I’ve gotta admit that I’ve been pretty stressed out (and sad) as I watch the U.S. elections and how it continues to unfold. I’m sad at how a country can be so divided. I’m sad because it’s hard to believe that two parties can read the same Bible and come up with different interpretations of what it means to rely on God.
Since we’re all about faith and health at Weight Loss, God’s Way, we’ve got to look at stressful times like this, and let you know you’re not alone. So many women share that they do well when life is going smoothly, but as soon as stress hits them, it’s their health that suffers.
Here are three big mindset shifts that you can make to help you stick to your health and weight loss program during times like these.
1. Rethink Your Perspective on Health
Instead of thinking of your health and weight loss as something you should do, think about it in the following ways:
- Instead of seeing health as another thing to check-off on your to-do list, see it as a necessity for life. Just like brushing your teeth every day and taking a shower, see your health as one of your daily habits.
- Understand that the more stressful life gets, the more you will need to eat well and exercise. This is the first thing we drop when we get stressed. But if we really understand its value, we would actually exercise more when we’re stressed, not less.
If you’re glued to CNN or FOX news, get up off the couch and do something to improve your health—drink some water, go for a walk, eat some fruits or vegetables.
2. Rethink Your Perspective on Time
How have you spent your time this week? Did you invest it in things that matter, or do you feel like you’ve wasted it glued to the TV? How much time did you spend on things that really matter?
A lot of our frustration and stress arises because we’re doing things that God never called us to do. We do them because we get easily distracted; we allow our emotions to determine how we spend our time, or we get so overwhelmed that we shut down and waste time doing non-important things. Unfortunately, all these responses only leave us feeling worn-out and stressed-out.
Here are a few tips to rethink your perspective on time:
- There are 24 hours in a day. Evaluate the priorities that God has called you to do and leave the rest. It won’t be easy, but it’s the only way to maximize your time.
- Stop trying to prioritize your schedule; instead, schedule your priorities and make sure that your health is always one of your priorities.
- There will never ever, ever be enough time in one day to get everything done. No matter how we do today, no matter how productive we are, we will never get it all done. When we can understand that, then we can go to bed each day believing that we’ve done our best today instead of feeling guilty and regretful that we did not get it all done.
- Lack of time is usually a problem of overcommitting, poor focus, or wasting time. Can you see how you waste some of your time?
A lot of our stress is self-induced because of our inefficient use of time. Schedule what time you’re going to watch the news and then turn off the TV! Stay of social media if you know you’re going to get sucked into conversations that will waste your time, and keep reminding yourself that you are simply a steward of God’s time and it’s not yours to waste. And of course, pray for wisdom for how you can do this (Psalm 90:12).
3. Rethink your Perspective on Control
This is one of my go-to scriptures in the Bible: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1). Why? Because it cuts right to the core of why we’re often so stressed-out and often frustrated.
Our wants, our desires, our need to be in control is often in conflict with God’s best for me. God wants us healthy for a variety of reasons, but maintaining your health and weight may not always be convenient. It takes us out of our comfort zone sometimes; it messes up our plans and it takes sacrifice, which, let’s face it, is not pleasant.
But here’s the truth about control:
- The more we try to control things, the less in control we actually feel.
- One of the most stressful things we can do is to try to hold it all together and act like we have things all figured out.
- The more stressful life gets, the more we need to surrender control to God.
God calls us to rest in Him, ESPECIALLY during stressful times like these. So why do we continually try to maintain control when Jesus calls us to rest in Him?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
If you’re struggling with your health and weight because you’re so stressed, I encourage you to spend some time in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fresh perspective on your health, your time, and your need for control. Life will continue whether you maintain your healthy habits or not.
A new president will be sworn-in soon and life will go on. Will you regret this time that you were too consumed with the news, too sad, or too stressed to work out? While life continues to change around you, you can learn to be consistent in your health. It’s one of the best things you can do to help you manage your stress.