One of the biggest things that hurts my mental health is a lack of quiet time. As a mom of four kids it is so easy to just get so busy that I forget to just breathe for a little while. And when I go without that time, I become a much worse wife, mother, and human being.
So Why Is Quiet Time So Important?
According to Forbes spending time alone helps to increase empathy, productivity, creativity, build mental strength and a whole lot more! These are the ways that it helps me.
As silly as this might sound, sometimes life can get so chaotic it’s hard to just remember to take some deep breaths and be in the moment
Plans and routines help my days go so much smoother! It’s hard to make decisions, however, with four little monkeys running around needing things like snacks, drinks, and their butts wiped. So sometimes quiet time is needed just to be able to sit down and figure out what needs to be done next.
Now, I admit, sometimes this can be a bad thing rather than a good one, BUT nonetheless I have a huge need to reflect on recent events. I have to consider the way things happened and how to better handle those situations in the future. I also need time to understand how I’m feeling, and what I can do to change those feelings.
I think this is the biggest thing for me. I need to be able to give my kids my full attention, but that’s really hard to do with all of the hustle and bustle around. So if I can have some quiet time to do what I need to do, then I am much better able to pay full attention to my kids once my quiet time is over.
How Do I Get Quiet Time?
That is a question I get asked A LOT and my answers vary from day to day. No matter what I try my best to always get at least 30 minutes of quiet in one segment. But it’s not always the same. Here are some different ways that have worked throughout the years:
1. Early In The Morning
Getting up early before everyone else is recommended by a lot of people. Sometimes this works GREAT for me. And honestly my days go much better when I can manage to accomplish this. Sometimes, though, the kids hear me stirring and and are looming over me within seconds wanting their breakfast.
2. Late At Night
When my husband is working late, and I actually get the kids to fall asleep, that can be a great time for some moments of quietness.
So this one might sound a bit goofy, but if someone else is at my house (my husband, parents, in-laws, etc) I sometimes get my quiet time in the shower. No, it’s not perfectly quiet but the white noise of the running water tends to drown out the craziness of the rest of the house allowing me time to reflect.
This one is kind of two-fold. The first section is when I am lucky enough to have someone who can take the kids out in the yard to play for a little while. But the other is the opposite, sometimes I go outside and leave everyone else in the house. Either way, this is a great blessing!
5. Cartoons And A Fan
I don’t do this one often because sometimes I come to regret it but if I am absolutely desperate for some quiet time alone, when the babies are asleep I just turn on some cartoons for the older two, make sure the doors to the house are locked, and retreat to my bedroom where I turn up my noisy box fan. The kids know they can come and get me if they need me, but normally they’re in TV-Land enough that I can get away with it.
What I Do During My Quiet Time
I know I’ve said this at least twice already, but I’m going to say it again. Just focusing on breathing can make a WORLD of difference for my mental health.
2. Pray and Read My Bible
I don’t do this one nearly as much as I wish I did. But a lot of my quiet time is spent communing with God. Those still moments are when I truly feel His presence with me and I can receive His comfort.
3. Take A Nap
It’s been proven over and over again that sleep deprivation is NOT good for mental health. As a mom of four sometimes I find myself in a very sleep deprived state and I just need that 15 minute power nap in the middle of the day.
Yep, most of my blog writings come from those moments of quiet. I cannot write when children are running amuck so typically early mornings or late at night is my writing time.
Would you believe I don’t publish all of my thoughts online? Some are too personal for that, so rather I write them down. Some of them I keep but a majority I just scribble all over, rip up, or even burn when I’m finished writing.
How You Can Manage To Get Some Quiet Time
Talk with your family and let them know what you need. There is nothing at all wrong with needing some time to recharge.
2. Have A Schedule For Your Kids
I am NOT great at this one, but I’m trying. Make sure your little ones have at least a basic routine so they know what’s coming next. This is especially true of babies. Having a set nap time that you (and they) can depend on can make a world of difference.
3. Get Out of The House
This one isn’t possible for me, but if you can find a way to make it work for you, take advantage of it! Find a way to leave your entire house alone (with no children). Even if it’s just a trip to Wal-mart, it will do your mental health so much good!
4. Find An Outlet
Find something that you love doing and do it! For me, it’s writing. For you maybe it’s crocheting, sewing, or running on a treadmill. Whatever it is you enjoy, plan some time for you to do it alone.
5. Remember, It’s Okay
I struggle a lot with guilt and sometimes find it hard to just tell my kids no and that I need a few moments alone. Please don’t let yourself dwell on those thoughts. Remember that by taking care of you first, you’ll be able to take much better care of them later.
Do you need quiet time in your life? How do you achieve it? Let me know in the comments below.