As an introverted mama in a house full of boys, I have come to learn how to stay centered amidst the noise and busyness. There are daily and weekly routines I have put in place, as well as techniques I use throughout the day when I feel my stress level rising.
My evening goal is to get at least six hours of sleep every night. Seven or eight hours would be ideal, but six is realistic. Getting a good night's rest is the foundation to starting the day off well.
My morning goal is to be up before the boys so I can get at least 5-15 minutes of quiet time to start my day centered. I have learned that even five minutes alone helps keep me greet the boys with grace and peace. Here is my quick but focused morning routine:
1. Read a chapter from the Bible.
2. Pray for my husband, children, and myself using scripture and a prayer calendar.
3. Take 10 slow, deep breaths.
4. If there is time, I will sit in silent prayer.
My husband and I often feel like drill sargeants in the morning trying to get three kids up and out to three different schools, and our own selves to work. While I'm driving the kids to school, I frequently feel my anxiety rise as the clock clicks the minutes away. The streets are filled with other cars rushing to work and school drop offs. When I feel like shouting at the other drivers, I know that it time to take several deep breaths. I remind myself that we are on the road and we will get there when we get there.
I have also started playing classical music that is soothing during our morning commute. This helps my middle son and I focus on something besides the clock ticking the minutes away.
Our morning commute playlist includes: Arvo Part, Spiegel im Speigel, Adagio for Strings.
On a weekly basis, I make sure to walk three days a week to and from work which ensures I take 10,000 steps for those days. I used to listen to podcasts as I walked. I am starting to walk in silence, particularly in the mornings. Silence helps me to think my own thoughts and notice the world around me. I am learning it is important to give myself that time to not just walk, but to walk mindfully.
On my days off I try to run at least two miles twice a week. Running and yoga are two types of movement that I integrate into my week to help me stay centered.
As the day comes to a close and all the children are in bed (and hopefully sleeping), I try to write at least three things down that I was grateful for during the day. This helps me to reflect on my day through the lens of gratitude. As this becomes a regular practice for me, I'm noticing that I recognize when my heart is struck with thankfulness throughout the day.
I also take the last few minutes of the day to read a novel for pleasure. It is not practical or productive, but feeds my soul. I sleep knowing that the next day is a new day, full of opportunities and a fresh start.
HuffPost's GPS for the Soul app is based on two truths about human beings. First: We all have a centered place of wisdom, harmony and balance within us. Second: We're all going to veer away from that place, again and again and again. What we need is a great course-correcting mechanism -- a GPS for the Soul -- to help us find our way back to that centered place, from which everything is possible.
Because no one knows better than you what helps you de-stress and tap into that place of peace inside yourself, it's important for you to create your very own GPS guide -- a personalized collection of whatever helps you course-correct. Email us at GPS@huffingtonpost.com and we'll set you up with your very own HuffPost blogger account to share your guide on the site. If you're already a blogger, we encourage you to upload your personal guide today. We can't wait to see what you have to share.