Finding Peace Amongst Chaos
Feeling like you're always sprinting on the treadmill of life? Trying to keep up with our own expectations and the expectations of others can be really challenging. How can we ever slow down to a calm and collected stroll? It may seem impossible, but it just takes a little practice and patience find peace amongst the chaos of our daily lives.
Did you know, that according to the American Psychological Association, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high stress in the past month and they also reported that their stress has increased over the past year. It doesn't take a research study to convince us. Most people recognize that American society is stressed out where many feel the expectation to always be running on a hamster wheel to ''stay ahead". Add in the fact that life stressors can and will occur at any time and a crisis doesn't really care to check how stressed you already may be or what kind of chaos you are already living in before piling on, and that's a lot of stress to deal with!
Many factors, even what we would define as positive factors, can increase our stress levels. The time of year, holidays, big life changes like getting married or having a baby, moving and changing jobs are but a few examples. Consider if more than one of those things happens within a small time frame? You got it. Stress and chaos.
So, how do we achieve finding some balance and feeling some peace among all this chaos? Let's talk life hacks:
- Prioritize what REALLY needs to get done
...as opposed to what you want or think needs to get done in that moment. Take a moment before attacking a big task and break it down into smaller tasks and then put these in a priority list before starting on it. Then, knock each item off your list and celebrate each one!
- Take Breaks.
Mentally you need to take a break between tasks. You will perform better and it will take less time to do each task in the long run. Sitting for long periods is harmful to your health, so get up and walk around for a minute before moving on to the next task.
Seems like common sense, yet you may find yourself going through your day and actually be subconsciously holding your breath or breathing too shallow. Set an alert on your phone to remind yourself to close your eyes and breathe for a few seconds or better yet, a few minutes.
- Ask For Help.
Communicate to your partner, friends, family or co-workers. Asking for help could alleviate your chaos and you might be surprised how willing others are to jump at the opportunity to help you.
- Don't multi-task.
While we all like to think we can accomplish many things at once and "save" ourselves time, according to Forbes magazine, multi-tasking does not lead to more productivity and can actually make you less efficient. Do one thing at a time and pace yourself.
- Be Present in the here and now.
Remind yourself you can only be in one place at one time and that there are only so many hours in the day. Be realistic about the time you have versus the tasks you want to complete.
- Put Down That Smartphone.
Schedule finite amounts of time to check emails and messages and avoid getting sucked into social media.
- Stick to a Schedule.
Wake and sleep times, meal times, break times and any other way you can structure your day will help you stay on task and rest your brain and body along the way.
Remind yourself of this above list as much as you need to in order for you to put it into practice. You got this! Now let's make some peace amongst the chaos.
Meghan Reitz, LCPC, NCC, has worked within the counseling profession for over 17 years. Her therapist experience includes providing individual, couples, family, group, and crisis counseling. She also speaks with companies and groups on mental health and wellness topics. Learn more about Meghan here.