It is THAT time of year again where life seems to be constantly filled with commitments and the clock starts ticking loudly in the countdown to Christmas. It is easy to let go of honouring our own needs when life gets busy.
We think that if we surrender our precious me-time it will create more space to get things done. This may be true … but what we gain in time we lose double in terms of our sanity and well-being which are essential to surviving the end of year madness.
I have been observing myself in recent weeks and looking at how I am managing to hold onto some much needed time for my own needs. It isn’t as much as usual, or as ‘perfect’ as usual … but none of that matters as long as I find ways to make it happen.
My strategies at the moment are:
CAPTURE UNEXPECTED MOMENTS
Unexpected moments can be the sweetest. Perhaps a baby sleeps longer than usual, or plans you had get cancelled suddenly leaving you with an hour freed up in the day, or perhaps the kids are playing happily upstairs creating some unexpected quiet space for you.
These moments are precious at this time of year. A gift. Accept them. Use them … even if only for 5 minutes.
Last weekend I needed to collect my 6 year old from a play date and my other daughters were engrossed in ‘Finding Nemo’ – so I left them at home with my husband who was out in the garden. I hadn’t expected to be child-free for this pick up so I knew I could steal a little time for myself on the way. I took 10 minutes to walk on the beach, in the rain. The feeling of the ocean running across my feet was like heaven.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
I haven’t been for a “real” run for a few weeks now. My days are feeling a bit too full and I am not motivated enough to get up super early to make space for a run. Instead I have been going for some short, but hard, runs near school. I park the car 30 minutes before school bell goes and then set off for 20 minutes to see how far I can go. The area surrounding school is VERY HILLY so although I don’t fit may km in my legs sure do hurt the next day.
Remember … things don’t have to be perfect to do them. How could you think outside the box right now?
KEEP AT LEAST ONE THING SACRED
When I am super busy I know this is the time to keep one self care activity sacred in the week.
I may choose to let go of many other things for the short term but right now my Sunday morning ocean swim is sacred time. I love how it makes my body feel. Even more importantly I love how it makes my mind feel. Nobody can talk to me when I have my head in the water and so the constant demands of “Mum, mum, mum” quickly dissolve and my mind is free to wander wherever it chooses.
This weekend the weather was cold and wet. None of my swim buddies were planning to swim but I made sure I didn’t give up this sacred time for myself. So I swam alone on a grey, rainy Sunday morning … enjoying the gentle ocean and the feeling of true solitude.
What do you want to hold sacred for the next few weeks?