How to Live Calmer Right Now
The holidays are a beautiful time, but they can also come with stress. Add decorating, entertaining, gift shopping and endless parties to your already stressful and busy schedule and it can be a recipe for burnout.
There are three quick and easy ways, however, to regain at least some of your sanity during the holidays and beyond. Implement these now, before the holidays, and carry the practices right through into the new year.
Three Daily Habits for Calmer Days
1. Create and use a calm corner.
A calm corner is a quiet spot in your home where you can go to get away from the noise and commotion and just sit still. It could be a comfy chair by the window, a space in a spare room, or even a pillow on the floor in your closet if that’s the only space you can find where you won’t be disturbed. Make sure to make it comfortable and warm - have a pillow and throw to wrap up in. Have some lighting there so you can journal or read if you’d like. DO NOT bring any screens into your calm corner.
Then, use it daily to gain stillness and perspective. Take 10 minutes daily in your calm corner to get out of your head and your to-do list and find some peace.
Journal about your coming day or to get the stress of the day out of your head.
Read the Bible or a spiritual book of your choice.
List 3 things you’re grateful for (something different each day).
Repeat a positive mantra.
2. Declutter your counters and keep them that way.
The state of your home is the state of your mind. If you have visible clutter that your eyes are taking in every day, it’ll mess with your sanity, even on a subconscious level. It reminds you of all the “to-dos” and “I shoulds” that haven’t gotten to yet.
Getting the clutter in your whole home under control can take a while, and it often means changing your mindset over time. But what you can do RIGHT NOW to live more calmly is to clear clutter just from your countertops. So take 30 minutes today to clear everything off your kitchen counters:
Remove anything that doesn’t belong (ie. keys, phones, papers, bills, etc) and find a new home for them. Even if that means a box for papers that you’ll go through later, do it and get them off the counters.
Find a home inside cupboards for small appliances but keep them close to where you take them out and plug them in on the counter). You might opt to keep one or two small appliances on the counter where they are easily reachable (ex. your coffee maker and the fixins’) but many could be put away out of sight so that your kitchen is a visibly calmer area.
You may want to keep out on display a cutting board or two leaned up against the backsplash, or a pretty container for storing snacks, or perhaps a potted herb or a bowl of fruit. Just remember to keep most of your counter space clear for working on - and for a calmer look.
3. Get better sleep.
Getting enough sleep reduces blood pressure, improves mood and alleviates stress. All of which lead to calmer days. So set up your environment and your evening routine so you can get more and better zzz’s.
Do not keep your phone in your bedroom. Create a charging station in the house away from your bedroom so that noise, blue light and EMF’s don’t disrupt your sleep.
Reduce light and noise in your bedroom by hanging blackout curtains that help to darken the room and drown out street noise. Close your door if possible, and get earplugs if you have a snoring mate.
Keep the temperature at a cool 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit, or 15-20 degrees Celsius, as recommended for optimal sleep.
Invest in quality sheets, blankets, duvet and pillows that are made from 100% organic material like cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, wool, goosedown or buckwheat. Natural fibres and comfy bedding that’s soft to the touch will help you physically relax. A good mattress helps too, of course, if you can afford it!
Appeal to your senses by using essential oils in a diffuser in the bedroom. Turn it on earlier in the evening for a relaxed atmosphere when you hit the sheets. Lavender is known to decrease heart rate and lower blood pressure, and jasmine, vanilla, and sandalwood are also good for relaxation and sleep.
Start winding down early. Put an hour-long bedtime routine in place by turning off your screens an hour before lights go out. Use this time to meditate or journal (in your calm corner!). Do a little light stretching. Put on some soft music. Have a bath or create a beauty/skin care routine. Then get to bed at the same time every night - a time that allows you to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.