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Me and Tree Blog 18

“ME AND TREE” BLOG

by Dr. Jacob D van Zyl tel 013 752 2000

Practice@37A Ehmkestreet, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, SA

BLOG (18/2) posted on 2018/12/11– check this blog for the next update in about two week’s time

MOVE OUT FROM UNDER THE DARK SHADOW OF STRESS



In the previous blog (number 17) I shared with you ten profound questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you are suffering from stress.


In this blog I would like to provide a few guidelines in the handling of your stress.


Stress can be healthy. It can take you to higher places. You just have to handle it healthily and correctly.

Make time for quiet time in a busy, rushed world. Don’t let the rat-race swallow you. Rather make time, even if it is a very short time, to become quiet within yourself. To become quiet with God. To assimilate and absorb the word of God, like Ezekiel, to make it part of yourself, and to meditate on it. Then you can also live it out in the world out there. Get your strength from the One who made you and didn’t just leave you. He is the One that takes care of you, who keeps you upright and helps you to move forward in life.


● Do not underestimate the power of a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet and regular exercise are your best weapons to combat stress. You can make sure you exercise regularly by doing it according to a plan with goals and realistic time slots in your day – thrice a week for halve an hour can be sufficient to combat your stress.


● Take regular breaks: a well deserved holiday, a long weekend or even just a day or a morning off. Build your breaks into your schedule. Even during your busy day it is necessary to build in small breaks.


Combat stress by thorough planning. Don’t hesitate to write down the tasks you have to do in your day planner. You also have to do some long term planning. By writing up your planning, you build structure into your day, and you can prevent stress to a large degree.


Create mini-days in your day. This means grouping activities that are similar together. This will prevent you from interrupting yourself repeatedly to return to an unfinished task. I will explain it by way of an example. If you need to do the following during the day, you can group the tasks into mini-days. Nothing prevents you from returning to a specific mini-day during the course of the day. But avoid jumping around from one activity to the next.

To have quiet time, exercise and do one or two things that you like, can form part of your taking care of myself mini-day. Meetings with clients and consultations can be your consultation mini-day. You could spend four hours in the morning and another three in the afternoon on this mini-day. Try your utmost not to interrupt yourself with other activities in between. To type up reports, make telephone calls, check the mailbox and send off a package can be part of your admin mini-day. To meet with a service provider, visit a sick friend, organize a meeting with your secretary will slot into your appointments with others mini-day. To fetch and drop off the children, do some shopping, cook and spend time with your family will be your family mini-day. Of course you will structure your mini-days according to your own activities.


● See the little things again: the sunrise and sunset, the new flower in your garden, the loud laughter of a child, the gift of health… Open yourself up again to experience the more precious things in life: the sun shining on your face, go outside at night and drink in the Milky Way, the evening breeze. Sark says it strikingly – make it your own:

Plant impossible gardens.

Look forward to dreams. Cry during movies.

Swing as high as you can on a swing-set,

by moonlight. Cultivate moods.

Do it for love. Take lots of naps.

Take moon baths.

Giggle with children.

Listen to old people.

Drive away fear. Play with everything.

Entertain your inner child.

Build a fort with blankets.

Get wet. Hug trees. Write love letters.


● Build balance into your life style and maintain a balance amongst work, play, and responsibilities, off time and all the other valuable dimensions of your life.


See life as precious again. A gift from God. Then you will look through different eyes at yourself, your health and your life as a whole. Think about how valuable other people’s lives are. From this perspective all the things that you do for them will not seem so stressful. You can see the things you do for other people as gifts that you give them.


● Stay aware of the power and importance of communication. Talk about the things that bother you. Make it known to the people in your life. It is much better than repression. The things you are trying to repress are like kittens in a chest, screaming and scratching against the lid. The longer you ignore them, the louder the screaming becomes until it drives you up the wall. Open the chest, lift the lid and face them. Look them in the eye. Handle your stress – do not deny or repress it.

‘Reality is the leading cause of stress

among those in touch with it …’

Lily Tomlin



If you have any questions in this regard or you have the need to share your experience with me, please e-mail me at vanzyljd@telkomsa.net I am also available to facilitate a group or come to your organisation to talk about the subject or feel free to book a session with me by phoning 013-752 2000.

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