"Thoughts for Reducing Summer Stress"

“Summertime”... for me the word still inspires images of summer vacation from school, long days at play, family vacations, and trips to the beach. Of course for those of us who are no longer “kids” and still work, few of us enjoy a three-month vacation. For some people the pace of summer may slow down, but for those who are retired summer may mean a change of weather, but not a break from the ongoing concerns of everyday life. A few years ago I found the following light-hearted suggestions for how to keep your sanity in the midst of crisis. I hope they will bring you a smile, whether you are trying to cope with summer stress or with the crisis that can occur on any day, in any season.

“Sixteen Thoughts to Get You Through Almost Any Crisis” by Martha Ainsworth"

Indecision is the key to flexibility

You cannot tell which way the train went by looking at the track.

There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.

Happiness is merely the remission of pain.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.

Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.

Things are more like they are today than they have ever been.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

One-seventh of your life is spent on Monday.

By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

This is as bad as it can get, but don’t bet on it.

Never wrestle a pig; you both get dirty and the pig likes it.

The trouble with life is, you’re halfway through it before you realize it’s a “do-ityourself thing.”

For a more serious (and effective approach) I have found that while humor helps in the midst of crisis, so does God’s word and prayer. Although there are many passages that can guide and comfort us, some of the most effective reminders for me have been:

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life,....”

Philippians 4:4-8 “...Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God....”

Psalm 46 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble....”

Psalm 139 “...Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?...”

Romans 8:28-39 “...For I am sure that neither death, nor life.... nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I hope these thoughts will help you through all the moments of stress, fun, crisis, rest, work, and recreation that this August will bring. “For everything there is a season..” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). David