Ever feel like you spend your whole day rushing around with next to no time for yourself? You’re not the only one!
According to a study, mums only get 17 minutes of me-time a day, but there are some clever ways you can make the most of this precious time!
From saving your favourite book for a quiet moment, to stashing your own calming herbal teas out of everyone else’s reach, beauty expert Annie Vischer’s tips can take you from stressed to serene in just 17 mins.
1. Tub time
Run a bath and lock the door! You can up the spa vibes by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to the water as it runs. It’s been proven that lavender produces calming, soothing and sedative effects when it’s inhaled, and is actually used to remedy anything from insomnia to anxiety and depression.
And the benefits don’t stop there! All zen after your soak, the smells will waft through the house and are likely to settle your little ones too – now that’s what we call multi-tasking!
2. YouTube yoga
No, 20 minutes isn’t quite long enough to nip out for a yoga class, but there are endless tutorials to follow on YouTube, all you need is a bit of floor space and some comfy clothes. Search for ‘beginners vinyasa flow’ – the movements are in no way taxing, and utterly relaxing. You’ll feel great after a good stretch, and the breathing techniques are total therapy. Once you start you’ll end up craving regular sessions! (Try Fightmaster Yoga)
3. Pour a cuppa
Got 17 mins to spare? Choose the right tea! Herbs and flowers like tulsi, chamomile, rose and lavender are key to relaxation. Pick up one of Pukka‘s teas such as Love, Relax, Three Tulsi and Three Chamomile from £2.50 to set you on the road to calm. If you like a sweeter brew then add a dash of manuka honey, it has great medicinal properties! If it’s sunny then head to the garden and don’t leave until every drop is gone.
4. Flip the pages
Never underestimate the power of a good book. Whether thrillers grab you instantly or soppy reads are more your bag (zero guilt in that!) pick a good’un and savour a few chapters at a time. Find a reliably quiet space or corner and tuck yourself away – a few minutes engrossed in your favourite book and you’ll be feeling calm and collected in no time.
5. Best foot forward
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about a full on hike here, but a 20 minute stroll around the block or a gentle trudge along a country lane, little ones in tow, will do it. The kids will be off playing meaning you’ll get some precious moments of me time in the fresh air! Plus, walking is a low impact exercise extolled by personal trainers the world over, so you’ll be strengthening your heart while toning up legs, bums and tums to boot.
6. Just breathe
Invest in a great aromatherapy oil roll-on. We love the version that comes with the This Works Sleep to Go Kit (£15) – simply pop it on your pulse points, sit or lie in a quiet space and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, sometimes with your wrists raised to your nose for the full aromatherapy effect.
To really up the ante download the Head Space app and follow the simple instructions to really soothe and calm your mind. Trust us, it’s time well spent.
7. Phone a friend
When’s the last time you had a real gas to your nearest and dearest? Whether it’s your mum, your best friend, or someone you haven’t reconnected with in years, pick up the phone and catch up. We bet you’ll find yourself laughing away and loading up on the latest tales and gossip in no time – who needs Coronation Street?!
8. Be your own facialist
Who really has the time or the money for spa treatments? Instead, turn your everyday beauty routine into a ritual at least once a week. Pop on a face mask for 10 minutes, and finish with some of those fancy creams and oils you got at Christmas to really up the luxe factor. Antipodes’ Nature Aura Manuka Honey Mask, £24.99, is a one-suits all option that gives you that salon worthy glow in minutes!
9. Write away
Is it just us or is there something totally soothing about putting pen to paper? Pick up a pretty little notebook and take time each day to write down what you’re grateful for.
This could be anything from your baby giggling at your silly faces, to turning on the TV at the exact right time to see a Holly and Phil blooper on This Morning. Writing in itself is calming, and when you’re concentrating on all the good things in life it’s totally uplifting. Try it and see if you don’t feel great!