Without a doubt, the world is a crazy place. Even taking politics and social unrest out of the equation, our lives can sometimes feel like they’re out of control and we’re simply hanging on by our fingertips. We’ve all felt like we’re being tossed about in a turbulent sea, but there are also times when we can find serenity in the chaos.
The thing is, we can’t wait for those quiet moments to find us, we have to find them. Or at the very least, create them for ourselves. With this in mind, I thought I’d share some of the things I do to find some peace of mind.
It doesn’t matter if it’s world, national, or local, I avoid reading anything related to politics for a few days. While I do think it’s important to know what’s going on, especially with issues that affect me directly, I find that limiting my input helps to lower my stress level.
Unfortunately, it feels like everything has become political lately, so it can be difficult to avoid. But still, try turning off the news for three or four days. Not only will it give your mind a break, but I find it also helps when revisiting issues. Stepping away from it all for a bit helps me to see things more clearly.
It’s so easy to get into a comfortable routine and simply coast through your days. The problem is that we get so comfortable that we can’t see the rut we’re getting into. It happens to me and I’ve seen it happen with others. Routines can be good because they keep us consistent. They can also be bad because they can dig us into a rut.
When I find myself getting bogged down by my routine, I make a conscious effort to change it. I start small. For example, if I’m having the same thing for breakfast every day because it’s quick and easy, then I’ll make an effort to eat something else, something that takes a little more thought. Instead of instant oatmeal, I’ll make some eggs or a smoothie.
Same thing with mindlessly scrolling through a website or three. If I catch myself doing that, then I’ll purposely set my tablet aside and pick up a book to read. It’s not always easy, some changes take effort, but in the end, it’s worth it.
One of the many things I’ve learned over the past two years is that it’s easy to get comfortable in a familiar environment. Staying home all the time wasn’t a difficult transition for me. I have my partner, my dogs, internet access, streaming services, a stack of vinyl records, and a stack of unread books. What more do I need?
The problem is, at least for me, I’m not getting any stimulus from the outside. Limited interaction with people, living in a bubble, dulls my creativity. As a writer, I need to talk to people, to hear their stories, the way they talk, watch their body language. Sure, I can watch shows on Netflix or Hulu and see people talking and moving, but it’s not the same as face-to-face communication.
Plus, after a while, everything becomes too familiar. That’s why my partner and I have started taking nature walks. We strap on our hiking boots and go to local nature preserves, parks, state and national forests in the area. Getting outside, seeing new things, hearing new sounds, breathing fresh air and catching new scents, energizes my creativity. I actually get an endorphin buzz just walking deer trails in the woods.
Talk to Someone
Sometimes, things can become difficult to manage. It’s not because there’s something wrong with you, life is a rollercoaster full of hills and valleys. But when things get to where they feel overwhelming, one of the best things you can do is talk to someone.
It can be a family member, a close friend, or a professional. There’s no shame in admitting you need help. Getting an outside opinion can help you see issues from another angle, maybe even help you find solutions to things that are weighing you down.
Trust me, it helps to vent and get things off your chest and off your mind. We can get so wrapped up in our own inner world that we lose perspective. Having someone listen to you, maybe offer you advice or opinions, can break you out of that routine and help calm your chaotic mind.
These are some of the things I do to find calmness, to break out of ruts, to add some serenity to my life. Of course, I’m always interested in what other people do to find peace of mind. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Feel free to share in the comments or send me a message through the contact form.