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January 10, 2014

Best way to relieve stress? Spend time with people you care about

COMMERCE — Work can be stressful.

And the stress can easily build up to something that you can’t handle without a prescription from a doctor or psychiatrist.

There are many different ways to relieve stress that work, but I’ve found one sure fire way to relieve stress and build relationships in the process.

Before I left for boot camp we began a Saturday night get together with some people at my church where we picked a house or apartment and spent time eating, playing games and talking with each other.

Each time more and more people showed up. And each time we’d have even more fun than the last.

We’d play games from lightsaber fights (don’t judge or I’ll use my Jedi mind trick) and other dumb but fun stuff, to playing a crowd favorite called “Village” where one person would narrate a story and the rest would have to find out who the murderer was (everyone loves a good murder mystery).

Those nights were fun because we were active, we were spending quality time with each other and we were happy.

The cool thing about those nights though; a few weeks after we began those, my friendships grew much deeper than they had.

Instead of just saying “Hey, how’s it going?” to friends I didn’t know too well,  I was able to engage them in more thoughtful conversations that lasted longer than “Doing fine. Well, see you later.”  

I was able to have great conversations where I could get to know people more than the shallow relationships I used to be comfortable having.

That was a great thing because whenever my friends were stressed or anxious about something they could feel free to talk with me and visa versa.

I noticed soon after that my stress levels were going down and I had a much better outlook on my day-to-day life. My friends helped bear my burdens by talking and praying with me and I would help bear theirs.

I have those weekends, and God’s providence, to thank for that.

It really helped to think back on those times when I was being yelled at constantly at boot camp by my MTIs.

I knew in the back of my head I had good friends who were praying for me, thinking about me, wanting me to succeed.

I could not have endured the stress and graduated without their prayers and reading the letters from my good friends and family.

We haven’t had a Saturday get together so far this year, but we should be getting one together Lordwilling in a few weeks.

My friend and I plan on making homemade pizza for the get together.

And that, I am looking forward to having.

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