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Danielle from Yeah, I Said It is guest posting for me today. She is an opinionated homeschooling mom and dog lover who gets annoyed a lot and likes to laugh about it. She’s mental, and therefore enjoys quirky, funny people and periodic ranting. In her saner moments, she likes offering unsolicited advice on a myriad of topics. So without further adieu, here is her latest advice:
Have you been feeling overwhelmed and overworked? Do you suffer from anxiety attacks? Stomach ulcers? High blood pressure? Stubborn corns and calluses? Are your days so full of tasks and errands that you have no room for fun or joy? Do you collapse at the end of the day, grateful for a respite from your life?
Dr. Danielle has a prescription for you. I’ll call it The Stress Solution.
My best friend teases me about my method of maintaining (relative) sanity. It’s really quite un-American of me, but my secret to a low-stress life is to……………………………….
LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS!
Expect less of yourself and of those around you. Have fewer and more modest goals. Underestimate what you can accomplish in a day. Overestimate how much down time you need. Let go of the expectation that another person will know what you need before you ask for it. Surrender the notion that other people are responsible for your happiness. Release the belief that your worth depends on what you accomplish or produce. Do less. Let go of the assumption that everything should always go according to plan and schedule. Forgive yourself for being late. Stop aiming to cross off your to-do list. Consider going without a to-do list. Take a nap at 11am. Or 3pm. Or 7pm. Ban multi-tasking. Use clean dishes right out of the dishwasher and clean clothes right out of the dryer. Don’t make your bed. Have breakfast for dinner. Know that the world will continue to function even if you take the day off. Be a good enough housekeeper. Entertain the idea that your body might just naturally be a size 14. Accept that women have bellies and thighs. Make peace with your natural hair texture and color. Send gift cards instead of spending hours searching for, packaging up, and mailing presents. Only answer the phone when it is convenient for you or when you know the call is important. Return calls at your convenience. Feel free to ignore forwards. Stop wearing pantyhose, underwire, pointy-toed shoes, and tight body shapers. Stop wearing makeup if you don’t like it. Go swimming even if you don’t like how you look in a swimsuit. Know that it is okay to say no when you need to. Spend less time worrying and more time praying. Don’t apologize for being imperfect.
My plan is not about being lazy or selfish. It’s about being instead of doing. Living instead of existing. Being present instead of operating on auto-pilot. It’s about embracing who God created you to be–in all your quirky, imperfect glory. When our homes are filled with stacks of paperwork, bins of cleaning products, and overly high standards, there’s less room for comfort and friends and fun. When our minds are filled with mental to-dos, worries, and self-judgment, there’s less room for what’s real and true and good. When our lives are filled with chores, meetings, and errands, there’s less time for people who matter and worthy causes and growing our souls.
Disclaimer: I fall off the wagon often. It’s part of being human. Accepting my imperfection takes time and persistence, you know.
But it is one goal worth having.