How to Remain Calm In Seasons of Chaos
We all go through seasons in life when things feel particularly chaotic at home and at work. A change in career, the addition of a new family member, or a big move for example, can leave us feeling as if our whole world has been turned upside down and our routine thrown out the window. Feelings of not having enough time in the day and of not being good enough are the thoughts that wash over us, as we just try to make it through each day.
While there are some things that we can't control in this world, there is a lot that we can. We have the power and the capacity to choose who and what we surround ourselves with; what we meditate on; and our attitude in any given situation. What peace there is in that! Not only that but there are several tips such as the ones below that empower us to remain calm during seasons of chaos. Remember that just as in nature, the storms in life don't last forever. Eventually the wind slows down, the waves subsided, and the light shines through.
Rise early and set your intention for the day.
One of the keys to remaining calm during a chaotic season is to rise early and set your intention for the day ahead. For some this looks like prayer and meditation, while for others its reading and journaling. Some enjoy going for a run or practicing yoga. Whatever your practice is, wake up at the same time every morning and do it. We can't control how the rest of our day is going to go but we can control our attitude which we set every morning by taking the time to reflect and breathe.
Eat a nourishing breakfast.
It can be tempting to start our day by hitting snooze, grabbing a coffee and bagel, and heading out the door however when we begin our day in a rush the rest of our day will likewise feel rushed and scattered. That coffee and bagel may look like a time saver but its going to cost us later on when our blood sugar wavers and our energy drops. Instead of looking for short-term solutions, take a few minutes to enjoy a nourishing breakfast - something high in protein that will sustain you throughout your day.
Look at each person that you come into contact with and ask yourself: how can I serve them? How can I show this person love?
During a season of great anxiety for me it was a challenge just to get through the work day; particularly ones where I was interacting with a lot of people. Instead of letting the waves of nerves roll over and crush me I took the focus off of myself and put it onto others. Instead of thinking about how I felt and how I didn't want to be there or talking to anyone, I asked myself: how can I serve this person today? How can I be love to them? Friends this was a game changer! The switch in focus immediately improved my mood, gave me energy to get through the moment, and confidence to get through the rest of the day.
It's all about that to-do list.
One of the biggest pieces of advice that I give to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed is to take some deep breaths and create a to-do list. Collect all of your post-it notes, phone memos, and reminders swirling around in your head and write them down on paper. There is something powerful and freeing in creating such a list. Sure it may look overwhelming at first but its all there. Now you can sort and delegate accordingly; transferring tasks and dates to your planner.
By taking the time (30 min - 2 hours) every Sunday to prep your snacks and meals for the week to come you are: cutting down on your time in the kitchen after a long day of work, making it more likely that you'll eat your food, and saving money because you know how much food you'll need to get you through the week. It's all about the meal prep.
Do an end of the day clean-up.
We did as kids, what makes us think we don't need to do it as adults? At the end of each day (perhaps after dinner) take 10 - 30 minutes to go around your home and do a brief clean-up. Put things back in their place, throw away the junk mail, put the dishes in the dishwasher, wipe things down, etc. When our homes and offices become too cluttered we have a hard time focusing due to all of the "noise".
Whether your in a chaotic season of your life or not, setting boundaries is an important step we can all take to protect our time and energy. One of the ways that I set boundaries for myself is when it comes to social media and electronics. I try to stick to the 8-to-8 rule where from 8:00 PM at night to 8:00 AM in the morning my phone is on air-plane mode, I stay off of social media, and I limit my T.V. exposure.
At the day it can be tempting to jump on the couch and start scrolling. Before we know it it's been two hours. Instead of being online in the evening start preparing your body for bed by taking a nice shower, reading a book or talking with your partner. I guarantee you that you'll have a much better night's sleep! Use the time in the morning before 8:00 AM to set your intention for the day, get dressed, and eat a nourishing breakfast!
Photography: Andi & Zoe Photography | Styling: Anna Eskridge