Living wisely means that you understand and create boundaries so that you don’t struggle with emotional, mental, and spiritual health. “The solution to handling stress is to organize yourself better”, writes Dr. Samuel B. Sidjabat

Boundaries regulate time, space and movement, as well as achievements. Why do we need boundaries? We need boundaries because they help us stay on course and more importantly, they stop us from straying away.

We need to set limits because the energy or physical and emotional strength of a person has limits. If you don’t sleep well (insomnia) for even a week, it will cause the body’s immunity to decline. Our bodies can be easily attacked by germs, bacteria and viruses, including the Novel Coronavirus at this time.

Living wisely means that you understand and create boundaries so that you don’t experience adversity in terms of emotional, mental, and spiritual health. We must understand that humans, as God’s creation, are fragile. Humans are not the Creator. Humans are creatures who are easily broken and shattered, if and when, they fall, especially on hard rocks.

It is recommended that people should learn to limit their working time, even if they do not get stressed and emotionally exhausted (burnout). This will help them to avoid being “overloaded” and eventually become exhausted. Spending money also requires limits. We must enjoy life and have fun but within limits because even the euphoria can drain our energy.

According to Richard Swenson, a psychiatrist, we need boundaries because we easily feel pain and sadness. According to his observations, many people suffer from “pain” because of rapid changes (such as the era of 4.0). We don’t feel pain due to crises alone. Rather, the stress we go through becomes a constant trigger of pain in our hearts. Some people try to rid themselves of the pain by taking their own lives.

The solution to handling stress is to organize ourselves better.

First, we must learn to accept life as it is. We must be satisfied with what has been achieved. We must rejoice in all the achievements and blessings that God has given. We don’t have to compare ourselves with other people. Everyone has a path to walk.

Second, we must learn to cultivate a simple lifestyle and manage our finances wisely. Living a simple lifestyle or “adjusting to what is available” often brings happiness. When we live a simple lifestyle, we do not have to be greedy or corrupt.

Third, we must learn to have a work-life balance. We must work for eight hours, rest for 8 hours, and take time to build relationships with God, family and siblings in the remaining 8 hours. Work and sport must also go hand in hand. Faith and action must be integrated.

Finally, we must maintain rest (Sabbath). We need to fill it with recreation, social pursuits, humor, and leisure activities including enjoying music and dancing. Nostalgic songs are of great benefit for an elderly person. Similarly, connecting with old friends will also bring happiness to the heart.

Let us create boundaries so that we don’t experience setbacks in terms of emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

Dr. Samuel B. Sidjabat is the President at Tiranus Bible Seminary in Bandung and the Chairman of The Association of Evangelical Theological Colleges in Indonesia (PASTI)

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