At this time of year there are so many bugs around, and I know that over half term I probably came into contact with about three different ones, not to mention the one that hubby was nursing whilst I was away. Safe to say, I caught one of them, and last Saturday, a mini-virus knocked me for six. And it got me thinking.
How do we protect ourselves from illness, stress and exhaustion? When is a good time to stop and take time for ‘me’? And, when we’re busy in our careers, bringing up young children, supporting older children, helping out with grandchildren, or any combination of the above, how do we stop our health and wellbeing from finding itself at the bottom of the list?
Limit your plans so they’re realistic
Last weekend, I had a late gig Friday night. Saturday I had organised to chat to my very patient exam case-study, look after the kids while hubby did decorating, catch up on some ironing, tidy the house (which is upside down as we are renovating the downstairs toilet), and cook some meals so we’re organised for the following week.
Even if I had been feeling well, perhaps I could have spread that workload over two days, and incorporated some much needed chill time for me in there. What does your weekend look like, and is there enough time for ‘me’ in there?
Aim for a healthy diet, combined with regular exercise
Granted, the magic combo can’t protect you from every bug going, but whatever your age it will certainly enable your body to function at it’s optimum meaning you will feel more vital when you’re not sick, and help your body to recover more quickly when you are.
Is essential to allow your body to repair and function at it’s best. With a young family, sleep can be a rare commodity. Get it while you can with early nights, or catch up naps. If you’re working, sometimes stress from work can prevent you from getting a good night – regular exercise is a great stress-buster, as well as rounding off the day with a warm bath and hunkering down in bed with a light read before lights out. Avoid Facebooking and emailing while you’re in bed as this can make it harder to ‘switch off’ and get the rest you need.
Call in support
Whether it’s friends, family, or bought-in, sometimes practical help is just a necessity to enable you to have the feet-up time you need. Grab yours where you can get it. Whether it’s a friend looking after the kids for a couple of hours while you get a massage, or a cleaner who can help tidy the house – own it, get help, and take charge.
Don’t wait until you’re at breaking point before taking time out
It isn’t good for you (note to self) to be at the end of your energy stores before resting and recharging. See below for how to ensure you’re never deplete of ‘me’ time!
Make time for ‘me’ today
This is the number one action you can take today to keep your wellbeing at the top of the list. Schedule time in to your diary as non-negotiable time for ‘me’. Ringfence it, say no to anything which might interrupt it (ok, except an emergency), and enjoy every second of it!
How will you be making time for ‘me’ this week?
I admit, I am a work-myself-into-the-ground-aholic. I work, study, look after the kids and family and matters of domesticity, look out for my friends, and then when I can take no more, I collapse.
I know that I would benefit from regularly taking my foot off the gas to reflect, and recharge. I also recognise that unless I do, I will simply end up too exhausted to be any good to anyone!
So, today, I am going to schedule regular ‘time for me’ into my diary – whether it’s a couple of hours to meet with a friend, a lie down with a good book, getting out into the garden to sweep leaves, listen to a favourite album or do just as I please.
When do you have your ‘me’ time? Do you have enough of it? If you could do with more, make the commitment today to allocate some into your diary – your body will thank you, and it will be another great step towards living the healthy and energised life you deserve.
‘Til next time,