Monday, 27 August 2012

Me time

I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend.  I got home yesterday after a busy few days with the family ready to collapse on the sofa.  However after a sit down and a nice cup of white tea I perked up and realised that I had the rare treat of a free evening to myself.

Usually this would mean a movie evening ... perhaps with a face pack (glamourous I know)! But having recently read Laura Vanderkam's excellent168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
I took the opportunity to take time for one of my hobbies that I struggle to find time for and spend some time in the kitchen cooking just for myself. I poured over some cookbooks, tried out some new recipes and cooked up some food for the week. Some of it turned out well, some not so well, but either way I had a lovely evening and felt way more restored and relaxed than if I'd wasted an evening infront of the tv.

If you've got kids, partners, a busy social life, it can be easy to let others set your agenda and end up without any time for yourself, but you neglect your own needs at your peril - the affects of your mental well being  on your physical well being are already well documented, and yet still not yet fully understood or studied.  If you are feeling anxious or stressed, remember that that is a result of and feeding into biochemical reactions in your body which will be negatively affecting your cells.

Whilst life can never be stress free and relationships and children can also bring great joy into your life, we all need to be a bit selfish and take time out of ourselves on a regular basis.  Spend 10 minutes writing down what you enjoy doing just for yourself and not for the benefit of others. This could be something creative such as drawing or writing, or maybe something physical such as a dance class or going for a walk, it could be going out to a coffee shop and reading the paper in peace!  If you're stuck for things you enjoy doing solo, think of what you used to enjoy doing when you were young, single and had no ties. Once you've come up with your list find a way to make half an hour this week to do one of those activities.

Not only will you enjoy yourself in that half an hour, but you'll come back to your family more relaxed and grounded than if you spend all your time running around after them ... as my brother-in-laws t-shirt aptly states "A happy wife is a happy life"!

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