We've all been there: six million things to do, seemingly shorter and shorter days, pressure from all sides to do/ accomplish/ achieve/ complete, and an overwhelming sense that nothing is where it should be when it should be there. Piled-up responsibilities, feeling out of control, too much to get through. Chaotic? You bet. If only there was a place to turn, a resource to grant us the tools to get through the craziness unscathed, some sort of support to make it all a little more manageable.
How about The Chaos Foundation?
Never heard of it? Allow me to introduce you!
Though the name is a little misleading, The Chaos Foundation is not a group of volunteers seeking to cause or prevent chaos. It is not a support group or philanthropical meet-up. It won't raise money to mitigate the effects of chaos in our lives.
It's something we must cultivate from within. It is the base we need to have to sail through the unsettled, the busy, the out-of-control so that we may maintain our grasp on our priorities, well-being, and sanity. It is the set of tools we create for ourselves that allow us to confidently move through periods of unrest or intensity, knowing we will pull through and be just fine on the other side.
These periods of unrest can be long or short in duration and can apply to any type of chaos in our lives. We can react with similar intensity to stress arising from work, home, our relationships, and things in our environment (traffic, anyone?). When we can approach these with a sense of confidence - knowing we can handle it - we are more likely to find the creative solutions or support systems we need to plough through.
Think of a time in your life when you felt like you could barely stay above water: work, school, finances, and relationships felt like an insurmountable pile to get through. Many demands on your time. Pressure. Expectation. Anxiety. Worry. A heaping portion of self-doubt that you'd ever get through it in one piece.
If you're reading this, you must have gotten through [congrats!]. But if the feelings sound all-too-familiar, think about how the whole experience would have been different without the emotional reaction to chaos. Sure, the pressure would have been there, as would the expectation to get through it all, but how would it have been throughout if you'd felt confident in your set of tools to tackle whatever the universe threw at you?
This is The Chaos Foundation [TCF].
By putting great habits in place during quiet times - that is, times when chaos seems a little further away - we set ourselves up to confront the tsunami head-on when it arrives, knowing we have the physical ability, mental capacity, emotional endurance, and energy to conquer it.
These habits include:
- how we eat (consuming foods to fuel the body)
- how we rest (consider it stocking up during periods when sleep is plentiful, so that we can survive periods where sleep is scarce)
- how we exercise (maintaining strength and promoting natural energy production)
- how we de-stress (ie. meditating, practicing yoga, or embracing solitude to calm the sympathetic nervous system)
- how we reflect (introspection and journalling can help us see our patterns, where we need support, and how we might be getting in our own way)
Preparation is at the heart of TCF. When we plan ahead, we ensure we have the raw materials we'll need. Check the list above again, then read on:
- which foods make you feel awesome? what do you need to stock your fridge with to ensure you can make the best food decisions possible - for you - on days when food might otherwise be an afterthought (or a remedy for stress)?
- where are you spending your time? is there anything you can cut down on to gain an extra thirty minutes of sleep each night? how can you build rest around crazy days or weeks?
- where are pockets of physical-activity potential in your day? could you adjust your morning or evening routine to give yourself twenty minutes of movement (a walk or a jog or a home workout absolutely count!)? can you fit some movement into your workday to replenish energy stores?
- when do you feel the most calm? how can you bring elements of that to your day, chaotic or otherwise? cultivating this creates an inner mini-foundation for calmness.
- do you take any time during the day to really think about what's happening, instead of getting caught in the rush of it all? can you take any time during the day to reflect on how you feel, how you react, what you're excited for, nervous about, etc? (first thing upon waking or right before bed are great times)
Each step we take towards implementing healthy habits ia a step closer to whole-life strength to persevere through chaos. When we set ourselves up to succeed, especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing, there are few things the universe can throw at us that we can't sort out. As you plan your week, think about where there is space to do something great for yourself, how you can start some meaningful new habits, and how you can cultivate confidence in your own awesomeness.
For more ideas on how to support different varieties of chaos in your life, check out our Events Page for info on the upcoming 'Healthy Happy Hour' workshop on June 1st! Your everyday life should support your mind and body to allow for a little chaos... even when the chaos happens to be out on the town!