'Me Time' - Taking Personal Time for Mind and Body!
Life is loud, city streets are busy and daily parenting duties can leave me at a point of mind and body exhaustion. The fast paced daily bustle of life no matter how exciting can have detrimental impacts on how my brain and body operates.
With the kids finishing school for summer holidays it becomes even more important to find ways throughout my day to stop - break - and indulge in necessary ‘me time’.
When we think about having time to ourselves images of holiday retreats and spa days come to mind and don’t get me wrong these are amazing ways to take a break if you time, finances and childcare arrangements allow, but there are many ways we can fit additional ‘me time’ into our every day and still be part of family life.
Like all self-care supports ‘me time’ doesn’t ‘just happen’ it has to be planned for and our individual needs have to be considered and in turn accommodated.
Time for our selves can be split into our everyday schedule and also be part of a special treat. Each of our ‘me time’ lists will look different from each other so if my list looks very different from yours, please do not worry, what each of us needs within our daily self-care is personal to us. When considering our sensory supports and activities that will reduce anxiety, it is helpful to consider both alerting and calming activities. This is because keeping our body awake and alert can bring as much support to us as calm and relaxation and combined they help our body to stay relaxed and regulated.
The important element of ‘me time’ is that along with it being planned and scheduled (with a day and time if possible) each of us should consider both physical and mental ways we can support support ourselves throughout our day…
Alerting Physical ‘Me Time’
The physical elements of ‘me time’ can equally be energetic as they can be relaxing. Boosting our body and mind through exercise can be as invigorating and replenishing as an afternoon rest. I would try to incorporate at least one of each type within your day.
Ideas for alerting physical ‘me time’ could include:
Playing loud music and dancing in your living room
Shaking my hands and legs or applying deep pressure to your muscles using a roller stick or muscle roller.
Take a swim at your local pool
Take a walk in your local park
Take some time for yoga or an exercise video/class
Calming Physical ‘Me Time’
As well as taking time to wake your body up, it is equally important to take some time to calm your body down. This doesn’t have to take up a lot of our time but it is important that it is planned and regular throughout the day.
Ideas for calming physical ‘me time’ could include:
Take five minutes to relax and shut your eyes
Listen to a progressive muscle relaxation video on you tube
Drink a smoothie or thick milkshake through a straw
Start a stretch routine to wake your body up at the start of each day
Mentally Alerting ‘Me Time’
As well as physically resting and moving our body as an act of self-care, it is also important to rest and work our minds. In the same way as our body needs exercise and rest so does our mind, through a concentrated tasks and calming meditations.
Ideas for alerting ‘me time’ could include:
Read a book or your favourite comic/journal/article
Complete a puzzle or a brain game that will wake up your mind
Play classical music (this always wakes my brain up)
Write or create
Complete a cognitively taxing task, this is best completed by learning something new that takes conscious effort and is thought provoking
Mentally Calming ‘Me Time’
This is most likely the idea you initially had when discussing ‘me time’, having opportunities throughout the day to stop, rest, relax and calm and switching off the mind from the bustle of our day is incredibly important and should be scheduled for throughout the day in order to support regulation and reduce anxiety.
Ideas for mentally calming ‘Me Time’ could include:
Take five minutes to sit and breathe
Take a power nap
Sit outside in the fresh air and appreciate nature
Close your eyes and take a mind vacation at your desk (this will be explored further in the next blog piece).
I hope you have enjoyed these suggestions and I would love to hear more about how you incorporate alerting and calming ‘Me Time’ into your daily routine.
Love to your sensory self,
Jess x x
Would you like to encourage more ‘me time’ into your daily routine?
Why not purchase a reminder of self-care with one of our ‘Pins with Purpose’ pin sets or Sarah Frances designed self-care pins.
All of our ‘Pins with Purpose’ range comes with a reflection, strategy or article that supports your sensory and self-care routine.
Love to your sensory self,
Jess x x