How to find inner peace when your outer world is stressful

This week’s blog post is all about focusing inwards and creating calm, no matter how un-calm your living and working conditions may feel.

A few months ago, we might have been under the illusion that working from home is a peaceful pyjama fest.  The reality is quite different – the last few months for many people has been about juggling work with family, distractions, and cramped, stressful conditions.

Our homes are meant to be where we retreat to, I’ve mentioned before they are supposed to be our place of sanctuary. They are not really intended to be everything to everybody all of the time.  An office, a school… it’s not ideal, is it?

With the world starting to normalise again, it would be tempting to keep powering through.  But I think it’s important to not gloss over the mental-health cost of what we have all just been through.

The pandemic has been traumatic, and trauma leaves an emotional and physical footprint on all of us.  Many people have felt it in their shallower sleep, lower mood and shorter temper. 

I normally sleep really well but in the early days of lockdown I had quite a few sleepless nights and all the ‘what if’ questions were racing through my mind. Through lack of sleep, my mood was different and as a result, it affected my outlook, not something I am keen to repeat.

So before we all mask-up and rush back to the rat race… let’s just make sure our internal world is healthy, okay?

Here are a few simple things you can do at home – yes, even your busy, noisy, full of family home, to calm your inner world before you go and tackle the outer world again.

#1  Revisit and reassess your boundaries

Think back to a few months ago – you had boundaries in place, right?  You said no to work calls after a certain time in the evening.  You had your kids in a good routine, and you and your partner spent less time getting in each others way because there was also life outside the home going on.

For many of us, boundaries have all but evaporated as we’ve been in the middle of the pandemic.

Now that the world is almost open for business again, it’s time to get everyone dressed in their day clothes and functioning normally again.

But might there be a few changes you need to make, in line with the new normal – what else can we call that by the way?

Of course things might be different, and so it’s the ideal time to re-write the house rule book.  Get some new boundaries in place that serve your highest good right now to create less tension all round going forward.

#2 Create a ritual or hobby just for you

You might have been laser-focused on your families mental wellbeing for a while, and that’s great, but you need to put your own oxygen mask on first.

If you forgot that, don’t panic, but do act now.

When did you last indulge in a calming pastime just for yourself?

I know that a lot of self-care blogs would suggest meditation or bubble baths right about here – and that’s fine, but I know they are not for everyone.

Choose something that doesn’t feel like a chore to tick off your list, and that puts you into a flow state.  It could be anything; reading, writing, cycling, candle-making in the garden shed…you know what it is, it’s that thing you have been missing that either you used to do or that you have always wanted to start.

Don’t be afraid to claim some mental-health time for yourself!

#3 Deal with any issues you’ve been suppressing

Okay, honest time.  Raise your hand if you’ve been sitting on an issue with your partner so as not to rock the boat or add to the frustration of lockdown.

Many people have been doing this, and while it’s reasonable as a short-term strategy – we all know the importance of communication.

Covid didn’t change the relationship rules, so don’t let problems fester forever.

Head over to these older posts of mine about effective, gentle communication in relationships. One is about Active listening and the other is Speaking to be heard.

If you are wanting a bit of support to get everything straight in your head, then I’m here to help, and I have a special offer that’s available for just one more week. You could have a 90 minute Zoom session with me for £75 instead of the usual £120 – head here to get in touch.

Maybe all you need is 90 minutes of space to talk about yourself, your thoughts and your plans (or lack of them). You might be surprised at how calm you can feel and how much lighter life could feel going forward.

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