With fun open offices, social media that inspires,聽and digital news聽that keeps us constantly connected to the world IRL *and* online, finding quiet time for self-care can be a real challenge. It might seem like it鈥檚 not a big deal to spend your day moving quickly from one thing to the next, but missing out on moments of peace can actually have consequences. In fact, studies show that silence actually helps cells develop in the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Even more, a recent piece in the Harvard Business Review suggests that being quietly receptive can help you find a deeper mode of attention聽where your best ideas exist. Convinced that you need a little bit more peace and quiet? Here鈥檚 how to get it, no matter how busy you are.

1.聽Squeeze in small blocks of quiet time.聽It can be hard to cultivate calm聽when you鈥檙e dashing from one thing to the next 鈥 be it at work, at home, or in between. While finding a big block of downtime might not always be possible, do your best to buffer in super-short breaks when you can. This could mean spending five minutes reflecting at your desk after a call, saving the last 10 minutes of your lunch break to sit by yourself in an out-of-the-way corner, or taking a walk around the block before getting on a packed聽bus or train to commute back to your 鈥榟ood.

2. Step away from social media. It might be digital instead of a physical intrusion, but social media sites and apps are constantly buzzing with activity that ranges from attention-grabbing notifications to ever-scrolling聽feed updates. This chaos, while fun and interesting, can feel noisy even when your phone is on silent! Escape it for a little bit by stepping back. Try holding off until lunchtime, or spend evening hours without it. Ready to take it a step further? Try avoiding *all* digital media and news for a fixed amount of time. You鈥檇 be surprised how much mental energy and emotion scrolling through national headlines or the latest entertainment gossip can take 鈥 completely counterproductive to聽letting yourself unplug or press pause.

3. Turn off your phone. If stepping away from online media alone isn鈥檛 enough, power down for a little bit. Turn off your phone after dinner or in the early-morning hours. If you don鈥檛 feel comfortable completely shutting it off, try using the 鈥淒o Not Disturb鈥 mode to make sure nothing that isn鈥檛 truly urgent will interrupt the precious time you get to spend reading, meditating, or enjoying a run. If you鈥檙e still feeling the pressure to respond even after freeing yourself from calls and texts, try turning off your email or making it accessible via desktop only. Tiny pings and asks are all it takes to majorly distract from intentional quiet time.

4. Leave your headphones at home. Though a proven mood-booster, even seemingly mellow music can be super-stimulating 鈥 so try enjoying a quiet walk without your headphones. The natural sounds of your surroundings can help bring on a sense of calm that invites information processing, relaxation, and restored creativity.聽Science shows that getting out in nature offers additional benefits too, like restored mental energy, stress relief, improved concentration, and sharper thinking abilities. Sounds to us like it鈥檚 time to hit the trails.

Does quiet time help you excel in work and life? Tweet us how you create calming moments for yourself @BritandCo.

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