A few months ago I started an interesting journey. We are living the hectic and sometimes chaotic phase of having two small children. In the midst of this situation I want to try if we can improve our wellbeing. It feels like a brave project, since sometimes even coping with everyday life seems overwhelming. On the other hand it also feels very meaningful, as this could help me have better energy and patience with my kids. So now I want to share with all my international friends how far we have come.
Already for a few years I have been inspired by preventive aspects in medicine. It would be great to take care of oneself before bigger problems arise. Even though it sounds quite easy and straightforward it can be quite difficult anyway.
I got an additional kick of inspiration when I read the story of Aki Hintsa. He was a doctor who had a holistic approach to the health of Formula 1 drivers. I decided that I want to try this myself. If I can make changes in the hectic life with two children, maybe other people can get inspired to consider doing the same.
I made up a one year plan with a theme for every month: sleep and screens, body stamina, relationships, activity, nutritions, work, home… Every month I will first analyse my current way of life from that specific point of view. Then I will try new manageable habits for two weeks. After this I will evaluate and adjust the habits if needed.
The first month I dedicated to some big questions: Who am I? What do I want? These and other questions are foundational to building up motivation. If you figure out answers to these questions things will fall in place a lot easier. My hope is that all new habits will come out of joy and positive thinking. I believe obligations and bad feelings don’t give rise to long term improvement.
During the second month I thought about sleep and screens. I tried to have a regular timetable every day: wake up at 7 a.m., shut down screens at 8:30 p.m., go to bed at 10 p.m. and shut the lights at the latest at 11 p.m. I found this surprisingly rewarding. I fell asleep much better than before. The evenings were also a lot more relaxed when the screens were shut down. On the other hand it was hard not to use the screens after the kids had fallen asleep, since there are not so many opportunities to do that earlier in the day. I had to leave some things undone and other things had to wait longer to be taken care of.
After two weeks I concluded that this was a good habit, even though it was hard at the same time. So I decided to continue, and it has worked out quite well. Of course there are exceptions, but often we manage to go to bed roughly at 10 p.m. and shut the lights at 11 p.m. I use my phone or computer after 8:30 p.m. only if I remember something urgent.
During those two weeks our home was not as tidy as before. I realized that earlier I had often cleaned our kitchen and put things in order late in the evening. I had taken that time from my sleeping time. It was especially hard to leave the kitchen and bathroom in a mess. Nevertheless, I wanted to try doing that as well for two weeks. I also got the thought that this mess is meaningful. It is made by the people most dear to me. I’d rather have this mess than not have my loved ones. So I started to say to myself: “This is my #preciousmess”. Suddenly this mess didn’t feel that bad anymore.
I still want to keep our home tidy if possible. In fact the situation is often a lot better nowadays, even though I don’t clean or organize after 10 p.m. When I put the more important thing (sleep) in place also the less important thing (order at home) started to fall in place. Still there are situations where I say #preciousmess. It makes me feel more at ease with the mess if I can’t do anything about it at the moment. Thus I want to encourage everybody to see the meaning behind the mess instead of building up negative energy. If you have to clean it up anyway you can do it with a warm feeling in your heart.
Maybe #preciousmess can help you feel the value behind the mess.