Sunday night I think I was already asleep before my head hit the pillow. Such a stark contrast to this time last year when I was struggling with the grief I felt at the loss of my mother and sleep was hard to come by.
The prior six years had been filled with so much stress and anxiety as I watched her suffer and drift away through the stages of Lewy Body Dementia. It was a painful time, and despite having learned many years ago in the power of prayer and meditation, I’m ashamed to admit I tossed most of those cherished practices to the curb as I battled the day to day demands of being her full-time caregiver.
In hindsight, I see how utterly ridiculous that was. During that time of my life, I probably needed prayer and meditation even more than I do right now, but I was angry. Angry at God for allowing this to happen to my mother. Angry at my circumstances. Angry that my mom had to suffer and angry that the joy I once felt at life was being sucked away on a daily basis.
Of course, just rereading this sentence confirms that I SHOULD HAVE been praying and meditating. But we don’t always do what’s best for us when surrounded by chaos. If we did, we would find ourselves in a much different place.
The last year I have struggled with replacing that chaos with calm. It hasn’t been easy, and it has come with a lot of trial and error. But I have found my way back, albeit slowly to my old practices and a few new ones I’d like to share with you.
5 Simple Ways To Create Calm In Your Life
Create Calm In Your Life By Reducing The Noise
Just this morning on my morning walk, my friends and I were discussing alarm clocks. I haven’t owned or used on in over 35 years because I find them to be intolerable. The idea of being awoken from my sleep in such a way that it makes my heart race and fills me with instant anxiety is NOT the way I want to rise and shine. But besides an alarm clock, our lives are filled with all sorts of noise from social media, the news, as well as visual noise like clutter. Truthfully we need none of it. By reducing all of these things you create calm in your life and a quietness that is probably sorely needed.
A Peaceful and Calm Morning Ritual Creates Calm In Your Life
One of the ways to accomplish this is also to have a quiet and peaceful evening routine, but I’m going to focus here on how you start your day. Starting your day on the right foot is essential in helping you to cultivate a calmer life. I like to get up early usually somewhere in the five o’clock hour. From there I’m free to create my day anyway I see fit. On most days it includes prayer and meditation, a nice hot shower, a morning walk with cherished friends, and time to read and journal before I start to work. By the time I sit at my desk and begin work I feel like I’ve taken care of myself.
Why is it that anytime someone doesn’t do what we think they should do, or their response isn’t what we expected we take it as a personal affront? Kids didn’t clean their rooms? They are defiant and disrespectful! Our husband didn’t kiss us goodbye? He must not care for us anymore. Someone acts rudely at work? We wonder how they could treat us that way?! Here’s the reality of it all – none of it is personal. Not one single bit of it. It’s the other person’s issue at play. They’re doing the best they can. So the choice becomes either see everything around you as a personal attack or lighten up, let it go and respond calmly or not at all. The choice is up to you.
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Create Calm In Your Life By Being Grateful
I could have said ‘practice gratitude, ‘ but the reality is we just need to do it – to be grateful. Gratitude is a great concept, ut you can’t reap the benefits of it unless you apply it to the events of the day. Looking for that silver lining when your day at work is less than stellar, you home life is a mess or the important relationships in your life are strained or broken is hard. The fact is, these life circumstances cause us anger, anxiety, unhappiness, and even resentment; so how do we then find gratitude among the discontent? You have to force yourself to push aside those feelings and just be grateful for the good things you do have in your life. Your boss an arrogant fool? At least you have a job. Your kids disrespectful? At least they are still talking to you. Your husband sick? You have countless days together to make the most of his time here with you.
Is it hard? Yes, it can be. But gratitude changes our perspective and calms our life in a way almost nothing else can. Want to start cultivating more gratitude in your life?
Create Calm In Your Life By Decluttering Your Space
Clutter is an energy suck. I grew up in a home that was filled to the brim with things. My mother and father both had a hard time parting with anything. When I cleaned out their home of over 55 years, it took me three solid months.
Clutter contributes to mental chaos and stress, but it’s something we can easily control. Taking the time to rid yourself of the excess stuff in your home will bring a peace and calmness that is currently missing. If you don’t know where to start, I suggest starting with your bedroom. Why? Clearing the clutter from your room allows you to create a peaceful and calm oasis you can go to when you’re overwhelmed with other areas of your home. You can go there and recharge so that you can face the remaining rooms until your home is completely decluttered.
Why not spend the weekend just tackling your bedroom and then see how it makes you feel to have a room that is calm, peaceful, and clutter free. This is one of the best ways to create calm in your life.
The difference a year makes…
It’s been more than a year since my mother’s passing and each month I’ve progressed to recapturing the peace, calm, and contentedness of my former life. I’ve embraced the practice of prayer and meditation again, found joy in my daily walks, have replaced the chaos of my previous life with a calmness I am forever grateful
If you’re struggling with chaos, embracing any or all of these five simple habits will certainly help to replace your particular type of mess with a new sense of calm. Give them a try and let me know how they are working for you.