Does it feel like we’ve been living on a movie set this past year to anyone else? I have found myself often wondering, “Is this really happening?”. We have now been living with a global pandemic for almost one year and I feel like instead of coming together in unity and peace, the majority of people have settled in with an “It’s my way or the highway” approach to their beliefs and opinions. I feel like now, more than anything, we as mothers need to focus on taking tight control over the things that we can inside our homes. We are, in fact, shaping the next generation of leaders in our towns, cities, states, nation, and world.
What steps can we take in our own homes to cultivate peace amongst a world that seems angry? I sometimes get overwhelmed thinking about what can I do in my own home to promote peace when there is rioting at our nation’s capital, anger and hatred between political parties, mass shootings, sex trafficking, and daily negativity on social media and TV? But then I think back to a simple quote by Mother Teresa, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”. So below are five actionable steps that I have been taking in our home to help cultivate peace…
5 Actionable Steps to Cultivate Peace at Home
- Love: It’s such an easy thing to assume those in your family “know” that you love them…especially as your children get older. When my girls were babies I would kiss their cheeks and tell them “I love you” ALL day but as they’ve gotten older, I find that I certainly am not saying it as often. Make sure you TELL them and SHOW them, love! I make it a point to tell my husband and my girls that I love them at least each morning when they wake up and every night before they go to bed. I also try to think of ways throughout the week to show them love whether it’s by baking their favorite meal or snack, doing an activity with them one-on-one that they enjoy, or just by simply giving them my undivided attention while they talk. Find out what your child’s love language is and come up with ways you can show them love.
- Limit “Intake”: We are fortunate to live in a society where information, news, and social media is always just a click away. It’s important to know what is happening in the world; however, at least for me personally, exposure to too much news/social media can easily overwhelm me and cause anxiety and fear to creep into my mind. My emotional well-being takes its toll on my entire family so I have been really conscious over the past year how much I let “in”. I try to read/watch enough to know what is going on and then I turn it off. I also have gone through my social media pages and “cleaned out” a lot so I am only seeing what benefits me, on those platforms.
- Respecting Authority: One of the things that have really been apparent to me over this past year is the number of people who have no respect for authority. I want to teach my children that it is ok to not agree with our president, city leaders, school boards, teachers, police officers, or church leaders. However; it is NOT ok to disrespect them simply because we have a different opinion on how they should have handled a particular situation. I want my kids to understand that it is always MUCH easier to stand on the sideline and criticize a leader but FAR more difficult to be the one in that leadership position making those decisions. In the majority of the situations, they are simply making the best decision possible for the good of those they are leading with the facts that they have. If they disagree, there are respectful and peaceful ways of confronting those in authority that we can talk through when those situations arise. *Please note that there are certainly times when those in authority abuse their power and I am not referring to these instances.
- Take Care of Yourself: As I mentioned above my emotional/physical well-being overflows into my home. The saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup” is SO true! When you are continually giving of yourself to others, your husband, your children, work, committees, your church, etc. if you are not “filling your cup” what are you pouring out from? Find what refreshes you, what helps bring you joy and peace? Sometimes it’s something simple like getting outside for 30 minutes on a walk/run, maybe it’s slowly strolling the isles at Target alone. Maybe you enjoy massages and it’s a once a month massage, or maybe coffee with a friend once a week at your favorite local coffee shop. Whatever it is that helps you feel refreshed, find it and schedule it into your day, week, or month so that you can give the best to those you love the most.
- Declutter: Now I’m not saying you need to go full-on Marie Kondo in your home (unless that’s your thing). I would start with the spaces in your home that you spend the majority of your time. For me, that is our kitchen, family room, and my office. There are so many great resources out there if you need help clearing out the clutter or organizing your space. One local IG account that I LOVE to follow is abowlfulloflemons. Just the simple act of keeping the spaces that you are in the most in your home free of clutter will create a more peaceful environment. It always amazes me how when I declutter a space in my home I feel like my mind has also been refreshed as well.