From the global devastation of COVID-19 to the national grief, horror, and widespread protests, the world is reeling with chaos. No wonder waves of fear, pain, and uncertainty are infiltrating our thoughts and emotions—and thus, our homes, says Karen McGregor.
"We're witnessing the most disease the world has seen in our lifetimes," says McGregor, best-selling author and inspirational speaker. "As individuals, we can't be untouched by what we're seeing and hearing and imagining. What we can do is make our home a haven from the worst of the chaos."
"When you take the steps needed to create a calmer home, you're leading by example," Karen explains. "You're teaching family members how to rise above stress and anxiety also."
She says building those habits involves paying attention to your thoughts and emotions and getting intentional about your daily routines.
Here are six tips Karen has come up with to get you started toward a calmer home:
Start the day with a calming morning routine. Do you wake up a little early so you can enjoy some relaxing time to yourself? Or do you sleep as late as possible and then rush to get everything together for your family or work obligations?
Try setting your alarm a half-hour earlier (which may mean getting to bed earlier as well), suggests McGregor. In this bonus time, you can journal, sip a cup of coffee, pray, or meditate. Also, set a positive intention for the day ahead.
Decide what a "calm home" means to you, then express it through your surroundings. Is it happy, fun, joyful, out-of-the-box, connected, or something else? Find ways to start bringing that feeling into reality. For example, if you want to fill your home with the energy of love, you might add candles, essential oils, salt lamps, or prayer.
"For me, a calm, peaceful home means I have lots of windows to let in the light, white walls, and no clutter," says McGregor. "I intentionally don't own a lot of stuff."
Do some spring cleaning... A messy space at home contributes to a disorganized and chaotic mind. "If you haven't already done so, take advantage of the extra time you may have at home to clean and organize your space to promote balance and stillness," says McGregor. Spring cleaning might also mean turning off the news and calling a moratorium on social media.
...and include your thoughts, not just your possessions. Your home is comprised of "stuff," and all of that "stuff" contains your thoughts, says McGregor. Are you filling your home with stressful thoughts? And what are you doing that reinforces those thoughts? Spring cleaning might also mean turning off the news and calling a moratorium on social media.
"I remember the year before going through a divorce, I went into my five-year-old son's bedroom to check on him while he was sleeping," says McGregor. "He was talking in his sleep and I heard him say, 'Mommy is sad.' I never told him I was sad, and I didn't cry in front of him, because at the time. I believed it was better to hide those things. But my thoughts were sad, and he picked up on it. Your thoughts are present in the very fabric of your home."
Once you are aware of negative thoughts, release them. "When a negative or fearful thought crosses your mind, release it," says McGregor. "Several times each day, ask yourself, What am I holding on to in this moment that could be released? Encourage each of your family members to release thoughts in this same way, too."
By the way...it's important to fully feel your emotions. Your thoughts and emotions are meant to move through you like a wave that arrives and then dissipates, says McGregor. After you completely feel them, replace them with empowering thoughts that generate peace. For example, I am so thankful for the opportunity to practice letting go of this situation.
"It may be a mad world outside of your home, but choosing what you allow inside your living space is a radical act of love and empowerment for you and your family," concludes McGregor.