25 Mar Discover a deeper sense of calm & harmony for you & your family
Why is it so important to nurture a calm and stable family unit?
Life can be hectic! As a family we can easily get caught up daily to-dos, getting to school on time, extra circular activities, fitting in work and social events. The day-to-day can be busy enough, when we throw in relationship issues, financial strain, problems at school, suffering loss or emotional trauma, it can create stress, instability and feelings of helplessness. This is damaging to the family unit and their mental wellbeing. Maintaining a sense of calm and harmony for you and your family is vital for everyday happiness, it also provides us with good habits and tools to deal with pressure when things get stormy.
Making your home life a place of respite and fulfilment is one of the most powerful things you can work on. Cultivating a safe and comfortable environment from which to raise your family, will have a positive effects at an individual level, on family dynamics and how we cope with the demands of the outside world.
How can we bring peace into our home?
To begin with, our surroundings have a big impact on the way we think. If we live in a cluttered and disorganised space, our thoughts and mental state will feel chaotic and overwhelming. When you step in your front door, you want to feel a sense of calm. Having an organised home where everything has its place helps to provide this state of tranquillity. Of course we aren’t looking for perfection here, family homes are living thoroughfares, you aren’t expected to keep the place spotless. But if you can make organisation effortless, you are on your way to feeling more centred.
How to organise and declutter your home
Have designated places for certain items, always put them back in the same place so you know where to find them, and make sure the rest of the family do to. Recycle or donate unwanted and unused items, especially if they take up a lot of space. Keep essential items easy to reach, and make a habit of sharing tidying up and cleaning duties the kids. Set designated spaces for work, play or study and personal items. Equally, a place for the clutter of kids toys or an art project can be exist, just keep it to one area.
How to make boundaries with technology and make your home more harmonious
Technology can be useful, but arguing over screen-time, endless notifications and noise, not to mention parental locks, can keep us on edge. Set boundaries for the use of technology in your home. I would recommend a strict ‘no screens at the dinner table rule’. Eating together is a really important part of family bonding and is also enjoyable. Try to make time for uninterrupted meals at least 3 times per week. Being consistent with how much you let your children use tablets or phones is also important. Keep screen entertainment (TV or device) limited to a max of 1-2 hours per evening. Ensure you have the right safety settings on your children’s devices.
Bring the family together
Be conscious of everyone’s location in the house; is everyone in separate rooms on their screens? Bring the family together around the kitchen table, share homework, stories about the day and some fun here. Focus on activities that don’t involves technology, such as cooking, reading, art, playing a game, swimming or a trip to local cultural place. At the weekend or a summer evening, try to get outside in nature, take a walk as a family or spend time in the garden (no technology allowed!).
Accepting that family life can be difficult
It is normal that we are triggered emotionally by our families, learn to accept this and don’t be too hard on yourself or others. Family disagreements do not discriminate. Don’t beat yourself up if family life isn’t a bed of roses all the time. Being aware and prepared to work towards getting along better is the first step. Talk to your friends and support systems about it, they may have some good advice or input.
How to step back from family overwhelm
Dealing with the people closest to us can be draining and sometimes we just can’t get our message through to our loved ones. When you feel overwhelmed take some space or practice some self-care. If you can get out for walk, have some me time with a bath or hobby, treat yourself to something simple or visit someone who will cheer you up. Having time to breathe and reflect can bring a deeper sense of calm and the chance to come down from high emotions and deal with conflict more logically. You will have time to process what someone has said, you may realise that yout initial reaction was over dramatic and the other person wasn’t as harsh as you thought. Allow children or teens space to breathe when they need too.
Be mindful of old patterns and ways
It is easy to regress to habitual ways of reacting and interacting with our family. If an individual is known for being argumentative or lazy, we can often expect this of them and treat them a certain way. Be mindful how we speak to people, give them a chance, or the opportunity to tell you how they are really feeling. If we know we always come into confrontation with one person, be aware of the trigger subjects that set off arguments, know when you both need space and when isn’t a good time to discuss something serious.
Try to accept people for how they are
No matter how hard we try we can’t always change them. We must be mindful that what we think is the right thing for someone might not be what they want. We can’t force our family to be a certain way or like the same things as us. It is normal for siblings or partners to be very different, but they can still enjoy a good relationship. If we can accept our differences, and even celebrate, them we move towards being more compassionate and harmonious beings.