Peaceful Living Tips
Written below are 8 things I do to help create a peaceful environment within my home. If you are seeking to build peace within your home, know that it starts with YOU! I hope you get the opportunity to try incorporating these into your lifestyle and in return, I hope they make your home & life a little more peaceful 🙂
P Prepare for things the night before
E Express gratitude out loud
A Allow refreshing music to relax you
C Calm tone of voice
E Everything should have a home
F Focus on what you’re doing
U Use what you need, remove what you don’t
P – PREPARE FOR THINGS THE NIGHT BEFORE
Preparing for things the night before takes intentionality. If you feel you might lack in this area, take small baby steps. Try to prep things the night before, to help your morning run a little smoother. Think of all of the things you do when you first wake up in the morning. Do you make some coffee? Prep the coffee pot the night before. Do you make everyone breakfast? Try prepping the food ahead of time: make egg muffins, cut up vegetables in advance, make lunches the night before. Is the sink piled with dishes from last night’s meal? Try tag-teaming dish clean-up with your spouse or child, get those dishes cleaned and/or in the dish washer before bed, and wake up to a clean sink before it easily becomes filled again! Not sure what you’re having for dinner tonight or for the rest of the week? Pick a day during the week to plan your meals; grab a notebook, dry erase board, chalkboard, planner, calendar, or my free weekly meal planner printable here: https://candidlycady.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/weekly-meal-planner-updated.pdf; and write out what you’d like to make for dinner each night, go to the grocery store once a week and then buy everything you’ll need for the week. This really helps me stick to a budget, stay productive, make healthier food choices, AND stay on top of things! (Especially during those really busy weeks!!) Whatever it is you find yourself scurrying to do when you wake up in the morning, try doing your best to prep what you can before bed, and upon waking you’ll feel a sense of relief to start your morning on the right foot!
E – EXPRESS GRATITUDE OUT LOUD.
Expressing gratitude is so good, but expressing it OUT LOUD is even better. I promise you. It has become a huge thing for me personally. In my heart, I have always felt thankful for the people and things in my life, but prior to the last year or so, I don’t remember really taking the time to say it out loud. I swear there is such a power in speaking things out loud. It’s almost like you aren’t just talking to yourself anymore. It’s like you’re having a full-fledged conversation with God like he’s right in the room with you. When you wake up in the morning, sometimes the first thing we can think is “omg I wanna go back to sleeeeeeep”, instead I encourage you to try saying outloud (even if it’s just a gentle whisper) “Thank you for today, Lord.” I know that might sound a little cliché, but have you tried it consistently, over a long period of time? I prooomise you it helps our overall mood and helps us to visualize our thoughts a little better! And this is not just something you can do in the morning; it’s something that can be done ALL DAY LONG! Small habits start with small change. Even those around us can benefit from listening to our positive self talk J
A – ALLOW REFRESHING MUSIC TO RELAX YOU
I’ve always been someone who likes “me” time. I’m definitely a morning person nowadays. But I’m still not a huge talker in the mornings. Over the last couple years, I’ve transitioned into listening to music more in the morning. For me, I start most of my mornings with a good, uplifting worship song. Lately, (being the coffee lover that I am) I listen a station on Spotify called Christian Coffeehouse. This station is PERFECT for my mornings. It breathes uplifting, life-giving truths into my heart to start my day, and the songs make me feel like I’m in a nice little cozy coffee shop. It truly motivates me to start my day and gives me that little nudge of energy to get going with my morning routine! If you’ve never been one to listen to music first thing in the morning, try it out! It’s amazing what a little relaxing music can do for our souls.
