Beyond Wine: Unwinding After A Stressful Day

by Faith & Life, Family, Outstanding Initiatives, Prayer

It’s 5:00 pm on Wednesday, you’ve had a long day of online school, Zoom meetings, taking care of the dog, taking care of the house (you probably did not even get time to take care of yourself). What do you turn to? Is it that trusty glass of Pinot Noir, or is it Jesus?

No judgment here, believe me, I have had many nights where nothing sounded better than that first sip of red wine to calm my body and mind. But did that calm my spirit? After that glass is gone, do I actually feel refreshed, or did I just numb the day? Did I actually even reflect on my day, counting the many blessings among the mess? The answer… probably not. 

I am definitely all for a glass of vino on occasion. I mean, the first miracle was turning water into wine at Cana! However, there is a time and a place where maybe something else could be more uplifting, more soothing, more gratifying, and that something else is prayer. 

One day, I tested this. I had an incredibly long day, back-to-back meetings, a dog who made a huge mess of things, a clingy toddler, and an out-of-town husband. It was one of those days where nothing went right, where I was still in pajamas at 4:30 pm (something completely acceptable in the COVID world). The only thing that sounded good was a big glass of rosé. However, from past experiences, I knew that would make the evening challenging being the only parent with a toddler.

So, instead, I decided to pray. I opened my Hallow app and navigated to the Daily Examen. I stuck my toddler in front of a movie and spent 10 minutes reflecting on my day. Instead of thinking about the dirt tracked into my house, I remembered the laughter of my daughter as she ran through the sprinkler and then through the mud. I saw the blessings in a conversation I had during one of my meetings. I remembered the delicious lunch I was able to cook for myself while at home.

Instead of seeing the craziness of the day, I saw the many ways God opened doors and provided blessings. I actually saw God’s hand on me throughout the day. It was incredibly powerful, and when I completed the meditation, I felt rejuvenated, filled with patience, and at peace, feelings that a glass of wine would never have given me. 

What if, when we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed (which we often are these days), we turned towards God instead of towards things of the world? There are countless moments within our day that we can eliminate stress through time with God. Maybe in the evening you can take the kids and the dog for a walk and say the Rosary or reflect on the Daily Gospel. Throughout the day, it would take just a minute to recite to yourself “Jesus, I trust in You. Jesus, I trust in You.” 

Prayer is powerful. It can completely change any situation, including the stress and the mess. I invite you to give it a try. One night in the future, instead of defaulting to that glass of wine, turn towards God, talk to Him, praise Him, thank Him, and see how much the prayer ‘buzz’ can transform your heart, mind, and body. 

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