Everyday life can be tiring, frustrating and even overwhelming at times. Sometimes just the simple day to day tasks can feel tiring. When you think about all the things you do in a day, from waking up, to brushing your teeth, to making breakfast, to doing the dishes, to going to work, to being a present family member and friend, we do quite a bit. With that being said, it’s so easy to focus on all the tasks we have to tackle each day, which can result in us losing focus on things that really matter to us, like staying on track with our recovery. Taking a moment to yourself (however long that moment may be) to sit in silence and reflect on your thoughts and goals can have an overwhelming effect on your mental health.
This might sound easier said than done. A quiet moment to myself? No problem! Well, well, well, we mean a quiet moment with zero distractions! This means shutting off your TV, tablet, phone and other devices all at the same time so you can sit in the presence of your own thoughts without news alerts and twitter notifications interrupting you.
If you can summon the will power to shut out the noise, you will find that a quiet moment to yourself can not only help you reflect on all of your accomplishments in recovery so far, but it can also help you set the tone for your upcoming day/week/month.
The more simple you make your moment of “me” time, the easier it will be for you to make it part of your daily routine. There’s no perfect time to schedule this moment to yourself; just find the time that works best for you and stick to it! Whether you want to start off your morning with some meditation, or take some time at the end of your day to sit alone in peace, you’ll be glad you did it.
Scheduling this time of reflection in your day can feel pointless and boring at first. But once you get into the habit of doing it you will look forward to it. Studies have shown that taking time to reset your brain has a variety of benefits to your physical and mental health! With all the distractions of life, we are getting less downtime than ever, and even when we do have a few moments, we spend it with other people, or by scrolling through our phones while watching TV. I know we’re all guilty of putting a show on to watch, and not knowing what happened 30 minutes in because we got sucked into an Instagram deep dive. This doesn’t allow our brain to rest and refocus.
While it is important to make your day as productive as possible, it is also important to schedule idle time. Overworking yourself and not taking time to think about your goals and state of mind can lead to unhappiness and a lack of motivation. Downtime shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury that is only earned with productivity, but rather as a necessity. You should think of this moment of “me time” as something that is non-negotiable, similar to the way you think of brushing your teeth. It has got to happen or your friends and family will have to deal with your stinky breath and you’ll have to deal with a yucky taste in your mouth. If we don’t have a moment of me time our friends and family might have to deal with our grumpy and overwhelmed minds.
Here are just a few useful tips and tricks to make sure that you are getting as much out of your quiet moment as possible.
- Keep a journal and record the days and times you have your quiet moment. The more consistent you are, the easier this is to build into your everyday routine!
- Wake up ten minutes earlier in the morning to have a few silent moments to yourself
- Get into bed ten minutes earlier, and put away all electronic devices before bedtime to reflect on your day
- Take a ten minute break in your work day to have a few silent moments to yourself
- Take a few minutes before you eat a meal to think about what you want the rest of the day to look like
As you can see, there are all kinds of ways to incorporate a moment of silence into your day. And like many aspects of recovery, consistency is key. The more effort you put into creating time for these necessary breathers, the easier it becomes to build them into your everyday routine. Whether it is morning, noon, or night, scheduling a moment of quiet into your everyday routine is a great way to help with the recovery journey!