I’m More Stressed Out Than You

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In these days of fast paced life, curve balls are thrown at us from many directions throughout a twenty-four hour period. I’m not talking only about bad situations. Even good things can cause stress.

We also live in a world that allows people to easily compare themselves to others. Whether it’s a Facebook post, Instagram picture, blog post, or just watching the people we interact with in “real life,” it is easy to get caught up in the comparison game.

stressed out

Here is the comparison game I’ve been playing recently: Who’s the Most Stressed Out? Who’s Under the Most Pressure? You? Me? Someone totally different?

I have many friends right now who are going through enormous amounts of stress: a mother-in-law died, personal physical illness and disability, dealing with a child’s lifelong illness, divorce, financial issues…the list could go on.

As I compare myself and my life issues to these wonderful people I began to think, They are under so much stress! They are going through much harder life issues than I am. My life should be so peaceful compared to what they are going through.

But it isn’t. Or at least, it doesn’t feel like it is.

Each day I would become more depressed, more irritable, and more stressed, and I KNEW everyone else was going through a harder time in life than I was.

My wonderful husband finally said, “Enough is enough. YOU need to go visit the doctor. You’re not right.” {Gotta love THOSE conversations!}

So I went. As I sat there and talked to my sweet doctor, she cocked her head at me and asked, “What do you do? List it all for me.”

I’m a stay-at-home mom.
A wife.
I homeschool my kids.
We’ve begun the adoption process, so I now have 3 kids and I’m dealing with visitations, and soon lawyers, etc.
I freelance out of my home and write educational content for publishers.
I teach Bible each week during Awana at my church.

My doctor dipped her head at me and looked over her glasses and said, “You are 40 years old…and you are basically working THREE full time jobs. You are under too much stress and if you don’t stop it you are going to have an emotional breakdown!”

*Cue the crickets*

I just stared at her. What I didn’t tell her was that I also run my own blog, write monthly contribution posts for two other large blogs, review products here and there, and I’m the Vacation Bible School Director for my church this summer. Plus, I’ll probably facilitate a Women’s Bible Study during the summer if my pastor OK’s it. I’ve also been attempting, but failing miserably at, planning homeschool co-op field trips for a small group of kids at my church. And knowing I am failing at that doesn’t help the stress.

So WHO is the most stressed out? Does it even matter?

In my attempt to compare myself to others and what was going on in their lives, I trivialized the stress in my own. In my telling myself that my stress wasn’t as bad, or strong, or STRESSFUL, I ended up not dealing with the emotions that came with it. I didn’t allow myself to feel the stress because, obviously, what I was feeling was not nearly as stressful as what everyone else was probably feeling.


That sounds absolutely crazy now that I have written it down. But what was happening inside my heart was not good. Many emotions were bottled up, so when one little thing happened, such as a friend canceling our dinner out, or one of the kids spilling a glass of water, or realizing that once again I have failed to exercise, I would shut down. Things that should not have bothered me became huge problems and mountains in my mind. I would lock myself in the bathroom and just sit.

I have a lot on my plate. And so do you. But we must not compare our stresses. We must not compare how we handle our stress. We must not compare. Period. And as Christian women, we cannot put ourselves down because we don’t fit the Proverbs 31 mold. Instead, we need to cast.

I have been casting my cares and burdens onto Jesus. But now I am doing it a bit more earnestly. Intentionally. When those unexpected moments come that would normally shut me down, now I cast them. I’m not great at it yet, but I’m trying. I even picture myself casting a net over to the mental image of my Jesus.

Some stresses I can’t get rid of. Time will have to take its course. This is a season of life for me. It’ll be ok.

While I’m waiting and serving, loving and caring…I’ll practice casting one day, one hour, one minute at a time.

As for that Proverbs 31 lady, maybe she was laughing at the days to come because she was totally stressed out.

What activity do you do to help handle the daily stress in your life?




I’m More Stressed Out Than You — 2 Comments

  1. I have nothing to help me handle the stresses – my husband is in the hospital again for like the 6th time, I’ve lost count. We’ve just moved into a new and bigger house, I’ve had to also move my mom into a smaller house at the same time, blogging, reviewing, homeschool, cleaning the new house, painting and stripping wall paper then our two dogs killed our guinea pigs and so I had to surrender the dogs back to where we adopted them – all of this pretty much alone – hubby wants me to de-stress but I can’t I’m wound tighter than a top. The carpets need shampooed at the new house but I’ve decided I’m not going to do it because we can’t afford to rent one and the one my inlaws let me borrow doesn’t work so I’m just going to vacuum and hope that does okay, so I guess that’s what I’m doing to lessen my stress.

Thoughts? Please share!