Friday, 27 March 2009

How To De-Stress Your Life and Make It Better . . .

"Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark, as sages say;
Oft, a little morning rain,
Foretells a pleasant day."
~Charlotte Bronte

There’s no denying it. Life is hard. Life is stressful. We live in a world with an ever-increasing fast pace. Everything needs to be done yesterday, and there always seems to be a never-ending list of tasks laying before us. Sometimes it seems, that we do indeed live in a world without quiet corners. There are ways however, that we can take back our days for ourselves and find little pockets of joy, no matter what else the day might bring. Here’s my list of sure-fire stress busters.

1. Be grateful. No matter what, no matter where, no matter when, no matter why. There is always something to be thankful for.

2. Carve out an hour each day for solitude and meditation. Might mean you have to get up an hour earlier each morning, but it will probably be the most important and meaningful hour of your day. Lay claim to it.

3. Begin and end each day with prayer and reflection. It’s the single most important thing you can do for yourself and for others. Making a few moments for gratitude and supplication, focusing for a time on the problems of others, this simple act has a power that can never be underestimated.

4. Keep it simple. Don’t over complicate things, ever . . .

5. Eat only when hungry, and when you do eat, make sure it’s delicious. If it’s not delicious, then don’t eat it.

6. Keep your house picked up. When it’s not in use, put it away. When you are finished with something, put it away. A few minutes spent each day doing this can save you hours another time and helps to de-clutter your life. (I need to work harder on this!)

7. Never make a promise you cannot keep, and always keep the promises you make. ‘Nuff said . . .

8. Always carry something interesting to read in your purse. That way if you get stuck in traffic, waiting in a queue, have a few moments to waste, etc. you always have something to do, uplift, inspire, magnify . . .

9. Create quiet places at home and at work. Always have somewhere you can go, if only for a few moments in time, to gather your thoughts and just be . . .

10. Be realistic. About goals, about deadlines, about desires, about expectations, etc. both for yourself and for others. Keep things achievable.

11. Take time to breathe, deeply and often. Stop and smell the roses.

12. Don’t over schedule. You know how much you can reasonably accomplish in any given hour, day, week, month. Don’t overstretch yourself. Be reasonable.

13. Stay away from negativity. Don’t watch it on the television. Don’t cultivate it in your friendships and relationships. Stay away from negative people altogether. Don’t give negativity any toehold whatsoever in your life.

14. Laugh, loudly and often. It will help to nurture your soul and create little pockets of joy in your life. “Cry and you cry alone, laugh and the whole world laughs with you.”

15. Create boundaries and then honour them.

16. Express love every day, for God, for yourself and for others.

17. Look at your problems as challenges and then work to overcome them, one small step at a time. Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

18. Set aside one day a week for rest and renewal. Capture 24 hours just for yourself. Don’t shop. Don’t work. Just let go and be . . . It’s what God wanted for each and every one of us. Remember. . . “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

19. Move . . . walk, run, dance, just move . . .

20. Don’t be afraid of your passions. Embrace them.

21. Stop trying to please everyone else and start pleasing yourself. There are some people in this world you will never please, no matter how much you try, or how high you jump. Accept this and move on . . .

22. Don’t squander your precious resources . . . time, energy, creativity, emotions . . . they’re all yours, so use them wisely.

23. Savour beauty. It’s all around us. Take notice of it and appreciate it for what it is. Let Mother Nature, nurture and feed your soul, even if it’s only am errant blade of grass growing up between the cobblestones . . .

24. Cherish your dreams. They’re worth their weight in gold.

25. Enjoy your life. You only have one. Don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones to come. Embrace and cherish the here and the now.

26. If you don’t love it, then learn to live without it.

27. Go for comfort. In your clothing, in your footwear, in your furniture, in your bed, etc.

28. Nurture your senses. Feed them daily and make them come alive. Take time to smell, taste, feel, listen and see.

29. Care for your soul. It’s precious and is the only thing you will carry with you from this lifetime into the next. It’s the single most important thing you have. Don’t let anyone or anything take it away.

30. Don’t worry . . . Be happy!

As a girl, I used to love looking at my mother’s cookery books. She only had a few and still does. Even now, when I go home to visit, I love to go through them. They are full of wonderful gems such as this one. This is a recipe I got from out of her meat cookery book. I’ve adapted it and changed it somewhat through the years, but it has stood me well. Todd really loves this. Most people do . . .

*Pork and Mushroom Casserole*
Serves 3-4

Moist and tender pieces of pork, lightly crumbed and browned, then layered in a casserole dish with lightly sautéed mushrooms, bacon, onions and fruit juice. This is quite simply . . . Delicious. I like to serve this with some steamed rice and a vegetable on the side.

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into ½ inch slices

3 slices of streaky bacon, diced

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 TBS oil

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup fine cracker or bread crumbs

¼ to ½ cup fruit juice (apple, orange, or pineapple)

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Put a skillet over medium heat on top of the stove and pan fry the bacon until it is starting to brown. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a few minutes longer until they too are softened and the garlic is fragrant. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan.

Mix together the cracker/bread crumbs and the seasonings in a shallow bowl. Beat the egg in another shallow bowl. Lightly season your pieces of pork and then dip each piece in the egg and then roll it into the cracker/bread crumbs to coat. Heat the oil in the skillet and when it is hot, brown the pieces of pork on both sides.

