By Ruth Wong of The MomMe Circle
We women have it harder than men. In the workplace, we need to put in double the effort to prove our worth. Even then, we are usually faced with more discrimination and prejudices than our male counterparts. At home, many of us contribute more time and energy to the household chores and childcare than our spouses do. In addition, some of us are caregivers to our parents as well.
No wonder many of us feel drained, overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of the day and wish we could somehow escape it all.
And what if you can, that there are simple, inexpensive ways to create blissful moments (or me-time) that can be incorporated easily into your lives so you get refreshed, stay happy and maintain a high level of well-being?
Why do we need to “get away”?
Scheduling time away from our daily lives on a regular basis offers huge benefits to our body, mind and soul.
Caught up in our day-to-day routines, we often lack the time, space and energy to examine our priorities, reflect on what we are doing and make plans for the future. We continue with what we do and then wonder why life remains as it is and feel a deep sense of regret for our unfulfilled dreams and aspirations.
When we are able to weave restorative moments into our lives on a regular basis, we not only refresh our mind and body, we can also begin to reconnect with our inner self and experience transformations that allow us to live with greater joy and meaning.
Ideas to relax, restore and reconnect
Before planning the activities, take note of how much time you can realistically spend on daily, weekly and monthly basis. Then think of a range of activities that allow you to care for your body, mind and soul.
Are you ready for some simple yet brilliant ideas to maximize your me-time?
1. Hide away in your nook
Create a ‘personal sanctuary’ where you can unwind and enjoy some quiet moments.
It can be a small corner of your room, living room, or the study. Ideally a place with the least distractions or where you are least likely to be disturbed. You might like to have a special armchair or have a plush rug and throw in lots of soft cushions. Add candle lights and burn some essential oils and you have a space that is cozy and comfortable. This will be the place where you relax in, meditate, journal, read, listen to music – basically engage in activities that will rejuvenate your mind and soul. You can check out my Pinterest board here for inspirations on creating your cozy corner.
2. Pamper yourself
Spa, facial, massage, pedicure, manicure… After all your hard work, you deserve a good pampering!
On this note, I would like to say something to moms. I know how busy you are with work and caring for the family. Many of you feel you have no time or energy left for the ‘frivolous’ stuff. You may also feel the mom guilt for such indulgence. But hey, you need to take care of your needs too, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
The trick is to pick something that will make you feel absolutely fabulous, or have the biggest or most lasting impact. For example, opt for a massage that will ease the backache that’s bothering you for a couple of weeks.
Or how about treating yourself to a fun mini-makeover? Go for a haircut to give yourself a stylish new look; shop for new clothes to revamp your wardrobe or buy a new fragrance distinct from your normal one that will make you feel happy and uplifted.
Or if you feel like doing something more luxurious, check yourself into a nice hotel for the weekend. Relax in a hot tub, take a nice stroll by the beach, have your aches and pain knead away at a spa session or bring your journal along to work out a plan for that business you have been thinking about for a long time.
3. Mind Your Body
Sedentary lifestyle, processed food and chemicals in everyday products can all add up to cause some major harm to our health.
So how about having a day of detox as part of your me-time? Also pick up a sport that you enjoy, preferably something that you can incorporate into your life on a daily or weekly basis.
Sleep deprivation is also a common problem many of us struggle. So I try to take ‘power naps’ whenever I can. A 30-minute mid-day nap is able to help reduce stress, improve memory and learning and give you extra boost of energy (so you don’t have to rely on caffeine). Limit your nap to no more than an hour or you’ll have a hard time falling asleep at night.
4. Get unplugged
To really ‘getaway’, I advocate putting aside some time where you are totally unplugged. No TV, no laptop, no mobile phone.
This can be hard for many of us, but silence is a necessary ‘tool’ to greater personal awareness. When we are disconnected with our inner self, we are disconnected from the knowledge of our purpose and what truly satisfies us and make us fulfilled.
It is only when you stop listening to the noise around that you’ll be able to tune in to yourself and listen to what is in your heart.
What you can do during this unplugged time is to think of an issue or topic and start journaling your thoughts and feelings. This process often helps me get proper perspective of a situation and gain the clarity I need.
5. Nourish your relationships
Me-time doesn’t have to mean forgetting about people dear to you. Because we are often so busy during our daily lives, me-time is a good opportunity to connect with your family and good friends.
You can send a note of encouragement or thanksgiving to a friend or loved one. In this digital age, receiving a card in the mail can be something so special. Few years ago, my husband ‘sent’ me a card (he left it in the mailbox) and I was so surprised and touched by the gesture! It was certainly one of the most special moments which I remember till today.
Or how about inviting your girlfriends to your place for a sleepover and chat the night away? Or plan an evening of board games or a potluck meal and enjoy one another’s company.
So what’s your favourite me-time activity? Share with us your ideas!
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