I’ve got plenty of anecdotal experience that demonstrates the value of quiet time. With a moment to myself – or a moment free from noise and chaos – I feel so much better. Balanced. Calm. Able to jump buildings in a single bound and all that stuff. After even a few moments of quiet, I am more energized, less prone to unexpected freak outs, and more likely to act in a loving manner to my family even when they are hyped up.
There is plenty of science now too, that shows the physical and mental health benefits of solitude. It’s energizing and restorative. It’s a stress reducer, good for the immune system. And it aids in healing. It’s a way to connect with God and your creativity. So, if you’re looking for well being, quiet is one source.
The biggest challenge though is how to find it. Here are some tips that can help you carve out a few moments of quiet in your day.
1. Make it a priority. Like brushing your teeth or taking a shower, 10 minutes of quiet time a day packs health benefits that will contribute to your peace and well being. This is not a luxury. It is part of taking care of your body and cultivating your spirit and it’s just as important as eating vegetables and working out.
2. Teach the people you live with about quiet time. We’ve coached our daughter that each day includes quiet time. This is special time you get to yourself. No television or computer or music. This is the time to read or play or create art — alone. It is possible to be with people in the same space and still have quality quiet time. One of my favorite things is when my husband, daughter and I are scattered around the house reading our own books – alone but together. By telling those you live with that this is important to you, and leading by example, they’ll begin to support it and enjoy it as well.
3. Use the spaces in between. I rarely have the radio on in the car when I’m driving alone. When I’m waiting for an appointment, I’m seldom texting or talking. And chore time at home, can be quiet time. I often work without music or television or noise. I don’t always get alone time, but the spaces in between the rest of my responsibilities allow time without noise.
4. Create at least one daily ritual that promotes quiet. Say a prayer. Meditate a few minutes each day. Go for a run without headphones. Take a long bath, or sneak in a shower before bed. I schedule quiet time. When I know I’ve got a particularly cluttered day ahead, I’ll get up 15 minutes early just to drink coffee in the quiet, still-sleeping house and center myself.
Creating pockets of solitude is a powerful way to refuel and energize our lives. Make it a priority. Build it in. You’ll feel better and more equipped to manage the challenges of your day.
Photo by: Stock.xchng
Original post appeared in September 2011.