3 Ways to Tune into the Quiet

Photo by Dennis J Coughlin

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Can you hear it?

It is everywhere.

Noise from the TV news, the kids, the meetings, the emails, the phone notifications and bleeps, the Facebook posts, the calendar reminders and the list goes on.

This radio station of noise is playing 24 hours, 7 days a week.

We all need time away from that noise. The problem is that if you do not make room for a bit of quiet time in your life, then it will not come to you. You have to go out and seek it.

Here are a few ways you can tune into the quiet today.

1) Use your lunch break!

Here’s the good news; most corporations provide their employees with a 1-hour lunch break.

Here’s the crazy news; hardly anyone is using their lunch hour!

According to a recent survey here is the reality for British workers:

“Just 29% of people manage to take a full hour for lunch every day, according to a Bupa survey of 2,000 full-time workers, but even those who do squeeze in a break find themselves drawn back to office tasks.

About a third of employees eat at their desk, while four in 10 reply to emails or pick up their work phone while taking a break.

Although 43% of employees believe they have too much work to take a rest, almost half of respondents said they rarely leave the office during their lunch break or use the time to do something relaxing or rejuvenating even though they admit missing the midday meal detracts from their work later in the afternoon.”

This mentality is so common these days that business meetings are scheduled during normal lunch hours and no one seems to mind any more. Not taking your lunch hour has become the norm. People in the office expect you to work through your break like everyone else.

We are now stuck in a repeating cycle where people are watching each other’s behaviour and saying,

“Well, if I have to skip my break, then you have to skip yours too!”

Please don’t do this.

Take your lunch hour.

Better yet, take your hour and get out of the office.

Everyone needs time away from their computer screen. Humans were not designed to sit in a chair and stare at a computer monitor for 8 hours a day with little or no break. It is not natural and it is hurting your health. An article from the BBC said:

“The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said inactivity resulted in ill-health and therefore more time off sick.”

Karen Middleton, chief executive of the society, said: “The consequences of not doing so can be devastating with many people suffering ill-health and prolonged spells off work.”

Get away from your desk and go outside into the fresh air.

Eat your lunch in the sunshine, read a book on a bench or just go for a long walk around the block.

Taking a break gives your eyes and your mind a rest for 1 solid hour.

This daily break will benefit your long term health and it will make the rest of the day more productive. When you return to your desk, you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the second half of your day.

Never feel guilty about taking a quiet, one-hour lunch break.

2) Go for a WALK

If you are like me, you always have that nagging voice in the back of your mind saying:

“You should be more healthy!”

That voice is annoying and worse yet, it leads me to dream up big ideas like joining the local gym or going on some strict health plan that is designed to turn my life around in 2 weeks.

Forget all that.

Instead, go for a quiet walk.

You can go for a walk around the block right now and it won’t cost you 9.99 per month, you don’t have to buy a new lock for a locker you’ll use 2 times in your life and you won’t pass out as you slowly starve yourself.

Walking is an easy, low impact exercise. According to the NHS:

“Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.”

If you struggle to find time for a walk during your working day, then make it part of your daily commute. Get off the bus a couple stops earlier or park your car farther way and then walk the rest of the way into work.

At the end of your working day, take the same thing route on the way home. Buy a pair of new shoes and make it as easy and comfortable as possible. Adding this simple idea to your daily routine gives you the chance to build up a couple miles of exercise each day.

You can add all the benefits of a simple, quiet walk to your day without much effort and this plan does not include an overpriced gym full of empty lockers.

3) Do What the Kids Do

If you have young ones like us, or you just remember what it feels like to be running around your neighbourhood, then you know how kids have fun. They just go outside and play.

That’s it. That’s their entire plan. They go outside and then they play.

Simple, yet effective.

Our kids started riding their bikes this past summer and I was there at their side, helping them to get their balance, holding their seat and running alongside them down the street.

Then all 3 of them reached the point where they no longer needed my help any more. I was being left behind, watching them ride their bikes while I stood at the front door. They were having so much fun and I was missing out!

So I went out and bought my own bike, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love riding my bike now.

If you ever want to remember what it feels like to be a kid again, then get on a bike. You have a breeze in your face, you can go pretty much anywhere and you are overcome with a the sense of a new found freedom. Or maybe that’s just me?

Anyway, similar to walking, cycling is also low impact and it is easy enough to get started. Even if you just have a free half hour, you can take your bike out for a quick peddle around your neighbourhood.

Then when you have more time, get out and find a path that leads into an open area. There is nothing more relaxing that riding your bike into a quiet field and enjoying the silence.

The world has never seemed as peaceful and quiet as when you are gliding along it on your bike.

Tune into the quiet Today

Give one of these suggestions a try today. Even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes.

Tomorrow, try to do it again. If you want to create lasting change, then you need to build this habit of quiet time into your daily routine.

Add some quiet to your day you’ll feel the benefits for life.

Unplug the radio and enjoy the silence.

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