How to Find Quiet in the Chaos
Do you ever find yourself wishing for just one quiet moment in your day? A time to catch your breath and gather your thoughts. A time to recognize and reflect all that is going on in your day, week, month, or life in general.
We all lead such busy lives! I don’t know about you, but for me, some days feel like I wake up only to check off my endless to-do lists (so many lists). I’m here to tell you that, believe it or not, it is possible to find some quiet in the midst of all the chaos!
It is July now, and we are still dealing with a pandemic, a pandemic on top of all of the other things going on in our lives. While many of us have had our old schedules uprooted and rerouted, our busyness has not stopped. For some it has even increased. Some of us are working from home full time while at the same time trying to figure out how to assist our kiddos with their school work (common core math just might be the death of me). Furloughs and layoffs put many back on the hunt for a job while trying to make ends meet and support their families. The list goes on and on and on.
Quiet moments are good for our health.
Chaos causes us to feel overwhelmed which leads to increased amounts of stress, and stress leads to an increased overall risk of health problems. In fact, according to The American Institute of Stress 77% of Americans experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Employers are already spending $300 billion dollars annually due to missed work from stress related health problems. I’d say by those numbers we could all use a little quiet time!
Carving out time and space to find quiet in the chaos can elevate our minds, bodies, and spirits. PsychCentral cites that quiet time has many benefits like reducing stress and helping the body heal. When we seek out the quiet moments in life it gives us an opportunity to “power down” and rest, two things that are essential to our overall health and wellbeing. There is also healing power when we seek out the quiet in the chaos. Quiet time has been linked to more successful recovery from surgery and illness. Another bonus of the quiet game!
Is it even possible?
I know you might be thinking, “Sarah, I don’t have the time or the space to add one more thing to my list, especially carving out time for quiet.” I hear you, I see you! Trust me, I still have to remind myself to seek out the quiet, to practice it. But I want to assure you that you don’t have to carve out large chunks of time. Small moments, just like small habits, can make great improvements to how we experience and manage the chaos in our lives. I can’t promise you that life will slow down or that it won’t throw more challenges your way. But I can say that purposefully finding quiet in the chaos can help lighten the load you are carrying. With a lighter load, we think more clearly, perform better, rest easier, and feel happier! I think we can all agree those things are important to each and every one of us. So, let’s do this!
3 ways to find quiet in the chaos.
- Just breathe. Oxygen is a beautiful thing! It makes our bodies run from head to toe and there is real power in focusing on our breath. The great thing about breathing is you can do it anywhere! It requires no special tools and no membership fee. So, the next time you feel the chaos creeping in, pause what you are doing and take two minutes to breathe. Close your eyes and just focus on inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. When you get used to the two minute breathing sessions, challenge yourself to increase to 5 minutes, maybe even 10!
- Step away from the screen. The average adult spends more than 12 hours a day in front of some sort of screen (computer, tv, smartphone, tablet, etc). Given the fact that we should be spending 7-9 hours of our day sleeping, that does not leave much time at all, during our waking hours, free from screens. Taking time away from our screens allows our brains to take a much needed break. It gives us an opportunity to step away from all of the over stimulation that surrounds us on a daily basis. Try limiting your screen time. Instead, go for a walk around the block sans phone, earbuds, and music. Give your brain a break, allow yourself to collect your thoughts, and catch up.
- Say no. Yes, I said it! Just say no. Raise your hand if this feels impossible? Saying no can be really difficult for many of us, and because of it, we feel bogged down by all of the tasks and commitments in our lives. But the truth is when we take on too much everything suffers in some way. Take a look at your to-do lists, your commitments, your engagements; where can you free up some time? When we give ourselves permission to say no, we free up space in our lives to...you guessed it, find quiet in the chaos!
I challenge you to try each of these tips. See which one works best for you and practice practice practice. With any habit worth building, practice makes perfect. I wish you many moments of quiet in the near future. And if you’d like some assistance incorporating quiet in the chaos, let me know, I’d love to help! Schedule a time with me. Do you have other ways that help you carve out quiet in the chaos? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below.
Be healthy, be happy, be you!