How to Create Calm in a Chaotic Day

Last week I talked about how to cut out some of the chaos in your life. At the end of the day, though, there will always be some chaos. As a parent, its unavoidable.

Still, there are ways to create calm even in the most chaotic day. What it comes down to is intentionality.

5 Tips for Creating Calm in Your Day:

Get up early

  • Getting up early is one of the best ways to start your day.
    • The first hour of your day establishes the direction for the rest of your day.
    • Dan Miller refers to it as The Rudder of The Day.
  • If your first hour is rushed and frantic, the rest of your day will be rushed and frantic.
  • Get some “me time” in before the kids get up or before you get ready for work.
  • Here are some great ways to start your morning:
    • NOT by grabbing your phone and checking email or social media first thing when your alarm goes off. In fact, leave that until at least 10:00 or so if possible.
    • Eat breakfast slowly in peace and quiet.
    • Journal, read, pray, meditate, etc.
    • Exercise—get your blood pumping first thing in the morning.

Be mindful of your screen use.

  • My most stressful moments are when I’m using my phone and my kids are fighting for my attention.
    • These are the times I snap—not because they’re misbehaving, but because they’re interrupting my agenda.
    • I’ve also found that my kids tend to seek my attention more or misbehave when I’m distracted by technology. They’re not dummies. Even babies.
  • Set specific times to check texts, emails, and social media.
    • If people always expect quick replies from you, you’ve made yourself too available.
      • If someone needs you that badly, they can call.
  • By making yourself less available to the outside world, you’re making yourself more available to the people and things that REALLY matter.

Actually take a lunch break

  • At work
    • Clock out and eat your lunch. Simple as that. Your work can wait another half hour.
  • At home
    • Sit down. Taste your food. Simple as that. Your housework can wait another half hour.

Unplug 1-2 hours before bed

  • Things are chaotic as it is with dinner and getting the kids to bed. Constantly being pulled back and forth between our kids and our phones is a recipe for frustration and meltdowns (for us and our kids).
  • So many of us are so tied to our phones that we’re checking them from the moment we wake up until the minute our head hits the pillow.
    • The only way I avoid melting my eyeballs at night is by plugging my phone in to charge in another room. I quickly glance as I set my alarm to see if I have any voicemails that might be urgent. Other than that, I don’t look at anything.
  • Unplugging applies to other technology, too. So close the laptop, turn off the TV, and put away the tablets.
  • Unplugging is critical to falling asleep and getting good sleep.
    • The backlit screens on your phone/computer/TV suppress your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.
    • Screens=>suppressed melatonin production=>bad sleep.

Take some time to wind down before bed.

  • Establish a bedtime routine
  • Nighttime routines trigger melatonin production.
  • Routines=>increased melatonin production=>good sleep.

Some of these tips might seem impossible. As I said earlier, it’s about intentionality. A lot of things in life we think are unattainable really aren’t; we’re just not exercising the discipline and commitment it takes to get what we want.

Which of the above can you implement this week to help create calm in your day? Share in a comment below!

How to Cut Out Some of the Chaos

There’s no denying it. Life with an infant can be pretty chaotic.

The crying…the lack of sleep…the pooping…the doctors appointments…being halfway to your destination when you realize you left the diaper bag at home…forgetting the formula…spilling 15 ounces of breastmilk…spit up on your face…baby food splattered all over the floor…the list goes on and on. Oh yeah, and the countless Google searches because you’re convinced that the little spot on the back of your baby’s leg is the plague.

What if I told you you could cut out some of the chaos? (Whaaaaaaat??) 

Yep, it’s true!

Here are some tips for doing so:

Get help!

  • How much of your chaos comes from you trying to do it all?
  • You don’t have to be Supermom. (Please, don’t even strive for it. She’s really not that great).
  • No, things won’t always be done the way you want them to. You’re going to have to let go of control if you want anyone to help you.
  • If someone asks if you want help, take them up on their offer NOW.
  • Reach out to people! Even people you think don’t want to help. They might surprise you.

Say “no.”

  • Part of being Supermom is being a “yes” mom. Remember: don’t be Supermom. Don’t be a “yes” mom.
  • When you say yes to everyone else, you’re saying no to yourself.
  • Even when you say yes to good things for yourself, you’re usually saying “no” to better things for yourself. Say “yes” to the things that truly matter and that will fill your cup.

Strip things down to the bare necessities.

  • Write a list of what you do each day of the week in a typical week.
  • Which of these things do you LOVE doing?
  • Which of these things could you outsource? Could you find people to do those things for free? If not, could you put it in your budget to pay for those things? Just imagine – you could skip the Starbucks and hire someone to clean your house every week instead. Uhh…awesome, right?
  • Which of these things could you eliminate? COMPLETELY eliminate. Remember, don’t be a “yes” person.
  • Set the precedent when your kids are young that you refuse to live a life of constant chaos.

Create buffer time.

  • Do you feel like you’re constantly rushing from one thing to the next? Are you always late? Chances are, you’re living with an unrealistic idea of how time works when you have a baby. Just plan on everything taking twice as long as you think it should.
  • Set your departure time 15 minutes early (or even 30 minutes) whenever you’re going somewhere. If you leave right at your departure time, great! If not, you have that buffer time built in.

There is no magic wand to make your life less hectic. However, you do have more control than you think.

What can you do this week to cut out some of the chaos? Share in a comment below!

Do This One Thing Before Making Big Decisions

Imagine you’re in the checkout aisle at your local grocery store. You see all the drinks, snacks, and candy bars. They’re placed there for a very specific reason. The company delights in putting you in such a bind because chances are, you’ll give in. You’re in a time crunch and have less than a minute to decide as the shoppers behind you close in. Your kid is screaming for M&Ms and you’re about to pull your hair out after his complete meltdown in aisle 4.

So you grab the M&Ms. Actually, you grab 2 bags because who in their right mind would want to share those delightful, poppable pieces of chocolate gold?

Ok, not so much a big decision. But with so many bright, flashy, shiny objects around us nowadays, it’s tempting to make rash decisions, feeling like we have to decide right now.

Very few big decisions have to be made on the spot. If we really want to buy something, it’s best to wait overnight. Sleep on it. If the sale ends at midnight, don’t worry, there will be another. And by tomorrow or when that sale comes around again, you may not want the item. If you do, you’ll be ready to hop in the car and pick it up.

This doesn’t apply just to purchases. And sleeping on it isn’t always enough with really big decisions. Wait a few days or even a couple weeks to make the decision.

But most importantly, seek counsel. Don’t make big decisions on your own. Talk to your spouse. Your friends. Your family. Your peers. Your church family. Your mentors.

Be sure your spouse is completely on board with any major decisions. Make it a decision you both are making, not just you with the lukewarm “okay, honey” of your spouse.

Don’t labor for months over the decision, but give yourself enough time to make a decision you feel comfortable with and confident about.

What’s one big decision you’ve made after seeking the advice of others? How did having others’ input affect your decision?

Last Day to Register!!

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Mamas Thriving Together is here!

Mamas Thriving Together is an online group coaching community designed to help mamas build a life that is exciting, meaningful, and true to who they are.

Click this link to check it out!!

Registration closes Monday, August 21 at 11:59 pm ET. Click this link to sign up now!