Layer the cooked pieces of pork in a 1 litre casserole dish along with the bacon, onion, mushroom mixture. Pour the fruit juice over top and then cover with a lid.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes until juicy and very tender. Remove from the oven and serve hot with some steamed rice and vegetables on the side.


  1. VERY good advice. I agree whole-heartedly! And I love that picture of the flower at the top...did you take that? I also love the previous post and the pictures on it. :)

    And yes, indeed, it was SO GREAT to see you! It's ok that you were tired, I can't blame you! I would be too after your kind of week! Hope your travels were all together mostly stress free. I bet Todd and Jess are grateful to have you back! I for one would have been fine with you staying an extra couple days :) Thanks for commenting on my blog, it always makes my day when I hear from you! Lots of Love!!!! Nicole

  2. What wonderful advice.... each point you make is a jewel... and will make our lives better if we follow them.

    It is 12:30 am and we just got home from the temple. John's car (that we just got back from being fixed at the garage today) broke down and we had to leave it there tonight. It is 38 miles away and we got a ride home with another temple worker. Now we have to go back tomorrow and tow it home. urrrg!!! Our repair man surely let us down this time.

    I am sending love to you.... are you proud of me???... I did a mid week post!!! Will wonders never cease??

    Have a good Friday and a great weekend. Much love, Lura

    ps. that recipe looks so good

  3. Good advice Marie - except my kitchen flooded yesterday!! So I found it hard to stay calm LOL!
    Love the casserole - yum!

  4. Hi Marie! I just love that list - how true each of them are!
    The pork and mushroom casserole looks just like our kind of meal so that's one for my folder!
    Hope you, Todd and Jess are well.
    Love, Pat x

  5. I really like the one about negativity. I refuse to speak to negative people or have them in my life, and a lot of people critisize me for it. But why would I want to hang with someone who brings you down?

  6. That is a list to be kept for sure. It is so easy to stress out. I think your pork dish would be great using up leftover roast too. I'm always looking for ways to stretch a meal. Have a great FRIDAY! 'On Ya'-ma


  8. Darlin', I love your list. Very uplifting. I need to work on the keep your house uncluttered one and the knowing what amount of time I have in one day. I actually think I DON'T naturally know. I love so many of your restful, quiet, grateful, spiritual suggestions.
    Love, A xo

  9. This is a terrific list and advice, Marie! It mirrors my own! :o) That last one is a great motto--"don't worry, be happy!" Hubby would love today's recipe...Happy weekend sweet friend! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  10. This was excellent!!! I need to copy those down and put in on my refrigerator!!!

    Have a great weekend!!!

  11. Absolutely nice and wissom advices dear Marie, agree,agree, !! You always speak words of wissom, maybe because God is in you herat I know.
    Personally I try all days to wake up as all was new, I pray normally a little praye and thanksful for some sthings ans ask for others. And the things that happens at the day I try to see the best look you know. Maybe at niught when I go to bed Im tired, sad or streesful but I give all to God and a little prayer again an peace to sleep and to begin the next day, sorry! I write alot.

    Godd weekend dear!! Huggs and kisses to you and dear Todd, take care. xxxxGloria

  12. Hi Marie
    Such good advice. I already knew eveything thing you said, but it sure is hard to do all the time! We are having rainy weather here and it reminds me of England. The birds and flowers are loving it!
    Hugs, Rhondi

  13. MARIE! That recipe is pure sin! I'm salivating at the thought!! i'll have to save it for another day, though. It's No Meat Friday....

  14. Marie:

    This list is golden.

    As you know, my family and I have had a rough go for the last year or so. Now that things are easing up a bit, I try so hard to enjoy each day. All my analytical questions about God and prayer have been put on the back burner and I've learned to just pray and love and not be stressed out over all the what-ifs.

    I will keep coming back to this list, as there are still a few of the tasks that I struggle with. Especially the negativity.

    Thanks for an uplifting post:
    Garden Painter Art

  15. Marie,
    This was some great advice and the recipe looks wonderful. Think I'll try it this weekend.

    I enjoy reading your blog.

    Robin in Virginia, USA

  16. Ali from Ireland27 March 2009 at 18:41

    Such inspiring words - I've printed out a copy which I will carry with me in my purse for those moments you mention in #8!

  17. thank you so much for this list today! i needed it. its perfect.

  18. Thank you so much for the reminder as "Life we live"!! I grew up in the back country,of "Southern Mississippi,USA",and started taking care of old people,when I was 14,knowing "The Lord Jesus Christ",personally since 12,and its always been a great life,holding to teachings as you explained.I was disabled about 12 years ago,and took care of my daddy 3 years,who passed away,then a father-in-law(2 years),and now a terminally ill wife for 2 years,and it gets bad!! But without the Lord it would be so much worse,with no hope!! I found your site,last week,and injoyed what I found,maybe I will get more time to enjoy later!! Some of the great recipes,look so good to try,but the Christian stiring,all in and around the thoughts,are worth so much more!! I probablly,will never meet you hear,but one day,when we get home,I'll get to thank you,personally!! Thank you,so much,Jim


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