Stress is all around us. Every day I encountered burned out and stressed out pastors. Regardless of your career, it appears life is more stressful than ever.
Would you agree?
People often ask how I handle stress. I’ve written before 5 Ways Leaders Respond Under Stress, but honestly, that post, though I still support it, can add more stress to a stressed-out leader.
Here are 7 ways I handle stress:
Prayer – God really does answer this request. When I’m really stressed out, I get alone with God.
Time management – Most times a well planned schedule will greatly diminish stress. I try to plan my activities at the beginning of the week in a way that allows for unexpected interruptions, yet still also allows me to complete the tasks required of me.
Exercise – This may be my best secret for battling stress. The more stressed I am the more I need to run. I wrote more about that HERE. I’ve been known to disappear on a busy day to get some exercise.
Disciplined life – There are activities and habits that add to stress. If you stay up way too late and never get enough rest, your stress-factor will increase. When I’m especially stressed, I try to build in down time and time just for me. Feel free to participate with me in a 90 day challenge to a more disciplined life. Details HERE.
Balance - I have learned to say “No” to some things and balance my time between all the things that pull for my attention. If you are in ministry, read THIS POST of how I protect my family in ministry. (It’s appropriate for those not in ministry also, in my opinion.)
Not allowing problems to build long without addressing them – If a relationship is causing stress, the sooner I deal with it the less likely I am to stress about it. If I need to make the hard decisions…make the now…the sooner…the less long-term stress it brings.
Asking for help - When I am really at my limit with stress, I am not too proud to tell someone. I have learned to delegate well.
What tips do you have for people to lower their stress? How do you handle stress?