Quiet Time *TW: Self-care for Mental Health My Quiet Time is an essential part of my self-care routine. I will admit that I heard the term when I was still a part of the church. Because of my past associations with it, I avoided it for a long time. I don’t see Quiet Time as a religious practice anymore, although it can be. Years later, when I was discovering self-care routines that worked for me, the term Quiet Time was there waiting. It was the easiest way to describe to friends and partners what I needed to do for myself. If it brings you peace, then bring it into your Quiet Time. It can be a few minutes with your coffee and silence. It can be your morning prayers. It can be sitting down with your tarot cards. It can be meditation. It can be thirty seconds where you take a few breaths to calm yourself. It can be countless other things. It’s about meeting yourself where you are emotionally, mentally, and physically. It’s about getting to know yourself and appreciating all of your needs. It is about self-love, and loving yourself will influence the way that you actively love others. The best way to have Quiet Time is to choose practices that fit you and your life. I don’t always do the same things, but my Quiet Time often looks like: Being stillPlaying musicLooking at affirmationsReadingMeditationContemplationJournalingMindfulnessFocusing on gratitudeBeing PresentWhatever I need at that moment I might use any or all of these techniques. I meet myself where I am at that moment. Some of those techniques you might have heard used interchangeably, but the subtle differences can change how they work for you. I have had different experiences with them all. Quiet Time doesn’t have to take long. It can be ten minutes to yourself before you get ready for school, work, or before the kids are awake. As long as I’ve known her, my mother has had Daily Devotions. It is a spiritual practice that prepares her for the day and all of its uncertainties. For you, it might look completely different. It’s an essential part of both my morning and evening routines. At night I use it to let go of the day that’s already gone. I use it to clear my mind before bed and forgive myself for the blunders of the day. I calm my thoughts and minor anxieties. As a result, I tend to sleep better on nights that I respect my Quiet Time. I use it in the morning to prepare for the day ahead. There is a notable difference in my mood before and after my Quiet Time. If I’ve taken time to fill my glass, it’s much easier to have something to pour into others. On days that I take advantage of Quiet Time, I feel far more capable of facing the day with its inconveniences and uncertainties. I started to learn how to make myself feel better even when my anxiety was high for no reason. I find myself beginning my day in peace and confidence instead of worry and hurry. If you take medicine for anxiety or depression, Quiet Time is not a replacement for your medication. Medicine may also be an essential part of your self-care. Quiet Time is only a companion to take on the journey. Set yourself up for success. Create a space of time for yourself every day. It doesn’t have to be called Quiet Time, and it doesn’t have to look like mine. But give yourself some peace in the present. You deserve it. If you liked this article, then you might also enjoy Surviving Seasonal Depression in 2020: Routines to Help You Cope, on Vocal.