Stress is all around us. Every day, I encounter burned-out and stressed-out pastors. Regardless of your career, it appears life is more stressful than ever.
I would say learning to handle stress may be one of the more important things you can do to lead effectively and long-term.
I hope this post can help a few stressed-out leaders.
7 Ways I Handle Stress:
Prayer – God really does answer this request. When I'm really stressed out, I get alone with God. Prayer doesn't always change my situation, but it always changes me to remember who is ultimately in control.
Time management – Most times, a well-planned schedule will greatly diminish stress. I try to plan my activities at the beginning of the week in a way which allows for unexpected interruptions, yet still also allows me to complete the tasks required of me.
Exercise – This may be my best secret for battling stress. The more stressed I am, the more I need to run. I've been known to disappear on a busy day to get some exercise.
Disciplined life – There are activities and habits which simply add to stress. If you stay up way too late and never get enough rest, your stress factor will increase. When I'm especially stressed, I try to build in downtime and time just for me.
Balance – I have learned to say "No" to some things and balance my time between all the things that pull for my attention. I find when I try to be all things to all people I am not much good to anyone.
Addressing known problems quickly – If a relationship is causing stress, the sooner I deal with it, the less likely I am to stress about it. If I need to make the hard decisions, I make them now. The sooner I deal with those things I know I need to, the less long-term stress it brings.
Asking for help – When I am really at my limit with stress, I am not too proud to tell someone. I have learned to delegate well and allow people the freedom to speak into my life as needed.
Ron Edmondson is the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.
This article originally appeared at ronedmondson.com.
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