Self­ish­ness to ones self can be ease­ful.

Woman's Era - - Contents - Pallavi Acharya

Life is busy around here, with kids and house­hold chores and ca­reer. Me-time is more im­por­tant now, more than ever. There’s noth­ing wrong with tak­ing a lit­tle “Me-time” – a time which you de­vote to­tally to your­self, and no one else. The only per­son whose opin­ion you need to worry about is your own! Do not think what oth­ers think of you – it should be none of their con­cern.

Greet all the misty morn­ings with grat­i­tude. There is al­ways some­thing to be thank­ful for! There are so many won­der­ful things around us. There’s a mag­i­cal place in­side you to ven­ture – so noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble. It is pos­si­ble that one feels a tinge of guilt about it. But do not feel guilty about it be­cause with lots of rou­tine work which you have carved out through the years, there is a small lit­tle space within you that cre­ates won­der – and it needs to be nur­tured by this “Me-time”.

Some­times we give so much that we end up los­ing our­selves. Alone time is when we can dis­tance our­selves from the voices of the world – so we can hear our own voice. In ef­fect – ‘Soul search’. It heals the depths of our souls and iden­ti­fies our true needs and de­sires. It’s not al­ways easy to do so, but tak­ing the jour­ney alone is of­ten needed to re­ju­ve­nate our own sense, body and soul.

No won­der that work­ing moms feel the need to com­pen­sate for their lack of “mom’s per­for­mance”, rush­ing to get to their fam­i­lies as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter work­ing hours to ease the tinge of guilt of be­ing gone for so long. There is the pres­sure of the kid’s ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, home­work, din­ner and the work on E-mails that one can­not ig­nore.

For many, self care may not even feel like an op­tion. But it is your only op­tion if you want to take care of your fam­ily and work for as long as pos­si­ble. It is like you all have heard in air­craft, flight at­ten­dants tell us to “se­cure our oxy­gen mask be­fore as­sist­ing oth­ers.” There­fore, we have to make time for our­selves to be en­er­getic. Per­haps, one day we would tell our daugh­ters to do the same thing, so that they en­joy life and han­dle it per­fectly.

We all need ex­er­cise, good nu­tri­tion, and pos­i­tive ways of man­ag­ing daily stress. It’s true there are only so many hours in the day, so we have to care­fully sched­ule “Me-time”. If you need help, ask for it. Ask your spouse, fam­ily, neigh­bour, friend or any­one who cares for you. There will be so many times you have failed but in the eyes of your child you are a “su­per mom” – even if you have an as­sis­tant hero for help.

Here are some easy ways to squeeze more “Me-time” into our day, no mat­ter how busy a bee you are:

Take a breathe: This sounds easy, doesn’t it? But it’s crazy that the num­ber of times we don’t even get time to catch our breath – lit­er­ally! Whether work has got you crazy or things are not work­ing out as they should, just stop…close your eyes (of course when it’s safe to do so – not while you are driv­ing!) and try to clear your mind. Then, fo­cus on tak­ing 10 deep breaths. Make sure the breath fills your belly as you in­hale. Many of us don’t take a full breath, but rather breathe up­wards. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to make your out breath twice as long as you in­hale. Do this 10 times with your closed eyes. You will be able to feel your ner­vous sys­tem calm­ing and the panic go­ing away. Call a fam­ily mem­ber or friend: Never lose a true friend. Of­ten, try to call a rel­a­tive whom you can share your trou­bles with or some­one who lets you have true free­dom to be your­self. What­ever you hap­pen to be feel­ing at the mo­ment is fine! So be trust­wor­thy to get trust from oth­ers. It doesn’t have to be long but 10-15 min­utes of con­ver­sa­tion with some­one we love can help us to re­lax and feel more ful­filled with our day.

Go out­side: Go­ing out­side for a walk in na­ture al­lows our bod­ies to get vi­ta­min D and to elim­i­nate tox­ins from our bod­ies. The green­ery and the fresh air re­fresh our moods and clear neg­a­tive thoughts from our minds. If you work in an of­fice and re­ally need to get out­side, sim­ply walk around the build­ing or the block again for 10-15 min­utes.

