Is quietening your mind part of your daily routine, not just for the kids but for you too?
Reclaiming the peace and quiet can be a tough call… but not impossible. And you know me, I am a big fan of following the kaizen, baby step approach.
But before we get to the how, let’s look at WHY it’s important to quieten your mind at least once a day.
As the days get filled with noise, not just the usual hustle and bustle, the kids, the pets, outside noise, the radio, the TV and all that but also the online digital noise is added to all day. Our pour brains never get a break.
When you think back to our ancestors they had very little noise interrupting their day, only the sounds of the great outdoors. And although we like to think that we are more advanced these days the fact of the matter is that technology has advanced quicker than the human body.
We live in a world where being busy is congratulated, and celebrated and being quiet and taking time for yourself is seen as being lazy or labelled as procrastination. Neither of which oh good labels in the current world.
That needs to change not only for our own mental health and sanity. But also because your brain needs you to quieten your mind to be able to process and be more creative.
If we stifle our creativity life gets much harder.
Creativity isn’t just painting a picture it can also be finding a way to solve a problem, or coming up with a different way to help your child learn something that they are struggling with at school. Or it could be how you’re going to market your next big thing. But if we don’t allow our brains the quiet time needs to process the problems, we will never come up with the solutions.
Scientifically, when the noise reaches 80 dB it has got to the point where it becomes a distraction. This is why the open-plan offices that became popular in the 90s have been proven to be bad for productivity.
Apart from the constant interruptions of phone calls other people talking, coworkers dropping by to ask questions, or just to have a chat, and the general humdrum of the office the open plan setting never allows the worker complete quiet to focus properly on their work.
the same can happen at home especially if you don’t have a dedicated area to work in. Our house is open plan downstairs and that’s where my desk lives. If I need to focus on something specific or I’m trying to solve a problem, I often take myself to a room upstairs or out on a bike ride so that I can quieten my mind.
But Jo, I don’t have time or a place to hide from the family…
If I had a dollar for every time I heard that I’d be a much richer woman!
I do not doubt you are busy, I’d be hard pushed to find a mom who isn’t, but making time to enjoy the silence is a choice.
Your circumstances may not allow you the privilege to lock yourself in a room, uninterrupted for hours on end, but you can steal pockets of time and start with that.
It’s all about being intentional and giving yourself permission.
As I look at it, if you work for a company for 40 hours a week, by law you are required to take a break for a certain amount of time each day. Obviously, that changes depending on the job that you were doing but for argument’s sake let’s say you get two 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch break.
If you were a mom and possibly a mom running her own business are you giving yourself the same break times? Often when we work for ourselves we forget to take a break or we try and push on through because we have limited time to do our work.
This is a mistake and we should be building micro-breaks breaks into our day.
North Carolina State University study from 2021 showed that taking micro-breaks helps employees effectively manage their energy and engage and work throughout the day.
If you are juggling looking after the kids as you work then use one micro break as connection time with your children, and the next as an opportunity to quieten your mind. Giving the kids, mess-free activities and setting quiet time at the same time each day also helps.
We talk more about understanding the rhythm of the day and how that can work for you in Wonder Moms.
6 ways to sneak some quiet brain time into your day:
1. Remove the background noise
Be intentional about what you listen to in the background. If out of habit putting on the TV or radio or just some music as background noise try turning it off. The same goes for notifications on your phone and computer these are just distractions and will disrupt your productivity.
2. Pockets of time
I’m not going to tell you when you should find these pockets of time because all our schedules are different and what works for me may not work for you. What I do encourage you to do is think about your day and think about when you could sneak in five or 10 minutes to sit down have a coffee and give your brain a break.
When can you claim 10 minutes for yourself? And don’t be laying on the guilt, YOU deserve 10 minutes at least.
3. Ditch the headphones
If you regularly run or go out for a walk and listen to podcasts or music as you do so, try skipping the headphones once a week. Listening to the sounds about you as you enjoy your walk will help your brain relax and let your mind wander, which is the state it needs to be in to come up with creative solutions.
4. Enjoy the water
When we are surrounded by water we tend to relax. So this is a great opportunity to let our minds Quieten and take a break. When you take a bath or a shower, skip the radio or whatever you usually listen to and enjoy the quiet of the bathroom. I like to meditate in the bath because I’m less likely to be interrupted.
5. Quietening your mind as you run errands
What do you do when you hop in the car? If one of your first actions is turning on the radio and blasting out some tunes then think about skipping it. I’m not trying to be mean and it’s OK to listen to music sometimes but give yourself the balance maybe every second trip in the car you turn the radio off.
The same applies if you commute by public transport, try listening to meditation music to quieten your mind rather than the latest podcast.
6. Performing mom duties
When I’m doing jobs around the home I usually have an audiobook on (I use Scribd to listen to audiobooks, you can get 2 months free with my referral link) or a podcast but I like to turn everything off when washing up and instead focus on the task at hand.
Play with it and see what works for you. If blasting 80s rock ballads on top for you as you do the weekly ironing helps you clear your mind then go for it. Or if folding the laundry with nothing but birdsong from the garden to listen to helps you get into that creative soon then do that.
If you find quietening your mind hard to do, start with baby steps.
When is one time of the day when you can take 5-10 minutes and turn off the noise so that you can give your brain a break?
Set a reminder on your phone, post it on your schedule, and do whatever you need to do to set yourself up for success so that you can create some quiet time on a daily basis.
And if you have kids at home, get them in on it too. Make it into a game or start implementing quiet time during the day.
If you are looking for more ways to be more productive then come and join The Wonder Mom Success Club, we’d love to have you.
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