The other day I shared my tips for creating a peaceful atmosphere in the home. One idea I kept returning to was the idea of rhythm. Sounds simple enough, right? Just find your rhythm. But what is it and how do you get it?
Put simply, rhythm is the flow of your days, your week and your year. It’s not as rigid as a schedule, nor as chaotic as flying by the seat of your pants. It’s the steady in and out breath of homelife, held together by purpose and predictability.
Children in particular tend to thrive on knowing what comes next. As an adult I still find I feel calmer if I know both what needs to be done, and that I will have enough time in my day to do it. This is the purpose of rhythm.
Rhythm allows a sense of calm to settle on us and our homes.
Finding rhythm in the home comes naturally for some, but if this is new to you, or even if you just need a hand to tweak your exisiting rhythm, these ideas can get you started.
1. Make a list
Grab a pen and paper and settle yourself down in a quiet, sunny spot where you can think. Start jotting down what you need to do each day. For me this looks like chores, formal lesson time for my son, feeding animals, putting the wee one down for her nap, preparing meals, spending too much time on Instagram… :-p
2. Find the touchstones
Your touchstones are the moments that happen at roughly the same time every day; day in and day out. Waking up, eating meals together, bedtimes. If these are all over the place, making these moments predictable is where you need to start.
Create a bedtime ritual and set a rough time for meals. If there is predictability in these moments, your whole day will run smoother. Build your rhythm around these touchstones.
Build your day around meals and bedtimes. Create rituals for these everyday happenings. These are the touchstones which will hold your daily rhythm together.
3. Breathe in and breathe out
Look at the activities you listed in step one. Split them in to two groups. One group is your outwardly focussed activities, the second for inwardly focused activities. Another way to look at this in the context of running a home could be energetic activities compared to peaceful activities. You want to alternate between these throughout the day.
Follow a breathing in activity with a breathing out activity . You’re not looking to schedule in times, just to create an order for events to occur in. This will give your day flow. Write down your order of events in respect to your touchstone moments.
Alternate breathing in actions with breathing out actions to give your days a sense of flow.
And you’ve done it!
Everyday doesn’t need to look the same. You may find you need to change the middle of each day depending on what you have on. Just try to keep those touchstone moments in place and try to maintain the balance of in and out breath to the day.
Here’s a look at our daily rhythm.
Creating rituals around activities can help to anchor them in your day and make the mundane a little more special. Perhaps a little verse when you serve lunch, or a particular apron you like to wear to do the housework?
Our weeks and years have a ryhthm of their own too. I’ll be chatting about those another time 🙂