5 Steps to Lowering the Volume in Your Life

by: candice maniga


Silence is deafening to me. In fact, it’s one of my biggest fears. I find it terrifying because, to me, it means something is being forgotten: maybe it’s an errand, maybe it’s plans I made weeks ago and forgot to write down…maybe it’s me. The thing is, silence could—and for most, does—mean peace of mind. It could mean it’s time to relax or stand for fulfillment, or be the gateway to the best sleep I’ll ever have. For now, that kind of silence is unfamiliar. Whether it comes to work, side projects or even bettering myself personally, it’s undeniable that I’m a busy bee. There is so much buzzing that my silence could very well not be silence at all, so I’m taking steps to lower the volume—and, in case you’re like me, or on your way to be—I wanted to share exactly what those steps are:

Make a Playlist.

My “Silence” playlist songs are soft. There are quite a few that get double-played by being on my “Sleep” playlist, some that are nice to hum too and ballads that have a slow build. These are the songs I sing when I’m sad or need to take a breath, or time to stand still— having them ready on a playlist is one of the best moves I could make.

Schedule daily dates with You.

I put dates in with myself throughout the week and make them repeat, or vague enough to fill in blanks. So every week, my phone reminds me it’s “Mask Monday,” it’s “Time to go to your favorite coffee shop,”or “see a movie you’ve been waiting for.” My plans with others can be rescheduled, but the rule of thumb is to never cancel plans with myself. This way, I don’t forget I AM what’s most important and I CAN press pause on all that’s going on.

Read a book.

If anything gives me tunnel vision and blocks out the rest of the world, it’s putting all my focus on the pages in front of me and being whisked away to an alternate universe of characters I’ve just met. Go ahead, try it for yourself.

Find Affirmations and Inspirational Quotes.

This might seem cheesy, but giving myself a pep talk with some self-affirmations and quotes that strike a chord with my heart are one of the best ways for me to remember it’s going to be OK. (Same goes for you too, girlfriend. You’re going to be OK.)

Make Lists.

I know, I know. This is a loophole to be more busy, but when there’s so much on your mind you can’t shut off, it helps to make lists and have it all in front of you. From here, decide what’s most important right now or whether any of it deserves your attention at all.

There are times when taking a break seems lazy or a waste of time, so make it worth your time. I’ve found my peace in these five ways, and the more I practice these steps toward silence, the more it feels like I have a life volume to press mute when need be.

Candice is self-described as "an ever-evolving twenty-something.” By day, she’s creating something — be it a blog, Instagram post, travel plan, makeup look or a cake pop — and by night, she’s figuring out how to make Los Angeles feel as familiar as the Arizona town she grew up in. After spending her college years at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, she could draw downtown Phoenix with her eyes closed and, if given the opportunity, would teleport there in a heartbeat to get a ramen burger at Bitter & Twisted.