[Note: If you are here primarily for the money saving posts, don’t worry, I will return to those soon. Stay tuned though, because today’s topic is actually related.]
I like to start my day with a little thing I call “getting out of bed”. Too bad my mind and body don’t always want to cooperate. This past week has been a struggle between what I want to do (sleep in to avoid life) and what I know I should do (get up and out of the swirling whirlpool of emotions). Moving our entire household, even though it was nearby, was just plain stressful, and as my friend said, “Life doesn’t just stop to let you get other things done.”
The truth is that life can be draining at times, so how do you keep from going down the drain with everything else?
Go To Bed
For some reason whenever I am dealing with stress, my first reaction is to stay up late and “veg” in front of the computer screen or watch sad movies late at night. This plan always results in my getting up late the next morning, followed by a day in which I am constantly behind and juggling to keep up.
People still expect to eat, children still have needs, phones still ring, bills still have to be paid and readers still expect to read something on the blog. Life doesn’t get put on hold just because I don’t feel like dealing with it.
To avoid having terrible, no good, very bad days I allow myself one late night, and then I choose to go to bed early during times of stress.
I thank God almost every day for the sweet, committed friends He has placed in my life. I would need to hire a full-time counselor if it weren’t for these wonderful women! 🙂
Thankfully I can call them to get prayer and good advice like,”Hey, you know all those great planning pages you have on your website? Maybe you should try using one or two of them right now.” Ha!
Whenever I feel really sad or stressed, I tend to start a train of thought that ends in a pit of hopelessness and despair. To counteract the hopelessness, I try to plan something fun–a date with my husband, a walk in my favorite park or a chat with a friend in a coffee shop. Having something to look forward to really helps to change my perspective. (So does getting dressed. 🙂 )
So how does this relate to saving money? When you feel sad, depressed, stressed and/or overwhelmed, it is very difficult to stick to your plans. I have to make a concerted effort not to let my discipline fly out the window when my emotions are involved.
I don’t always remember to start the “emergency-let’s-not-go-down-the-drain” procedures right away, but after a couple of days of yuckiness I usually realize there’s a problem. My delay in recognizing the problem this past week resulted in me choosing not to have the beans and rice I had planned for dinner, but instead spending $20 on fast food. Oh well, back to the plan today.
What do you do when life is draining you? Share in the comments. 🙂
Please Note: This post is not intended as medical or professional advice. I am just a mom who has dealt with depression in the past and I’m sharing some ways I learned to cope with it. If you have consistent sad or overwhelming feelings, you may need to seek counseling or to be treated medically. You should consult your doctor or other mental health professional if your circumstances require it.
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Amazed to stumble across this article today. God works mysteriously to reach us in incredible ways. Life is too fast pace for humans to attain/sustain same levels of achievement. It is a message to slow down, listen to our souls advice, accept, and smile. Don’t fight Gods plan for us:) It always works out!
Kimberlee Stokes says
Welcome Lisa! Yes, God is always pursuing us with love. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
My advice when life is draining or to many challenges. DO NOTHING e.g. enjoy the silence and nothingness is a space that nothing really matters today without insult
Thanks for your transparency & advice. Also, thank you for being such an awesome blogger that you reply and interact with your readers the way you do–that’s dedication! Cheers to you, Kimberlee! 🙂
Thanks Kristi. It’s actually one of my favorite parts of blogging. 🙂
I needed this today, thank you!
When I get down I know my iron is low and need alone time. I take extra iron for a week or so; and call into work on a day my husband works. Usually that’s what I need. When it’s not, then I’m in trouble and have to take anti-depressants. Not for long, but about once a year that’s what it takes.
Oh I needed to hear this. Great post!
I am always moving around with the military. We are moving in a few months, and things around me don’t wait for me to adjust. When I get upset, I let myself really feel the emotions of overwhelm, self-pity or despair for about five minutes. I try to get out of it as soon as possible, though; no good comes of lingering in sadness, but some good can come of allowing yourself to feel it (to aknowlege and respect it.) Then I put my amazing brain to work on a solution and I cowboy up! You can fight or you can languish. I have learned to enjoy finding ways to deal with problems creatively. I always start from a place where I absolutely expect a solution to present itself to me, out of sheer will and also because of faith in my prayers that God will help me see how I can change to fit the situation.
I want to make sure I clear that up… avoid extra caffeine and unneeded snacks. (Was that clearer? Avoid both.)