C – CALM TONE OF VOICE
Not gonna lie, this one can be a bit challenging for me. Sometimes I can be so focused on a particular task that a little interference can surprise me and cause me to speak without thinking. This is something I’m working on. I notice that when I use a calm tone of voice with whomever I’m around, it not only allows the other person to feel at ease, but it gives me more time to process what I’m going to speak before the words come out of my mouth. Nowadays, we can all be in such a rush to get everything and anything done, that we don’t TAKE OUR TIME to speak. I challenge you to be more aware of your tone of voice and your overall demeanor when you’re talking to someone next time. (Especially when that someone is yourself!) A calm attitude starts with a calm voice.
E – EVERYTHING SHOULD HAVE A HOME
THIS ONE IS HUGE FOR ME. I am a FIRM believer that every item in our house should have a home. But what do you mean Cady? What this means is that for every item you have, it should have a specific spot in your home where it will (most likely) always be! For example: Your keys. Have a designated spot in your home for you to place your keys EVERY SINGLE DAY. For us, this is on a key hook, in our mud room, by the garage door. Another example: Your mail. Have a spot in your home that incoming mail should be placed. This can include bills, magazines, newspaper, etc. This will help keep clutter from over taking your kitchen counters. It’s very rare that you will see paper on our kitchen counters here at home. A big old pile of papers stresses me out so having a designated spot for it takes away that stress. So many other items in our house have their own home that I could probably write a book on it, but to list a few more examples, other items in our house that have a home are: various kitchen items, clothes, first aid items, personal care items, household items, etc. The things we use on a daily basis need to have a home. This not only allows you to know where to put things as they come into your home, but it also allows those living in the home with you, to know where those things are as well. When my husband needs wrapping paper, he knows exactly where to go. When he needs a band aid, he knows to go into our master bath linen closet and the top bin on the right is where he will find one. When he’s looking for where to find a lighter, he knows exactly which drawer to go to. This, over time, becomes a habit. Once you have a central location for heavily used items – things begin to become second nature. Maybe your spouse isn’t on the same page as you right away… that’s ok! It has taken Josh many years (and a lot of patience from me) to help him change the habit of just throwing things on the counter. After time, he has learned to appreciate and enjoy the fact of how easy this makes our lives when items have a home. It might take a little effort up front and for anything to become a habit, that takes time, but after getting used to it, it becomes second nature and helps your whole household to run smoother!
F – FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’RE DOING
To start, I want to define what the word FOCUS means. The following definition is straight from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: Focus- a center of activity, attraction, or attention; a point of concentration. Not going to lie, this one is SUPER hard for me. Focus almost requires a constant reminder to ourselves. But I know that when I FOCUS, I am so much more productive! I think so much of our society in our day and age confuses us to believe that when we do more than one thing at a time that we are productive and therefore accomplish more. When in reality I believe this to be backwards. We accomplish more when we are focused on one thing at a time and in return are more productive. Think about yourself. What are things that you do on a daily basis that you try to do something else right along with it? For example, do you make dinner, call your mom, unload the dishwasher and drink coffee all at the same time? I’m exhausted just typing that! But believe it or not, that’s something I just did last week (insert eye roll emoji). We are ALL guilty of multitasking. I am not here to say that multitasking is bad, because it is not at all. But I think there is an appropriate time to multitask. But when we begin to try to do everything under the sun all at once, we can completely exhaust ourselves and in return that will reflect our attitudes and cause unneeded stress on us and our family. Think about the last thing you did. Were you reading a book while also trying to text your husband? Were you cleaning your bathroom while also trying to put away the laundry? Were you going to the bathroom and texting your friend/browsing Facebook? Were you driving to work and on the phone with someone? Were you at a doctor’s in the waiting room and trying to pay a bill online from your phone? There are literally THOUSANDS of examples of ways we can multitask. Again, I am not saying that multitasking is bad, because if you are a mom with 3 young children maybe you NEED to sing the ABC’s with your 3 year old while your breastfeed your baby. Or maybe you NEED to make dinner while helping your 7 year old with homework. But other things like reading your bible, talking with your spouse, watching a movie, grocery shopping, reading a book to your child: THOSE THINGS NEED YOUR CENTERAL ATTENTION AND FOCUS. How can you take in all that God is wanting to share with you if you are thinking about cleaning the dishes during your morning devotion? How can you let your husband know that you care about quality time with him when you are on your phone while you are both supposed to be watching a movie together? Focus was a big word for me this year. I am SO guilty of trying to do it all at once. But I know when I think about all that needs to be done, I am not only letting myself down, but I allow myself to feel defeated when I can’t accomplish all that I set out to. Set realistic goals for yourself and allow you to accomplish them. One at a time. Focus on what you’re doing. Be intentional about it. And stay persistent! You got this!
