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All too often our lives become what we get caught up in on a daily basis. Going through the motions to get through the day with no true direction but our responsibilities. At the end of the day we sit and ask ourselves “What did I get done today?” and yet we are completely exhausted. So my goal in this post today, is to give you some simple actionable steps to give you some much-needed control over the chaos that you face every day. I will touch base on physical, mental, spiritual, financial, and general organization of crazy schedules.
I am still trying to make this an area of priority, especially with health issues, but I am making progress thanks to a few simple steps. If you take medications on a daily basis, an alarm on your phone can help as a reminder. I also keep a medication sorter for my morning and evening medications so that if the day is a bit crazy at least I know which ones I have taken.
The time it takes to get to a gym and get home from a gym would surpass my workout time, so what I have done is I spend a total of 20 minutes 5 days per week with a little strength training. I also walk a mile every day. I am hoping to increase that as time goes on, but a mile is working for me now, and doesn’t take up much of my day. The physical will also tie into the mental and the general organization sections to follow, so please read on.
It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home parent, working parent, or what you do during your days, we all deal with stress on a daily basis. Spending your 15 minutes of walking time each day just talking it out, focus on your breathing. Once in a while you can solve some of your biggest problems by just clearing your head of everything else and taking in some fresh air.
For bigger stressors be sure to have someone you can talk to. A friend, family member, or co-worker: so long as it is someone you can work through your problems with. Sometimes a therapist is the best option because they have a non bias outside perspective that most people close to you don’t. One thing I try to do usually mid day is just take 10 minutes to try to meditate. I try to clear my mind of EVERYTHING and just breathe.
I also wake up before everyone else in my house does, so that I can have an uninterrupted cup of coffee, and set my agenda for the day. Making a list of those things I need to accomplish and get a general idea of how long things will take so that I can work these “self care” actions within my day. After all if you don’t make time to care for yourself: who will?
There is a difference between religion and spirituality. For me it is important to recognize that life is a blessing, and much of what we have today are things that at one point we prayed for. There are many people out there without the daily conveniences that we have. No matter what we are struggling with, we are not alone, and prayer is powerful. I admit I don’t spend as much time in church as I should, but I can also admit that I spend more than an hour per week praying and recognizing how blessed I am in spite of whatever trial I am experiencing. A good time to do this is on my commute to work or home from work, or again during my daily walk.
Many of us have more bills at the end of our money. It is a struggle to stay on top of what needs to be paid, especially if you run a business or you have children in school, because things always pop up. One thing that will help you out the most is a budget. You need to tell your money where it needs to go each month, or it will tell you. Once a month, or even once a quarter: work out your planned monthly expenses and compare them to what your planned income is, you’ll have a general idea of what you need to cut or what you need to make in addition to your regular income.
If you are interested in cutting your grocery budget which is one of our largest monthly bills, please see my article: https://simplifyandsavor.com/how-i-fed-my-family-of-4-on-350-last-month-including-pet-food-and-toiletries/.
Different financial gurus have different ideas pertaining money. One thing I think all of these financial gurus talk about is the importance of having an emergency fund in place. Some feel you should have 6 months saved. I admit I am certainly not there, but as long as you are working towards setting money aside for emergencies you can have that as an end goal: because we all know emergencies do happen.
Lastly, to help calm the chaos, I do recommend having a command center. Some families have very harried schedules with children in multiple groups or playing different sports. So a calendar with all events listed is important, making it more manageable when you are just looking at the current week or even two weeks ahead to plan who is picking up/dropping off etc.
Meal planning is the same way. This also falls within the physical category as you try to adapt to a healthier lifestyle. Planning meals ahead of time gives you control over what you and your family is eating. I have found that planning a month ahead ends up with a bunch of crossing out and switching of days, but a week to 10 days seems to work nicely for our family. Really it is what works for you. Planning in general will go a long way to taming the dinner time trials, and help you gain some added control over what you are putting in your body.
I hope that you have found these tips helpful, and look forward to hearing how you create contentment amidst the chaos!