By: Natasha Bougourd, on behalf of Cath Kidston.
In our fast-paced, digital world, it can feel like we never have time to ourselves. Between work, commitments to our family and friends, and our life admin, where do we fit in our me-time?
We know how essential wind-down time is to our physical and mental health, so even if we’re living at 100 miles an hour, making time to relax should be a priority.
So now comes the all-important question: how do we do that? This article will explore how you can make time for yourself and the perfect activities for winding down.
Schedule in your downtime
You might be reading this and thinking, but where do I find the time? For most of us, we will be able to make a little time for ourselves, whether it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Scheduling it into your diary means you’re less likely to skip it, and it also gives you something to look forward to.
Many people find tranquillity in a little morning me-time, but some of us might need to get up a bit earlier if we have a young family to tend to. If you don’t want to sacrifice some of your precious sleep, a night-time wind-down routine might be the one for you. It’s recommended you start winding down for sleep about an hour before you go to bed, staying away from screens and instead focusing on activities that promote relaxation, like painting, knitting, or colouring in.
For those who can’t fit an hour into their day – we know it’s not always possible – we recommend scheduling in five to 10-minute slots to take a breather, whether that’s away from your desk at work or on your commute home. You could put your headphones in and run through a short guided meditation to get yourself into the right headspace for the rest of the day – or for bedtime.
Get into journaling again
One of our favourite pastimes as a teenager was journaling. Just thinking about our colourful, sometimes-padlocked diaries brings nostalgic memories flooding back. So why not take this hobby up again? But instead of writing about your teenage crushes, use it to your advantage.
Journaling has been proven to reduce stress and improve our mood because it can bring clarity to our thoughts. You can write about your day, your thoughts and feelings, or things that may have been stressing you out – all of this can improve your mental state and even help you sleep better at night.
If you want to get even more out of this activity, why not try bullet journaling? This adds a layer of productivity and organisation to your mindful journaling, allowing you to manage your life inside your humble diary.
Take the time to enjoy your favourite hobbies again
If there’s one thing adult life gets in the way of, it’s our hobbies. Many of us found the time to revisit them or even pick up new ones during lockdown, but they’ve once again fallen by the wayside. If you love a crafty hobby, such as drawing, scrapbooking, or painting, this is a great thing to focus on in your me-time. Not only that, if you schedule in an hour for some evening arts and crafts, it’s something you can look forward to.
Equally, you could wind down with your favourite book or a new read you’ve been wanting to try for a while. Is there anything more relaxing than curling up on the couch, hot chocolate in your favourite initial mug, with a good book?
As our lives get more fast-paced than ever before, setting aside some me-time can feel impossible. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you can fit in a nice, relaxing pre-bedtime routine or you take a few short breaks during your day to recalibrate, make sure you make time for one of the most important people in your life: you.