Heavy vehicles rumbling past. Fumigation, leaf-blowing and street-sweeping to clean the city. Someone’s karaoke echoing across the blocks. Heavy machinery in construction and demolition. Jets flying by.
It’s noise pollution. We can’t escape it. As long as you stay in a city, there will be a constant hum of busyness.
We cannot discount the adverse effects on our hearing and mental health when noise pollution starts to intrude into our homes and our lives. For some, this can become a wearisome environment to be in for the long-term. It is a problem in any city and city dwellers have to find creative solutions to such problems.
Here are some practical tips to help yourself stay sane and less disturbed.
You can close your windows to minimise unwanted noise entering your home.
You can further reduce noise by installing soundproof windows (apparently it cuts out more sound than an average window).
Installing heavy curtains to dampen sound entering the windows.
Insulate the walls with soundproofing materials, like a recording studio, so sounds do not bounce around the house.
Play some chill lofi as background music, which is not too slow to make you sleepy and not too fast to heighten alertness.
Try nature sounds, from waterfalls to birds chirping or leaves rustling in the forest.
If you’re winding down for the day, relaxation and meditation audio calms the mind and brings you into a state of mindfulness, so you remain in the present and physically prepare yourself for rest.
Use noise cancelling devices like headphones or in-ear audio pieces while you’re playing your music, if you can’t play it out loud with the family around.
Get ear muffs or ear plugs which will block sounds at night, like that which your partner makes when sleeping…
Besides natural remedies like warm milk or eggs, there are melatonin drinks and supplements that help improve sound sleep. They are readily available in supermarkets and convenience stores nowadays.
We know the family can be noisy if the kids are home from school and they are still a ball of energy. Putting them in front of the TV while you prep dinner can help for the time-being. But for the long haul, set aside regular outings or activities to help them get the pent-up tension out of their system.
Here’s some healthy outlets where your kids can safely make noise:
Let them karaoke so they practise controlling their vocals (you can turn the volume down if they get too loud anyway).
Get them a musical instrument, because these will still sound pleasant even if they play wrongly. Electric instruments like the synthesiser keyboard lets you control the volume too.
Hit the park connectors, go to SuperPark, Trampoline Park or a kids gym. Kids need to run wild.
In David & Goliath Preschool, we have an indoor padded Kids’ Power Gym with bouldering wall and an outdoor playground to ensure children safely expend their energy. The weekly schedule for our Music & Movement Room is packed, allowing each class to participate in some form of percussion music, rhythm and dance.