Hello my new UK friends! I’m Carolyn, and I’m so excited to be linking up with Vicky today all the way from sunny Brisbane, Australia (thanks for having me, Vicky!).
I run a blog called Champagne Cartel which is a positive, non-judgy space for busy working mums where we get to forget that we’re Mum, or Mrs Whatever, or whatever it is we do for a living – and we focus on stuff that matters to us. The ‘us’ that existed before our lives got crazy and we started putting other people first (oh, the horror!). Oh yeah, and we think guilt is for suckers.
Of course, taking time out for yourself can mean a whole lot of different things for different people. At the high end of that spectrum (and on my list of ‘one day – *sigh*’ activities) is the amazing Bliss Sanctuary for Women in Bali. We’re talking a week of yoga, sightseeing, cocktails by the pool and daily massages. Sounds horrible, right?
I have a husband that travels a lot for work, which leaves me alone with three small children (aged from 9, 3 and 1). This can sometimes make it tough to take time out every day but we have struck an arrangement that every time Husby is away for two nights or more, I get to bank what we now call Champagne Days. Champagne Days are days I get to just walk out of the house in the morning, and not be contactable (except in case of emergency, of course!) until I walk back in the house around dinner time. I use these days to do all manner of things including:
- going to the movies
- getting a pedicure
- sitting in the park reading a novel
- browsing in antique and book stores
- window shopping (or, even better, real shopping)
- going for a long trail run (I am training to run a half marathon in July).
I like to share my #champagnedays on Instagram and Twitter (both @champagnecartel). If you take a Champagne Day yourself, please let me know and tag it!
But even on those days when you think you have no time, there are a thousand little things you can do. And it’s more important than ever to nourish your soul and remind yourself that you are still important at a time in your life when you are juggling helping with homework, office politics, washing a gazillion tiny articles of clothing, changing nappies, cooking dinner, packing lunches, going to piano recitals, public transport arrangements, car pooling, swimming practice, birthday parties and the odd bit of marital sex.
Exhaustipated? No need to be. Here are a few ideas for taking care of yourself on the run:
- Drink a cup of tea in the sun on your own. Peaceful, sunny silence with a mood-boosting dose of Vitamin D. Bliss!
- Sit down to eat breakfast – take 15 minutes at the start of your day to ensure you’re starting it right. Bonus points if you can manage to read something unrelated to children or work while you’re doing it.
- Play music to loosen the mood – energetic music in the morning can rouse the senses and get you moving. And something catchy and fun can ease even the most tedious tasks.
- Have healthy snacks for the day prepared the night before so you’re not tempted to grab something that provides nothing of value to your body. Chopped veggies, cheese and nuts will keep your energy levels and up and make you feel good all day. Cake is nice, but it’s not your all-day friend. Your sugar levels will dip and you will be sad. It is possible to fix this with more cake, but that’s a story without a happy ending, which is one of the great travesties of our time.
- Walk barefoot on some grass.
- Practise mindfulness whenever possible. When you find your mind drifting off and worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet, gently guide it back to the present and just be here. Happiness Central have some great info and exercises that can help, including a quiz where you can test your happiness level.
- Wine. Lots and lots of wine.
Do you take time out for yourself? What are you tips for prioritising you on a busy day?