When The Chaos Gets Too Much, I Do These Little Things

Don Giannatti
3 min readMay 26

Fifteen little techniques that are easy to do, and give maximum return.

I love to walk in the forest without a phone. Just the wind in the trees refreshes my mind. Photograph by Don Giannatti.

Sometimes the world just gets too crazy for me, and I have to go to a place of peace and gratitude.

My peace.

My gratitude.

It seems that we have decided to embrace delusions delivered by rude people who have no interest in our feelings or our desires.

Cold. Indifferent media.

A more uncivilized interactive style than I can ever remember.

When I get overwhelmed, I can feel it start to drain my creativity.

I start to spend too much time on problems I cannot repair.

Helplessness doesn’t breed creativity in me.

So here are a few little and easy things I do to regain my sanity.

  1. Sit in silence.
    The world buzzes. Constantly. It is in the wind, the airwaves, the ambient sounds of the city. Find quiet. Listen to it. Let it calm you as you slowly begin to regain the quiet peace of a still mind.
  2. Meditate.
    It’s not fancy. Just breathing. In. Out. Find peace in the rhythm. Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it does. I meditate with very specific music that lets me clear my messy head. Coltrane. Miles.
  3. Connect with nature.
    Take a short hike on a tall mountain. Walk around the neighborhood park and imagine. Trees don’t hurry. Rivers don’t worry. Learn from them.
  4. Keep a gratitude journal.
    Write down the good things. Big. Small. It’s your lens to a peaceful world. Use a notebook and a pencil. Draw or doodle your gratitude. I love a Blackwing and a Field Note sketch pad.
  5. Limit your news intake.
    World events are overwhelming. Most of them are bullshit anyway. Stay informed, but don’t drown. And they want to drown you, so limit exposure. And breathe.
  6. Learn to let go.
    Not everything needs fixing. It’s okay to leave things be. The world is perfect at this moment in time. Work to make it better, but accept it as it is and relax.
  7. Make time for hobbies.
    Do what you love. It’s not wasted time. It’s inner peace found. It’s a self-awareness builder.
  8. Embrace imperfection.
    Flaws aren’t failures. They’re human. Accept them. Wabi Sabi, baby. The only imperfection is the reluctance to accept imperfection.
  9. Prioritize sleep.
    Rest isn’t optional. It’s a peacemaker. Prioritize it. I hate to sleep, but I make sure I get an adequate amount to be alert all day.
  10. Disconnect.
    Screens demand attention. You don’t always have to answer. Unplug. Often. Grab a notebook and sketch. Listen to vinyl.
  11. Practice compassion.
    Be kind to others. To yourself too. It’s a two-way road to peace. And it is such a lovely road.
  12. Do less.
    You can’t do everything. Focus on what matters. Let the rest go. It’ll still be there for you later, and you won’t be so stressed when doing it.
  13. Establish boundaries.
    Tight, well-controlled boundaries. It’s okay to say "no”. It’s necessary. Protect your peace.
  14. Seek meaningful connections.
    People matter. Nurture relationships. They’re a harbor in chaos. And they can provide support when you need it.
  15. Embrace change.
    The world spins. Change is the only thing that is constant. Things change. Don’t resist. Go with it. It is really all you can do.
I love cacti and have my own little garden where I make images. Photo by Don Giannatti

Find the little things that work for you, and double down on them if you need more solace.

These are indeed crazy times.

And for us creative types, things are about to get even crazier.

I am Don Giannatti. I write about creativity, photography, motorcycles, and soon… jazz. I am a photographic mentor and coach, and you can find more about me at my website, and on Substack where you can get a free, full workshop class to help your creative business for free when you subscribe.

Don Giannatti

Designer. Photographer. Author. Entrepreneur: Loving life at 100MPH. I love designing, making photographs and writing.