In­spire your in­ner chef: ‘Chef’ doesn’t mean that you are the best cook, it sim­ply means ‘boss’. I have been a cook all my life, but I am still learn­ing by ex­per­i­ment­ing with new tech­niques and im­prov­ing be­yond my own knowl­edge be­cause there is al­ways some­thing new to learn and new hori­zons to dis­cover. A home­made meal is very sat­is­fac­tory – and for kids as well as for your spouse a


sim­ple dish made with your hands would bring hap­pi­ness. Choose one nice recipe and try it out. Cook­ing is cre­ativ­ity and with time it im­proves.

So, why not cre­ate the same feel­ings for our kids? There’s noth­ing that beats maa ke haath ka

khanna (food cooked by mom), food to cheer them up. En­joy cook­ing so that you will start to look for­ward to it as “Me-time”.

Write: Not ev­ery­one is a writer. But the act of writ­ing and ex­press­ing our emo­tions and thoughts ac­tu­ally helps to calm us down. You can write about any­thing or any para­graph to start with. One can write on the smart­phones! If you have noth­ing to write then start up a daily di­ary of your rou­tine work, things that worry you, why you are stressed or why the day was won­der­ful. You will be amazed how light you feel af­ter hav­ing writ­ten the words down on pa­per.

Treat your­self: As the old say­ing goes – If you don’t love your­self who else will? Re­mind your­self that you de­serve a happy life and en­joy your­self on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Treat your­self to a spa or a nice mas­sage, a re­lax­ing pedi­cure eye-catch­ing nail paint or man­i­cure to pam­per your arms and feet. A trendy hair colour or a hair­cut can boost your per­son­al­ity and some­times a change works won­der. Take a re­lax­ing shower gel bath: There’s prob­a­bly noth­ing more re­lax­ing than get­ting home af­ter a long day of work and pam­per­ing your body with a long warm bath. Re­lax by tak­ing a shower gel bath with some stress-re­liev­ing oils that keep you fresh and clean.

Gift your­self: Give your­self the gift of five min­utes of do­ing noth­ing. Some­times this is enough to get a bit of breath­ing room and plan­ning your next move. Stim­u­late your­self to learn or hear some­thing about a new topic.

Do a good work ev­ery­day: Try to do some­thing nice for some­one who is needy or poor. How does this works? When we carry out ran­dom acts of kind­ness, we feel a warm glow in­side.

Cul­ti­vate hob­bies: Make your­self an up­lift­ing playlist con­tain­ing your favourite songs and lis­ten to them while do­ing your work. You can opt for gar­den­ing which gives de­light and helps in pass­ing the leisure time. We can do paint­ing, sketch­ing and man­dala art which is an art ther­apy and heal­ing that can be a great source of re­flec­tion on one’s soul. Get and go out for shop­ping: Get rid of your old clothes or ap­par­els and go for shop­ping, re­place clothes that don’t fit or flat­ter you. Be trendy and a trend set­ter.

Read: Try out read­ing new books, flip over mag­a­zines and blogs for free in­spi­ra­tion within min­utes. This is truly in­spir­ing, isn’t it?

Love an­i­mals and birds: Go out to an an­i­mal shel­ter or a pet store or do bird watch­ing, or pho­tog­ra­phy. There’s some­thing re­lax­ing about watch­ing them play­ing and sleep­ing to­gether in a happy snugly heap.

Elec­tronic detox: This means switch­ing off all the elec­tronic items. Treat your­self to an elec­tronic detox. Get­ting our eyes and mind away from th­ese gad­gets which keep on bom­bard­ing one with so many neg­a­tive en­er­gies. If you are do­ing one of the other tips on the list, you are al­ready away from your elec­tron­ics – but if you need a detox in the mid­dle of the day, just put off ev­ery­thing and en­joy the si­lence for a while.

Work­out or yoga: At least work­out for half an hour a day. It keeps you fit and it’s nec­es­sary for our body fit­ness and good health. Ex­er­cise adds spice to our rou­tine life.

Th­ese are a few tips I have shared so that you can squeeze out “Me-time” even if you are busy. Some­times it’s all about our per­spec­tive. You might al­ready do a lot of th­ese things but not think of them as “Me-time” what­ever you do just en­joy and squeeze that “MeTime” in for a world of ben­e­fits!

A life with­out laugh­ter, is like a sun­rise with­out the sun!

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