You could have written this post about my life. We just moved, are living on a super tight beans and rice budget, and I have the same problem of using sleep as a way to escape from life. Only, I have a 3 year old who needs me to be present. When I stress like this I get in the habit of sleeping in all morning, laying in bed all day, not following the planned menu (resulting in spending money that should be used for bills or something else on takeout), the cleaning/laundry doesn’t get done, etc. Last week I decided I had to get hard on myself. I’ve been excusing it, saying I was stressed, tired, insert excuse here. So, I made a plan that I was going to start getting up at 6am (about the time my husband gets up for work) every morning for the next 2 1/2 months (til July 1st) to make sure it was TRULY a habit and get my body used to going to sleep early and waking early. I said early on, no excuses! Even if I’m up with a sick baby, or choose to stay up late, I am still getting up. I gave myself weekends off, and permission if I really need it to nap when my son naps until my body gets used to the transition. To help me stay motivated, I splurged on some really good coffee and creamer to look forward to (I was never really much of a coffee drinker, but it’s amazing how much of a difference GOOD coffee makes), I put up scriptures stating WHY I wanted to get up (Proverbs 31:15 and a few others), and first thing in the morning I turn on my worship music on Pandora. The other thing is on my big wall calendar, I took a sheet of star stickers that we are using on my son’s potty chart and every day I stick with it, I get a star. At the end, if I’ve continued to stuck with it (even if I miss a day or two..I’m allowing myself some grace to pick back up and continue) I am budgeting in (with my hubby’s encouragement because our budget IS really tight) a full mani/pedi. I haven’t had one since my dad’s wedding 2 years ago that his bride paid for because I was the matron of honor and she is just really sweet like that..I’ve never PAID for a mani/pedi since my wedding over 4 years ago because it was always a splurge we couldn’t justify. I decided that after talking to my hubby, getting up early was what I needed. My bedtime is falling into place now, and my household routines are coming easier with a consistent wakeup time. And I feel more energetic and more motivated and I don’t *want* to stay in bed all day. To help with falling asleep I’ve set a sleep timer on the tv and I take melatonin about 8 or 9 so I am good and sleepy by 9:30 when I lay down with my hubby to watch a little tv and then it is easy for me to fall asleep soon after. Anyway, thought I’d share what is working for me. In case it may work for another of your readers. With a combination of melatonin to help me sleep and coffee to look forward to and to help me wake up, the sticker chart and promise of a fun splurge at the end, the scriptures posted at my coffee pot, computer, fridge, and on my alarm clock (oh and I set 3 alarms too!), and the quiet time I have to look forward to being up before the day gets crazy, this is really working. It’s been a week strong now. I did take a nap today because I haven’t slept well the past few nights and it helped. I feel energized to get dinner on the table in a little bit. Oh, and as a result, I’ve cooked every meal. We’ve not spend a dime on eating out, which for us is a huge improvement, AND a necessity right now as there is NO money in the budget to eat out.
Way to go Amy! Sounds like you’ve really taken responsibility and found some things that work for you. Congratulations! 🙂
Thanks for sharing, Amy! I plan to use some of your tactics!! I appreciate you sharing them with us! 🙂
Bettie Kennard says
Thank you! I really needed this today!! I lost my brother unexpectedly last Friday… His wife came home after her work and found him lying on the floor dead, obviously for a long time. I am having trouble refocusing on life now after the funeral. Your suggestios will be very helpful. I think I will expect less of myself, but really focus on getting a few things done daily for a while.You are always so encouraging! :o)
Bettie, I am sooo sorry about your brother. You definitely need to give yourself time to grieve and heal. I pray that God will comfort you as only He knows how.
Bettie Kennard says
Thank you, Kimberlee, so very much.
I can completely relate to days, even weeks like this! Mine is related to lack of jobs, money, etc. If it weren’t for prayer and God’s help, there are days I would not get out of bed at all. I truly appreciate your blog, and I think I will try planning something fun the next time the feelings strike! Thank you!!
Angie Little says
Thanks for the post I have been feeling drained for awhile now. Everything seems to be pulling me in every direction. Between Work, House, Husband, and kids I don’ t know which way is up sometimes. Your post are a GREAT inspiration to me! Thanks for share your life the way you do! I am trying to stick to my meal plans, time budgets, ten min a day all thanks to you!
I am so happy you find the posts helpful Angie. 🙂
When life is draining me, I try to focus on the basics..nutrition, sleep, mild exercise, and time to contemplate. I usually get drained because I get so busy that I cut corners and neglect the basics. Once those things are in order, I usually bounce back and can take on the world again.
Those are great points Marlena. I just started running again, and even though I don’t go very far, I feel so much better.
