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!

Are Your Friends TRUE Friends?

Think of a time if your life when you have felt completely and utterly overwhelmed. What did you do? Did you turn to things that were helpful or harmful? Did you turn to people who would simply tell you everything will be okay or people who would support you AND challenge you to move beyond where you are?

I recently felt pretty overwhelmed and lost, so I met with a friend at a park nearby. She was facing challenges similar to mine. As we each enjoyed two scoops of Graeter’s Buckeye Chocolate Chip ice cream (SO GOOD), we talked about what was going on. We shared what we were struggling with and what we were thinking about doing.

When I finished sharing, Melissa asked me a few questions. I didn’t like those questions. They challenged me and forced me to really dig deep and figure out exactly what direction I wanted to go in. She then recommended something that I had considered, but had kind of pushed to the back of my mind, afraid of where it might lead me. What Melissa pointed out though, was that the very thing that I was avoiding was the very thing that could bring forth a breakthrough in my life.

I trusted in a friend to challenge me, and I’m so glad she did.

Melissa isn’t a “yes friend.” As I grow in my life and business, I’m realizing how critical it is that I have friends that are more than “yes friends”—they’re true friends. Sure, sometimes I’ve felt that I just need someone to listen. But I’ve found that those are the times when I actually need a true friend to listen and then challenge me to move beyond where I am toward greater things.

This week, take a close look at your friendships. Are your friends true friends or are they “yes friends”? Might you need to shift focus and strengthen the relationships with your true friends?

Think of a time when you had a true friend really come through when you needed them most. How did they help you work through what you were struggling with? Share as 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!!

Registration for Mamas Thriving Together closes TONIGHT at 11:59 pm ET!!

Don’t miss out! Today is the last day to register for Mamas Thriving Together!

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

Mamas Thriving Together Is Here!!

The day has come!

 


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!