by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Distress: The stress you know best

You are probably most familiar with bad stress. When you are experiencing eustress, you probably don’t recognize it as stress since it can be associated with good things in life, such as planning a wedding or receiving a promotion. Bad stress, however, is the opposite. This type of stress is known as “distress.”  

Reaching the point of distress

We reach a point of distress when stress becomes too much for us to bear. When the tension builds to the point of distress, there is no longer any fun in the challenge. We see no forthcoming relief. There is no end in sight.

In extreme cases, it can result in both anxiety and/or depression. It causes tension to build to the point that the situation or task suddenly seems overwhelming. When distress kicks in, it feels as if it will never end.

If eustress acts as a motivator, than distress becomes a de-motivator. When we are in distress, our performance decreases, we tend to make poor decisions, we experience anxiety and it can lead to mental health problems, physical health problems, and spiritual health problems.

Examples of distress

Examples of distress can include the following:

  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Separation from spouse
  • Conflict in relationships
  • Hospitalization
  • Illness/injury
  • Abuse/neglect
  • Legal problems
  • Changes
  • Unemployment
  • Sleep problems
  • Problems with children
  • Financial problems
  • Wars
  • Natural disasters
  • A car breaking down in rush hour
  • Infertility

Internal factors that lead to distress

As we all know, not just outside factors play into stressful moments. Sometimes the stressors we deal with are our internal thoughts, feelings, and habitual behaviors. These can include:

  • Fears such as fear of flying, public speaking, spiders, heights, etc.
  • Worrying about things outside of our control, such as a job restructuring or waiting for the results of a medical test.
  • Maintaining unrealistic or perfectionist expectations for ourselves or others.
  • Constantly overscheduling ourselves
  • Consistently procrastinating
  • Failing to plan ahead

Now that you have a clearer picture of both eustress (see the previous posts) and distress, how would you adjust your list of stressors? Would you say there is more distress or eustress in your life right now?

Whether we see stress as eustress or distress can be subjective, but either way, it is still….

In tomorrow’s post, we will talk about ways to protect ourselves from distress through self-care.

Self-care course and coaching

$399.00 $199.50

Coming December 2021!

Pre-order for a 50% discount. You will get the complete set of downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

Pre-order now to receive a 50% discount! (Releasing December 2021)

You will get the complete downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

We know that ministry is hard! When you serve in ministry as staff or volunteer, you are on a spiritual battlefield 24/7. As you serve God, you fight for the Kingdom of God and our adversary is constantly attacking. He wants you to either lose your effectiveness in your ministry role or get you to quit. We must be sure we are reconnecting to the Vine (Jesus) so that we can refill, renew, and recharge. Then we can keep on pouring into others.

If you are feeling like you are losing the fight or struggling to stay in the fight, Jesus says to you, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) Self-care is both Biblical and necessary, if you are going to stay in the fight and be effective in the Kingdom of God. Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue are real weapons that the adversary uses against us.

Even if you do not serve in ministry, if you are a Christian, you too are in a spiritual battle. Every Christian fights the same adversary and our Biblical self-care principles are for every Christian.

What you get in this self-care course:

In Part 1 of this video-based course, you will learn about the spiritual dangers in ministry, discover if God is testing you or is Satan attacking you, understand that ministry is battlefield and how to be steadfast, immovable on the battlefield, learn how the devil uses his wiles and schemes against us, and remember how to use your Spiritual Armor. We will also breakdown stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue.

Part 2 is all about Preventing and Recovering from Burnout and Compassion Fatigue as we go through six areas that need self-care. In this part of the course we will provide you with practical ways that you can immediately begin practicing self-care. As you continue to serve God in whatever way He has called you, self-care is vital if you are not going to grow weary in doing good so you can reap at the proper time (Galatians 6:9).

Additionally, this packaged deal will provide 10 group coaching session where we will discuss the weekly assigned videos and do check-ins on where you are in each of the six areas of self-care that include: Spiritual, Sensory, Emotional, Social, Physical, and Intellectual.

Releasing in December 2021, this packaged deal will include the complete video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions with the author, Julia Bruce. In the 10-week program you will complete weekly videos and assignments and then meet virtually for a group coaching session to help you apply self-care where you need it. 

But wait! That’s not all! Check out this Bonus to the self-care course and coaching program.

BONUS: While this course and group coaching is not releasing until December 2021, if you’re purchasing this material, we know you need help now. So, if you purchase before the release date, we’ll place you in our new private Facebook membership page for free through the end of 2021. In January, this group will require a monthly subscription of $19.99. But it will be yours free through the end of year when you purchase the pre-release of the course and group coaching sessions.  

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We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

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The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

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