One might immediately assume that working from home is like taking a walk in the park. Well, that’s exactly what it’s not. Between looking after a baby and finding inspiration for my work, I struggle to find the one thing that’s as important as “balance”… “time … for … myself.”
Constantly our thoughts swing back and forth between work and personal obligations, so that we often forget, or rather neglect, to live life with meaning. Between raising our children and working hard for a promotion, or building a business and managing a household, are we restricting our inner self from the stillness it actually deserves?
So when I was looking for inspiration for my writing, I decided to tackle the topic of “calm in chaos” and I hope this post helps you as much as it did me.
1. Adopt a positive attitude
I know that being optimistic doesn’t come naturally to most of us. I’ve personally failed at this many times, but fortunately it can be acquired through practice. Even if you aren’t able to have a positive attitude towards everything that happens in your daily life, start somewhere and your mind will eventually catch up with you.
If you want me to give you an insight into my day-to-day life (as most parents know), it can be quite stressful looking after a young child who’s completely dependent on you. It’s not always ticklish and laughter. Unless you’re a super mum (which I’m certainly not), you can get a bit frustrated and angry.
To counteract that, instead of the negativity that comes up at the moment, I will be grateful for the gift of my precious little girl. I don’t deny the complaining because it can be overwhelming at times, but I do cherish spending time with her.
Of course, there will be situations where it seems far-fetched to be optimistic, but little things like a late bus or someone criticizing your work are things beyond our control and we shouldn’t let them deter us.
2. Don’t live from one weekend to another
When I was working full-time (before Mary was born), I used to wait impatiently for the weekend to come so I could relax and do something I liked. I just let my days pass by waiting for the weekend.
Now I know that every moment counts and deserves to be enjoyed. Even when we’re doing the most mundane tasks, we should always find a way to make them interesting.
One simple thing I like to do when I tidy my room is light my cinnamon oil burner. The scent helps me to calm down and refresh my mind so that the work isn’t so exhausting.
We always wait on the big things to come through and in the process, we totally oversee the little things.
3. Take long and relaxing showers
Not everyone has a bathtub to throw in some cute bath bombs and jump in with their favorite song playing in the background. Often a quick shower is enough and then it’s off into the morning.
At least a couple of times a week, treat yourself to a long shower while lighting some scented candles in your bathroom. Play a soothing song. Take your favorite body scrub, shower cream, and moisturizer with you in your shower caddy.
I usually do a pedicure at home right after showering by soaking my feet in hot water with Epsom salts. (Be creative and add some petals if you like) After I cut or polish my nails, I apply a coat of nail polish that I like (usually a nude shade).
4. Wind down before bedtime
We spend so much time on the road, commuting to and from work or running errands around the house. So it stands to reason that at the end of the day we’d like to retire to bed with our laptop or phone and just fall asleep – exhausted. Although we think we’re relaxing, we’re doing just the opposite. What if we resisted the temptation to hop into bed as soon as we get home or finish our housework? Maybe we can find a cozy spot in the house where we can just relax. If you don’t have a place, you can create one with little effort.
Never underestimate the power of a warm bath, a cup of tea, and a good book. Create your own recipe for relaxation.
5. Invest in personal relationships
We often seem to mistakenly believe that the best thing we can give our loved ones happens to be anything that’s of materialistic value. I think for a relationship to thrive, we need to give them our time first and foremost. Be it in marriage, in the family, or even in a friendship. If we don’t do that, it’ll only lead to meaningless and tiring relationships.
Therefore, it’s always better not to wait for holidays and birthdays to spend time with your loved ones or tell them how you really feel. Healthy personal relationships can give us emotional stability and peace of mind.
6. Take it one day at a time
Always live in the ‘here and now. I find no fault in being excited about something that will happen in the future or thinking of a mistake that happened in the past, but to be fruitful they should be considered in relation to the present. Unnecessarily looking into the future or dwelling on the past can be a cause for concern. When I wake up, I like to think about what needs my attention that day. Honestly, I have not done that lately, but it used to make a big difference.
7. Make your bedroom a sanctuary
Now that we have taken a few hours to relax and spend time with our loved ones, let us try to get a good night’s sleep. So when I say make your bedroom a sanctuary, I do not mean break the bank trying to achieve that.
Sleep needs to be a priority, no matter how busy you are. If you have a hectic schedule and can not get a full 8 hours of sleep every day, at least try to get 6 hours of quality sleep. I personally struggle with this. I spend more time with the baby during the day, and now that she is 8 months old, she does not take long naps during the day. When she finally does sleep at night, I try to do some more writing or research. I often lie awake until one or two in the morning because there’s nothing like the quiet of the night for me to really focus.
I end up sleeping only about four or five hours, which is not very healthy.
At the end of each day, think about things like the rays of the morning sun, the coolness of a rainy day, the smell of your morning coffee, and the smiles of your loved ones, and remind yourself to find happiness in the little things.