cycle? A cup to wake up, more during the day to avoid the caffeine crash, then perhaps sleeping restlessly at night? Not good! Here’s a tip about coffee: you don’t have to quit but you could especially avoid coffee after mid-afternoon.
You usually display the highest qualities of godly Christian character, I feel sure. Unfortunately, too much stress can sometimes crack our armor. We may find ourselves doing things we normally would not. In fact, in some cases, we become addicted to pornography, pills, alcohol, shopping, or other compulsive behaviors. It happens.
If it has happened to you, seek professional help immediately. The longer you wait, the deeper the damage, the more difficult the recovery. Get started today and know that God’s grace will be more than sufficient!
There they are: three bad ways to cope with stress.
Instead, take care of yourself, even during peak busy seasons. Eat well, rest as much as you can, and don’t be shy about reaching out for professional help with troublesome compulsive behaviors.
You will feel and be happier and healthier!