First, there was quiet quitting, then came quiet luxury. The next iteration of the “quiet” trend taking over TikTok is the quiet life. As the antidote to the hustle culture, the quiet life embodies slowing down and romanticizing the simple things in your every day. What’s not to love? According to the 83.2 million views of #quietlife, absolutely nothing. Ahead, I give the rundown of what the quiet life looks like and how to live it effortlessly (“effortlessly” being the operative word). Your first order of business? Ditch the go-go-go routine in favor of hygge vibes and small moments of pleasure.
What is the “Quiet Life?”
Whether it’s a TikTok of a calming morning routine, low-key activities like journaling, knitting, and cuddling your pet, or a quiet evening spent solo and sans phone that you’ve come across on your FYP, the “quiet life” centers around taking it slow AF and savoring the present. There are no packed to-do lists or schedules with back-to-back meetings and plans to keep up. The quiet life encourages getting off the hamster wheel of life and letting go of the pressure to always be doing something or achieving more. Instead, insert the warm, fuzzy feel and embrace doing less, reconnecting with yourself, and hitting reset.
As hard or uncomfortable as it may be to shut off social expectations, distractions (we all could use a dopamine detox), and your mind, settling into a quiet life can do your mind and body some good. According to Psychology Today, slowing down lowers stress and blood pressure, enhances decision-making and other cognitive functions, and restores emotional equilibrium. “In allowing ourselves to experience the present–rather than rushing toward the future–we become more attentive to what is happening around and within us, and to savor it,” wrote Susan Avery Stewart, Ph.D. What’s more, a study published in Brain Structure and Function found that two hours of silence each day could foster the growth of new cells in the hippocampus (good for improved memory, emotional regulation, and learning ability).
How to Live It
Add “quiet” practices to your life instead of replacing routines
There’s no right or wrong way to practice the quiet life, and it doesn’t mean always saying “no” to the more stimulating pleasures of life such as happy hour, social media, or TV. Instead, it means striking the right balance between your favorite quiet life pastimes and unplugging that works for you. Translation: Intersperse responding to emails, Netflix binges, and scrolling with taking a stroll, going on a date with yourself to your local coffee shop, or entering your cottage-core era (think: painting, baking, and flower-picking).
Identify what boundaries you need to set
Not sure where to start? Self-reflect on why the quiet life is appealing to you. Are you riddled with anxiety? Do you feel the need to go harder, better, faster? Are you in the habit of multitasking—whether it be eating with the TV on, listening to a podcast while walking, or posting threads as you prepare dinner? Then, decide what boundaries you want to set. Maybe that looks like having a meal out on your balcony and leaving your phone inside or taking a break from social media on the weekends and filling the time you’d otherwise be doom-scrolling with a chill hobby like reading or developing your green thumb. Whatever floats your boat, lean into and romanticize it.
Be more mindful in your everyday
If there’s one main takeaway from living a quiet life, it’s being more mindful of your actions, sensations, thoughts, and feelings. The best part? When we are mindful, we become the drivers of our own lives. Instead of just going through the motions (hi, hustle culture), we are intentional in our decision-making and can fully appreciate the gentle moments.