I am about to tell you a secret that is going to change your life. If you’re tired of feeling out of control, these 4 actions will make all the difference for you. I did this and it has worked wonders in our home. The results are less ADHD symptoms in both my children and myself as well as an increased ability for all of us to stay emotionally regulated.
The predictability of your home causes those in your environment to feel psychologically safe
Chaos creates inner instability of those around us. The more chaotic you feel, the more chaotic your home will be as well. Our emotions create our environment. Many people have a hard time regulating their emotions and gaining clarity because of a lack of structure in their lives. When most create a structure, they forget to start with what they value, which then only results in feeling unfulfilled which only causes frustration. It is important to have a flexible structure in place so your mind and your children’s minds can relax. Structure creates pychological safety which is absolutely crucial for being able to emotionally regulate.
With that, here are the 4 things I do to keep anxiety and extreme ADHD symptoms out of my home.
Work on your own regulation
You do this by structuring your life and being sure you get your own time to yourself each day. You probably just laughed. What time? I was beyond frustrated that I was constantly being interrupted when I was trying to have alone time. How did I think I was ever going to get alone time in the middle of the day when my children were hungry? Or at night when they wouldn’t go to bed? For me, alone time happens between 5-8am. It sucks, but it’s only temporary. The truth is, one day my kids won’t be around and I will be able to have alone time all the time. I am guaranteed quiet time in the early morning. As much as I didn’t like it at first, I love it now. I almost jump out of bed when my alarm clock goes off because being by myself is my favourite time of the day. I should clarify, I don’t “jump joyfully” out of bed. More like slug myself to the coffee maker, but I don’t press snooze because I know that if I don’t take this time for myself now, it’s not going to happen. For more on this, read my post “4 ways you can cultivate more peace in your life”
Cultivate your creativity and passions
Too many parents give up the things they love and that bring them joy when they become a parent. Granted, we can’t join a rock band and tour North America, but we can continue to pick up the guitar and play because it brings us enjoyment. I have always loved to dance. I still teach dance once a week in the evenings after all these years. I don’t know what I would do without movement. It brings me joy, keeps me active and feeling young. I love to read. I make sure I get times where I can read or even write books. My hubby and I just started making beautiful wood signs. My hubby loves to tinker in the yard and plant flowers. We may not be able to devote the hours we used to into our passions, but that doesn’t mean they have to be on the shelf. The time you stake to scroll through social media could be a time of refreshing your soul with things you love. Your mood will be better for it. You have enough time because whatever we value we will always make time for.
Clear your schedule
One of the reasons why we can’t handle even small outbursts is because we have no time for them. Our little Jonny can’t have a meltdown right now because he has to get to soccer practice! The more we take out all the scheduled clutter in our lives, the more we can focus on what’s meaningful. Not having meaning in our lives is often the undercurrent of our frustration.
You create a structure for your life first. Many times we think about structuring our children’s lives, but I don’t want you to start there. I want you to start with you first. Creating a structure for our lives means we, the adults, are leading the way, setting the example, and making sure the schedule matches our family’s values. Do you find yourself rushed, busy with very little margin? Our schedules is what either creates room for peace or chaos in our inner lives, which in turn affects the environments we create. Redesigning your schedule can completely transform your home.
Look closely at your wake up time. Do you give yourself enough time in the morning to wake up without rushing? Getting a workout or some movement in every day matters. What time of the day works best? Morning? If so, wake up so you have time for that. Don’t just jump out of bed and start your day hustling. A morning routine of deep breathing, prayer, and coffee can do wonderful for your levels of peace for the rest of the day.
Do you have time scheduled to eat? Make sure to schedule in times to eat properly and not just rushing through your food while you work on the run. Some families have their schedules packed nightly with sports, lessons, and activities that they never have any downtime during the weekends or evenings. It’s important to look at our schedules and clear it as much as possible so we have down time to recoup. Take your crazy, busy calendar and rip it up. Doesn’t mean we do nothing, but we can get so busy putting our kids in all sorts of programs to keep them occupied only to find we haven’t spent any time with them at all. Are you getting enough sleep? Do you have a routine that allows yourself to unwind after the day or do you crash into bed exhausted from the day? Having a routine to relax before bed, no matter what your bedtime, is important and can do wonders.
Redesigning our schedule means saying “no” to things so we can say “Yes” to making life simple. I learned that with my son’s issues, every day, or sometimes even every minute can have a switch in challenges. If life isn’t simple enough, it becomes exhausting to have the energy to face those challenges. Sometimes we have to fight for our children. Our sacrifices matter and it’s a short season compared to the rest of our lives. Peace is in the perimeter we create for our kids.
This is what each day looks like for me:
5am arise, and coffee. Pray, read, plan the day
7am daily workout in our make shift gym at home
7:30am kids up and fed
8:30am leave for school for my youngest
9am dog park walk
3:15pm school pick up. No more
Work for the day
Evening is for family. No exceptions. I am available.
8pm get ready for bed and our guilty pleasure of Survivor on Apple TV.
If you haven’t read my post on “The 4 ways I simplified my crazy life (and I’m never going back)”, you need to.
I call self care, “Self Ownership” because that explains more of what I believe self care means. We think self care is a day away at a spa somewhere. When we don’t get the spa, or the book, or the bubble bath without someone in our home losing it or needing us, we feel ripped off. We get frustrated and annoyed. It creates more tension in us than peace. Self ownership means doing whatever it takes to take care of yourself – that means doing the hard stuff. Eating properly, getting exercise. The unsexy, un-instagramable stuff. Would I rather have a bubble bath than do my weights? You better believe it, but the weights mean I’m owning myself and my responsibility to be the safe adult my kids need.
Getting clear on your values
Giving my life a structure tells me when to say yes and when to say no to things. It gives my children predictability in the midst of my entrepreneurship, making them feel secure. It gives me a peaceful heart because I’m grounded. Curve balls don’t throw me off, interruptions don’t irritate me.
This is one practical way I’ve learned what it looks like to bring the hurting closer – providing structure which is really self care so I can care for my family.
How do you know how to manage your time or create a schedule if you don’t know what your values are? You’ll run around here and there without any clarity as to what you desire for your life and your children’s lives. I am challenging anyone who wants something more for your life or the life of your family to book 2 sessions with me where we will get clear on your values and HOW you can redesign your life to match what you dream.
Are you up for the challenge? Book a time with me by contacting me here and let’s start making those dreams a reality!