Is anyone else feeling kind of burned out? I know I am! It's certainly getting to that time of the year. For those of us in school, finals are looming and the papers and projects are piling up, and college seniors are getting ever closer to their graduation date, which means realizing that the real world is almost here. For those in the professional world, it is tax time, which adds to the level of anxiousness. For us as Catholics, we’re also reaching the end of our Lenten journey, and even that can make us feel tired. Easter is just around the corner and it is easy to get lost in the preparations that surround this. We plan celebrations to spend time with those we love, and we can easily get lost in the stress of getting ready for Easter.
Being stressed can feel overwhelming. When I feel stressed it can be hard to take a step back and look objectively at all the things I have to do. Everyone has different ways to manage stress. Some people like lists and prioritizing tasks. Others need to take time to relax before tackling large projects. One of the things I have found that helps me is praying the serenity prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
There are some things that we are stressed about that we can change. We can work on our time management so big projects don’t pile up. Proactivity can do wonders for stopping stress before it happens. But often in life there are things that stress us out where there is no immediate fix. It is these times that the serenity prayer is especially applicable. Worrying sometimes does more harm to our mental health than anything else. It is in these times of worry where we need to turn to God for help. Taking time during especially stressful points in our life to turn to God in prayer can make all the difference.
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday and we will hear the gospel reading of Christ’s Passion. As we end our Lenten journey, remember that Christ suffered for us and suffers with us. We are not on this journey alone, even though it is easy to feel alone when we’re especially busy. Keep Christ in all that you do, especially during the stressful times. As we move into the Easter season, try not to get lost in the stress. Take time to remember what Easter celebrates and feel the joy that comes with the Lord’s resurrection!
Rebecca Ruesch is the Blog Editor for the Catholic Apostolate Center