How to Regain Peace of Mind When All Around You is Chaos

ashley green

You’ve been up half the night with a fractious infant. You come down to chaos.

You’re tired, drained, empty.

But your infant is full of beans, full of life — you plonk a bowl of cereal in front of him (simply to keep him quiet).

Next thing the bowl is upside down on his head and milk is all over the floor. You scrabble around for a floor cloth — why has it vanished?

Then your older child tumbles downstairs, “Where are my socks?” he yells at full blast. “and “I’ve got gym today — have you seen my kit?”

Meanwhile:

You are trying to keep your smart(ish) work clothes reasonably clean,

Stop the older little treasure from making milky footprints over the floor .

The phone rings.

The milkman calls for his money — and to top it all — it’s pouring cats and dogs.

And the baby is bawling.

Have you ever had days like that?

But they are hardly ever as bad as they seem — and they do pass. But with a little preparation, you can make them less common. And you can regain control more when disaster strikes.

Accepting Reality Can be Difficult

Accept reality- it can be difficult, but reality won’t go away.

An example is how you deal with traffic jam. Imagine, you are on your way to school — somewhat on the late side. You end up behind a long string of cars — you aren’t going anywhere. What can you do?

You can fume and bang your steering wheel, grumble and grouch. Your child will be scared and probably start to cry. You imagine all the worst things that can happen. He will be late again, the teacher will report you to the school attendance officer. You’ll end up late for work and then your boss will have a go at you. And so it goes on…

What if instead you found something good to listen to on the radio or took the opportunity to play some oral games with your child. “I-Spy” is still popular with children even if you find it a bit boring — and it can help their interesting spelling. You are enclosed in this little cocoon and there is nothing you can do about it — except enjoy it.

And your mind will also be working out how to explain the lateness to the teacher. Most likely you will find other mums’ have also been delayed — hey, it might even be on the local news. And you can hold your head up when you meet the boss. he can’t blame you for unforeseeable traffic delays. If he happens to be human, he will understand — and if he’s subhuman he’s not worth respecting!

Control what you can and accept what you can’t

Mental Preparation is Very Effective

Build mental strength before chaos hits you.

Take a little time to get to know yourself. You are an interesting person. It might help to write down when you were stressed out over a week, say. You will almost certainly find that certain things really upset you but not me, whereas many things which might upset me have little impact on you. Knowing our triggers is halfway to solving them.

Then look at ways to make them less stress-full. For example, if toothpaste all over the basin turns you green, teach your older child how to spit properly — you’ll have fun doing this! And then, how do you deal with that spider in the corner of the room? Give him a name and somehow “Humphrey” will seem less threatening, until you can humanely remove it. In the same way, you can label your emotions — giving them funny names can make you at least smile when you recognise them beginning to erupt.

Control Upsetting Thoughts

One of the best techniques takes a little practice — but once you have it, you can use it whenever you need it. Use your wonderful imagination and make a little picture of the stressful scene in your mind. If the thought makes you feel sick, then the image is a powerful one. Note the colours, the lines, thick or thin, the distance from you.

Next, make an image of a pleasant scene and note how the distance, the colours and the lines are different. There are other things you might notice — does it rotate? Is it to your left, right or straight ahead, and does it have a frame?

Then go back to the scene you first imagined and deliberately change it. Use the colour scheme of the pleasant scene, use the placing and style. Have a little fun with it.

You will not be able to practice this in the midst of chaos. If you have the technique handy you can use it when you need it. This technique has a calming effect once you have mastered it.

Speak Nicely to Yourself

Yours is the voice in your ear, the one that is never silent the one that argues with itself — your conscience. But how often is that a nagging, unpleasant sound? Make it soft and dreamy — you can do this. Make it say nice things to you. Congratulate yourself when you succeed in putting chaos into order. And when chaos does ensue, have a calming encouraging saying ready to spring out. Something like, “This will pass and you can deal with it.” But make sure your inner voice is strong and firm. Not too wishy-washy, and never harsh and grating.

