Narrators voice: She was fooling herself; it did not get better.
Life is overwhelming
I had a realization at some point during the pandemic as we returned to our slightly pre covid activities that this was my life. I have three kids and inevitably someone has an appointment, needs driven to an activity, and someone always needs new shoes or pants. Oh and on the bottom of the list, although just as important, are any appointments I might need for myself. Not to mention, the mental load of motherhood can be overwhelming.
It’s inevitable I am always going to have something. So, then I found myself asking, “How do I make sure despite anything that might be going on, I find inner peace/calm?”
Because living in chaos on the outside AND inside isn’t sustainable.
While we try to not overdo it with extracurriculars and take inventory before adding anything new, with a 5-person household, inevitably there is always something, always.
Since making that realization, something shifted. Maybe it was acceptance? Maybe it was finding the clarity that no matter what is going on around me, I can and need to find a way to stay grounded inside? Whatever it is, I’ve been better at going with the flow, taking one day at a time, and staying (mostly) grounded. I’ve found a few ways for finding calm.
1. Take one day at a time
I make a list, always keep my calendar and planner with me, write things down, double and triple check what’s on my agenda for the day/week but then… I go by each day, one thing at a time. That’s all I focus on, and I try not to think too far ahead.
2. Identify your anchors
What grounds you, anchors you? Imagine the last time you felt good in all aspects (mentally, physically, emotionally) and find specific things you do. Is it working out? Is it journaling or taking a bath? List 5-7 “anchors” and try to incorporate them into your routines. You can take inventory on what is missing periodically and become aware of what you need to do to get your anchors back in place.
3. Go to therapy
I may be a little biased here, but I truly believe everyone benefits from seeing a therapist! Therapy can be a consistent spot on your calendar that is just for you. It is a space where you can process, recenter, and go back in the world while keeping your “stuff” safe with an unbiased, nonjudgmental person.
4. Find the humor
For me, it’s a little like if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry. So, I laugh often. Because sometimes that is all we can do. When a cup of milk spills right before we leave the house, or someone can’t find their instrument, laptop, or shoes, AND my husband and I are arguing about some mundane task – sometimes all I can do is laugh at our chaotic selves.
5. Embrace routine
It’s probably been said before but routines have so many benefits. It doesn’t mean you have to be rigid but developing set routines that stay consistent helps us when things get a little chaotic. Again, they can still be flexible, but the overall routine can stay the same to help create consistency and a sense of comfort.
6. It’s just temporary!
Remind yourself that whatever is going on (soccer season, appointments, etc) it’s (mostly) temporary- even though as I mentioned before, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m most likely always going to have something going on… each thing is really only temporary, and I can truly get through it and it WILL be ok.
7. Can/Can’t Control
Make a list of what you can/can’t control. When we identify the things we can/can’t control, it helps us let go of the things we can’t and make room to focus on the things that we CAN control.
I hope these tips for finding calm help. I know I’m not the only one who is managing households and juggling lots of plates in the air. While it’s always a work in progress, I am trying to find ways center and ground myself so I can focus on what’s really important. You deserve to do the same!