We find ourselves at the end of the summer holidays and the children are going back to school. This may be a time of sadness for you if you’ve enjoyed the time and settled into a routine together. Or you may feel some excitement at looking forward to a new term and time to yourself at last. There may be feelings of indifference or stress as you rush around getting everything ready for the school day.
Whatever thoughts are going through your mind this week, don’t forget to check in with yourself and reflect on how you are feeling during your quiet moments. My article today focuses on how to create some peaceful moments in your week.
- Sunday night planning
Numerous studies have shown that looking at the week ahead can help you to focus on what is really important to you. I look at my week in the late afternoon/evening on a Sunday, but you may feel that there is a better time that works for you. Whenever you do it, I encourage you to immerse yourself in your thoughts about the various items in your diary and see how you feel about the activities you have planned. Are there any events that you really don’t have to attend? Are there activities that you can tweak to make a little better?
- Get up in the morning before your children
This can be a tricky one, especially as young children seem to get up very early, but it’s one activity that can make a huge difference to how calm you feel during the day. Ten to fifteen minutes alone can really make that difference.
- Journal your thoughts
I am a great fan of journaling. I find that writing my thoughts down first thing is a super way of sorting out my head. I use the Julia Cameron “Morning Pages” method which I adapt to suit my time scales and fill one side of large Moleskine journal every morning with whatever ‘stuff’ comes into my head. It wont win any literary prizes but I find it extremely useful to clarify my thoughts.
- Five minutes meditation
After I’ve finished my journaling (usually takes around 5 minutes), I light a candle or burn some Frankincense oil in an oil burner and meditate for five minutes. I take some deep breaths and focus. Slowly in and out, counting to five each way. There are other methods of concentrating on the breath if you find this helpful. I love the Pranayama app on ITunes which is a fabulous app for practicing various breathing techniques. I also love the Calm app for my morning meditation.
- Focus on your morning
My children are now older and don’t need help to get ready for school but when they were younger, I concentrated on these practices (weekly planning, journaling, meditation, getting up early) regardless of how busy I was running a busy home around four young children. It helped me to feel clearer so that I could make the right choices in those difficult moments. Once they were at school, and I know that I had given them my full attention during the morning and their walk to school.
- Check in with your feelings during lunch time
Another opportunity to check in with yourself, lunch is a good time as it is mid-way through the day. I will use my Calm app again and meditate for another five minutes. I find these five minute breaks throughout the day are helpful.
- Have fun!
It’s important not to get too wrapped up in issues and problems, I’d like you to really enjoy those special moments at the time they are happening. How about some quality time with friends or a lovely long walk with the dog. Maybe you are a book lover so take some time to read a chapter or two or browsing the inspirational pins on Pinterest.
- Five minute breather before the children come home
Remember to take another moment to yourself before the end of school. Grab a cup of tea and a five minute break before the busyness starts all over again.
- Enjoy your time together
It’s a cliché but this time will pass by very quickly. Even the bad days will be a distant memory and you will look back and wonder why you struggled to enjoy these little moments.
- Reflect on your day
Something to do when the children have gone to bed. Perhaps you can write your thoughts in a journal or you can just reflect in your head. What went well? What would you do differently? What are you looking forward to tomorrow? What can you change?
These simple things can bring a little calm into your day and help you to find a mindful place in your heart. They combine a little space for you with time together and also provide some focus. There are lots of meditation classes in our local area so it may be a good term to look at your meditation practice at a deeper level if you’d like to embrace this kind of life more fully.
I’ll leave you to your peaceful week now and check in again on Wednesday with an article continuing my journey through my lovely essential oils.