I’m dealing with this now, actually 🙁 I hate it when the same argument gets recycled twice a year or so – it never gets solved, just gets either a band aid or stuffed in a corner 🙁 It’s exhausting.
Usually I have a mad cleaning fit after a few days, once the sad turns into angry – not sure how helpful that is, but at least there’s a clean kitchen to show for it afterward. I’m not quite to that point yet, though.
I’m looking forward to better suggestions! 🙂
I’m just so impressed that in the midst of moving your family, you are still keeping up with your daily blog. Wow! But your family does come first, so I hope you feel the freedom to take time off from the blog if needed.
Thanks Pam. I did plan ahead and write some posts to use during this time, so that helped. 🙂
I’ve been in a funk myself this week. Thanks for the great reminders. Sometimes I think we are in it alone and no one has been there. I’m sorry you struggle with depression, but it is reassuring to remember we aren’t alone! Thanks for your honesty in your posts.
So needed to read this today — its been one of those days! Traveling husband, sick children, cold and rainy day, too much month at the end of the money 🙂 and I have been planning what type of cake to serve at my pity party! Thanks for the post
Christy, always make sure to serve ice cream with the cake at your pity party. LOL
ohhh!! i so needed this right now. i def need to plan something with the mr. to look forward to as we’re in “limbo” with our plans and waiting for a job interview/ offer. that will result in big changes
Mary Lou says
Your words have encourage me, Kimberlee. Thank you!
You are very welcome Mary Lou. 🙂
Oh, oh, oh. This is sooo where I am…with a house still half in boxes from a late summer move, a preteen with emotions in chaos, a five-week old nursing baby, and three others in between! I’m physically exhausted and my self-control is only slightly better than that preteen! Thanks for posting today, lady…I needed the reminder.
You are in a tough place Chanell. Hang in there and make sure to take good care of yourself. 🙂
Michelle Harger King says
Life is draining me right now. Stress and depression have always been in my life, but now I am 50 years old and am very very tired. I survived childhood abuse, and cancer. I lost my best friend to a horrible disease 4 years ago. My sons are grown and moved away, and I miss them terribly at times. My oldest son is going through a divorce and he has 2 beautiful, wonderful daughters, the loves of my life. But I hate to see what they are going through. I am a constant worrier, and most of my stress is about our finances and I worry about my sanity at times. My husband is really my anchor and support, but I feel like I am missing out on something. I put on a big smile for all of my daycare parents, (I am a daycare provider), give as much love as possible to all of my daycare children and keep all my worries and hopelessness to myself. I know it is eating me up. But I pray for strength every morning, to do the best I can for the day, to help me to be patient and, thankful for all and who He has given me. I know in my Heart that The Lord is always with me, and He is the reason why I wake up every morning. He is my strength. I enjoy reading your blogs when I have a few moments to myself.
I am so sorry that you are dealing with all this Michelle. I pray that you can find some ways to take care of yourself and start feeling better. You may want to check in with your doctor too.
Bettie Kennard says
Michelle, I will be praying for you. A lot of peole love you a lot! Hope knowing that helps, too.
Jennifer Rooney says
You said it yourself “The Lord is always with you”…but he doesn’t just want to be with you He also wants to carry all of your burdens! So lay all of your burdens on Him. God Bless.
Crystal @ Serving Joyfully says
Michelle, I will say a prayer for you! The enemy LOVES to see us brought down by life, and he loves it the most when he can drag us down into that pit of despair. I can feel the weariness coming from you as I read this, and I pray that God will carry you through it, and give you the strength to let it go and give it to Him. Don’t let satan win. Lord, I pray that you would comfort Michelle as she still struggles with her grief and past pains. I pray that you will BLESS her mightily as she continues to give of herself to others through her daycare services, and I pray that you will carry her burdens as you promised to do, and rebuke Satan on her behalf! We praise you for all that you are, and all that you are going to do in Michelle’s life! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Praying for you Michelle. Rest assured in what you said “the Lord is always with you.” Give Him your burdens, and keep pushing through. It is all worth it! We are all fearfully and wonderfully made by THE Creator of the world…and THAT is encouraging to me everyday. YOU are wonderfully made.
Nancy L. says
Thanks for being so real/vulnerable. Praying for you today!
Thanks Nancy, I’m actually better today. 🙂
MIchelle Lubbers says
That really sums it up. Thank you.
Thank you. I needed this, especially today.
Everything you said, I find to be so true. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
You’re welcome Kim. 🙂
christine porter says
You are very welcome Christine!