Because my children seem to enjoy being especially loud in the morning hours I knew I had to come up with a way to let them know when they had to try to be quiet using some kind of visual reminder. So on day one of Cheyne working night shift I introduced my kids to the "quiet candle." When the candle is lit they have to be extra quiet. Of course, I placed the candle on the left side of the book case, where I usually set it on the right side. Apparently that 10" or so difference was just enough to put the candle in the range of the smoke detector and, you guessed it, the "quiet candle" set off our smoke detector first thing on the first morning. Oh, the irony.
But, really, when they aren't setting off smoke detectors, candles can be very calming. They invite quiet and calm. Even at the end of the busiest of days I can dim the lights (to hide the messy house, of course) and light a few candles. As I watch the flame flicker some of my stress melts just like the wax. It's a simple ritual that can be kept with minimal time, effort and money ($3 will get you four votives and a small pillar at The Dollar Tree). It's a very small thing, but sometimes those small things are just enough.