Lately I’ve been feeling pulled in so many directions. As a Mum, wife, friend and work colleague, there’s always someone needing a piece of me and my time. The problem though, is when I do actually take some time for myself, I feel those all too familiar pangs of Mummy-guilt. What I’ve come to learn though, is that making your own happiness and wellbeing a priority is not selfish, it’s actually essential. How can we possibly give the best of ourselves to our kids, our partners, our friends or our jobs if we don’t show ourselves a little self-love from time to time?
It’s not always that easy though is it? Between school runs, packing lunches, paying the bills, booking the car in for a service, racing to the doctors/teacher interviews/post office, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, planning that birthday party, meeting my deadlines for work, replying to emails and answering text messages, I’m lucky if I have enough time to comb my hair, let alone sit down for 30 minutes of meditation, or make it to the gym.
Lately though, I’ve come to the realisation that if I don’t start prioritising myself just a little, then everything is going to suffer, and everybody loses. So for the past month, I have intentionally set aside a few minutes each day just for me. In just a few short weeks, the impact on my mood, energy levels and overall well-being has been huge.
Here are ten simple ways to spend ten minutes of quality time on yourself each day. These are very ordinary things, but that’s the point. It’s not the activity so much as the simple act of doing something for yourself and by yourself. If you’re feeling stretched, run down and unmotivated, try a couple of these. Do them each and every day. It will soon become a habit that you look forward to, and it will become easier to find that little window of “me time”. The positives will be obvious and you’ll start to see the benefits spreading to all areas of your life and relationships.
Everyone knows the benefits of reading. Just ten minutes a day will help you escape the stresses of the day, expand your understanding of the world, give you a conversation starter, improve your concentration and teach you something new.
Journaling, even for ten minutes a day can be very therapeutic. You can document your day, formulate goals, sort through emotions and really find some clarity.
3. Go outside. Touch the grass with your feet.
Heading outside is a guaranteed mood booster. You don’t need to go anywhere special. Just sit in your own back garden. Lay on the grass. Just breathe and enjoy.
4. Get moving.
Take a ten minute walk around the block, turn on some music and dance, however you decide to do it, nothing gets the endorphins rushing like a bit of physical exertion.
5. Create something.
Draw a picture, write a poem, make a cake, pull out your washi tape and make that craft you saw on Pinterest. Taking time to be creative will unleash all kinds of positive energy and improve your confidence.
6. Make yourself a cuppa.
OK, so this doesn’t sound like much, and as Mums sometimes it’s impossible to find the time to drink a cup of coffee before it goes cold, but this can be a really wonderful ritual. Find ten minutes in the day (perhaps early before anyone else is awake, or late at night when the house is dark and quiet) and make yourself a cup of something special. Make it something you wouldn’t usually drink at other times of the day, always use a pretty cup, maybe keep a secret packet of Tim Tams just for this time of day that no-one else knows about. Then just sit quietly, in your favourite spot of the house and relax.
7. Look at the moon. (or the stars, or the clouds….)
Similar to number 3, head outside and slow down. Sometimes, in the middle of the night when the rest of the house is sleeping, I will sit out in the garden, all alone, and just stare up at the moon. It is immensely peaceful and thoroughly rejuvenating.
Even ten minutes a day of meditation can help you stay mindful and centred. You’ll be able to remain calm and take the stresses of the day in your stride. Check out You Tube or iTunes for lots of ten minute guided meditations to get you started.
9. Make a gratitude list.
Gratitude is at the heart of happiness. Make a list of everything for which you are grateful and feel your heart being filled.
10. Take physical care of yourself.
This one seems like a no brainer, but some days, with kids under our feet, it can hard to find the time to even comb our hair. Light a candle, put on some music and give yourself an at-home facial. Paint your nails, shave your legs, apply a luxurious body oil. Make yourself feel pampered.
How do you find time for yourself during your busy day? Let’s share ideas in the comments!