How To...Protect Your Peace
One of my favorite things in life has been my peace, but it hasn’t always been that way…for me it was a learned experience. Peace is not based on external circumstances, it’s an internal experience that doesn’t waver. You can be standing in the middle of complete chaos and being peaceful through it all nonetheless. I believe that too often people treat “peace” as if it’s impossible to maintain while going through struggles and trials, when I truly beg to differ!
1. Discover your peace
Naturally the first step in protecting your peace is to discover it first…how can you protect something you don’t have? Sometimes it takes you surviving the toughest of times to find the determination to say “I deserve peace!”. For me, that was getting through the grief of my miscarriages and one day I reached the point where I decided I wouldn’t accept anything less than peace in my life. I determined I was going to do whatever it took to get there! It wasn’t easy to say the least, but worth it? Absolutely!
Discovering your peace may require some serious soul searching and an understanding of what works for you. For me that was weekly therapy sessions, exercising (because no one wants “baby weight” when you’ve lost a baby), coloring, attending church regularly, and learning to put my needs first. I’d reached such a low point that I wasn’t able to care about anyone else but me…I didn’t have the energy for it to say the least.
2. Put your needs first
I know it sounds a bit crazy, especially if you’re a natural giver like myself. You have to learn to take care of yourself first because if you give your all…you have nothing left to give. Far too often we tend to feel drained and it’s because our basic needs are not being met on a consistent basis. Those needs can include lack of regular sleep, rest (yes those are 2 different things), exercising regularly, regular massages, a balanced spiritual health, and creating a positive work/life balance.
Hear me very clearly when I say this…killing yourself for a job that would replace you before your funeral is completely ridiculous. Yet it’s something that happens every day and unfortunately it is something that is practically encouraged. It is great to be dedicated to your line of work, but not at the expense of your mental/emotional/physical/spiritual health. Those emails can wait, the work will be there tomorrow, and the world will not end if you respond during business hours. I do feel the exception being when you work for yourself, because it’s your brand and a representation of you (but there’s still a level of balance required).
3. Create a healthy routine
This is something I had let slip recently, because things had gotten so good I ended up forgetting about the routines that kept me in a peaceful space. Once you learn what works for you, you have to continue to do those things! Apart of protecting your peace is understanding that it’s an ongoing process and you will have to work to remain peaceful in a world of chaos. Taking care of yourself is far from selfish…it’s actually the most selfless thing you can do! We’re better caretakers, bosses, and friends when we’re well rested and taken care of…you have to FIND the time to take care of yourself. Don’t allow your responsibilities to overwhelm you to the point of not having time for yourself…it’s not even fair to you!
4. Clean up your input
What are the sources that are around you and creating your input…what do you watch on TV, who are you talking to, what are you seeing on social media, and what are you reading? All of those things contribute to your input which eventually becomes your internal voice so you have to be very careful what you let in your space. Don’t stop at removing the negative sources, but begin to add positive and inspiration sources into your daily life. Begin to follow profiles on social media that are providing inspiration and motivation and encouragement. Read books that are working towards what you want to accomplish and challenge yourself to read more often as well.
5. Remove negative influences
You’d be surprised how effective it can be to remove negative influences from your life and ensuring that you are surrounded by positive interactions. The hardest part of protecting your peace is when you recognize that some of the relationships you cherish deeply are negatively contributing to your peace. At the end of the day you’re going to have to decide if your peace is worth risking at the hands of any given relationship. I understand it’s difficult to choose you above friendships and family relationships that have been apart of your life for years…I’m not saying that you have to, but I am saying sometimes it’s necessary.