Quiet Time: It’s More Important Than You Might Think
For those who work in a caretaker’s role, the day is filled with chores, deadlines, commitments and lengthy “things to do” lists. One of the items that might be missing is simple quiet time. With life throwing so many things at people at once, it’s sometimes easy to forget the need to have quiet time for contemplation, relaxation and a little alone time.
It’s a habit many people practice.
Busy People Need Quiet Time
According to the Harvard Business Review, the busier people are, the more quiet time they need.
Extended periods of quiet can not only cut out all the “clutter” coming from outside sources, but also quiet the interior “chattering” that most people experience when they are going “a mile a minute.”
Many well-known people practice this habit. The Harvard Business Review lists a few from both the past and present, including:
- Author J.K. Rowling
- Biographer Walter Isaacson
- Famed psychiatrist Carl Jung
- Political leaders such as California Gov. Jerry Brown and Ohio congressman Tim Ryan
Even if you are not running a government or trying to write a novel, quiet time provides benefits. Numerous studies have shown that quiet time can have restorative powers on the nervous system and help people sustain energy.
It also can make the mind more receptive and flexible in dealing with the complex environment that most people experience in the modern digital age.
What Studies Have Found
A study from Duke Medical School found that quiet time actually helps develop new cells in the area of the brain associated with learning and memory.
Other studies have found that simple quiet time can prove healthy to both the cardiovascular and respiratory systems – even more than relaxing music.
Science seems to back up what people already know: some quiet time can lead to a calm, more centered feeling. That’s especially important for those with stressful jobs or those who take on the responsibility of caring for a family member.
Quiet Time Ideas for Busy People
For people with a full schedule, it might feel impossible to imagine a space that is quiet. However, as shown above, it is essential for internal equilibrium. Some ideas for creating quiet time include:
- Taking a break from all media. This means turning off the television, computer and even setting aside your smartphone. Checking out of social media in particular and opting instead for a book or a white-noise relaxation session can soothe the mind from all its racing thoughts.
- Having a hot soak in the tub. Get some bubbles, salts, or tinctures, and run that bath. Lock the door, source a bath pillow and put on some nature sounds to really set the atmosphere right.
- Another good idea is to take a walk in nature for an hour in the morning or afternoon, whichever works best for your schedule. As noted at Hope Grows many times, communing with nature has many beneficial effects. It might even become one of the best parts of your day.
- Find a low-key hobby like knitting or painting. A creative channel is important for most people and allowing this part of yourself to have an outlet is highly therapeutic in this context. Peace is only really possible if you also find peace within yourself. An activity in this remit can help you reconnect with who you are and what you love doing outside of being busy. There is always time in the week somewhere for a short hobby burst!
Inspiration for Caregivers
For caretakers everywhere, it’s important to know how important quiet time can be. Take some time for yourself, whether you do it at home or in the many different therapeutic activities supported through places such as Hope Grows. You could try any of the following suggestions.
- Practice yoga or meditation for half an hour in the morning. This might mean setting an alarm and losing half an hour’s sleep to find a quiet half hour, but the output will be more than worth it. These methods have multiple, peaceful benefits and are renowned for their healing powers.
- Reach out to support groups. Finding like-minded people in a similar situation can be healing all on its own. You will be able to connect with other human beings going through similar circumstances and resonate with their experience too. These groups are great places for finding advice, a shoulder to cry on, and true companionship.
- Arrange to have a quiet house one day a month. This will mean finding external support as well to cover your caring responsibilities, but it is vital that people are able to connect with and enjoy their own space. Where you live might be a hub of activity and pressure when you step into a caring role. That is why taking one day out of the month when there is no one around except your own company is extremely necessary. Take the day to do whatever you want! Clean, sleep, cook, draw, and dance; the platform is yours for the making.
- Make time for things outside of caring. This could be a coffee with an old friend, or a stroll around the park with your favorite pet. It doesn’t matter what it is, even something as small as a phone call will suffice. People need human connection, and a good rant to a trusted person will set your mind on the right path once more.