Habits and Routines are Life-savers

Clutter is chaos brought to life. I know it takes a little longer to put the keys back on the peg, to hang up your coat and place the shoes in the rack — but it saves time — a tremendous amount of time. And your children can be brought up to have reasonably tidy habits– at least in the public areas of your household. (What they choose to do in their own room is more their own business, unless it becomes a health hazard.

And this is so much easier to do if there is a minimal amount of clutter — how to declutter your house.

And routines let everyone know what should be happening at any one time. Routines in the morning, before most of us are truly awake, will get us out if the door in fairly good order. Nighttime routines will make the mornings so very much easier. Getting up in the morning should be a pleasure.

Habits and routines are the structure necessary to avoid chaos.

Set Your Priorities

It’s very easy to try to do far too much — and the result is chaos as you have set yourself an impossible task.

Use pen and paper to clarify what is important and should be done — either now or later. Everything else is unimportant to you and your family -so bin it — immediately, you will not miss it!

Deal with the immediate things at once. If you can deal with them better later — file them. Set a time and file the necessary paper in the correct compartment of your filing cabinet. (Paper or computer).

Simple Filing System Which Avoids Chaos

For paper files, I use a filing system which has the days of the week and the months of the year. This will let you place everything in the right place. You will be able to retrieve it at the right time and not clutter up your house -or your mind. But don’t forget to look in Tuesday’s file on Tuesday! This becomes a habit — a part of your routine and takes almost no time.

Immediate Steps to Take

But chaos has come. What to do?

· STOP

· Slow down

· Sip water

· And breathe

Then you can think what needs doing NOW and do it. One thing at a time. Multi-tasking is a myth.

Putting it All Into Perspective

How do you decide whether to laugh or cry?

Will crying help? Would a laugh put this into perspective?

Here’s a useful trick to notice what is happening.

Again imagine — if there is another person involved, walk into their shoes, see what you look like to them. Are you, all-powerful parent, are you threatening to their small person? What does your child feel and see and hear?

Then look at the scene as an outsider might see it. Does she see two perfectly sane people, one small and one large, having a conversation — or does she see something rather different? Answer that question.

Finally, pretend you were on the ceiling looking down on the scene. Include that extra person. What do you see? Does it all make sense? What should you do to make it better?

Looking down can make sense of chaos. You can see the pattern, you can see solutions. And then you can go back to being yourself and carry out those solutions.

Look Forward to Being in Control When Everything Around You is Chaos

You’ve been up half the night with a fractious infant. You come down to a tidy kitchen with everything in place.

You’re tired, but you are confident you can cope — one thing at a time.

But your infant is full of beans, full of life — you plonk a bowl of cereal in front of him (just to keep him quiet).

Next thing the bowl is upside down on his head and milk are all over the floor. Luckily the floor cloth is handy, and it only takes a moment to clear up the mess.

Then your older child tumbles downstairs, “Where are my socks?” he yells at full blast. “and “I’ve got gym today — have you seen my kit?”

“Odd socks won’t hurt for today — it’s in fashion! And your gym kit is right here ready for us to load up the car,” you reply smugly.

Meanwhile, you are trying to keep your smart(ish) work clothes reasonably clean, and you have already donned your pretty apron. The phone rings, you happily ignore it. The milkman calls for his money and it’s right there in an envelope ready for him. Pity, it’s pouring cats and dogs, but at least you have an umbrella. And the baby is bawling. You have time to comfort him.

Everything runs fairly smoothly, despite the demands made upon you. You can leave the house in good time for school and work.

Difficult time do occur, but they also do pass. With a little preparation, you made them less common. You know how to deal with chaos if it does happen. You really can be in control when everything around you is chaos

ashley green

Written by

Writer, copywriter, speech writer and teller of stories. Visit my website for your free toddler home safety guide. www.stressreliefforworkingmums.com

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