Sometimes I feel like there are 7 children in my house… I only have 2. Between a very independent, always-making-noise, very chatty, very busy toddler getting into, climbing on, and running around stuff to a very active 6-month old who has no problem letting you know when he needs your attention to a dog underfoot to toys that light up and play music and squeak to the clanging of the dishes and the noise of the dryer to constantly cooking someone food, cleaning up said food, changing a diaper, or picking up toys everywhere I go…
Sometimes, I get seriously over-stimulated.
That’s an understatement, actually. I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes all of it just really gets to me, and I HAVE to find my happy place. Pretty much for the sake of everyone in the general vicinity. I’ve learned that about myself: I get over-stimulated, and it’s usually through auditory means = too much noise!
The holidays are coming, and they are coming up fast. We will be hosting people in our home, which obviously I love, but the day-to-day with my kids can tend to be mentally exhausting, let alone having a lot of people over. So it got me thinking… what exactly do I do in the day-to-day to maintain some sanity? Little things?
Here they are! Five quick ways to automatically bring continuous calm to yourself and your home:
1. NIX AUDIBLE OVERSTIMULATION!
T.V. gets turned off. Maddelyn plays in her room for a little bit. Drew gets a pacifier. A lot of sounds are going on around us all the time, but get classified as “white noise.” Our brains are still hearing them and having to process them, but don’t push them to the forefront, because they know that would flat-out overload us. However, it’s still working to process them all at once, and sometimes… it yells for help, you realize what’s all actually going on, and thus, you’re overstimulated. So give your ears and brain a break, even if all you can do is escape to a bathroom for a few minutes.
2. MUSIC / SINGING
The opposite of #1, right? Kind of. Actually, music with no words stimulates a different part of your brain that can improve your cognition and your mood. And also, music pertaining to your religious faith will soothe rather than stimulate. In the same token, did you know singing is a natural mood-booster? Whether you are on key or not, singing releases chemicals in your brain to reduce anxiety and even lower cortisol levels. It’s a natural stress-reliever, being a human jukebox. Plus, it spreads joy. It just does. I sing practically all. day. long. and have accepted the fact that my children are going to grow up and think any movie that’s not a musical is weird.
Never underestimate the power of water! Kids driving you crazy? Put them in the bathtub with some toys, and let the magic happen. Kick it up a notch by dying their water a color. You feel overwhelmed and worn out? This is exactly what Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was invented for. Bam, you get a 15-minute shower. You don’t need me to tell you that water is good—you just have to remember to utilize it!
4. ESSENTIAL OILS
At this point in life, I’m kinda not sure what I’d do without Lavender. When it comes to Essential Oils, a little goes a long way. And by a little, I mean one drop. Sometimes if my babies are restless, I’ll put one drop of Lavender on a cotton round and tuck it under their sheets, and they’ll be asleep within 5 minutes. My husband likes it diffused. I wear Lavender in my lotion during the day and tell a difference. If you aren’t using them yet (I say ‘yet,’ haha!) but would start by trying just one… Lavender.
5. WARM LIGHTING
They say fluorescent lighting is more energy efficient. Obviously, that’s great. But guess what? They also say fluorescent lighting causes migraines, dizziness, eye fatigue, and other ailments. I can testify this to be true. As a lifelong migraine sufferer, the white fluorescent lights are one of my mortal enemies. Like, I seriously can’t. And clearly, neither can some others, either! So I combat any fluorescent lighting with yellow. You want yellow! Warmth! Warm lighting! Yay Yellow! Whether you do this by light bulb or by candle, warm lighting (versus white fluorescent lighting) will both naturally and scientifically calm you, as well as calm those in your home.
These are just small things, but with a much bigger impact. You don’t need me to remind you that as Moms, we set the tone of our homes. We are always being looked to by our children. And we are responsible for our moods. These five have helped me remain mindful of the ambiance I’m creating for my home. I hope at least one of these is something you can use as we all enter into the hustle and bustle of the holidays. No matter what your situation is… if you’re surviving a deployment, separated from family, or everything is just flat-out A-OK right now…
remember to bring your own calm so you can love on those you do get to be with, and make memories that matter.
P.S. I know a GLASS OF WINE didn’t make the list… It actually did. It’s the invisible #6. Cheers!