Transition and living with stress

Significant stressors

Children’s health, schooling                           
Not living victoriously
Too much to do                                             
Time pressure
Important things left undone                         
Uncongenial demands
Being different, unexplainable                        
Equipment failure
Not fitting anywhere                                      
Finances
Having too much                                            
Meeting supporter expectations
Having too little                                             
Comparison of self with others
Lack of responsiveness                                   
Personal sin
Loneliness                                                      
Being/feeling overweight
Sickness                                                         
Distance from knowns
Spiritual aloneness                                         
Decision-making
Hopelessness                                                  
Stress from the Enemy
Helplessness in face of many needs                 
Apathy of people
Feeling worthless, inadequate                         
New experiences
Social ineptness with people                           
Living with a person under stress


Evidence of stress

Overeating/undereating                                  
Irritability, impatience
Intolerance of ambiguity, rigid                        
Not open to learning
Withdrawal from people                                  
Distortion perception
Selective perception                                        
Negative, pessimistic
Emotional numbness                                       
Workaholism
Physical abuse                                                 
Dislike of local people
Interpersonal conflict over little things            
Procrastination
Sibling conflict                                                 
Paranoia


Productive stress reducers

Music/Singing                                                 
Telling truth to supporters
Hobbies; recreation                                         
Being prayed for and knowing it
Exercise                                                           
Having a get-away place
Enough sleep                                                  
Taking time to reflect, plan
Good diet                                                         
Reading for growth
Walking with God                                            
Bible study
Making local friends                                         
Helping someone else
Praying with someone                                     
Enjoying sex (if married)
Being vulnerable                                             
Learning the language


Unproductive stress reducers

Too much of anything used as an escape         
Withdrawal
Eating                                                            
Repressing
Spending money                                              
Too much reading
Avoidance                                                       
Closed to others


Symptoms of overload

Insomnia                                                          
Apathy
Irritability                                                         
Increasing errors
Estranged relationships                                   
Lack of clarity
Poor judgment                                                 
Loss of perspective
Diminished memory                                         
Change of appetite
Spiritual deadness                                           
Guilt
Inadequacy                                                       
Lack of balance
Inability to learn


To increase tolerance for distress
  • Take care of your body: exercise, diet, fitness
  • Take care of your spirit: fellowship, study, prayer (Psalm 86)
  • Take care of your mind: books, discussion, stimuli
  • Take care of your social needs: support group, enjoyment, relaxation
  • Take care of your emotional needs: be vulnerable with others
  • Understand yourself: maintain perspective, communicate, be aware of others’ needs
  • Change what can be changed
    Adapted by Darrel Hostetter, co-director of Human Resources, EMM, Salunga, Pa. from Mission Living and Stress by Laura       Mae Gardner, Wycliffe Bible Translators International. Permission granted for non-profit use.
Comments