Calling Stressed-Out Singles
By Stacie Ruth Stoelting
June jumps into our lives and brings with it piles of wedding invitations. For Christian singles, the fancy cards serve as invites to more than one party: a wedding party and a pity party. With that in mind, June is the perfect month for us, as Christian singles, to add some faith-filled flavor into our stress-filled lives.
As a young Christian single with lots of stressful responsibilities, I know what “stress-out” means! As an author, speaker, columnist, and singer, I sometimes have felt so frazzled that I wondered if my hair would frizz! (Just kidding, of course!) But, seriously, I have had to learn how to handle stress the hard way. I hope to make it easier for you.
When I’m Most Stressed:
When I feel stressed, it’s because of imbalances in my life: too many things to do in too little time! So, as a single person, I have had to learn how to treat myself as a spouse would treat me. For instance, many spouses tell each other when “enough is enough.” I have had to impose my own limits. That’s an acquired art. For survival, we must learn it.
Sometimes, married people use marriage to their advantage. They’ll say, “I don’t know whether my husband/wife would want me to do this. I’m going to talk it over with him/her.” We, as single Christians, don’t have that advantage.
But, guess what? We have a far better advantage than the married people do! We can say, with great sincerity, that we, as single people, are especially close to God and need to talk over issues with Him. For me, that’s the truth.
I have assembled ten tips for singles to cope with stress. Along with that, I formulated five tips for singles who want to grow skills via ministry which will eventually help them become better spouses.
Does singleness leave a bland, crumby taste in your mouth? If so, there’s good news: we can enjoy the spice of life in Christ while we are single and while we are married.
Let’s get out the spices of ministry, adventure, simple joys, and Christ-centered excitement and load our single lives with flavor! Don’t wait for spices while waiting for “spouses.”
Ten Tips for Singles to Erase Stress:
- Be a kid again! Stop trying to be all “grown-up.” Return to child-like innocence and trust God. If necessary, when no one is watching, play with some Play-Doh!
- Escape to a quiet place; ideally a place surrounded by nature’s beauty. Turn off your cell phone, pager, laptop, iPod, Blackberry, etc.
- Doodle. Skill level doesn’t matter at all! The point is to just express yourself freely. Draw cartoons, for instance.
- Do something completely fun. Don’t wait for a date! For some people, this means attending a sporting event or a movie. Choose the fun activity with the least responsibility required.
- Talk with a family member or friend. Be selective, though. Some people create stress.
- Interact with pets. If you don’t have a pet, go to a friend or family member who has pets.
- Help someone with bigger stresses than your own. It really minimizes the perceived magnitude of problems when one sees someone with worse troubles. It doesn’t have to be complicated, by the way. A simple card or a phone call will do.
- Pray through the Psalms. For me, this alleviates stress-induced depression.
- Make more time for sleep. Yes, you read that correctly! This will actually save time in the long-term scope of things. After all, we’re far more focused and energetic whenever we’ve had enough sleep!
- Take B-Complex and Calcium. These are two supplements that really help me. Of course, check with your doctor first. Then, purchase them at a local health food store.
- Treat your body with TLC: Wear supportive shoes and comfortable (yet fashionable!) clothing. Do stretches. Get a professional massage. Buy a back cushion. The benefits are worth it.
- Simplify. Prioritize your “to do” list. Eliminate things that aren’t necessary. Try to step back and pretend to be a manager of it.
Five Outreach Tips for Christian Singles
*Bonus: These tips develop personal qualities that make people better spouses.
- Reach out to victims of domestic abuse via volunteering at a domestic abuse shelter. Trust me: Waiting for God’s best person or living life as a single person really will seem far more attractive when compared to the suffering of domestic abuse victims. This develops deep empathy and awareness.
- Volunteer to serve at your church’s nursery or help care for friends’ children. Or sponsor and correspond with a child overseas via a Christian foreign mission. Working and corresponding with children allow us to escape from adults’ complications. It also gives people opportunities to learn how to care for future children or loved ones’ children and their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. Staying “in practice” with children is an invaluable skill for both men and women.
- Entertaining nursing home residents with singing, reading Bingo, or contributing other abilities always lends a new perspective. It teaches a person the brevity of life and the importance of living a life for Christ –whether single or married; old or young. (Bonus: We single people feel younger and freer when we visit elderly people who call us “boys” and “girls.” Am I right?) In addition, it prepares us for future life stages.
- Reach out to widows and widowers at your church. As singles, we know the feeling of missing someone we have not yet met. Imagine the pain of losing that “someone.” Acquainting ourselves with them and their grief will cast a new light on our “burden” of waiting for the right one. Treasuring the “now” and realizing that Heaven is just around the corner help to keep our perspectives healthy and in check.
- Take part in an evangelistic event. Focus on the fact that, no matter whether we’re married, it’s most important for us to share about Jesus. Singleness never impairs our ability to share our hearts about Jesus. In fact, we know what it is like to wait for and desire our future spouses. Let’s funnel our “desiring hearts” into “inspiring hearts” to receive Jesus!
Note from the Author:
Connected! isn’t a typical monthly column. Think of it as an e-mail. Feel free to reply. Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org. After all, I want to be a friend and introduce you to my Best Friend, Jesus Christ. We’ll cover issues relevant to our generation. Most of all, we’ll connect with Christ. If you don’t know how to connect with Him yet, click here.
Stacie Ruth Stoelting and Bright Light Ministry share how to have victory over stresses, tragedies, and trials! As a young Christian single, she already has experienced helping the hurting. At 15, Stacie Ruth wrote Still Holding Hands, depicting her grandparents’ romance, and victory over Alzheimer’s. Celebrities (i.e. Pat Robertson) endorsed it and/or Bright Light Ministry. At 20, she sang for President Bush. In dramatic programs for all ages, she speaks, acts, sings, and entertainingly inspires. Now, she is writing books for teens (e.g. Catching Faith Stealers in the Act). Visit www.brightlightministry.com.
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