Time for Myself—You Must Be Joking!

It is late at night and as you climb into bed much later than you had hoped you mentally review everything you have to do the next day.  That list is full of things to do from your kids to your employer, your spouse,  your family and even your pets but nowhere in there is You.

Does this sound familiar?  You start to wonder why you are getting so short with everyone or spontaneously bursting into tears.  Or maybe you find yourself hiding in the pantry shoving sweet or salty things quickly into your mouth or having that extra beer or glass of wine.  Your migraines or backaches flair up or you just can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed.

Never fear, even a few minutes a day of You Time can dissolve that stress and resentment you might be carrying around.  Here are a few quick ways to find some solace.

  1. Take a few extra minutes in the shower or bath and treat yourself to soap or shower gel with essential oils.  Lavender is relaxing, citrus is refreshing, peppermint awakens your senses.  Breathe in the fragrance of the essential oil you have chosen, close your eyes and experience what you feel.  Where does your mind float off to? Just be with what ever comes up, no need to try and think or do anything.
  2. Find any patch of sun, take off your sunglasses and feel the sun on your face, your hands your fingers.  Notice the sensation of the sun warming you.  Breathe deeply and name any scent you are aware of, any sensations your body is feeling, anything you hear. Stay there quietly breathing for a few minutes.
  3. If you or a neighbour has a pet, quietly sit with that pet and feel the softness of their fur or feathers.  Imagine breathing in time with them.  Experience the exchange of energy between the two of you, do nothing.
  4. Leave your phone at home, office or in your bag.  Find a park bench and simply sit and look at the blades of grass around you.  Can you notice the textures and the colours?  Are the blades all the same or slightly different?  What colour are the flowers around you or the leaves on the trees?  What sound does the wind flowing through the trees remind you of?
  5. Find a patch of dirt, your garden, a community garden a neighbours garden and pull some weeds just focussing on the act of your fingers gently pulling the weeds out of the earth. Inhale deeply paying attention to the rich scent of the earth.  If you are able, plant flowers or vegetable and listen to the sound of the water as you moisten them.
  6. Find a tennis ball or other small ball and play catch against a wall.  Feel the sensation of releasing the ball and closing your hand around it as you catch.  Notice the sound of the ball hitting the pavement and the wall.  Watch the ball bouncing towards the wall and back to you.
  7. Sit on a swing and just let your body remember the feeling of being free and floating and you swing back and forth.  As you swing find a cloud in the sky and identify the shape that it is, what does that remind you of?  What do the other clouds look like?

These are some simple, fast and effective ways to reconnect with yourself in your busy life and let you know that you are important. Just the process of being present for a short moment begins to dissolve your everyday stress.

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