Care Through Life's Storms

When riding on an airplane, the stewardess asks you to first put your air mask on before placing the air mask on your child. When life’s storms hit, we all need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves, so that we can minister to our family and others. When a traumatic event happens, our stress response kicks in. It’s normal to feel all kinds of emotions and to act differently. We need to purposely try to do various things to help ourselves relax. Stress is okay for a little while, but long-term stress causes great problems in our bodies. Here are some tips for stress reduction: 

* Reinstate a normal routine as soon as possible
* Eat balanced meals. Take vitamin supplements if needed.
* Get rest. Sleep is one of the keys to stress reduction.

* Drink lots of water.
* Avoid caffeine and sugar when you can.
* Avoid old coping mechanisms, such as alcohol or drugs.
* Take a walk or get regular exercise.
* Avoid TV news reports as much as possible (especially children).
* Find moments of diversion. 

* Get engaged with a local church. 

* Make a list and prioritize what needs to be done.
* Make as many daily decisions as possible.
* Ask for help.
* Find friends, a pastor, or a counselor that you can talk to and ventilate your emotions.
* Do something fun!
* Take breaks.
* Do simple activities.
* Connect with God through prayer, worship, Bible study, and other church members.
* Write in a journal. Share your thoughts and feelings. Write out your prayers. Writing helps you focus and grieve, as well as dream about the future.