Thursday, December 17, 2015

Finding a Healthy Outlet

Let’s be honest: We all get stressed. As much as we may not like to admit, like myself, or whether we readily admit to it, it happens. For college students this time of year is extremely stressful with finals and shtuff. And I guess I will mention the stress that the holiday brings. Personally, being 21 I don’t really feel the stress of the holidays yet, but I recognize that it is there and a real thing. But that’s beside the point! Bottom line: December = STRESSSS. And here it comes, that verse many of us know all too well but are really sick of hearing: “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God.” If you don’t know that verse, it’s a good one to memorize. (BTW its Philippians 4:6. Great book, great book.) “Well Marissa, that’s fine and dandy and all but no matter many times I pray that, the stress still doesn’t go away.” You know that’s a fair point because, truthfully, that way doesn’t always work for me either. Why? Because I’m not perfect and I can’t ever seem to let the stress go and I can’t stop thinking about and its hard and scary even though it shouldn’t be and the more I think about the worse it gets then it becomes so overwhelming but I try to keep it in and it just makes it worse *bursts out crying*. Relax, deep breaths, calm. What do I do when I can’t seem to let the stress go? I write. I take out my journal and just start writing. Sometimes it turns into a conversation with God, with me asking lots of questions. Other times it is just a big, fat, huge venting session. I call this my ‘outlet’. Personally, I think everyone should have an ‘outlet’. It doesn’t have to be writing/journaling like me. I have friends who go on long walks, or draw, or play music. Honestly I’m sure there are people out whose outlets are just straight up praying. The point is you are releasing the stress in a healthy way. God doesn’t like seeing his kids being grouchy butts or being emotional wrecks. So my advice: find your ‘outlet’. It may sound hard but you would be surprised. My first journal entry was when I was in Bulgaria March, 2013. Now here I am, 2015, about a quarter of the way through my seventh journal. Do you know how many “diaries” I had when I was little and wrote in them like maybe four times? Let me tell you, I had quite a few. Now, I have one more thing to say on this topic. There is probably a good chance that your ‘outlet’ lines up with some of the gifts and talents God gave you. Because chances are that the gifts and talents He gave you are things that make you really happy and that you enjoy doing. Like for me, I have always loved writing. My grandma has three paged “books” made out of construction paper that I “wrote” when I was four. Now, go find a guitar or an empty journal or a sidewalk or a park bench underneath a tree that a squirrel has called home. There millions of lonely outlets in the world, waiting for a lifelong friend. So be a friend, adopt one today! What will yours be? :)

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