I have battled stress and anxiety for years. I realize now I've been suffering from single mom burnout. I call it "Single Mom Traumatic Stress Disorder". I failed to care for myself well during the pandemic. I was focused on homeschooling 3 kids, working outside the home, handling it all by myself. It was not pretty. Everything in my life suffered. My job, my relationships, and my family. If you're like me and you are sick of allowing stress and anxiety consume your life, then join me in embracing the meaning of the Year of the Rabbit, and rejuvenate your life!
In this podcast you will learn:
- How the Meaning of the Year of the Rabbit applies to you
- 5 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Life
-My favorite Strategy to instantly silence fear called "Quiet the Mechanism"
I recently discovered that a long-term case of hives I’ve been dealing with was caused by stress. It feels like there are 1,000 burning hot needles sticking in my face. I cringe when I first look in the mirror in the morning, barely able to see my red blotchy face through the small slits of my swollen eyes.
After speaking with my doctor, she suggested that I reduce my stress levels and try to find more peace in life. But how do you do that when you are a self employed single mom with three teenagers?! Anyone know of someone that would like to donate their private island to me for the next month? Escaping isn't the answer.
Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity.
My trainer and dear friend, Sara Beth, pointed it out first, "Your body is trying to tell you something, maybe you need to listen." Medication isn't working. Accupuncture isn't working. I need to do heal myself from the inside. But how?
Sunday morning when I opened up google for the first time, I noticed their image was a rabbit. I love finding out the reason why so I dug deep. It was honoring the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Each year, different animals are celebrated in the Chinese Zodiac. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. I did a deep dive into the meaning and fell in love.
The year of the rabbit is a time to focus on relaxation, quietness, and contemplation – all essential elements for leading a balanced life. If you’re looking to de-stress, reduce anxiety and find true inner peace this is your year! I'm diving in, what to join me?
I don't typically get into this stuff, but why not. I NEED THIS.
First, I found 5 Ways to Reduce Stress, find more balance, and rejuvenate your life:
These might sound simple at first, or like a "yeah duh".... but give it a shot. . there might be one nugget or gentle reminder that you need to pick this habit back up to find more peace... stick with me because after these 5 ways to reduce stress... I'm going to give you my ultimate strategy to silence fear... when nothing else seems to work.
1. Take Time for Yourself
It can be hard to make time for yourself when life gets busy but it’s extremely important for our mental health and wellbeing. Set aside some “me time” every day or week where you can do something that nourishes your soul such as reading a book or taking up a new hobby like knitting or painting. This will help you relax and recharge so that you can tackle anything that comes your way with ease.
2. Connect with Nature
Nature has an amazing ability to restore our energy levels and reduce stress levels so it’s important that we take the time to connect with nature regularly. Even if you don’t have access to outdoor spaces like parks or beaches, simply opening your windows and letting natural light pour into your home is beneficial for both mind and body. Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll around your neighborhood – just by being outdoors we can become more grounded in ourselves and stay connected with our surroundings. I have always wanted a garden. This spring I am finally planting my vegetables!
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is also great for reducing stress levels because it releases endorphins which elevate mood naturally while helping us keep fit at the same time! If you need help with this and someone to keep you accountable contact my trainer! Sara Beth is a beautiful soul that will help you!
4. Meditation – Meditation has been proven to decrease stress levels, improve focus and increase energy levels. It’s also beneficial for anxiety and depression, as well as overall well-being. If you’re not sure where to start with meditation, there are plenty of free apps out there that can help guide you through the process. Or follow this podcast. Every week I post a new faith based meditation that you can listen to every day if you'd like!
5. Journaling – Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be incredibly therapeutic and cathartic in helping you manage stress levels and anxiety. Even if it’s just jotting down a few notes each night before bed, journaling can help you gain clarity on what’s causing your stress and how best to address it head-on. I do this every morning. I have a journaling system for you! I start with gratefulness, then my I Am statements, my why, my pathways... what is all this? No worries, I have it all FREE for you to download with a video on how to use it here.
The Year of the Rabbit is all about slowing down, reflecting on what really matters, and reconnecting with yourself on a deeper level. By taking some time for yourself every day, practicing mindfulness meditation, and connecting with nature—you can create balance in your life during this special period! So don’t hesitate—start taking action today! You deserve it!
Learning how to manage your stress levels is essential for both physical and mental health. Taking time out of each day for yourself, exercising regularly, and practicing mindful meditation are all great ways to reduce anxiety levels, increase feelings of peace, and improve overall happiness! As we all know too well, life isn't always easy—but these three tips can help make things a little bit easier! And if all else fails, don't forget that there's always chocolate ;)
But what about when nothing works! -My favorite Strategy to instantly silence fear called "Clear the Mechanism".
