INSIDE: Spending time with people 24/7 can be challenging, especially for introverts. If you've been struggling, this might be an answer for you.
I love my family.
Lately, though, I've found myself a bit on the edge.
As I sit trying to concentrate on a work email, I hear someone rummaging through the kitchen looking for a snack, and I lose my train of thought mid-sentence.
As I try to organize our grocery pick-up order, the sound of the kids bickering over a sofa blanket sets off a Jekyll-and-Hyde rant. I yell at them ironically about the power of love, sharing, and kindness.
As I sit sipping my morning coffee...
I find anger bubbling up inside me at the sound of my girls laughing.
My heart aches with shame.
I've been working hard on self-care over the last week... taking long walks in the neighborhood with the dog, exercising daily, doing yoga, scheduling phone chats with friends, searching for remote places to hike with the kids.
As the children playful goof with the dog, I find myself on a teeter-totter of anger and shame.
Laughing. Anger. Shame. Repeat.
I try to push it all down.
Then it hits me, as I sit watching a Mark Rober science video with the kids. At the end of his science lesson, he gives a shout out to his video sponsor Bose. This former NASA engineer explains the power of noise-canceling headphones.
As I watch the clip, a weight is lifted.
I immediately recognize my struggle — I miss silence.
I need moments of complete silence to function properly in this world.
. . .
I take a deep breath in and as I exhale, let all the anger out. I feel an overwhelming sense of calm as I open the Amazon app on my phone to invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
The minimalist in me would normally classify a purchase like this an "unnecessary splurge," but in this moment I know it is an act of self-care.
If you'd like to invest in a pair too, but don't want to do all the tech research, here are the three options I ended up deciding between...
3 Nice Noise Canceling Headphone Options
- Price-Savvy: RCA Noise Canceling Headphones <— We bought these for my introverted daughter at Christmas this year. She loves them and they work great.
- Mid-Range: Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones <— These are the ones I decided to invest in. I am loving them!
- High-End: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones <— These are the ones in the Mark Rober video above! I just couldn't pull the trigger at that price point. I am frugal at heart.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link we may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
I cannot even begin to tell you how much difference this has made in my day-to-day interactions with the kids.
Visual "Do Not Disturb Mom" Sign
When my headphones are on, it is the equivalent of a "do not disturb" sign. Sometimes I enjoy the simple silence created with the noise-canceling option and other times I put calming music on while I work.
I've been doing this 21 Day Anxiety Challenge. These simple tasks, coupled with intentionally opting out of overconsumption of the news have helped keep my anxiety levels at a manageable level. The challenge for day three reads:
"Listen to the song Weightless on headphones. Neurologists say this song reduces anxiety by up to 65% and calms the nervous system by helping slow listeners’ heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol."
I've been listening to the song on repeat and it is AWESOME.
The Importance of Self-Care
Take a moment to look around your world right now — What are you longing for? What do you desperately need in this moment?
Remember, my friend...
Self-care doesn't always mean bath salts and chocolate.
Forget about all the "supposed to" self-care suggestions and discover what you truly need.