Y’all. It’s Christmas time. And we’re all stressed out.
The family’s coming over soon. You’re trying to get all the presents wrapped, and the food planned and prepared, and trying to make sure the house doesn’t look as messy as we all know it is the rest of the year. Needless to say, it can feel like we sometimes need a vacation from Christmas.
One of the easiest ways to reduce stress is to break things up. No, that doesn’t mean you should go out and smash things to pieces. Instead, take whatever issue is causing you stress and break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Yes, it’s incredibly simple. But usually the best things are.
For instance, if you’re facing a messy room that needs to be cleaned up, but you have been avoiding it because it causes you stress, then you need to think about that mess in a new way. Don’t think about it as a whole. Think about the mess in its smaller parts.
What’s one small thing you can do in the room to make the mess appear smaller? Is there some garbage that can be easily thrown away? Are there clothes or blankets that can be put away or moved to the laundry room? Are there books, movies, or music that could be returned back to their proper shelf? Simply pick one small task – the simpler the better – and get it done. Once that task is completed, pick another.
The same goes for large projects or assignments. Don’t avoid the situation just because it stresses you out. The longer you avoid it, the more stressed out it’s going to make you feel. Instead of getting stressed out, take some time to think about how you can break the task up into smaller, less stressful pieces.
Say your assignment requires you to write a detailed comparison of three different products. What are the steps you will need to take in order to complete the assignment? You will need to do some research on each of the products, decide upon their pros and cons, write up a rough draft, and then edit it to perfection. By determining the steps needed to complete the assignment, you can think about which small part you need to complete next instead of stressing over the finished product.
Don’t forget the most obvious solution, either. How’s your prayer life? Are you spending time with God? Often, when we allow our relationship with God to suffer or take the back-burner, other things in life start causing us trouble, too.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
As you can see, breaking things up into a series of smaller tasks will allow you to take a step back from the larger picture and look at things from a new perspective. And by focusing on God, your entire perspective changes. By only focusing on a smaller portion, you will feel less stressed out when faced with larger or more difficult tasks. This will make it easier for you to make real progress towards completing the task at hand.