We all crave peace and serenity in our long (pandemic) days, and although we may not be amidst the hustle and bustle of city living, we still seem to have a hard time remaining centered.
From a hectic household, perhaps filled with loud children (or pet-children) or a cluttered household that we can’t seem to keep organized, we may be focusing on the wrong things to be peaceful. Instead, creating an environment of peace actually starts within ourselves and from our minds. Having a peaceful mind (or peace of mind) allows us to handle our physical environment a lot better.
While dealing with the pandemic’s second lockdown, province-wide this time, I have found that my fuse is becoming shorter and my need to leave the house is increasing. My body is itching to go somewhere else, do more, and be with other people!
I wanted a refresh, but what I truly needed was an acceptance of my current situation and a quiet mind. I decided to commit to my health and sense of peace and connect inwards. This journey promises better relationships, a brighter outlook, a positive attitude, another way to manage stress, and an overall sense of joy.
If you would like to join me on this journey, here are some simple things that you can do to start cultivating inner peace into your daily routine:
Meditate, meditate, meditate
Take five to 15 minutes of your day, every day, to be alone and focus on your breathing. This doesn’t mean you have to sit quietly in a room with your legs crossed and eyes closed! You can do a walking meditation, sit or stand outside in nature, lay under a weighted blanket, do some yoga, or pray to a higher spirit. Focus on your breath and take in your five senses.
Another option: Use your pet to help with meditation – feel your pet’s fur run through your fingers, take in every bit of the scent, calmly listen to the breathing, see the genuine smile as you spend time together, and give each other some compassionate love.
At the beginning or end of each day, write down a list of things you are grateful for. You can choose to start with the more material things in your life (a roof over your head, food in your fridge, and a bed to sleep in). Then, build up to thinking about the things you take advantage of in your day-to-day life. This may help you think more positively about your life and dwell in the presence of each moment more often.
Connecting with your true feelings, either with others or by yourself allows you to connect with yourself and with others in a more authentic way. Ever have a loud, ugly cry alone in your room? Expressing your feelings also helps to release any emotions pent up in your body/mind, leaving you feeling more grounded. With this new sense of clarity, you also have room for enlightenment and inner peace.
Activities like painting, screaming into a pillow, using a punching bag, or even dancing (in a freeing, unstructured way), could all be great forms of expressing yourself. Experiment to see what works best for you.
Spend some time mentally reflecting, or journaling, on a “feeling of peace.” Think of some places or events that made you feel at peace, such as a beautiful sunrise or sunset, the calm flow of a river, a sleeping baby, or the flight of a bird. Using this “visioning” technique helps you think of these peace-filled experiences during moments in your life when it’s quite the opposite.
Try it: Your dogs are barking and your baby is crying and you’ve tried all you can do to help them, but they won’t stop and you feel exhausted. Close your eyes for a brief moment (30 seconds) and imagine an empty beach with the waves flowing and crashing on the shore (or your peaceful place). Relax into that thought, take a deep breath, and open your eyes. How do you feel?
Another option for journaling is reflecting on what is weighing you and your soul down that is making peace and joy in your life unattainable. If something in your life, such as a habit or something you have been working towards, isn’t aligning with your truest self, it’s time to let it go. Reevaluate and keep diving deep. Try journaling prompts to become more self-aware, and reflect on your inner mindset that may be the cause of your troubles.
I hope you found this helpful and that you’ll be able to start integrating inner peace into your life! Remember, peace isn’t necessarily something to strive for. Overall, it’s about connecting to what’s already in your life and being at ease with the process. It’s what we feel when our body, mind, heart, and soul is at rest.
I'm a creative, passionate individual with an eye for a good story. Find me on my best days drinking coffee, listening to the summer rain, reading about the next wellness trend, or learning about Toronto's cultural hotspots.