How to Slow Down and Create More Peace in Your Life
Overscheduling Our Lives
As I have widened my circle of influence this year, I have noticed a trend with people who are overscheduled, heading from one activity to the next, calendar in hand, stressed that they don't have enough time for family, friends, or "me" time. As a society, we are becoming more focused on work because we are worried that we won't have enough money in the future. We spend so much time in the office trying to find our way to a promotion and earn a better paycheck, that we miss out on precious events for our children and selves.
One father I know is watching his children grow up via photo messages sent to his phone while is he working hard to support the family. A mother I know was so busy trying to earn her promotion that she hadn't realized that her children had stopped participating in the sports they used to love. Several friends have talked with me about how they don't get to enjoy the time with their children because they are so tired and stressed when they arrive home from work that they don't have the energy their children deserve. Each of these parents express guilt for how their lives are developing and what they have become. A few asked me my thoughts on how someone changes this in an economy where nearly everyone is worried about whether they will have a job next week.
How To Create A More Peaceful Life
There are several steps one must take to truly bring in a season of peace. Some will stretch you and some will be a cinch. If you know this is what you want, I challenge you to make a commitment to bringing more peace into your life and changing from a parent whose children know more about your work than they do about you to a parent whose children will forever remember the memories you made with them.
1. Determine Your Priorities. What is important in your life? When you die, what do you want people to remember most about you? If the answer to these questions don't align with the way you are living your life right now, it is time to make a change. Did you say family yet you work until 7 every night, barely getting home in time to do the dinner dishes and kiss the kids goodnight? It is time to change your work schedule or find a new career. Did you say you wanted to be remembered for being honest and loving yet you constantly break promises to your spouse and children and then get upset when they express disappointment? It is time to consider why you are breaking so many commitments and make a change in that area of your life.
2. Commit to Making Those Priorities First In Your Life. No longer allow anyone or anything else to determine your priorities for you. Instead, commit to keeping your priorities in the forefront of your life. If you said God, Family, Friends, then make time for each of those areas of your life. Schedule time for prayer and Bible study. Be at dinner every night and make special plans for activities each weekend. Make time for friends and nights out without the kids.
3. Make Your Commitment Known to Others. Share your commitments and priorities with a close friend who will hold you accountable. Make a chart and keep it on your mirror or refrigerator so you can see how successful you have been each week at keeping your priorities first in your life. When you fail, pick yourself back up and start again.
4. Celebrate Success. When you have had a month of living according to your priorities, celebrate by treating yourself to something you aren't able to do often. It may be a massage or going to a movie. It may be taking the family to an amusement park or going with your spouse for a special night on the town. Whatever it is, relish in your happiness and enjoy that you have made a change in your life. And commit to keep it going!
Adding More Peace To Your Life
For some people, overscheduling isn't a problem. There are several individuals already living according to their priorities. However, life has become mundane and boring. If you are among these individuals, you need peace to break the monotony of life. Making time for various activities will help you to bring peace into your lives, whether you are married or single.
- Prayer / Meditation
- Listening To Music
- Taking a Scenic Drive
When you take time to add peaceful activities into your day, you will find your blood pressure start to fall, headaches and heartburn start to subside, and your overall aura start to feel more at ease.
If you are a parent, you may have to schedule these activities into your routine. Pay the babysitter an hour longer, leave work an hour earlier, bring your kids with you and explain to them the point of the activity. If you cannot get away, I suggest starting a "Happy Hour". Have each member of the family put their peaceful activity into a hat, shake it up, and have the person whose birthday is closest to the current date pick an activity from the hat. The entire family then participates in that activity for an hour, but cannot speak to one another while doing so. This can create some great memories despite not being typical "quality" time and teaches children to have inner peace as well. This has worked wonders in my home with a very energetic almost four year old!
Whatever your solution, make time for bringing in activities that will introduce a new calm into your life. Ensure those you live with are committed to helping you and try to enlist them as much as possible in finding peace in their own lives. In the end, you will all be happier, healthier, and live longer lives.