For some reason, I’m expected to get out of bed every morning, get dressed, look somewhat presentable, and go to work. Then, when I get to work, I’m expected to, get this, WORK! And, not only that, I’m expected to be good at it. Well, last week was one of those weeks where I just couldn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I’m super thankful for it. I work for wonderful people that are like family and most of the time, I really enjoy going to work. But, after 4 months of not one single night of uninterrupted sleep, my adrenaline had finally run out. I felt (and probably looked) like a zombie and my attitude wasn’t the greatest either. Not to mention, it was one of the busiest and most stressful weeks of the year. Also, at home, we have a sweet angel that is starting to teethe. So, you know what that means- even less sleep and even more screaming. Throw a few doctor appointments in the mix and I was just done. By the end of the week, I was one emotional, exhausted, overwhelmed, on-the-brink-of-a-panic-attack momma. I could feel the stress building inside of me and I knew that I wasn’t being the best wife and mother that God wanted me to be. I was at the end of my rope…I just couldn’t do what was expected of me anymore. I hit my breaking point.
Now, I know that I’m not the first woman to have hit this wall. We have so much pressure and responsibility placed on our life. How can we not break at some point? And, what are we supposed to do when that happens? Thankfully, I have a merciful God and a loving husband that helped me realize what I need to do. So, I’ll share with you what I learned and hope that it helps you out when you just can’t.
- It’s okay. When I first started feeling overwhelmed, I felt really guilty. I kept thinking, This is what I prayed for. I wanted these wonderful children and this job. I wanted a busy, fulfilled life. So, the exhaustion, I thought, You asked for it! Yes, it comes with the territory of being a busy, working wife and mother. But, it’s okay to admit that you’re tired and overwhelmed. It doesn’t mean that you love your life any less. It just means you’re human, not superwoman.
- Cry it out. When I finally reached my breaking point, I just felt like crying. It came like a flood. I sat in my office at work and just cried and cried. It felt good to just let it all out, instead of bottling it in and trying to pretend I was okay. Sometimes, you just have to let it all out. Go somewhere by yourself and just cry. Trust me. It helps.
- Ask for help. This one is tough for me. I like to think I can do everything by myself. I always thought it showed weakness to ask for help. However, it’s a sign of strength. It shows that you realize that you can’t do it all on your own. Most of the time, at least in my life, I’ve realized there are people who are ready and willing to help. They’re just waiting to be asked. So, go ahead, ask for a little help. Ask your hubby to take the kids to daycare one morning. Ask your mom to watch them for an hour while you run to the store. Ask your co-worker to help with that project at work. It will seriously save your sanity.
- Stop. I feel like I’m constantly going. Even when my body isn’t physically moving, my brain is reviewing everything I need to get done. I don’t think my mind, body or soul is ever in a full state of rest. Again, I’ve felt guilty to just sit and do nothing when there are things to be done. However, sometimes you just need to stop going and just relax. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes each day. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who realizes when I get really overwhelmed and steps in to save the day. He told me the other day, “Take time for yourself, PLEASE. You need it. Go shopping. Go home and take a nap. Go for a drive. I don’t care, just do what you need to do to feel better.” Well, I decided to take him up on that offer. I let him pick up the girls from daycare and I went home early and did nothing. I tried really hard not to feel guilty about the loads of laundry or the dishes in the sink. I knew how much I needed that time to just rest and how it would benefit not just to me, but my husband and kids as well.
- Pray and Meditate. There is no greater form of relaxation than praying and meditating upon God’s word. Just a few minutes a day can calm your mind, body and spirit. According to thehealthsite.com, a clinical study was done to see how praying affects a persons’ mood. Their study proved that daily prayer and meditation lowers stress levels, reduces anxiety disorders, helps you deal with your emotions, makes you happier, is good for your heart and helps you live longer. So, there are many physical benefits of praying daily! There are also spiritual ones, such as, drawing closer to God, learning more about His character, hiding His word in your heart and punching the ol’ devil in the face. So, during your 10 minutes a day, use this time to say a prayer and read God’s Word. It’s the greatest way to spend your time. Below are some Scriptures that I’ve found to be “stress-relievers” and good ones to meditate on.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
“Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” Psalm 116:7
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
My prayer is that you will be able to take time for yourself to rest and recharge. It’s so much more beneficial to those around us when we can take a little time for ourselves. You’re not being selfish or lazy, you’re being human. If you feel like you CAN’T today, I’m praying for you. Take some time to do the things I mentioned and whatever else you need to do, so you CAN tomorrow.