Divorce may be an unsettling period in your life but don’t let it overwhelm you. Calm is the key!
If you are thinking “How can I be calm with all this change and uncertainty?” – please don’t stop reading! Calm doesn’t mean no emotions or doing less. It does mean keeping life on an even keel and adding some self-care into your daily routine so you can manage the juggle without overwhelm. The results will trickle through your life. Let me explain.
When you are experiencing lots of emotions, trying to reorganise your life and you just generally have busy days filled with lots of activities (kids or not), your body may start to show you signs that it’s not coping. Cortisol levels can be elevated too often, the body stays in a reactive state and it can’t turn off.
The consequence can be bad sleeps, foggy mind, elevated emotions and rash decisions. You also may get sick more easily and feel you can’t manage well on a day to day basis. Your mind and body suffer. If you get stuck in this state it also leads to chronic stress.
Chronic stress and overwhelm can result in your kids and family feeding off this energy also, which leads to further issues and arguments rather than clear communication and solutions.
Over the last few years of some parenting challenges in my life I have learned that “contagious calm” (a concept my husband and I were taught in a parenting course we attended) can have amazing benefits – for the body, mind and family life!
When I learned to take time for myself every day to clear my head and really nourish me, then life just seemed a lot calmer. This calm I have discovered (and am still nurturing) allows me to be less reactive, be clear in my communications and make decisions I don’t regret. I still get things done (it’s not about sitting on the beach all day – I wish!) and I still have busy days, but it’s all so much more manageable when I am feeling calm. The feeling that my life is less chaotic and that I have control over my time, emotions and reactions, has also resulted in a calmer family. People do feed off each other! With a bit of practice, I felt I had a calmer (and happier) home.
Don’t we all want to be calmer and happier?
Here are my 5 tips on things you can do to bring some calm into your day and avoid chronic stress.
People say this all the time but it really does help. In fact, research now shows that slow breathing effects the body at a cellular level and may reduce pain and help depression.
A regular breathing practice will bring the mind and body into balance, help chronic stress and bring a sense of calm. Three slow deep breathes a couple of times a day is a recommended relaxation technique.
2. Take a mindful minute while doing daily choirs.
This is what mindfulness is all about. When you are doing something (even mundane like washing or vacuuming) stay present and focussed on what you are doing. Don’t let thoughts take over or try to do two things at once. Just enjoy the moment and appreciate it for what it is.
The more you practise this, you will take these mini-mindfulness moments almost automatically which gives you some moments of head space in an otherwise busy day.
3. Do something that relaxes you every day.
For some people this may be strenuous exercise, for others it’s being out in nature or finding some space at home that you can be on your own. Do something you love like listening to music, read, sew, paint, write in a journal. Whatever hobby you have that lets your mind focus on just that and nothing else.
4. Nourish your body with good food and exercise.
Make sure you think about you often. Don’t go through the day forgetting to eat, grabbing “bad” food or missing days of exercise because you can’t seem to fit it into your day. Consider how you might feel if you eat one thing over another, remember to keep drinking water and move your body.
All these things will make you feel better and allow the body to find it’s healthy happy place. The body and mind are one, so nurturing it will bring it into a calm equilibrium if you make it a habit.
5. Don’t engage with other people when you can’t talk calmly.
This tip is one I am sure you have heard before but it’s not easy! When things get heated between people nobody is in the right space to have a considered conversation. You all just get worked up and emotions are heightened even further. A friend talked through the “holding space” concept with me hen I was battling a lot with my daughter and this is something I have discovered is a valuable skill to have. (I’m still working on it!)
Step back and give back each other time to consider the discussion and how you want to respond. If you are overwhelmed with emotions you may say or do the wrong thing. Take some deep breathes and return to the conversation when things have settled, and then resolve the issue. I promise that this calm approach will rub off on others and will help you to resolve things with a clearer head. It will also cause less stress in your body.
Talking it out is important and it’s not healthy to bottle things up but have calm conversations and see what happens!
Stress effects every part of our body and it’s through relaxation, nutrition and exercise that you can decreases stress and in turn induce more calm.
I am still working on my calm but I am feeling the effects, so why not give one or all of them a go and share with us on Instagram how they make you feel.
Have you taken the invest in yourself challenge yet? Not only do we talk through health but all the other things you can do to out yourself first and create the life you want.