This past Sunday the sermon was focused on stress. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me! Our Pastor pointed out how extremely stressful our culture is and how that has become the norm. Sometimes it feels like if I’m not super busy then I must not be doing enough. It is almost like the American stress level is an indicator of how successful we are. However, in reality what we should all do is take more time for ourselves and learn how to say, “No!”
I recently read a book that featured the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale, which is a simple test you can take to see how stressed out you are. It asks you a series of questions based on your life experiences over the past year. If you answer yes to any of the questions then you add on the appropriate number of points to your stress score. The higher you score the more likely it is that you will develop a serious illness due to stress. Ideally, you want to score less than 150. My score was 551. Not good folks. Not good!
A large number of my stressors are Grace related. That isn’t because she is hard to parent, but simply because I’m a parent now. I scored 40 points just for being pregnant in the last year and another 39 for Grace being added to our family. Plus now that I’m a stay-at-home mom I scored 36 points for being in a different line of work, 20 points for a change in work hours, and don’t forget those 16 points for changing my sleeping habits.
Plus I can score 51 points for acquiring a mortgage and moving to a new house!
The bottom line is I’m stressed out! I’m extremely bad at decision making and in the last week I bought a washer, dryer, lawn mower, and mattress! I’m getting stretched here, people!
Sadly, we are all stressed out. I was thinking about my friends from church and I think that many of them could score pretty high on the stress scale. Two couples just had babies in the last couple of months. Those same couples both moved in the last year. One friend is starting her own business. Another couple is expecting a new baby. Two friends are going to school this fall and both have families at home. Plus one couple is dealing with a major illness. I think we could all use a vacation, but that adds 13 more points to our stress scale scores!!!
In light of the sermon on Sunday I am trying to let go and let God! I need to remember to take a breath, say a prayer and simply relax. Somehow it just doesn’t seem that easy…
Are you curious what your stress scale score is? Click here to take the Homles-Rahe test!