When you think of things you can do to relieve the effects of stress in your life you probably focus on things like hot baths, long walks, calming music etc. I don’t think many people would think of making a to-do-list as having the potential to relieve their stress.
We are familiar with the seemingly endless list of things that we need to get done. Even kids in middle school begin to feel the stress of being time-bound. So much to do and so little time!
If you were to make a list of all that has to be done in the next week it could easily cause more stress. The idea of the To-Do-List stress reliever is that you start at the beginning of the day you are already in. Perhaps at 10AM you will sit down and make a list that starts with; get up, shower, get dressed etc. Having completed the list that takes you to bedtime for that day, you then check off all the things you have already done. Now looking at the list you are likely to see that you are almost half-way finished with the must-dos and have most of the day left to get to them. A weight lifts!
Obviously this does not work for everyone, nor on all days. When it helps, that is great, and when it doesn’t that may give you the encouragement to say no to a few of the things which are adding to your list. Eliminate some of the things that are priorities for other people, rather than yours.
What else can you do about your stress? You can pray. You can pray for help to finish all your tasks or you can pray for help in discerning what is truly vital and what can be left to wait.
There is something special about those first few days in the spring when you can drive with your window rolled down. It isn’t the same as later in the summer when you “need” the air conditioning on in order to be comfortable in the car and it is certainly nothing at all like the dead of winter when even with the heat full blast you shiver in your seat!
Today I ran out at lunch time to get something to eat. It was so beautiful out that the first thing I did when I got in the car was get all four windows rolled down. I use the term rolled down even though with power windows it is no longer representative of what we actually do. I got the picture above through creative commons from Alex Garcia on flickr.com as it is difficult, if not totally unsafe, to take a picture of your own arm out the window while driving. That short drive with the windows down was so refreshing that it was almost as if I was already in the middle of my summer vacation!
When you think of how much we often struggle with stress in our lives it is amazing to have such a stress-relieving benefit from something so simple. I was even happy with listening to the car in the next lane’s booming bass from the stereo instead of considering it to be sound pollution. At your earliest opportunity get out there for a drive with the window down, the sun roof open, or the top down and marvel in the wonder of a simple sunny day!
Posted in Reflections
Tagged car windows, driving, fresh air, reflection, stress, stress relief, summer vacation, sunny day, vacation, windows down, worry