When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?
I take time out for me time as often as I can. After years of allowing my schedule to rule my life I finally wised up! I walk each morning with my husband and then do yoga at home while he does the school lunches. Sometimes the kids join me for down dog or a stretch for a few minutes here and there or call out to me for lost shoes or school books, but they know that it’s my time and not to expect much of an answer in return. They are learning to respect ‘me time’, and so am I. I also sneak away once a year to stay at a health retreat, which sounds like a luxury. Of course it is, but I’ve actually also come to see it as a necessity. A way to disconnect from work and family obligations, to nurture my own wellbeing so that I can, in turn, nurture everyone else’s when I get back. Which I’m always happy to do when I feel refreshed and recharged.
What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?
Getting in touch with nature: I enjoy walking and being near the sea whenever I can. I was raised by the ocean in Perth and I really feel a yearning for a beach walk when I’ve had too much of the city life here in Melbourne. The water has a such a calming, soothing and regenerative effect. I was in Sydney a few days ago for work, and I made sure I did the Bondi to Bronte walk. It was raining but I didn’t care. I breathed in the sea salt air and looked out at the ocean and felt alive and grateful.
Exercise and Diet: I have gone through phases of gym, pilates and now yoga. I am by no means super fit but I do feel so much better once I’ve exercised each morning and ready to face the day. I would say exercise and diet are the foundations of wellbeing. I follow a low carb and intermittent fasting regime which sounds a bit militant, but it suits my body and mind. At 43 I am more alert, sharp and driven than ever before and I do not miss out on anything… as my eggs, avocado, smoked salmon, fetta and spinach breakfast plate will attest!
Reading, TED talks and Podcasts: I love digesting anything that feeds my mind and helps me grow. Reading alone and in silence is a big treat but I do try to do it once the little ones are in bed and the bigger kids are settled in to homework. The podcasts and TED talks, I listen to on walks. My husband listens to them when he’s gardening. I am always amazed how much new research is out there on happiness and wellness and brain plasticity and changing habits. I’m always thrilled to take on new positive lifestyle changes as I, my family and businesses evolve.
What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?
Get up early and start the day with intention. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is alkaline but has the sour bite to to wake you up every day. Go for a walk or exercise at home. There are great YouTube yoga videos you can just follow in your lounge room. Put yourself first to be able to help all the others in your life. It’s like the oxygen mask on the aeroplane. Fit yours before you assist others. Don’t make excuses about being too busy or tired to exercise. Find what suits you and the rest will follow.