It’s the holiday season and added to an already busy life we are now faced with shopping, decorating, parties, baking, school functions, and family gatherings. What’s meant to be a time of celebration, peace, and joy can easily become a time of stress and pressure. It’s important to not let busyness and demanding expectations of yourself rob you and your household of peace. I had to pay attention to myself, when my kids were young and December rolled around, to not let responsibility and time demands override the need for peace in my home.
Here are a few small things I did to have a more peaceful holiday season.
1. Work boundaries
When my kids were young we were pastoring a church and running a convenience store. Either one of those jobs could have monopolized my time and attention. I had to have strict boundaries with my schedule and refuse to let the endless demands of work overtake my home life.
2. Get physical to release energy
There is nothing like a snowball fight and making snow angels to release pent-up energy. My kids and I would laugh and have a blast in the snow. And if we didn’t have a white December we would jump on the trampoline together. When pressure is on, it’s especially important to release it in a physical way.
3. Maintain structure as much as possible
Structure makes kids feel secure. When so much else is going on it’s tempting to let structure go and just try to survive the season. But the upheaval will actually bring more stress. Avoid overcommitting yourself or your kids. Peace is more important than attending every event.
I find prayer to bring peace to my heart and mind. Having a moment each day focusing on God reminds me that I have someone bigger than myself to lean on.
5. Singing and dancing together
While cooking dinner I played Christmas music that my kids and I sang together. Taking a moment to stop and dance a silly dance with them to Frosty the Snowman left smiles on our faces. Music brings lightheartedness to the environment and will lift the mood.
6. Clutter management
Managing clutter used to be a real challenge for me. I had a habit of setting things down and leaving them until they became peace-robbing piles in every room. Even if I was ignoring them they would be calling to me in the background of my mind. I finally learned that immediately putting things away is way better for my sense of peace in the long run.
7. Choose conflict carefully
Having a peaceful home means picking your battles and not letting the intensity of life overflow into strife with your spouse or kids. Sometimes frustration is a build up from several unrelated events of the day. Make sure conflict is merited before you initiate it and be respectful and calm in your presentation of the issue.
8. Laugh more
It’s nearly impossible to have a full belly laugh and be stressed out at the same time. Laughing releases something good inside you and inside your home. Find creative ways to laugh more. When all else fails, I watch babies laughing on YouTube.
It’s nearly impossible to have a full belly laugh and be stressed out at the same time.
9. Less TV
Television comes with noise and conflict or trials for the characters. Having it on all the time as “background noise” actually adds greater tension into the atmosphere of your home. Be intentional with TV and only have it on when you are actively watching something.
10. Bring nature inside
Plants have a calming effect in the home. I am great at growing plants outside but terrible with indoor plants. The way I bring the outdoors in is by purchasing flowers for myself. I really do take a moment to “smell the flowers”.
Tell us! What great ideas do you have to bring more peace into the home?