Stressed Out Q. As a youth pastor, I see many teens who are stressed out from being too busy. Is there a way I can help them? A . Sure. First, plan a "Stress Release Weekend." No schedule. No agenda. Pick a relaxing place and simple meals. The ultimate goal is to "detox" from the pressures of daily life. Second, plan a "Day Alone with God" at a retreat center, park, lake — any place where the teens can spread out, have privacy and avoid distraction. (You may want to get each teen a copy of How to Spend a Day In Prayer by Lorne Sanny.) The focus of this time is not to keep busy praying. Rather, use that dialogue (which includes quietly listening to God) as a way of slowing down and regaining perspective on life. Finally, be sensitive to the amount of youth group responsibility you assign to any one teen. It's easy to overload a reliable youngster without realizing it — simply because you know you can count on them to do the job right. You can lighten the load. Action Steps 1. Do a "too-busy" checkup: o List all the activities you're committed to — daily, weekly, seasonally, occasionally o Divide them into 3 groups: essential, important and pleasurable o Beside each, write down something you must say "no" to in order to make that item a priority. Take your time and be honest. o Determine if you're doing too much, and how you can adjust your schedule 2. Schedule a prayerful "Day Alone with God" in a quiet, secluded place. 3. Consider picking up these related resources at your local Christian bookstore: o When I Relax I Feel Guilty , a book by Tim Hansel, David C. Cook o "Adrenaline and Stress," Focus on the Family broadcast CD (Available by calling Focus on the Family at 1-800- 232-6459.) ______________________________________________________
Lesson 20: "No Time to Waste" (Counsel when caught in a red-eyed rush) Having survived the initial shock of separation from friends and family, I was ecstatic about being at Bible college. I had a bunch of new friends, soccer was one of the school's favorite sports, I was part of student council, and someone picked me for the yearbook staff. Called me a photojournalist. Life was grand, a revolving door of grunts on the soccer field and gabfests in the cafeteria lounge—between photo shoots and yearbook writing gigs, of course. No boring moments in my life. My days just flew. In the midst of all this blinding activity, school assignments were a low priority. Allow me a short flashback: As an A student in high school, I found homework a cinch. Every assignment, regardless of when the teacher handed it out, was completed the night before it was due. Ask my parents. No research, no rewrites. Rip it off, hand it in, take my A, thank you very much. It meant a few all-nighters, but, hey, school's kind of cool when experienced through the mental fog of a night with no sleep. But now my college insisted on lights-out at 11:00 P.M. They enforced the rule with a crew of dorm proctors, students who hopefully had more integrity than I did at the time. No more all-nighters for me, at least in theory.
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