Maintaining our inner peace can be difficult when there's so much noise and conflict around us. Our home is the one place where we should find peace and quiet -- yet, even this private refuge can often be filled with chaos. Rushed morning routines, messy household spaces, and tense arguments are only some of the common stressors that hinder us from a healthy spiritual life in our own home.
Thankfully, it is possible to transform your household, bit by bit, into an oasis of peace. Try these practical ideas on how to make your home calm and peaceful every day.
1. Watch how you speak.
When we live with other people (such as family or roommates), we often take for granted our language and tone around them. Sometimes, we get too sarcastic or hurtful; other times, we raise our voice in what's supposed to be a rational conversation. These little things stack up and breed contempt. It's important to speak kindly even when we don't always agree about everything.
If you have children, this is also a vital lesson to teach and show by example. Kids may pick up yelling habits from outside influences, so it's crucial that when they come home, they learn and re-learn the value of calm and kind communication.
2. Minimize gadget use.
The modern Christian household cannot completely avoid technology. For instance, many of us take advantage of texting as a convenient way to communicate with each other, and some also find quality bonding moments during family TV time.
However, it's easy to get sucked in to excessive gadget use, leading to unhealthy habits. So in your home, set limitations to when, where, and how you use technology. Maybe avoid looking at smartphones while having family dinner. Or set time limits for internet and social media usage. We have practical Christian reminders for those who use social media, here.
3. Keep certain spaces strictly serene.
Maintain pockets of serenity throughout your home. These rooms or spaces should be free of noise, distractions, and unnecessary activity. Number one tip: Don't bring work into the bedroom. None of the paperwork, none of the shoptalk -- just the things that allow personal and spiritual restfulness.
Other spaces that you may want to protect as sanctuaries include your study or home office, your balcony or veranda, and your garden.
4. Keep it tidy.
This is perhaps the most practical advice for a peaceful home. We must consistently strive for a neat and clean household, instead of just allowing clutter to accumulate until the next deep-cleaning. The mere sight of used socks on the floor or a pile of dirty dishes can instantly spark stress in our brains (whether or not we're aware of it). The more we encounter clutter, the more it affects our moods.
Practice the habit of picking things up as you go along your day. Maybe arrange your desk a little bit, put away those shoes in the hallway, and return things to their proper place as soon as you see them.
5. Try a family calendar.
Minister David Peach recommends having a shared calendar that everyone in your household can access. It could be a piece of paper posted on the wall or a digital calendar on everyone's devices. The purpose is to help household members coordinate their schedules with the others', especially when everyone is busy. This is especially useful for parents of multiple children -- keeping track of everyone's trips, meetings, and deadlines can be challenging!
Of course, tools like cellphones and calendars wouldn't be of use unless each person is willing and able to communicate. It's not just about typing words on a keypad or talking nonstop. It's about expressing ideas and sentiments well, and also listening to the other person instead of merely hearing them.
Good communication skills greatly help minimize conflicts and improve collaboration. They must be exercised as often as possible between household members. For starters, practice these dos and don'ts of family communication, recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
7. Let the light in.
Have you noticed how well-lit homes look more appealing and comfortable? Natural light is an especially wonderful element that brings clarity and a positive ambiance to any room. During the day, open up your windows to let the sunshine in. At night, use lighting that's conducive for each room's activities (plenty of illumination for cooking and eating, soft light for reading and unwinding).
8. Be surrounded by greenery.
Plants have an amazing effect on our health and state of mind. Not only do they help improve air quality, the sight of them also gives us humans a psychological boost. This is why home experts and mental health professionals recommend having greenery at home. Keeping indoor plants could even become your new favorite hobby for peace of mind. And if you don't have a green thumb, you can try low-maintenance plants such as snake plants and succulents.
9. Put up positive decor.
Decorate your interiors with things you love and things that uplift you. They don't even have to be expensive store-bought baubles. Perhaps you have a family heirloom item that represents good memories. Or maybe there's a Bible verse that inspires you every time you see it. One of our favorites is this rustic canvas print of the Serenity Prayer -- beautiful and spiritually enriching.
10. Set a time for God.
There should be a set time in your daily life that's dedicated for prayer and quiet reflection. No matter how busy you are, this schedule for God must be kept. It's even better to enlist your family members to join you during these precious minutes, so you can all pause and reset at the same time.
Do you practice these peaceful tips at home? Tell us about your experience in a comment below.
If you'd like more tips to stay faithful amid a busy life, try our recommendations here.
Here's to a livable, peaceful Christian home!