“How to Live Slow…Even in the Chaos”
by Leigh Ann Dutton
As I stood at the bottom of the stairs surveying the mess before me, I sighed. The children were finally in bed after a long and busy day.
Breakfast dishes were pushed aside to make way for dinner dishes. Crayons spilled off the table onto the crumb covered floor. Books and toy cars sprawled across the living room floor. Blankets from fort building lay abandoned at the foot of the coffee table.
Our day was full of tasks, people, and work just like any other day, but this day seemed exceptionally rushed and busy.
As a mom, our days can fill up quickly. We can easily feel overwhelmed and tired. The day-to-day mundane can be hard enough, but add in the holidays or some other special event and it can get down right unbearable.
Yet I’m learning that just because life is busy, it doesn’t mean you can’t live slowly.
Yes the end of the day may bring exhaustion of epic proportions and the next day is only a few hours away threatening to continue this cycle over and over again. But we can stop the cycle. We can choose to live slowly even in the busyness of life.
Here’s 5 Ways to Live Slowly When Life Around You Feels Chaotic…
1. Choose to rest
As moms, this one can be hard to come by and when we come by it, we have a hard time actually doing it. But sometimes, we have to choose to make rest happen.
We were created for rest. Even though life is busy and it feels chaotic, take time to rest.
Every afternoon I take fifteen minutes to just sit down with a cup of tea and rest.
If you have young children, I know it can be hard. I have a three and one year old so I get it. I usually put my one year old down for a nap and curl up with my oldest and read stories. Some days my oldest does a quiet time alone, and I literally sit and stare at the wall. But I make this rest time a priority, especially when life is busy.
2. Set priorities
We can’t do everything. Every need is not our calling. We can forget that so easily.
When life is busy, sit down and write down your priorities.
For example, when life is busy for us, we let having a perfectly clean house go. We commit to our evening routine, which ensures that at some point in the day we will clean up the mess.
3. Be mindful
When life gets busy, my mind starts racing. When I’m rushing, I tend to make mistakes, make a wrong turn, or just get careless.
When life is busy, we must intentionally choose to slow down our minds. Think slowly. Be mindful.
I’ve found this step to require a lot of practice, but the more I practice the better I get at it.
4. Focus on relationships
Did you know that behind all those piles of laundry, dirty dishes in the sink, papers to be signed, phone calls to return, and bills to pay are people? People who just want to know they are loved and important.
When we get busy, we can forget that there are people behind the mundane. Take time to focus on the relationships around you. Sometimes it means you don’t finish a task you deemed important, but I can guarantee that you’ll never regret turning your attention from a task to a person.
5. Get outside
Fresh air is essential to our bodies and we spend far too much time indoors. Forget the list, and say yes to allowing God’s creation to refresh your soul.
I know this can be difficult depending on the time of year. But if at all possible, get outside. Just take a short stroll around the neighborhood, take your children to a park, or just sit on the front porch.
Living slowly in the busyness of life can be hard. Perhaps today you can choose to slow down even in the chaos.
What about you? How do you choose to live slowly in the chaos of life? What is one thing you can do today to live more slowly?
Leigh Ann Dutton is the wife to the man of her prayers, Mark, and mama to two loveable little boys, Samuel and Timothy. She takes joy in spending her days creating memorable moments with her husband, conducting kitchen experiments, researching every natural alternative known to man, and making her little boys laugh. She does it all by the grace of God. You can find her blogging at IntentionalByGrace.com.