With intensity and intention, the windy days thoughtfully bring us to November. In ordinance with the tumultuous weather, the once show-stopping leaves are rocked from the comforting limbs of trees only to land wherever the wind releases them. November presents as a chaotic month, curating a sense urgency and punctuality. The days are getting darker faster, the holidays are coming up at increasingly fast speeds, fall is changing into winter much too fast than we care for and we are still trying to figure out if a walk down Main Street requires a fleece or down parka. As the above mentioned, chaotic. Bringing us to the age-old idiom, is there truly order within the chaos? It’s encouraged during these busier times of the year to discover the order within the chaos. Navigating this season can be surprisingly empowering should one arm themselves with the right tools to do it.
Make a note
While at first it may seem daunting, writing out objectives and plans can be the first step to organizing chaos. This can be something easily done even without the greatest amount of time. Weather it’s a quick list by the nightstand, typed into cell phone or in an all-out day-to-day planner, writing things down can be a helpful tool to assist in keeping thoughts, goals and objectives organized. Find planning methods that suit individualized needs and goals. Regardless of planning style, focusing on the larger more important goals and objectives rather than the finer more nuanced details may be more helpful.
At the beginning of the holiday season, a best kept secret can be found in clutch, a notebook, that allows for the freedom to freely jot down ideas as they come but also to create lists of things needing to do and wish ideas. An all-time favorite is creating a Thanksgiving checklist, that allows for the brainstorming and mapping out of all of the entrees for thanksgiving, items still needing to be purchased and holiday table décor. Best created at the beginning of the month, this method, allows for slower more controlled progress throughout the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Acquiring the more shelf stable stock items in advance, can help in reducing the demand on shopping excursions closer to the day. This time of the year stores tend to be very busy, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the rushing around of strangers, accumulative chatter and second choice selections due to empty shelves. Planning ahead can create a reduction in stress and allow for more time to be spent present in the moment.
As the season gets busier, it’s important to check in with one’s self and remember the helpful practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness can take many shapes and forms and each experience unique. Some forms of mindfulness can look like 15 minuets of mediation in a calming room, or a half-hour of coloring. It can also look like being engaged in active listening when your spouse tells all about their day at work, or enjoying a meal with all of the senses, or the simplest, breathing exercises. No matter how you choose to practice mindfulness, being present in the moment can help to reduce some holiday evoked stress, and leave the mind feeling more at rest.
While it’s its not the easiest of topics to discuss, practicing mindfulness can also help with those more difficult situations encountered during the holiday season. Difficult situations can take many forms, however one of the most challenging can be communication with others. With busy lives and busy schedules, lack of sleep, and unfulfillment of needs, emotions can run over into otherwise meaningful conversations. Practice giving each other grace and forgiveness when challenging conversations arise, but also do not be afraid to set up clear boundaries. Instead of being the bucket for displaced fear, anxiety, and anger for someone else, set up clear, well-defined boundaries so that healthful and meaningful relationships can continue but in safer ways. The holidays are a time for coming together, spending time and enjoying the special moments life has to offer, it would be a great loss to spend it engaging in something so trivial and quite impermeant such as a disagreement of ideas.
Yes, there can be order within the chaos.
Back to the proposed question, can there be order within the chaos? Arguably yes, but only if it’s sought after intentionally and purposefully. Planning ahead and practicing mindfulness in both self-health preservation and mindful communication can yield positive long-lasting results this holiday season. Above all, live in the moment, allowing the most important takeaways to shine. All the little inconveniences, frustrations, arguments and stress have no place in your mind and should naturally take a transient role, going out of the mind just as fast as they came in. Feel empowered to take control of this holiday season and discover new ways to find peace and order within the chaos.
If intentions are set and routines are developed, it’s all the more this activity can become part of a balanced lifestyle practice. You may have been dealt lemons this season and feel sour about the thought of making lemonade, but if you stop and truly see the lemon for all that it is, perhaps making a lemon meringue pie to eat over a lively discussion about the silliness of cats among the best of friends would be a better fit.
The choice is yours on your level of engagement and reactivity, choose wisely, choose peace and happiness.
One thought on “Turning Chaos into Comfort”
Melissa… tomorrow is a bittersweet day for me. We chatted, you, Vadym, Skip & me. Even your sweet pup, and your dad! Thankful to have met you. Love & hugs, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 💖