It’s Monday morning and I have a rare day off; one of those treasured days you book off with a smile on your face knowing that it means a three day weekend. But I’ve woken up feeling anxious about all the things I need to do, all the things I didn’t do at the weekend and the fact I really need to go for a run. But I don’t want to do any of those things. I want to light a candle, drink tea and laze in my pyjamas doing crochet. Why not do that, you might be thinking? To be fair, I probably will, but I’ll feel guilty with it. Why? Why on a day off would I feel guilty for not doing ‘life admin’ as I fondly refer to it?
It leads me on to the thought that we’re all so wired these days that even down time feels like a thing to tick off our list. These could just be those silly voices in my head, but the more I read and the more I see the more I come to the conclusion that we’re all struggling with the same problem – finding calm in the chaos. I’m pretty sure technology has a lot to answer for here, but it’s also us and the lifestyles we lead.
So this post is for anyone finding it hard to fully relax, finding themselves exhausted by the end of the week, feeling like it’s all go go go and feeling that twinge of guilt when all they want to do is watch the X Factor and eat ice cream.
These are my tips for finding calm in the chaos:
- Write it down. I write things down a lot and by writing it down there is a feeling about it becoming the paper’s piece of problem, not mine. I have a planner now and I will write those household tasks I need to do on a post-it note and stick it in next week’s page. Sometimes I feel anxious that I’ll forget to remember to do that thing at a later day, so this helps me.
- Think of someone you know who is pretty laid back. The danger with this one is comparison, but when I’m feeling like I have a million things to do I think of my boyfriend and how I’d never see him stress out that he didn’t cut the grass last week like he was supposed to. He would also be the first person to tell me I was being silly if I was stressed about my to-do list.
- Remember it’s just a day. It’s OK to have a day or a couple of days where you don’t want to do anything. In the grand scheme of things it’s nothing and sometimes you have to listen to your body and mind. At the weekend we got back from Winchester and I felt so overwhelmingly tired, oddly so, so I made a cup of tea, read a bit of a magazine and let myself nap. I felt a million times better for it and knew it was just what I needed; no point in fighting it.
- Be realistic about how much you can do. At the weekend I wrote a list and, looking back, it was completely unachievable. It was literally all the things I needed to do ever, all squeezed into a weekend. A weekend is a gap between the busy, yet I was ramming it with tasks. In my planner I have a checklist with 3-4 things a day; that’s it. No more. If the tasks fill up, it goes into next week. That’s really helped me keep perspective on how much I can realistically do in my free time.
- Treat yourself. Sometimes I think of housework as having a ‘power hour’ of busy, in which I’ll then reward myself afterwards with crafting or tea or an episode of The Good Wife. The act of having a treat feels good, but to then have it in a tidy house feels even better.
- The final one – which is definitely a work in progress – is switching off technology. I am so bad at this but I know 100% that if I turned my phone off or put it in another room I’d a) get a lot more done and b) feel better. Any ideas on achieving this would be much appreciated.
What works for you in finding calm? We all have our unique small victories so pop your comments below; I’m sure we could all help each other.
Photo credit: DTTSP