U – USE WHAT YOU NEED, DECLUTTER WHAT YOU DON’T
Aside from shelter, food, water, Jesus, and love; there is really not much that we NEED. Need is a big word. Do we really need a large walk in pantry? No, but we can work hard to want it and have it. Do we really need 49 different bowls and cups? No. But if you are the Duggar family, maybe you do haha. Take a second to think about what you had for breakfast this morning, yesterday morning, and even last week. I bet that most of you use the same cup, plate, bowl and spoon most days. If you are a family of 4 and over time are noticing that you do not use the other 20 plates in your cabinet, maybe consider donating the ones that aren’t used. Same with your clothes. Do you notice that you wear the same 7 things every week? Try going through your closet and drawers and donate the clothes that no longer fit/or that are in your monthly rotation. I have a rule in our home that I really try to stick to. When a new clothing item comes in, a clothing item goes out. For example, if I buy a new shirt, immediately after hanging the new shirt up, I place an older one in the donate bin. This is so EASY! Keep a basket in your closet/bedroom, and every time you try something on that doesn’t fit or that you don’t’ like anymore, throw it into the donate basket. When the basket is full, take it to the donation center! You can also try this with kitchen items. Does your little one use the same plate every day, or do you and your spouse use the same to-go coffee mugs every day? Consider keeping things simple by getting rid of the excess items that only take up space, and use that one item every day until it gets the full use and can no longer be used any more. For example; my husband and I one 8 set of drinking glasses in our kitchen. Our plan is to use these until they’re all broke and/or no longer make sense to use anymore. Maybe for you, you have 73 purses taking up an entire closet in your home. Consider asking yourself which ones you really NEED, and declutter and donate the rest. If you’re anything like me, I have one to many coffee cups (I have to ask myself, is this a collection or an addiction? I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that I do not need 32 coffee mugs. This is definitely a big one for me and one I’m slowly working on controlling. All in all, I encourage you to take a look at your kitchen cabinets, your closet, your car, your office, etc, and see what you can get rid of. Once you start decluttering, I promise you it’s like a domino effect, you won’t want to stop and you’ll find yourself decluttering more and more. In 2011, researchers at Princeton University found that clutter can actually make it more difficult to focus on a particular task. Specifically, they found that the visual cortex can be overwhelmed by task-irrelevant objects, making it harder to allocate attention and complete tasks efficiently. I know as humans that we all want to be efficient, so instead of making your home and life feel exhausting by allowing all of our “stuff” to bog us down, make your “stuff” work for you!
L – LAUGH
Laughing might be one of the most important parts of peace. If you aren’t laughing, you aren’t living! Life has so much to offer us. Sometimes we can get so consumed about what is on our To-Do lists that we can forget what life is all about. So, to keep things simple and to end on a good note, remember to laugh every single day! Maybe you need to look up a daily joke or watch a funny movie. Whatever it is that makes you laugh, do that thing. Soak in that moment and rally those around you to laugh a bit too. If there is one thing I want you to take away from this, it’s to laugh! So, to end this post, I’ll leave you with a joke in case you haven’t laughed yet today: A Mexican magician tells the audience he will disappear on the count of 3. He says, “uno, dos…” *poof* He disappeared without a tres.
If this post has helped you in any way, please comment below. I would love to know wat you found useful 🙂