Taking Time Out
I've noticed a worrying trend when reading peoples Facebook status updates over the last few weeks. No, it's not that everyone has been getting ill (that's normal this time of year!), it's not the lack of clothing several of my "younger" friends have been wearing (I hear myself say things to Facebook photos like "Put on some clothes, you'll catch your death out!"), no it's the lack of self care that is so evident that has had me worrying and an answer came to me when I saw a friend post this.
Now, the lady who posted the photo (who can name herself, but we're going to give her some anonymity!) is utterly amazing. She gives her whole life to serving others, to her children, to her husband, her family, her job and still manages to keep a smile on her face and look amazing every time I see her.
Oh and the lady who took the picture? That's Christina Loewen of The Scarlett Door and her Instagram is amazing and she has a daughter and another baby on the way, she likes Cats and of course would totally be my best friend if we lived in the same country and I wasn't quite so erm, Me.
Also, on a sort of separate note, how come when I "run to the shops" in a stained t-shirt to grab a forgotten essential I bump into the world and his dog, but when I'm looking good I see NOBODY?
In this modern world, where women try to do it all and at the same time believe that they are failing because of comparison to those around her thanks to social media influences and mainstream media it is so important to take time out to top up the energy stores so that we can be the best that we can be.
"That's easier said then done though Pippa!" I hear you cry. Yes, it is. You know what though? If you don't take care of you, then you are useless to everyone else.
You need to squeeze these moments in, it could be whilst the children are getting ready for bed, or whilst you are on your lunch break. It could be by getting up thirty minutes earlier or going to bed thirty minutes later. However it is that you get your me time in, here are a few ideas of how to recharge yourself. Some take just a few minutes, others could take a whole afternoon. It's up to you and the time you have available to you.
Read a book
I have lots of books around me at all times. It might be the youth fiction that Top Ender gets me to read, or the easy romance novels that you don't have to think about as you read, or even something a little more meaty that gets me thinking.
The point is, reading for me allows me to turn my mind off for a little bit and normally when I resurface I feel much refreshed.
Craft a bit
For me I love to knit, sketch and cross stitch. I'm never going to win any awards for my knitting, but scarves and blanket squares are easy to just sit and knock out without much thought. The rhythm allows me to tune out and I can sit and watch TV or listen to music and just relax. Top Ender has often said she thinks that knitting is a form of meditation for me, and I think she might be right!
Take two minutes and think about what you are grateful for. Perhaps you had a brilliant compliment paid to you yesterday morning. Maybe today you realised how great your children are, maybe you saw a brilliant sunrise or sunset... whatever you are grateful for just think for a few moments and you'll be feeling encouraged in no time.
Now, if you aren't a walker or a sit in the garden type person don't worry, I'm not trying to convert you. However, getting outside and just taking a few deep breaths has so much restorative power, you'll think all us outdoor lovers are mean for having kept this secret from you for so long!
Listen to music
I have a plethora of playlists for various different moods and of course an Alexa which is linked to Amazon Music which plays whatever I ask for. I find music allows me to release my inhibitions and I'll dance and sing and work out my frustrations and at the end of it I'm a happy relaxed almost grown up.
Tell me how you take time out for you do you have to squeeze it in or do you schedule it?