I’ve met a new group of people recently and one thing they seem to struggle with is finding their zen. I am sure part of the contributing factor to their hectic lives is having children, but at the same time they have voiced that it is greatly rewarding. A couple of them have started reading a book called 52 Ways to Simplify Your Life. FIFTY-TWO ways! That sounds like a lot of work.
They are not the only people that feel like they never have a moment to breathe. I have other friends that are always on the go. Some people thrive on always being busy, and if you can manage it, awesome. But like me, when you have actually had the opportunity to slow it down, outlooks change and it’s difficult to freely surrender serenity.
I know nothing about the physical and emotional tolls associated with raising kids, but here are my ways of keeping life calm:
- Don’t buy stuff just because it’s on sale. It’s not really a deal if you don’t need it.
- Redefine what clean should realistically be for your house. I used to vacuum and clean the damn house weekly, and it made me miserable to spend my weekends doing this (I was working FT). I am now able to accept messy because real life for us means we do not live in a show room.
- Sleep. It’s wonderful not to have to wake up to an alarm clock. This is more challenging if you have a FT job.
- Love, laugh and touch. It’s enriching to have someone or something (pet) in your life that you love unconditionally. Even if you feel like a train wreck, sharing a good laugh or getting that hug from someone you love helps to restore your sense of clarity.
- Do nice things for the people you love, not because you want to be rewarded or expect to be recognized for it, but because you love them.
- Get a haircut. I get haircuts when I feel ready for positive change.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. Constantly over-extending yourself leads to feeling overwhelmed.
- Surround yourself with good people – those that make you feel happy and that inspire you to be a better person.
- Is there something you really want to try? Make time and try it.
One thing I am still working on is learning to only live up to my own expectations, and not to those of others. That’s an important one.