Stress Strategies

#Never Stress? If only! Stress is no respecter of blue skies or springtime. Nope, season in and season out, stress chills a sunny day and dampens our spirits. It weasels its way into our souls from so many trigger points, both negative or positive: Health issues. Exams. Interviews. Repopulating your nest. Moving your nest. Planning celebrations. Hotel reservations, travel logistics, parking, meals.

Stress threatens to suck the fun out of anything. Even the momentous occasion of college graduation.

In addition to re-posting our Graduation Tips (found under Combat Strategy # 4), here are 4 Strategies To Combat Stress — for you or your student:

Combat Strategy #1…PRAYER! It’s the very best weapon — whether it’s us or our students tied up in knots.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowlege of God, and we take captive every thought  to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10: 4-5)

When life’s many stressors have us spinning, we need to take a deep breath. Breathe in God’s word, agreeing with the truth that He’s got this, He’s bigger and better than any issue we face.

“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)

Breathe out in confession whatever we need to let go of; anger or anxiety, unrealistic expectations, or unhelpful comparisons. We preach the gospel to ourselves.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full! (John 10:10)

And spend long enough in His presence to gain a heavenly perspective.

“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” (Psalm 105:4)

Combat Strategy #2…HEALTHY MEALS! Stress is worse on an empty stomach. Especially for students during exams. So spring for GrubHub or other food delivery gift cards, (special deals for first-time users) or have Wegman’s deliver their very good, ready-made meals or stockpile students’ frig/freezers with mom’s famous comfort food!

Some campus ministries might need to take a page from The Center for Christian Study who actually offer to feed ANY UVA student free meals, at 10am & 5pm on May 2-4 & 6-9, 2019. (no meals on Sunday) All students are welcome (even those with dietary restrictions…”we accommodate almost anything!”

It couldn’t happen without donations and volunteer servers. NOVA MomsHooPray has supported the “Exam Snacks” program for many years now. This year, some of the Richmond MomsHooPray are joining with a seasoned team of other Richmond moms to prepare and serve tasty side dishes as well as sponsoring the sandwich platter. Make sure your students know about it!

Combat Strategy #3…CARING FOR OTHERS. When I’ve suffered through a stressful time, I like to redeem my inevitable bad responses by pondering how I can help someone else in their time of need.  Just “showing up” is huge. Be creative in how you define that concept and just do it!

But if being there isn’t possible, (or ill-advised) maybe your caring could be expressed in a thoughtful text or email or special delivery of cards, flowers OR some fun distractions combined with favorite nibbles. (Panera’s Kitchen Sink Cookie is on my shortlist of uplifting treats…)

For many moms, “care” for their stressed-out students goes into a box, assembled by many hands and delivered twice a year to coincide with studying for exams.

Richmond MomsHooPray and their Care Packages ROCK!!

Combat Strategy #4…PLAN AHEAD. If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants person, always able to get ‘er done, then no worries! But for the rest of us, planning far in advance is a good idea.

If you have no notion where to start or you’re already overwhelmed, there’s no harm in asking for advice from others who have been through what’s “coming soon” to your plate. Or ask an organized friend to help you think through all the possible aspects of your upcoming challenge.

Even good things can be stressful.

Hmmmm…graduation’s are looming, aren’t they? Fortunately, we have some Graduation Tips HERE from past graduation goers. Though garnered mainly from UVA parents, many are applicable to other college graduations or can get you started making your own list of things to consider.

This year’s MomsHooPray Graduation Tips start off with advice for NEXT YEAR’S graduation; (I’m talking to you, Class of 2020 moms!)

Listen to this heads-up, compliments of a Richmond MomsHOO’ Class of 2019 mom:

“Class of 2020 parents really need to start calling around NOW … many start taking reservations 5/1. And some say the Monday after graduation (which will be 5/20 this year) I found that going on the lodging websites isn’t all that helpful … call and get a PERSON at any hotels you are possibly interested in staying at.  Just beware that MANY of them pretty much triple their rates and require a 3-night minimum.”

Begin now to look at all options and secure your space soon for next year in a hotel, Airbnb or VRBO. Some universities allow guests to stay the weekend of graduation in vacant dorms. Many families opt to save on time and cash by making graduation a one-very-long-day event.

Whatever you save on that 3-night minimum at a hotel can be applied to a private dinner party or given as a graduation gift to your student. Decide what aspects of the weekend you really want to be a part of and plan accordingly.

In closing, if all else fails and you need immediate prayer for stress-inducing issues, we hope you will contact your local U’Moms or MomsHoo’ leaders! We have a smaller core of “regulars” able to lift you or your student up at a moments notice. In a very “special circumstance,” with your permission, we can call on over 100 women to be on their knees for your student.

Here’s what one “armchair” prayer warrior recently sent me in reply to the “special circumstance” email sent out to all of our members:

Literally, I stop the work, read the prayer and pray.

I hardly do that for anything.

Anyway, thank you for taking time to update.

Prayers Up!

Special congratulations to our 100th follower, Georganne Long, Richmond MomsHoo’! Here she is all decked out, ready to add her new eyewear to her NCAA wardrobe!!


Article submitted by Kathy Burleson, MomsHooPray/University of Praying Moms founder

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