Finding Quiet Moments in a Busy World

Now that the madness of Christmas has been replaced by the madness of the school run, I find it just as necessary to find moments of tranquility around us. It feels like the world is always hurrying along, and I want to intentionally take time outside the rush to observe things and stop us missing what is important.

Based on my  mum’s recommendation, on my daughter’s last day off preschool, I took her to an asian supermarket. It has a cafe upstairs that serves bubble tea. This is a drink I search far and wide for, and every time I finally locate a premises that sells it, it closes down. I must be one of the few people for whom tapioca floating in tea sounds appetising (or other people haven’t discovered how much fun it is to drink – it’s like tea and chewing gum in one.) I had one of these while my daughter was adventurous and tried guava juice (before loudly expressing her distaste for it, but at least she tried it :)) We also tried a green scone that was coated in coconut. I always like to try new foods and purposely choose whatever sounds the weirdest to see if I like it. It was a drizzly and depressing Monday that epitomised the January feeling for me, and finding the cafe with all its interesting decor and wall hangings brightened the day up. We sat at the window, overlooking what was likely-a queue of enraged road users, chatting and enjoying our last Christmas holiday moments together. Afterwards, we looked around the supermarket to see what unusual items we could find. I didn’t know how to cook half of them, but my daughter enjoyed trying to identify them all and making me aware of where the sweets were, in case I had failed to notice.

I’ve been trying to spend plenty of time outdoors with the girls, even in lower temperatures. We went to a local park and followed it with a walk on a woodland trail they have there. They have little wooden animals hidden in the woods for children to find, fairy houses, wishing trees and wood carvings. I got an intro to the joys of the teenage years when my daughter complained about us having to go for a walk for the first time, but sitting on a throne and riding on the back of a pretend badger soon cured that. I like the message on the throne – it reads “when it rains, look for rainbows, when it’s dark, looks for stars.”

 

There is a library near our house that I make a point of visiting every week with my kids. It has a whole downstairs dedicated to children’s books, a miniature soft play-type area and a colouring table. It seems to be underused, but the staff are so friendly and the librarian often has coffee, juice and biscuits for the adults and kids. I like the fact that we don’t feel any pressure to hurry up and get out and that there is such a warm welcome every time we go in. My kids also enjoy their bedtime story event, they hold lego mornings and other craft activities. I love finding hidden and underpopulated events that are creative and cheap to attend 🙂

Apart from that, I have been making a point of finding writing time, lighting candles, listening to music and allowing creativity to come at its own pace.

Ways to Enjoy a Mellow Morning

7 Ways to Find the Joy in a Mellow Morning

I think it’s important to have a mellow morning at least once a week. It’s a rare indulgence in my house since we’re always rushing off somewhere. This morning I sat and enjoyed strong coffee, not allowing myself to feel guilty about the fact my kids were unattended while I wrote; they are well able to amuse themselves. Here are a few ideas to have a morning at your own pace:

1. Make yourself a teapot of tea or a cafetière of coffee

Sometimes these things are reserved for the arrival of guests, but you should treat yourself too. Sit at the table with a cup and saucer, some tea lights and soft music and treat yourself like you would a visitor in your house.

2. Make a special breakfast

Make filled croissants, pancakes or fancy eggs. Take more time over what you’re eating when you can. Sit for as long as you want before you get ready.

3. Lie in the bath and stare at the ceiling

There is something calming about being submerged in water. It gives you time to collect your thoughts and the sound of water is a peaceful way of blotting out stressful sounds.

4. Read Under A Blanket

How often do you get to read without interruptions? Granted, if you have kids this will be harder to achieve, but encourage them to do the same and appreciate inactivity.

5. Stare dreamily into space

Maybe this only appeals to me because I’m a day dreamer, but I think it’s good for your brain to just let it have some down time and just look at your surroundings while you think about unimportant things.

6. Make listening to music an activity in itself

People usually make listening to music a background activity. Let it be the main one so you can focus on it and allow yourself to stop multi-tasking

7. Do Calming Crafts

Some crafts require a lot of brain power, while others let your hands work while your mind rests. Try cross stitch, decoupage or even those knitting dolls for kids. Repetitive crafts don’t demand much for you but help you to destress.

Take your opportunities for a slow start and allow yourself to stop being busy all the time. When you have to face business again, you’ll be better-equipped to cope with it.