From the usual stresses of work and the constant chatter of mobile phones, to the general buzz of every day life, it can feel difficult to find some quiet.
As someone who has around 4,000 (*approximate) thoughts running through their head at any given point, I can struggle to switch off – whether that’s at the end of the day or at any given point throughout.
If you’re anything like me, then it’s not so much about finding quiet, but making quiet.
Although I find solo travel a great way to give my mind a break, it’s not exactly the most consistent or realistic option day-to-day! So, I’ve decided to make more of an effort to create space for my mind to be quiet in daily life with some simple steps.
I’ve shared some of these ideas below. If you’re trying to make more space for quiet too, then I hope you’ll find them useful and find some tips that work for you.
Download a guided meditation app
If you struggle with the idea of jumping straight into meditation, I recommend starting with guided meditation. You can usually choose the length or type of mediation that you’d like to do so you can find something that suits you and will help you to feel like you ‘know what you’re doing’.
I recently downloaded the Calm app, which I’m really enjoying. There’s plenty of other apps available (both free and subscription based) so you can find one that suits your needs. The Calm app is great for soothing background music, a wide variety of meditations and a daily emotion ‘check in’ which is helping me to be more consistent with using the app each day.
Try yoga or exercise
It depends on how you define ‘quiet’ but, for me, it’s any time when my brain is so focused on one particular thing that it becomes still. I find that physical activity can be a great way to distract the mind from overthinking – and you get a positive boost from the endorphins too. Win-win!
If you haven’t yet tried using some form of exercise as a tool for your mind then I highly recommend it. I personally love cardio and weights as you really need to focus on the movements and your form – but it could be anything from yoga and swimming, to tennis and running.
Whatever you choose, it’s a great, often daily, way to keep your mind and body focussed.
Take 5 minutes to sit outdoors
It sounds simple but it’s often the simple things that get forgotten or pushed aside.
Try to start a daily habit of taking 5 – 10 minutes (or longer if you can) outside in the fresh air, doing nothing (that means no checking your phone!).
First thing in the morning or during your lunch break are good options for starting a consistent routine of getting some time alone, in nature. It can help you to pause, take a moment to reset and go back to your day feeling lighter and with a bit more energy.
Listen to gentle background music
The background to my day is usually an album, podcast or YouTube video – and although I enjoy listening to them, it doesn’t always help with the clutter in my head and general noise around me.
Sometimes they’re a great distraction tool or something to focus on, but often it’s just more unnecessary noise. If you’re like me and don’t really enjoy sitting or doing things in silence, then a playlist of gentle, soothing background music could be really useful.
The key is that the sounds need to be non-intrusive and calming. I personally love the sound of rain – but it could be anything from instrumental music to beach sounds. Try creating your own playlist of ‘background’ music or finding one online, and using it when you want some quiet, but not silent, time.
Read a gripping book
This is another activity I rely on to help redirect my focus and give my mind a bit of a break. Finding a book that you can really get stuck into can be a great way to switch off and stop focusing on all the other little things flying around your head.
Reading a book is a great way to step outside of the busy day-to-day, especially if you’re able to sit in a cafe, park, your bed or any quiet space to enjoy it too.
Be tough to be kind
Sometimes, if you want to make a change or do something positive for yourself, you really need to be tough to be kind. Things aren’t going to change unless you actively make the decision and take the steps to do so.
No matter how much you want quiet time for yourself, unless you put steps in place to make it happen then you won’t create that habit. Try being strict with yourself and scheduling in something that you’re going commit to. It could be as small as just 5 minutes a day to mediate or 30 minutes every other day to exercise or read.
Whatever you decide works for you, you need to make it a priority.
Speak to someone
One of the best ways to get rid of nagging thoughts or concerns is to share what’s in your head. Speak to someone, whether that’s a friend, family or a professional.
There’s only so much that self-care and relaxing activities can do. If you’re struggling with something then reaching out will help to lighten that load and you’ll be better prepared to start working though what is making your head so busy.
How do you switch off and find quiet in your day?
Share your tips in the comments!