There’s two places I go to for life lessons. Bible and Baseball. In my humble opinion baseball is God’s favorite sport. It’s a gentleman’s game. It's a strategy. It’s about failing more than winning, it’s about finding a way to go play again.
One of my favorite baseball movies of all time is “For the Love of the Game”. I’ve watched it at least 127 times. It was released in 1999 the year I got married. It didn’t have huge success at first, but when it comes to baseball movies, it’s now a classic, up there with “The Natural” in my book! It’s about Billy Chapel, a fictitious character who is heralded as one of the best pitchers of all time. The entire movie is based on what potentially could be the last game of his career. He is facing a plot twist. His team, the Detroit Tigers, has been sold and he’s facing being traded. He can either leave the team he’s spent his entire career playing for OR retire. Meanwhile even deeper, the love of his life has announced she’s leaving him to work in London. Why do plot twists always come in pairs?!
Billy Chapel hasn’t revealed what his decision will be. He’s got two major ones at the same time. Retire and chase after the love of his life or be traded and let her go to London. How his character makes this decision is your strategy too. How do you choose what direction to go in when you face a plot twist? You silence the mechanism.
Here’s how it works. Billy Chapel is on the mound pitching what could be his very last game. He’s the visiting pitcher facing the New York Yankees. He says to his catcher,
“Today I’m throwing hard, Gus. You and me one more time.”
The crowd is brutal.
“YO CHAPEL YOU STINK!”.
Billy looks left at first, looks down at his feet, then looks up at the batter and says out loud while he’s on the mound, “silence the mechanism”. The crowd is blurred, the chatter goes silent and it’s just Billy and the batter. Nothing else matters. He throws heat. Strike One.
This is your strategy when you are facing a challenge in your plot twist and you don’t know which decision to make. Instead of calling your mom, your aunt, your best friend, and their dog on the way home from work, you “silence the mechanism” and sit quietly. You say, “this is you and Me God.” This is just you and your battle, Nothing else matters. Decide. Throw Hard. Step One.
After my ex husband left the kids and I, I had several options and everyone in my family gave me their opinions on what they thought I should do. One side wanted me to move back home for a while, some thought I should wait it out and see if he would come back around and beg for my forgiveness, but no one was telling me though to forge my own path, except for me. You must listen to that voice in your head urging you to act, that’s how God speaks to us.
Everyday after dropping my son off at his preschool at Vienna Baptist Church, I would sit in the old sanctuary in silence, sometimes cry, sometimes pray. It is one of those traditional church sanctuaries with pews and stained glass. It had dark wood paneling, the wood vaulted ceiling and red carpet. It felt holy. I felt that I could “silence the mechanism” in that place and hear God’s voice. On those hard pews I began to hear God’s loving voice beckoning me forward. He will do the same for you. The beauty of finding your place like this is truly being able to discern the way God communicates to you. It is NEVER one of condemnation or judgment. He speaks with love. His voice brings peace.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” - Romans 8:1 NLT
Overcoming a plot twist in life is going to take some heat. Your decisions need to be strong and confident. After all, isn't that what God expects? Remember, it’s not an option to live a strong and courageous life. It’s a command. I don’t think that God wants his followers to take wimpy cautious small steps in life. I feel strongly that He wants us to be confident in His ability and promises that He will do what He says He can do. Just like the pitcher has to trust that his catcher will catch the ball. You must trust that God has got your back right now.
If you have a crowd of haters around you doubting your ability and hurling insults like Chapel did you must learn to “silence the mechanism”. You will face critics and opposition on your journey to live a more strong and courageous life. You will not be successful if you listen to them. Your choices are only up to you and God. There will be a crowd around you with deafening criticism. The worst voice of all could be your own.This strategy silences that inner fear. Clear the Mechanism.
There will be friends and family that don’t understand the decisions you are making. Clear the Mechanism. As long as you feel solid in your relationship with you and God, and YOU feel called to go one direction, you MUST follow and you must not lose focus.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as you are redefining your life is to listen to well meaning advice from a friend, instead of following the passion of your heart. You know that moment when someone comes up to you and declares they have a “word” from the Lord on your life. That’s their word, based on how they see it. That has no bearing on your future. The only person’s opinion about you and where you are going that matters is God’s. If that word doesn’t confirm what you and God have been talking about then do not listen. If you and God haven’t been that close in a while to have a “word” about what your next step is then you must “clear the mechanism” and get silent with the spirit of God to hear the right “word” for you.
