I’m reading a new book at the moment – it’s called Too Much Information and it’s a comedy take on the crazy amount of information we’re exposed to these days. Given that often feel like my brain has too many tabs open, that my to-do list is never ending and that my Dr Google habit sometimes gets a bit out of control – ‘too much information’ is definitely one way to describe how I feel sometimes.
One of my intentions for this year is to slow down. Slowing down and creating space in my day to day life has been something I’m consciously working on so I thought I’d share a few of the things that have helped me find my calm.
Having boundaries in place that support my mental health have been essential to me gaining more calm. It’s taken years but I feel like I know myself well enough now that I can see when I need to say no to certain things and yes to others, when I need to remind myself of my values and live more in line with them.
Boundaries can sometimes be a bit of an abstract concept but they are in my ways about the structure you have in place that enables you to live by your values. If I value my own wellbeing for example, then I should have a boundary in place that stops me from drinking too much alcohol. If I value my family time, then I should have a boundary that stops me from working on a weekend.
I believe that when we aren’t living in line with our values that actually creates a lot of stress in our mind and body, so thinking about the boundaries you need to have in place to make living in line with your values easier is a good place to start.
I guess this is a fairly obvious one but spending time outside in nature is a great way to feel more calm. For me this is looking like doing more walking (and not being judgy about it as a form of exercise because it’s not ridiculously sweat inducing) and spending time in my garden and making the garden a nicer place to spend time, by planting up some flowers and getting better seating in place.
Simple repetitive activities
Over half term holidays I decorated Finley’s room and cleaned up the garden and as a surprise to myself I really really enjoyed those tasks! I actually felt really calm and content while doing things like painting or tidying up the garden – almost like mindfulness. So now I’m seeking out those simple mindful repetitive activities – with bonus points if they have some kind of creative outcome – as a way to support my calm.
Mornings are my favourite time of the day – but not when they feel rushed or stressful which they often can when you have a 4 year old you need to get to nursery! I used to find that starting the day rushed would lead to the whole day feeling a bit off, so now I’ve changed up our routines to that we have a little more time in the mornings. This has made such a difference to how calm the whole family feels and has a positive knock on impact on the rest of the day for us all.
Not over scheduling my days
One way to instantly stress me out is by having too many things squashed into each day. When I have loads of meetings or appointments to manage that’s one way to totally crush my calm! Now I try and keep the number of meetings I have each day to a manageable number and I try not to say yes to too many activities on a weekend either.
Obviously other things like meditation and yoga can help too – but I have to admit I’m not as good as sticking to meditation as I could be!
I’d love to know, what helps you stay calm in your day to day life?