Everywhere I turn these days I’m seeing and hearing discussion about being overwhelmed. Too much input, too many choices, too much to do . . etc. etc. This is true in the homeschooling community, the church community, the workplace. The level of stress I’m sensing in those I talk with is higher than ever. Why is that?
I believe much of our stress comes from too much input, too much noise, too many choices. We have more information coming into our homes, our lives, our minds than ever before. And it comes in at an alarming rate. Instant access, instant meals, instant everything. And it all comes to us already processed! We don’t have to think for ourselves, we just soak it up.
Let me throw a novel idea out to you – taking information in s-l-o-w-l-y might actually be better for us. Choosing fewer activities away from home might actually give us freedom to enjoy the activities that rejuvinate us. The latest, newest, bigger, brighter whatever-it-is screams out promising your life will be better, but will it? I predict it will set you up to start looking for the next bigger and brighter thing on the block as soon as the newness wears off. No wonder we all find ourselves discontent.
As a young homeschool mom I spent years fretting and stressing over whether I was doing a good enough job raising and educating my children. I saw others I thought were doing a better job, buying better curriculum, using a better method. Then, before I knew it, our oldest children were grown and beginning to leave the nest. I began to realize the fretting and stressing didn’t really help. I would have enjoyed those younger years so much more. (I shared more on this topic at Raising Arrows recently – you can read my guest post and Amy’s whole series on Homeschool Information Overload HERE)
What do we do in this noisy, busy world so we can hear what is really real and really helpful and really true?
- Take time to list out your own goals and priorities, not someone else’s, not what you read in a book. Include your family in setting these goals, you might be surprised at the insights your children have.
- Take time to unplug. Just because others are out there ready to tell you how and when and why, doesn’t mean you have to listen.
- If something is working, be content. Just because someone has published a new program doesn’t mean you have to buy it.
- Relax. Light a candle or diffuse essential oils. They do an amazing job of changing the mood in your home. Today I have Stress-Away and Thieves in our diffuser, setting the stage for a positive and relaxing day. Makes the house smell good too!
- Draw near to Jesus. He came to bring us peace. If you aren’t peaceful in your soul He can bring it to you. Hearing His voice will fight away the other voices that seem to speak so loudly.
- Be still. Leave the stereo and television off during certain hours each day. Stay home and eat a meal together, play a game together, create something together. Follow my friend Alisa’s example of trimming down daily requirements for a time.
- Be courageous and choose NOT to go along with what everyone else is doing and saying.
Will you join me in making a conscious choice about what information makes its way into our homes, our lives, our families? How do you handle this loud, noisy world of instant everything?