We don’t need to harp on it, but I have been away from this website (and writing for fun, in general) for so long! If there is anyone out there who happens to read this blog and has been disappointed by the lack of content, I’m sorry.
I’m writing this blog post on a cosy Sunday; one where there is no plans, nothing to do, and I’m feeling well. It’s been a weird few months and I’ve been experiencing a lot of stress recently, which is a statement I repeat at least once a week, but today feels peaceful. With some quiet time and finally a hint of inspiration, I thought I’d write a post today on the very topic I’ve been so concerned about – peace.
When you feel stressed, poorly, or just not yourself you become obsessed with ‘better things’, and because I have been feeling so all over the place, peace has been my obsession. I have a fairly quiet life, but it can become busy at times. There are lots of people in my life with their own things going on, which can cause my introvert self to get overwhelmed more often than I’d like to admit. And because I’m such a ‘strong person’ (which I’m learning can be a bit of a red flag in many occasions, because it commonly means that you’re not feeling your feelings. This might make you strong in the moment, but boy when those things to come a head…) I don’t like to admit or even consider that I just need to stop sometimes.
I thought I was good at saying no. Being a homebody, an introvert and (let’s be honest) a fairly lazy person, I say no to quite a lot of things. But it turns out, just doing something over and over again doesn’t make you good at it – instead, it becomes a mindless habit, rather than something you consciously understand.
Which is why, when I’m feeling overwhelmed or a bit tired or just not myself, I get myself so stressed because I want to be able to keep going. It’s no coincidence that the ‘meltdowns’ I have regarding stress (where illness takes over; I find myself crying for no reason; nothing seems to be going right) happen during busy times in my life. During times when I have plans and my work finally picks up, I find myself at my lowest because I haven’t been taking care of myself which means I am not prepared at all for the change of pace.
And when one thing goes wrong in this mindset, everything goes wrong.
So, there’s been a few weeks of that repeated cycle; feeling tired, feeling stressed, feeling overwhelmed, and I think I’m getting out of it. The solution is simple, but when you’re in that mindset it can be hard to figure out what will make you feel better. That’s why many of us turn to the wine, or the chocolates, or Netflix because we just don’t know what else to do.
As I’m having a peaceful day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share with you some of the things that have got me into this mindset once more. Hindsight is 20/20, and with the powers of this I want to be able to help you find some peace too.
Three Peace-Making Activities
I’ve been reflecting today about what has helped me get back into this calm and quiet mindset, and the following three are the biggest influences I have come up with:
I’ve already mentioned this one in the catch-up introduction, and it’s something of a cliché to say now, but this has played such a large part in why I’m feeling calmer today. Saying no doesn’t just apply to events or obligations that you physically have to attend, but also to many other areas of your life, like:
Say no to social media
Say no to messaging and group chats
Say no to comparing yourself
Say no to doing all of the things
‘No’ is the easiest and quickest way to describe boundaries, which is another loaded term in the self-development world but it is so important.
Boundaries can be a temporary thing, like this weekend I have a boundary of no social media because it makes my brain feel busier than normal. It’s not going to be forever and it isn’t this big, life-altering decision but it is helping with my current mental state.
If you’re struggling to find peace, say no to whatever you can.
There is nothing wrong with having a few days to yourself, with no phone and no contact to anyone but your pets and the people in your home. You can explain that you will not be available before you disappear, or just explain you needed some time off when you come back – either way, as Dr. Seuss said, the people that matter won’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter.
Everyone is allowed some time away and you can get that by saying no to anything that takes away from your peace, permanently or just as a temporary measure like I’m doing this weekend.
There has been a huge surge in the movement known as ‘simple living’ in the past few years. Following the pandemic and a lot more time being spent at home, it seems that simple living is more acceptable and something a lot more people understand now more than ever before.
People like me (which is most of us I think – I’m not special here) have always understood the importance of simple living.
If you’re also a homebody, a nerd, an introvert, and perhaps a little bit against physical exercise like me, then simple living just makes sense – it’s all about taking things slow, enjoying the little things, and not doing much at all.
It’s perfect, and it’s the way I want to spend all of my days.
But as much as I love the concept of simple living and I enjoy things like sitting down and not doing much at all, I can’t help but feel guilty and sometimes ashamed.
My favourite things to do involve sitting down, hot drinks, my dog, and bad TV which seems so boring when you look at all of the things other people spend their time doing. I spend most of my days getting my work done then sitting around, which seems boring and sometimes it is boring but, for the most part, I love it.
As I said in the beginning, I don’t like feeling busy or pressured at all. I like to have an empty calendar and the freedom to choose what to do with my days, which is one of the main reasons I struggled so much at that job I had a few years ago.
Even though I love these things, I still feel ashamed and guilty that my life is pretty boring most of the time. That’s the thing with comparison – it can muddle up your own opinions and make you feel weird for liking what you do (which is why I’d recommend regular detoxes from social media)
With all of that in mind, one of the ways I’ve been bringing more peace into my life is by accepting simplicity.
Accepting that this is what I enjoy doing and it is enough.
Because I learn from other people and look to them to make sure I’m doing the right thing, simple living creators have helped a lot with this. Youtubers and podcasters within this genre, including ASMR and minimalist creators, have helped soothed my mind and made me see that what I’m doing (which is nothing) is fine, and I’m not alone in wanting these things – and neither are you.
We all know how important sleep is, but that doesn’t make it any easier to get as much as you need.
I’m a big fan of an afternoon nap, not only because I’m lazy and at home all the time, but also because I suffer from migraines and sometimes going to bed is the best thing you can do.
However, as much as I love sleep I know that too much of it can be a bad thing.
There’s a balance that needs to be met with sleep, which is why it can be so freaking hard to sort yourself out in this regard.
A simple way I’ve been working on my sleep, which has been helping me feel more peaceful, is by going to bed and getting up at a similar time everyday. I’m someone who likes to go to bed early so I can get up early, but I haven’t been doing that in so long.
Sometimes your routine gets out of whack, things get in the way and that’s alright; you just need to get back into it.
By saying no more, I have more time to myself which makes it so easy to get into a routine that suits me. As I’ve been getting up earlier, I’ve been needing to go to bed earlier and I just feel so peaceful because of this.
Like accepting simplicity, I’m trying to be gentler with myself which means if I need to go to bed early or take an afternoon nap, I’m trying to not feel guilty about that. If my body needs rest, and it has needed a lot more lately because I’ve been feeling under the weather, then I’m going to give it that.
Less time scrolling and stressing about what is going on in the world or getting every message replied to has also made it easier to doze off when I need to. ASMR helps in this regard for me too, but it doesn’t work for everyone, I know.
Regardless of what is going on, trying to get good sleep and even just rest (like sitting on the sofa, quiet time, enjoying a cuppa – all without distractions or guilt) will make you feel much better within yourself.
Self care is how you take your power backLalah Delia
This has been a long post, friends, but I’ve missed you and I’ve missed writing so much! I’m hoping to continue to create peace in my life so I have the room to be creative. I hope you’re looking after yourself and are well.