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!

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!

“You Are the Average of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With.” Who Are Your Five?

A week and a half ago my friend and mentor Cliff Ravenscraft reached out to me and invited me to attend his workshop titled “Creating an Online Business Around Your Podcast.” I told him I had checked out the sales page but that it wasn’t in our budget. However, after further discussion with Cliff and my husband, I decided to make the investment.

As I figured it would be, the workshop was jam-packed with amazing information and Cliff’s presentation of that information was outstanding. The workshop was hosted in the Next Level Studio in Cliff’s home (“The Home That Podcasting Built”). Cliff and his family were so welcoming and hospitable. In addition to a great day and a half of content, the networking and relationships built were invaluable.

After the workshop I asked my friend Heather if I could swing by her house to say hi, as she lives just a few minutes away from Cliff. We sat on her back patio, and she asked some questions about the workshop. I answered enthusiastically, still on a high from it all.

Then Heather said, “I bet it was nice to get away and have some adult interaction.” I paused, then said, “Yeah, that was pretty nice.”

It hadn’t occurred to me until then. Sure, the workshop and relationships were awesome. But what I think refreshed me most was getting some time away to be in the presence of other adults—especially like-minded entrepreneurs who all have the same goal in mind: to build a responsible online business.

I didn’t realize how badly I needed it. The life of an entrepreneur can be incredibly isolating, especially in the early stages.

In the workshop, Cliff talked about Jim Rohn’s belief, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Cliff asked us to write down the five people we spend the most time with (outside of immediate family). It could be face-to-face interaction or interaction via phone, text, social media, etc.

I began to write down my five, starting with my church family and another close friend. I then realized that other than that, most of my in-person interactions are with my kids and husband. I have close friends, but I’m not intentionally getting together with them in person or picking up the phone to call them.

Cliff then asked us to take some time in the days coming up to write down the five people we want to intentionally spend the most time with moving forward. Who are the people I want to intentionally allow to influence the way I think through direct interaction?

I realized that in order to write my list and put it into action, I am going to be making some major commitments. I’ll be committing to investing in myself by committing to spending time with and investing in others.

But how in the world am I going to do that?? I’m a full time mom building an online business on the side. I don’t have time for intentional friendships!

That’s the issue though. I historically have not made (keyword “made,” not “found”) the time to be intentional about friendships. I was very academically focused in school. I got married my senior year of college, started graduate school a year later, and went straight into a job from my grad school internship. I worked full time until I had Margaret, then gradually moved down to part time, then resigned after my maternity leave with Charles. No matter which of these stages I was in, I struggled with being intentional about friendships.

After last weekend, I decided: No more. No more playing the “I’m a tired/busy mom” card. No more neglecting the amazing friendships staring me in the face because they’re just so much work. No more excuses. No more.

Is it going to be easy? Maybe not. Is it going to be worth it? Absolutely.

Jesus wants us to live in community. After all, he spent a good deal of time with his twelve best buds. It seems to have served Him quite well.

Take some time this week to do the following exercise:

First, write down the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Second, write down the 5 people you want to spend the most time with.

Third, set a plan into action that will help you grow your relationships with those people.

It may seem like a lot of work and time that you don’t have to invest. I get that. But if you make this a priority, you’ll be amazed at the way your world changes.

Are you spending time with people who are lifting you up? Are you intentional about being around positive people who have your best interests at heart? What can you do to deepen those relationships?

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