In order to conserve energy for the more vitriolic situations, how can you remain calm during everyday chaos?
“He asks me the same question over and over. I can’t take it anymore.” Sarah said, before breaking down into tears.
“The kids leave their stuff all over the house.” Bryan complained.
“She can’t cook anymore and I don’t know how.” Myles sighed.
“I never learned to drive. He did all the driving. Now, we have to take a taxi everywhere we go.” Gwyneth stated.
“My sister criticizes the way I care for mom.” Aretha mentioned while rubbing her stressed forehead.
Have you ever felt like the people above?
Do any of the above scenarios sound familiar to you? These situations are life’s daily frustrations. They do not fall under the category of catastrophic, but they can get under the skin nonetheless. Here are 12 quick tips for maintaining composure in the midst of the daily grind.
- Ask yourself, “Is this worth the emotional energy?” It will drain you mentally and physically if you allow these daily events to get to you.
- Read Matthew 11:29 and yoke up with Jesus. He was gentle even among bickering disciples and a trusted friend who betrayed Him.
- Play some quiet music. Set the tone for your home by playing a radio station you like. Remember not to switch on a news channel which can be agitating.
- Sow seeds of peace. Speaking kind words into your atmosphere is so beneficial that we will have an entire post dedicated to this subject alone.
- Learn from the Israelites in Numbers 21:49. They complained during a long walk, so God gave them a real problem to complain about- snake bites.
- Distraction- This is one of my favorites. If the person you are caring for is doing something annoying, but not detrimental, refocus the person. For example, point at something and say “did you see that” or ask for help with a particular project.
- Distract yourself. You could call a friend to ask how they are doing, instead of thinking about the chaos around you. You could also remind yourself that life could be worse. (For a list of places that other people referred to as the worst, click here.)
- Do something nice for the person who criticizes your caregiving. If you are one of the many caregivers who do not have time for this step, try giving the annoying person a compliment or offering them a smile. It will be difficult at first, but a nice gesture could help ease tension.
- Let it go. If you are upset at the moment, leave something undone. You do not have to answer the question or clean the kitchen immediately. Imagine for a moment that you are Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, instead of Martha in the kitchen.
- Sing your favorite song. If you cannot sing, hum. It will change your outlook.
- Get a snack. Always have your favorite bags of tea or snack foods available. Keep some stored in a separate location in case you run out, so you can treat yourself from your stash. (Try not to overindulge in the bad stuff.)
- Nap if you can. If you cannot, try sitting up in a chair and just closing your eyes for a moment to flush the surroundings away.
life is not utopia:
Right now, you are probably thinking, “these ideas are great if I lived in a perfect world.” You might feel as though you could be one of the pictures you see in this post- unable to smile.
Are you saying to yourself, “I do not live in a utopia”? Do you feel like you are the only one who does the grocery shopping, meal preparing, laundry, driving, cleaning, and taking care of your loved one? Perhaps things will not get done if you do not do them.
You are not alone in any of these situations. You are correct that you have to do certain things, but do not allow your thinking to be flawed to perfectionism. If you do not take a moment for yourself, you will burn out or become sick.
Once you are physically/ mentally impaired, who will take care of your loved one then? Remember the old adage about the oxygen mask on airplanes- put on your oxygen first.
What about you?
Now that you have read my tips, I would love to hear your tips. What are some ideas you can give other readers for conserving emotional energy?