Two minutes with … Dendy Engelman, mama to Gadsden, aged almost 2 years

Two minutes with … Dendy Engelman, mama to Gadsden, aged almost 2 years

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

This week, I got my hair done. I actually fell asleep while they were rinsing me out! 


What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

I try to carve out at least an hour a week for something that’s solely for me- whether that’s a blow out, massage, nail appt, nap, or bath (solo without my almost 2 year old son- Gadsden). 


What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

For mamas who are struggling with guilt or difficulty carving out “me-time” I very aggressively encourage them to realize that they will be a MUCH better mama, wife, and person if their bucket is filled as well. When we only give of ourself, we are left depleted & this sets up the potential for resentment, burn-out, exhaustion. I promise that taking better care of yourself will allow you to be a better caretaker of others. 

I work full-time as a dermatologist and am 8 months pregnant with our second child. I make time in my schedule for myself by putting on my weekly calendar. I hold my self-care appointments in high regard and honor them like any other commitment. Life is about balance. Too much tedium, exhaustion, and over-extension of one’s self without time to restore ends up disasterously. Treat yourself and do not apologize for it!

Two minutes with … Latham Thomas, mama to Fulano, aged 14 years 

Two minutes with … Latham Thomas, mama to Fulano, aged 14 years 

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time? 

I ALWAYS have me time- it’s a daily practice and commitment I have to myself. I call it glow time. It’s a self-care practice rooted in slowing down, decompressing, and honoring one’s needs—mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Checking out with the world around you to check in with yourself.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care? 

Hug Someone. Stress is the body’s response to perceived threat. The emotional effects of stress include lack of forgiveness, distrust, and lack of intimacy. Negative thoughts can activate stress. The antidote to stress is breathing since it elicits the relaxation response. Hugging is therapeutic medicine; it calms the nervous system and induces the relaxation response. If the embrace lasts at least 20 seconds, the neurotransmitter oxytocin is released, creating an increased sense of bonding. If there is no one around for you to hug, cuddle up under a weighted blanket to feel swaddled and supported.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

Start by simply taking on less. Examine what’s on your plate and do less. We find time for everything we want to do, commit to yourself- no excuses. What’s essential to glow time is that it constitutes an alternative to everything that is fast and spinning in our lives. You cannot practice glow time while stressed out or in a hurry, as it is the art of creating intimacy with yourself, which can only be achieved through slowing down and mindfulness. How can you create these spaces within the context of your busy life? It’s important to fill yourself up. I anticipate my needs when I design the glow of my life. This is very important for me as I schedule so I can fill myself up. 

Find more tips and rituals for self-care in my new book, OWN YOUR GLOW: A SOULFUL GUIDE TO LUMINOUS LIVING AND CROWNING THE QUEEN WITHIN, available everywhere books are sold. The link to find out more about the book is here

Japanese style head massage, Haku Massage, Glenelg, South Australia

Japanese style head massage, Haku Massage, Glenelg, South Australia

Easily my favourite part of visiting my hairdresser is the head massage at the basin. The all too short experience usually gets me thinking how underrated head massage is – so when the opportunity arose to try a 30 minute Japanese head massage I didn’t hesitate. 

The destination for head massage was Haku, located in Glenelg, a touristy beachside suburb of Adelaide. 

I booked in as a last minute birthday gift to myself. I sent an email after hours, on the off chance of securing a booking, and was pleased to receive a very prompt, positive response. 

The spa itself is beautifully styled with neutral tones and a tranquil feel. The staff were delightful. 

The massage was done whilst I was lying down. The massage itself extended to my shoulders as well as my head. The massage was firm and worked into pressure points on my scalp. The massage was a little different to what I expected.  I’d compare it to a deep tissue massage in that not all of the massage is super comfortable (for example when working on tight spots like my temples) but the benefit is you feel enormously relaxed at the end – which I did. 

The benefits of a Japanese style head massage are said to be extensive including relieving sleeplessness, restlessness and insomnia, slowing down fast thought patterns and a racy mind, promoting hair growth, inducing a calmer mindset and rejuvenating the brain. This type of massage is also said to be highly beneficial for those who suffer from over-work, worry and prolonged computer use – so perfect for most of us! 

I’ll definitely be back to Haku on my next visit to Adelaide. 

Cost – $40.00 for 30 mins 

Two minutes with … Erin Ziering, mama to Mia, aged 6 years and Penna, aged 4 years 

Two minutes with … Erin Ziering, mama to Mia, aged 6 years and Penna, aged 4 years 

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

I have “me time” every night at 7:30. As soon as my kids are asleep, my husband knows I need 30 min of space, a small glass of red wine and a little piece of dark chocolate. It is my happy time for sure! 

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care? 

I love taking care of my skin! I take time every morning and night to do my 5 min routine. 

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself? 

It can be a struggle and I searched for it desperately. It took a therapist to put it simply, “just ask your partner for it!” It was so easy. I told him exactly what I needed and that I would be more present for getting it and it worked! It has made our marriage so much better and me way more relaxed, with something to look forward to. So whether it is the gym or that quiet glass of wine, ask for some support and help to get it!

Two minutes with … Emma McLaughlin, mama to Stella, aged 5 years and Jed, aged 3 years 

Two minutes with … Emma McLaughlin, mama to Stella, aged 5 years and Jed, aged 3 years 

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

I have family visiting at the moment and my husband and I were able to sneak off and leave the kids with them for a couple of hours.

We brought a bottle of champagne and some cheese and sat in the sand dunes on the beach. We are currently between houses and living out of suitcases and in close confines with two little ones for two weeks so it has pretty stressful and it felt incredibly decadent and carefree and fun and something we would have done before kids – nice to connect again on that level when life can so often tend to be about logistics and bills and work. 

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

Be gentle with yourself and speak gently to yourself – this period of life is incredibly hard and mum guilt can be relentless but pat yourself on the back and let yourself know you are doing the best you can. Making self care a priority is essential for me to be able to care for my family and support my busy work life and running a business so I try to make this my number 1 priority without guilt – if I fall over so does everything else. Good quality nutritious food is an essential, as is finding small pockets of time for movement (I love the Nike training app for short 15min HIIT workouts, and short online yoga sessions) and time to laugh and relax socially with family and friends. As a herbalist and naturopath I also love to use supportive adaptogen herbs as teas and in tinctures – withania, holy basil, lemonbalm, licorice, chamomile, lavender and rhodiola and some of my faves. These sorts of herbs have been used by women for centuries to support health and well being. I believe it is all about trying to maintain a balance. 

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

Me-time can be such a tricky thing to fit into a busy life (I had no idea how busy things were going to get!) and I always talk to my clients about the small pockets of time you can find in a day to get your me-time such as a quiet bath, a cup of tea outside on the grass, meeting up with a friend for a chat or a quick 15 minute yoga/stretching session – aligning those with quiet moments in the day can be tricky however getting the smaller moments in is so much less overwhelming than trying to get in 1 hour blocks for a yoga class or focusing on a long uninterrupted meditation session. Small periods of focusing on breath can be incredibly calming and centering. I also have a girlfriend with who we swap a night each month where I watch her children and she goes out with her partner for a date night and then she returns the favour – without local family support this is such a great way for me to connect with my husband.