Shannon’s Five Stress-Less Steps

YAY! I applaud you for realizing that there’s too much stress in your life and wanting to take practical steps to stress less and enjoy more.
Isn’t that the goal?

David, my husband, and I were your average American family before stress-induced amnesia hit. We were busy, full of ambition, avoiding rest, not listening to our bodies, doing all the things for all the people, taking on too many projects and never taking responsibilities off the list. Can you relate? This pace eventually caught up with us and caused my husband’s brain to shut down with a very serious amnesia. He lost 8-13 years of his memory…completely! It was so scary and it got our attention big time. 

Our lives today look nothing like they did pre-amnesia.
We now take stress very seriously and have put into practice these five things to learn to stress-less. 

Thankfully, his memories miraculously returned after a 26-day bizarre trial! But the experience shook us greatly and caused us to evaluate our life and stress and priorities. We wrote a best-selling book about the experience and the life-changing lessons we learned. We’d love for you to grab a copy of “One Thing Remains.”

1. Just Say No

It sounds so easy to do! But we all end up saying “yes” to stuff, responsibilities, volunteer roles, commitments, etc. all too often. Wearing a badge of busyness isn’t something of which we should be proud.
I love the quote, “The enemy of the best is often the good.” Isn’t that true? We fill our calendars with so many good things and then we find that we don’t have time or energy for the best things.
We had to learn to develop a laser priority list and only say “yes” to the things that are on the absolute highest priority list for each season. Everything else – even the good things! –
got a hard no.

2. Make Rest a Priority

Before amnesia, I got upset when David would come home from work and take a nap. Naps were not productive in my world, and my worth was measured by productivity. Yikes!
David used to tell me that my overloaded, stressed-out attitude was self-induced. How dare he!? 😉 But I’ve learned he was right! I was so focused on checking things off a list and going, going, going that I never listened to my body and slowed down.
But now I’ve learned that our brain actually needs rest in order to reset and be able to cope with the demands of life. Rest is a gift and one we need to embrace.
You have permission to turn your to-do list over and take some time to rest. You can go to bed early, take a power nap, spend a day just resting and enjoying life. Your brain and body and family will thank you!

3. Breathe

This is almost too simple of a tip! But we overlook it so often.
There’s something powerful when we stop what we are doing and breathe deeply. An internal reset happens. Our brains clear and we have more clarity for the situation at hand.
Bonus if you have a high-quality essential oil to grab and use when you take your breathing time-out! I put a few drops on my palms, rub them together then cup them over my nose and mouth and just breathe deeply. The essential oils reach a part of our brain that helps control our emotions. Breathing them in while praying and just being still helps create a calm in the midst of chaos. 

4. Put it in Perspective

What is stressing you out right now? What’s at the root of your stress? Take a second to step back and ask yourself, “Will this particular scenario matter in a week, a year, 5 years, at the end of my life?” Oftentimes we are getting stressed and worked up over things that don’t actually matter that much.
A valuable exercise is to stop and evaluate –  take the pulse of your life. What’s truly the major cause of your stress?
In our book, we invite you to pretend that you have amnesia and step into your life with an imaginary completely clean slate. What would you put on your plate? What would you let go of? Listen to what your thoughts are telling you as you consider these possibilities!

5. Fill Your Life with Life-Giving Activities

What fills you up? Do more of that!!
We spend so much time as moms giving and doing and serving, which is wonderful! But if we never take a moment to fill our tank, we’ll find ourselves running on empty real soon.
I realized that walking fills me back up – so I’m making that a habit.
Nutritious food makes me feel better and gives me energy to think clearly and cope with life.
Scripture is life-giving. I make time to be in the Word most every day; I listen to sermons; I find Scripture being read over music on a YouTube video; I listen to praise music – all of this helps to reset my mind and give me strength for my day.
Some friends are life-giving and I make time to be with them as often as possible! 

What’s on your life-giving list?

Hopefully these 5 tips are helpful – many of them you can apply right away! 

As my continued gift to you, I’d love to offer you a digital copy of Chapter 5 in our book! It’s all about how stress affected David to the point of causing amnesia – and then what we did about it. You’ll get to hear some from David as well in this chapter. Just click here and I’ll send the chapter to you.
Or go ahead and order the whole book now!

Here’s to less stress!