12 March 2015

Five Things You Can Do Right Now to Create More Calm


Wish you knew a few easy tips to tone down the crazy at your place?

Eva Van Strijp knows a thing or two about how mad life can get - she's a mother of five, business owner and creator of Simple Life, Peaceful Home. Here she shares her top tips to create more calm in your home......

Oh that elusive calm! It’s there… and then it’s not! So quickly. So silently. It disappears. Where did it GO?!

Oh that’s right.

It landed on the floor with the spilt milk. 
It tripped over the toys that were left in the doorway.
It got left in the fridge, along with all of the dinner ideas that we couldn’t decide on.
It went in the washing machine with all of the wet bed sheets.

As mothers, when we look back on a good-day-turned-bad, we can usually pinpoint the exact moment at which things turned.

Sometimes change hits the moment we’re woken. Such blissful peace and then WHAM! Time to get up. Change a nappy, break up a fight, make toast, clean up mess. Calm dissipates instantly.

Other times, we wake happily, shower, change, eat breakfast, get through some – perhaps even MOST – of the day before change hits.

But we can usually name the moment - that precise instant in which the change occurs. It’s as if someone flips a switch.

As a mother of five, I’ve pinpointed four key areas that precipitate the change in my life. I hope this list helps you work out what the main “flip switchers” are in your life.

1. Clutter

I often used to find myself flipping out at having to pick a certain item up off the floor for the fifth time in a day. Now, I ask once for the item to be picked up. If it isn’t removed by the owner, the next time I walk past it, I pick it up and put it in a box.

The owner then has to do a chore to get it back. Often though, they don’t even notice the item has gone missing. If it sits in the box for a couple of weeks unnoticed, we move it along to a person in need.

As mothers, we spend a LOT of our time picking up or cleaning up stuff. Some of that can’t be helped, but some of it can. If you find yourself constantly picking up, cleaning up or fixing up items that your family doesn’t need, consider donating those items to a local op shop.

Remember: Everything you own - every single item in your home – requires something from you. Be it cleaning, maintenance, organising, repair or replacement. So it’s best to get rid of what you don’t actually need or use.

2. Overwhelm

Feeling overwhelmed? Crazy busy? Constantly running late or running out of time? Open your diary, find something that’s in there for next week that you really don’t want to be in there and cross it out. Don’t do it. Don’t go.

I used to get that “ugh” feeling about a certain extra-curricula activity that we had signed up for. The kids didn’t enjoy it and I sat there wondering why on earth I wasted my time with it. Now, I just don’t do it. It frees up time for things that we actually love to do and frees up headspace that previously was used worrying about the impending activity.

Note: This has to be something you can eliminate. As much as you don’t want to get a Pap smear, it’s probably not something you can get rid of so make sure that the thing you choose to remove from your diary is actually something that you can justify eliminating!

3. Advertising

You hop in the car for the school run and switch on the radio. Advertising.
So you switch it off and then pull up at the lights behind a bus. Advertising.
You go into the store and purchase what you need and they try and shove a catalogue into your hand. More advertising.
You go home and flick the tv on. Advertising.
You turn it off and scroll your Facebook feed. Advertising.
You decide to water the plants and check your mail and find… advertising.

It’s pervasive.

Everywhere you go there is something to tell you that you’ll look better, feel better, smell better, work faster, think smarter, be happier… if you just purchase x or y or z.

Advertising makes us want what we don’t have. And that really isn’t helpful when we’re trying to reclaim some calm in our lives.

It can be almost impossible to reject all forms of advertising, but we can reduce it to a degree.

Some ideas to reduce the advertising that comes into our lives:

• Toss your junk mail in the recycling bin before you come back inside. Don’t even open it.
• Mute or turn off the television during ads.
• Listen to music or podcasts or storybooks in the car.

“Forget sale price. Everything is 100% off when you don’t buy it.”
- Joshua Fields Millburn

4. Disorganisation

I’ve noticed a distinct pattern in my motherhood. The times during which I had a plan, a routine, a system, were the times that I was most calm. Even if I skirted away from the plan from time to time, it was still there and something that could draw me back when I got off track.

If you’re not much of an organiser, definitely don’t try and organise every facet of your home this week! Just pick one thing – let’s say, meal planning – and implement that. Give it a good solid go for a couple of months before trying to implement another system.

Even with just this one seemingly small change, you’ll notice a huge impact on your evening. You’ll notice more calm, less chaos. You’ll eat better and eat greater variety. You’ll create a more peaceful experience for what is frequently a crazy time of day for most families.

Once you have the meal plan down pat, try a system for cleaning, morning and evening routines, kid’s chores, work, schedules, self-care and purchases.

{If you feel you need some motivation and support with this process, Eva guides you through all of these systems and more in Simple Life, Peaceful Home.}

Next time you go from calm to chaos, take note of the moment of change. It’s important to name and shame that moment so you can do something to prevent it happening.

Eva Van Strijp is a mother of five, business owner and creator of Simple Life, Peaceful Home – the 8 week strategy guiding busy mothers through the process of creating and maintaining a simple, peaceful family home.

When Eva isn’t hanging out with her family or running a business, she’s eating chocolate, listening to podcasts or tending her veggie patch.


CATEGORY: peaceful parenting, simple life, overwhelm, organisation | POSTED BY: |