Choices: Life-giving or life-draining?

Employee News & Views Editor: April 16, 20130 Comments

Words all by themselves are powerful! Just look at the word “stress” and notice how you feel. Okay, now look at the word “revitalize.”  Ahhh… yes, isn’t that better?

We all know what stress feels and looks like. We often don’t need to look further than in the mirror or at the face of the people around us. The stressors are manifold and many, if not most, are beyond our control. We may not be able to choose what stressors touch our lives, but we certainly can choose how to respond to them. How we respond is part of the intrinsic freedom of the human spirit!

Life presents us with myriads of invitations for what to do with our time, effort and money and our choices matter

Each of our choices is either “life-giving” or “life-draining”.

Our culture provides us many invitations to divert the stress which are just ways to forget about your stresses – for awhile anyhow. Some people make use of unhealthy distractions such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, busy-ness and unhealthy sex. Or we get quick fixes by going to Disneyland, a mall, or out to see a movie or even engage in any number of online options … the point is, we are distracted. For awhile. But afterwards, we are tired. We are not refreshed and sometimes our stress is worse than at the beginning.

Here is a different kind of invitation: use your human freedom to make choices that refresh, restore, renew and revitalize you!

  • When you drive home from work, listen to restorative music or enjoy the simple sound of silence.
  • When you are tired in the evening, don’t turn on the TV. Take a warm shower or bath, go to bed early, drink calming tea, do restorative yoga, or talk with a friend.
  • When you have a few days off, do something that will revive and not deplete your spirit. Consider planning a day trip to a local park, the mountains or the coast.
  • When you notice your stamina is low, make lifestyle changes like adding exercise, meditation or spending time with family or friends, eat a healthier diet with plenty of water, or try getting more rest.
  • Consider letting go of things that only distract or divert or deplete you. That is your freedom of choice. And say no if you have to! Sometimes you’re just overcommitted, causing yourself more stress than necessary.


Today, start something new.  Plan into your life those activities that could be described with words beginning with RE:

REfresh. REstore. REnew.  REvitalize. For a healthier you.

Lynn Baker, Chaplain

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