The title was “Keys to Overcoming Stress and Burnout.” I’m not sure I expected it to be as good and helpful as it turned out to be. (The previous talk of a similar title turned into an extended infomercial; you could’ve spent hundreds of dollars, easily, if you’d followed the “how to thrive” advice.)
Mrs. Billing is a homeschooling mom and part-time professional organizer. So, she presented her talk in nice, neat outline format.
I. Spiritual Life
A. Make your own spiritual life your #1 priority; only God gives us strength. We do not get our meaning from gardening, crafts, politics, etc. (Hey! Wait a minute…)
1. Commit to time of personal prayer. Put it on the schedule. Do what you feel works for you, not what you “should” be doing. (At which point I muttered something about how the not-so-great speaker, who said, “You aren’t really a Catholic homeschooler if you aren’t doing a whole rosary a day!”, needed to come to this talk.)
2. Create a sacred space in your home. Some kind of prayer corner, etc.
3. Three non-negotiables: prayer every day, weekly prayer (mass plus ?), and regular adoration
B. Sacraments: frequently! “Grace is a natural, free, organic stress buster!”
1. Seek what you’re being asked to do. (Again, this is not a one-size-fits-all spirituality.)
2. Daily mass: it’s hard, but try; we go for the grace, not the “perfect” experience or sermon.
3. Confession: at least monthly?
4. Marriage: (it’s an on-going sacrament, remember?) “Spiritual life yields energy, yields *ahem* graces for marriage. And maybe they’ll let me give that talk someday…”
C. Gossip: dump it. The fact that it’s true does not mean that it’s something that needs to be said.
D. Fasting: mentioned 86 times in Scripture. The Church recommends Wednesdays and Fridays. It helps us detach from the world and stress, and reattach to God (and not chocolate).
II. Eat more nutritiously
A. Plan meals and shop with the list in mind
B. Five things we shouldn’t eat regularly:
- High fructose corn syrup (Americans eat 63 lbs a year!)
- Anything that says “enriched,” because it means they took something out first
- Saturated fats
C. We need 80-100 g of protein per day, and 30-35 g fiber (12 g is average)
D. Leafy greens, 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies
E. Omega-3: 3g/day. It fights inflammation. From salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds.
F. Raw olive oil (1 Tbsp per day)
G. Regular multi-vitamin, chocolate and wine in moderation
Start with small changes, and remember that eating well is a gift to ourselves, not just another option.
And eat at home: the average American buys 2/3 of their food outside the home. (i.e. not home-cooked meals)
A. It eases anxieties and tension while releasing endorphines. Insulin levels drop, which lowers stress and leads to less eating.
B. Try to sweat at least sixty minutes a week, including thirty minutes of weight training for bone density. Longer sessions are better than short. 90% of regular exercisers do it before 9 am.
So, did I follow her advice? No, except for the “wine and chocolate in moderation” part; I’m good at that part. But that’s part of why I type these up for the blog: to remind myself what I learned and what sounded like really good advice when I heard it (but then forgot about).