I remember my well meaning step father, rest his soul, encouraged me to leave the fickle media business and “go get a state job”. It was secure and safe. I see why in his mind he needed to give me that advice. He just wanted me to be okay. But, that was about what was good for him, not me. I knew that would suck my soul and destroy my dreams. It wasn’t my passion. Be careful of listening to advice from well meaning loved ones. Most of the time they will share what decision will make them most comfortable, not what is best for you. Clear the Mechanism.
Criticism can be crippling. Don’t let it get you off course. The more successful you are becoming while you are rebounding from this plot twist the louder the critics will be. Especially your own thoughts. If someone gives you a heaping dose of criticism that hurts deep in the pit of your soul, don’t listen to them. Clear the Mechanism. Ask yourself, “would I trust this person based on their personal life and take their advice?” No? Then why would you allow them to tell you who you are?
Back to the movie, Billy is pitching well and the crowd gets worse. To stay in the zone in between innings he sits by himself by the wall in the dugout. He is stoic, unwavering, and resolute. This is how to become successful when facing a massive change in your life. Once you have found your why, you are choosing your pathways, and making drastic actions to change in your life, you must not allow yourself to get derailed because of someone else, or worse that critical voice in your own head.
So someone said something that hurt you. You feel criticized. You feel massively misunderstood. That’s okay. They don’t know the real you. They aren’t facing the same reality you are. It’s not even their fault. That criticism is typically how they feel about themselves.
I once had a boss tell me, “well you just want it all Amanda.” I replied with, “You’re right, and what is wrong with that? Needless to stay I moved on from that place quickly, and leveled up.
I had a coworker once tell me that my nickname around the station was “Damanda”, because I can be demanding with my high expectations and big dreams. It cut deep. What this person didn’t understand is all my hard work and expectations was to win approval from others. It wasn’t to push people away. Because of my past abuse and being abandoned all I wanted was to be respected. I have never been able to allow myself to be mediocre. I’m okay with that.
Not everyone will be okay with how you choose to walk out your new pathways in life, that’s okay. It’s not their life.
It took me a month after that moment to “clear the mechanism” of the thoughts in my head that were starting to believe that mean nickname. It almost made me quit. Thankfully I found it deep within my soul to keep going and even decided to take it as a compliment. Reframe the criticism as a compliment. In my opinion when most people misunderstand you, you’re likely making them think and get closer to achieving something that has never been done before. Sometimes you have to remove yourself from those that want to bring you down and get really content with being on your own. Your tribe is critical, but those on the outside that don’t believe in you need to be silenced. Think like Billy in the corner of the dugout.
Just like the crazy crowd at that Yankees game, people will act crazy and not understand you. You get one trip around the block in life, not many people get to start over halfway around. Most won’t understand it. That’s okay. You do you. This is between you and God. You will want to quit. There will be times that you do and have to try again. That’s all part of the journey.
In the movie, while Billy is on the mound he’s reflecting back after each batter at some of the most poignant moments of his career. One piece of advice sticks out loud and clear to handle those that want to come against you. At a previous game he reflected on an error made by the centerfielder. He sprints back to the wall to catch a fly ball and instead of catching it in his glove it lands on his head, bounces over the wall to become a home run and a fan catches it. He is humiliated. After the game the centerfielder and Billy have an encounter in the locker room.
“There’s a bunch of cameras out there waiting to make a joke out of this so you can either stop and give them a sound bite and do the dance or you can hold your head up and walk by and the next time we are in Boston, we’ll go out there and work the wall together. Don’t help them make a joke out of you.”
Clear the mechanism. Stop fighting the battle you were never meant to go into. Hold your head up high. Keep moving forward. Success is the greatest revenge. Billy Chapel's last time on the mound...
Billy Chapel pitched a perfect game his last time on the mound .
Sometimes the darkest plot twist in your life can be the best thing that's ever happened to you...if you play it right.
How? Put God in to lead the charge. Let him fight the battle for you. He’s the greatest warrior of all time
It's not the baseball player that serves my favorite line in this movie though. It's his girlfriend, played by Kelly Preston. She's a single mom.
“Sometimes life is slamming you down but it’s really giving you a gift. I had a baby when I was 16 and it could have wrecked me but it didn’t instead it was the thing that ever happened to me."
All the worst thing to become the BEST.... play the game, knowing God is on your side.