How to salvage calm in the midst of chaos

It’s easy to be calm when everything is going smoothly and according to plan. However, it can be difficult to remain calm in the midst of the chaos that often invades our well-ordered routines. When chaos erupts do you feel as if you are tumbling in a whirlwind and unable to breathe? Do you collapse under the weight of overwhelm? The following tips can help you salvage some calm in the midst of chaos.

 Resist the drama                                                                                                                                                                          Often people unknowingly create chaos in your life. Some may be seeking comfort and encouragement and you should listen, advise and help however you can. Just try to resist the temptation to dress your life in their drama or chaos. Others may be creating unnecessary drama with their complaints, gossip and idle chatter. This type of drama stirs up emotional chaos that suck the energy from you. For your own mental and emotional health, resist being dragged into their negativity.

Reserve personal quiet time                                                                                                                                                   Schedule quiet time to relax and refresh. After a long day filled with or punctuated by chaos, you need to step away from it all, even if only for a few minutes. Do only what is necessary, then retreat to a quiet place (specially designed or whatever is available) to relax. Turn off your television and computer and let phone calls go to voice-mail. The quiet will free your mind to think less chaotic thoughts. Alone and quiet, you can concentrate on those areas of your life that are untouched by the turmoil. Engage in a relaxing activity or do nothing at all.

Recharge with sleep                                                                                                                                                                   Worrying about a situation that has arisen disturbs the pattern and quality of your sleep. Insomnia renders you too groggy, ineffective and inefficient to function. Some quiet time before going to bed can usher you into a restful night’s sleep and you will be recharged and in a better frame of mind and heart the next day.

Replicate spa serenity
a) Infuse your space with scents and sounds to help promote relaxation and a peaceful environment.
b) Read inspiring material. Carry them in your handbag for short mental and emotional pick-me-ups during the day.
c) Pamper yourself from head to toe, or target one area for extra attention.
d) Eat healthy foods. If you can’t get to the gym, don’t discount the benefits of a 15-minute workout at home.
e) Pause for deep concentrated breaths.

Rest in your faith                                                                                                                                                                               Prayer and meditation go together. They complement each other. Make them an integral part of your days. The practice prepares and equips you to handle chaos hopefully, calmly and logically.

Release in your journal                                                                                                                                                                    A journal is a safe place where you can dump your thoughts and feelings. Writing helps to put things in perspective and in the privacy of its pages, you can devise a plan to deal with your circumstances with confidence and clarity.

Remember your personal goals                                                                                                                                                    Long-term chaos may warrant setting aside your personal goals for a while. Don’t lay them so far back on the shelf that you forget to take them up again when the chaos subsides. Watch for free moments when you can do at least one small thing to advance your goals. Life comes with twists and turns, bumps and potholes, as well as detours and stop signs.

Don’t allow chaos to swallow you up. Identify and apply the most appropriate and effective tips to help you salvage some calm in your particular brand of chaos.

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Slightly edited version of the original, which was published in my Wright Words of Wisdom column, in the Trinidad Guardians’s Womanwise Magazine in  September 2013.
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