Me-time is something I think about a lot. As a working mum, it’s fair to say that my train journey to work (which, by the way, I’m usually standing up for) is my only regular me-time. But it’s something that is so important – and for dads too. It gives us time to reflect and sort through the thoughts from the day. It gives us time to just slow our brain right down and take a moment where we’re not rushing from one thing to the next.
I’ll be honest – I’m rubbish at making myself relax and switch off. Anyone who knows me in real life will tell you that I have my iPhone practically glued to my left hand, I check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram more than is healthy, and if I’m not working, I’m blogging. Oh yes, or doing that other small thing – being a mum!
I try so hard to slow down and switch off. ‘Right,’ I tell myself. ‘I’m going to have a bath and read a book.’ But ten minutes into my bath, my hand reaches for my phone (much to my husband’s horror – what if I drop the phone in the bath?!) and I’m checking what’s happening on Twitter. People say that it’s nice to take a break from technology and that if they ever leave their phone at home, they realise what a nice break it is. Not for me – all I do is break out in a cold sweat.
On evenings where I’m not working on my blog, I get a bit twitchy. ‘What do people do in the evening?’ I wonder, before sitting with my phone-in-hand, scrolling through my Twitter feed all night. It’s like I need to re-educate my brain in just doing nothing.
I think part of it is (yes, this again) mum-guilt. As mums, we’ve trained our brains into thinking we always have to be busy, otherwise we’re somehow failing as mums. Which obviously is utter crap, but that doesn’t stop us from feeling that way.
I’ve decided to do two things in a bid to relax more and give my brain a chance to breath.
1. Exercise more. I say ‘more’, I mean ‘some’. I feel so much better when I exercise – my brain gets some space from the day and I often end up working through a problem at work, or come up with a great idea. So why don’t I do it more often?
2. Go for a spa treatment once a month. For weeks now, I’ve been craving a back massage. There’s a lot of tension built up there, and while the odd back rub from my husband is nice, I think I need a professional to get rid of some knots. So I’ve decided to book myself a regular massage (or facial). To heck with the cost. I deserve it.
Last week, I was invited to have a mini pamper session by a PR promoting Disney On Ice. I know, it was like she knew, like it was some kind of Disney magic, or something. At the fab Aveda Salon in London, I had a manicure and pedicure. Granted, it wasn’t the much-needed massage, but just taking that time out made such a difference. Ginny, the lovely PR, chatted to me as I sat being pampered, telling me about the new Disney On Ice show that’s just gone on sale (It’s called Dare to Dream and is themed around the Disney Princesses – how apt, given my treatment that day), and I felt like I was a million miles away from normal life.
It reaffirmed in my head how I need to look after myself more so, starting this week, I’m going to put my two-point-plan into place. I may still tweet from the bath, but that’s OK, isn’t it?