When I was little my mom used to tell me to make my bed. I hated to do it because I figured I would just be using it again in a few hours so what’s the point? I had better things to do like play outside, play down the street, basically just get out of the house so that I wouldn’t be asked to do silly things like make my bed. I carried that train of thought with my all through my school days until I moved away and went to college. At that point I had to share a room with a gal who was a bit more messy than I was and though it didn’t bother me a great deal it made me see that getting myself a bit more motivated to do even the smallest things, helped with the bigger things.
In my last couple of years in college I moved in with a set of girls that I loved. We were all different but that was exactly what helped us get along so well. School was getting to the more difficult stage when I was getting ready to graduate and I had to really focus on the projects and goals I had to accomplish, and at times I was a bit overwhelmed. I had read somewhere that if you just made your bed in the morning that simple task would help you feel accomplished throughout the day. Let me tell you it helped me. I was able to get up get ready for the day, and make my bed. I finished a small simple task. That helped me to move to the next task I needed to get done, and then the next and so on. I would get home from campus and go into my room knowing that at least in there I had control of what it looked like, what was in there and how things looked. Chaos could be going on right outside my door, but I could handle it better because there was order in my room.
Fast forward to married/family life. I love my family to no end. They are my world, but I still have to remind myself not to throw them out on their kesters because they once again left earrings on the coffee table, headphones on the kitchen counter, painting supplies on the radio and hand tools in the bathroom. Every morning as part of my routine I make our bed. When I need to get to a quiet place with some order I head to my bedroom. There is always noise and activity going on in our home and I love that our home is full of laughter, love and (not that I love this part) some raised voices. I accomplished a small task every morning, and that helps propel me into accomplishing more tasks throughout the day.
One day I know my kids will be on their own. They will have their own places to live and places to thrive. I know they will take some things they were taught with them, other lessons will be lost into oblivion. With how many times I asked them to clean their rooms and make their beds I hope they will see it wasn’t just because I wanted a clean house. When a small task is accomplished, it can give you a since of pride. When I went through a stage of my life when panic attacks were a constant, I had to find something I could control. I never knew when the attacks would hit, and at the time I didn’t really understand the importance of breathing through them, researching them so that I could have a small grasp at pushing through one because I knew what I was feeling wasn’t rational thoughts. It was a hard time, trying to be normal, and do normal things while being in a state of uncertainty. I got help, I left the place that ultimately was the start of the problem, but I learned to from the experience that we as individuals need something(s) that we can control. Something that we can check off that we did that in some way gave us normalcy for our day.
Mine was making sure I had a spot in my house in which I could escape to when I felt overwhelmed, when I needed peace, when I needed to be by myself for a bit. I needed to have a non-chaotic place and my bedroom became that once again. Try making your bed each morning, clear off your dresser and dust it, vacuum a rug, find a mundane everyday chore that can be done and just do it. It may not seem like it helps but if you go out and do your day, and nothing goes the way you planned, or the projects don’t get all the way done like you thought they should, you can come home knowing you got at least one thing done. It does help. It’s simple, but it may keep you from going crazy especially with the Christmas season in our mist. Until next time:
Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity and a greater sense of well-being.Charles Duhigg