The Importance of time out
And my top 5 tips to achieve it.
T I M E O U T
Last week I decided to book a week off work. It was spontaneous and fortunately my company/boss are incredibly accommodating so it wasn’t a problem.
The reason for this last minute week off was mainly down to the fact I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. My life is probably no where near as stressful as most. However, I am in the process of selling my house, which has been going on for months, but feels like years! I also have a job which doesn’t get left at work, I get calls, texts and emails most days and evenings. Therefore I can’t ‘escape’ as often as I probably should. And of course I am doing my best to raise wonderfully strong willed Ottilie.
I am usually a ‘just get on with it’ type of person but I decided enough was enough. I emailed my boss, and ta da, I had a week to myself (and a 16 month old shadow)
Simply booking the leave made me instantly relax.
What I did
Don’t get me wrong, I am a stickler for a bit of routine – something that can be essential in making life with a toddler work. However I decided that my ‘week off’ was going to be less about routine and plans and more about truly winging it. We still got up before socially acceptable (thanks to Ottilie) and had a mega early breakfast. We still waved Papa off to work and we still had nap time reasonably close to our routine.
What I decided to get rid of for the week was plans. Usually if I don’t have a plan for the day accompanied by 100 lists I am a bit of an anxious ball. Instead me and Ottilie on day 1 of our week together mooched in our pjs till 10. Ate lunch at 11 and napped together till 2. It was utter bliss. I didn’t cut myself off from the world completely and we did fit in some play dates, swimming and even a mini yoga course! It felt like my most productive week in months and yet I did the least productive things.
All in our stride…
The part I truly loved the most was the simplicity of time. Rarely rushing and just doing what we do but at a much slower pace. The only time I seem to get that long 1 on 1 time with her is if we go on holiday. But that seemed wrong to me and in fact holidays can often be more work than the usual routine at home.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or struggling with that work/life balance. Don’t wait for a holiday to be booked or a festive season. Use a touch of that annual leave and book some 1 on 1 with your normal life. Its more refreshing than you might think!
5 Tips for Time out
- Turn your phone off, put it in the other room, let it run out of battery. I am one of the worst for having my phone glued to me. But the simple art of it just not being around makes switching off that much easier.
- Put music on. If you cleaning, eating, doing nothing or even dealing with a toddler. Put some music on and let it take over your thoughts. I may be the only one but I find the only time to switch my brain off is if I am listening to something.
- Fresh air. I have undiagnosed SAD disorder. (seasonal affective disorder) I probably don’t but it does fit how I feel. Winter often feels like a long tunnel for me with Spring being the light at the end. This time of year is great for getting back outside and enjoying some fresh air. Even a simple trip to the park can help me with zoning out of the rest of life.
- Cooking. I don’t mean the kind of cooking where you frantically rustle up something for your over hungry over tired children. Instead choose a recipe you would never usually make and cook it. From scratch. It may take hours and it may taste gross. But simply taking that time out to do it can be hugely therapeutic.
- Have a massage. I know – not a cheap or free option (unless you have a very generous partner!) But its honestly one of my favourite ways to escape. It love Indian head or Hot stone massage.