Living so far from home has taught me many things, like the importance of family and that friends don’t need to be nearby to be around when you need them. It has taught me that I am resilient, energetic and resourceful. But it has also taught me that I’m not invincible. After a bout of rush sickness , which turned out to be gastritis, brought on my feeling I had to do everything for everyone, I tried to take a step back and relax more. Much as a dislike the phrase, what I needed was me time.
For a while that worked. Until I felt I was back to my normal self. Then I was back to rushing, doing, coming, going, organising and all the rest of it. Back to normal, or so I thought. The gastritis coming back a few times slowly made me realise that, for all my activity, I was forgetting one very important thing. Being.
It got to the stage where I was on autopilot. Doing, doing, doing. All. The.Time. It didn’t occur to me to take some time out. To do something just for myself. I thought I couldn’t. Because who’d do all the stuff if I didn’t? It didn’t occur to me that some of that stuff could be left undone or that if I didn’t do it, someone else would have to.
The first step on my road to relaxation was a weekend away with friends. We did nothing but chat, sew, eat, drink and chill. After being thrown in at the deep end and having three full days of doing my own thing, I developed a taste for me time. Since then I have been eking out pockets of time for myself. Not terribly much, but enough to keep me healthy.
If you are finding it hard to get away from things, to make time for yourself or distance yourself from work, kids and home life, I get you. Try starting out with some of these baby steps. You never know where they’ll lead you.
Buy yourself a really good magazine. A treat of a one. Then find a little bit of time here and there to dip in and out of it. Maybe ten minutes in the car if you are early for the school pick up. Make a few notes, mental or physical, for yourself of the inspiration you’ve found in it, the products you like the look of, the style you want to have a go of, whatever. Don’t just flick through. Take tiem to really enjoy that magazine.
One of my favourite ways to sneak a bit of me-time into my week is to add a half hour on to my time out of the house. When I pop out for groceries on a Saturday morning, leaving the children at home with The Bavarian, I often go for a coffee on my own afterwards. I have a danish or buy a magazine, browse Instagram or read the book I’ve brought with me.
Start Up A Hobby Meet
Get a bunch of like-minded friends together and meet regularly to do something you enjoy. For me and my friends that’s a craft meet a couple of times a month and a cookery night now and again. We all being a craft project with us and meet at one of our houses. We have a drink and catch up as well as spending time on our hobbies. If we’re having a cookery night, we’ll choose recipes in advance, share out the grocery shopping and then meet to cook and eat together. It is fun, relaxing and a real break from home.