I had this amazing sense of just being off the last couple weeks.
I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the upcoming Mercury in Retrograde. Or something.
These fits of chaos of the mind and spirit, fortunately, do not happen often for me. Perhaps because I try to live a very slow paced life as it is. And, I’ve been around the moon enough times to know that these phases are, well, just phases.
This too shall pass, in other words. At least I hope!
The result is that I’ve been impatient with things in my own life. I’ve been impatient with myself and what I’ve not been able to do due to my non-productivity. I’ve been agitated at all hours of the day — and night, with long bouts of insomnia.
But, I can’t wait long so I have to do things that make me feel better now. That’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks.
And I sense that things are getting clearer. But, I’m not out of the woods just yet.
When this kind of irritation affects everyone in our house I know it’s time to do things differently — it’s time to recharge, reconnect and re-engage.
Here’s 10 Ways to Fill Your Well as a Family:
- Slow Down: Look at your life and cross things off that just don’t matter. We have this tendency to pile things on when things are good and then when we get slammed with life’s craziness we have very little flexibility. Just take some things off now, while you have a good excuse.
- Breathe Deeply: Meditation can mean many things. For some, it’s sitting on a cushion and counting. For others, it’s sipping tea and looking out a window. For me, it’s all of the above whenever I can. I breathe in the car before picking up my children. I breathe between projects. I breathe while going to the restroom.
- Write it Out: Write out the junk until you’ve exhausted all the blah from your mind for the day. This is where you can work out life’s problems. This is where you can find the goodness in the bad.
- Get Outside: I crave hikes when I get this clutter of the mind feeling. I crave trees and thick layers of leaves to crunch through. I crave big views and steep hills. I crave movement and air and a break from the computer and noise of life. This is a great way to connect not only to nature but to your family.
- Get Organized: There seems to be some direct correlation with a monkey mind and piles of clutter. So, de-clutter. Pare down. Sort and toss. Move things around. As you do, your mind will sort things, too.
- Make Output a Priority: Perhaps counter intuitive to slowing down but producing things, crossing things off your long to-do list can actually work wonders for your energy and creativity and patience level. Always wanted to try making your own Vanilla Extract … just do it. Then, magically, it’s off your mind. Keep tackling those little tiny annoying things that keep piling up in the corner of your brain and taking over.
- Reduce the Noise — Quiet down. Go quiet yourself and find quiet spaces. Say less. Watch less. Consume less. Be less.
- Write lists: Lists help us sort out the mind clutter. Kids got you down? Write a list of ways you can do better tomorrow. Write a list of what works. Write a list of what doesn’t work. Marriage got you down? Write a list of dates you can do at home once the children are in bed. Any problem at all … write a list about it.
- Play Together: Nothing plucks a parent out of the gutter than some good, stay-in-the-present-moment playtime. Like charades. Or board games. Turn off the TV. Of course, some of the best ideas can be found in The Playful Family.
- Work with Your Hands: Make something. Anything, really. Pull out a journal and draw. Bake cookies. Iron. Clean the bathroom. Build a birdhouse. Do something physical and meaningful with your hands and your mind will automatically calm down.
What about you? How do you know when your family life needs a boost? What do you do to fill your family’s well?