Balancing You Time: Lifestyle Swaps

Me time is so important in a balanced lifestyle and to maintain good mental health but it’s so easy to forget about or “not have time for”! We often spend too much time watching screens and not taking time out to nurture ourselves away from technology. I am currently taking part in a spring cleanse program called barrebodyfive which is run by barre body, my favourite exercise class. One element of the 5 week spring challenge is to have at least 5 minutes of you-time each day and make 5 lifestyle swaps. Here are a few of my swaps/me time activities that I’d love to share with you!

1. Read a book while you commute

As a weekday commuter, I spend an hour a day travelling to and from the office. That’s 5 hours a week. What amazes me is how many people (I have often also been guilty of this) spend that whole time looking at their phone screens looking at social media or playing candy crush games. As if spending the whole working day looking at a computer screen wasn’t enough! It’s so much time that is effectively wasted and makes commuting feel like a chore. I have now begun reading a book each day to and from work. I now get half an hour each way to relax and be absorbed by a story and to forget about everything that has happened in my day and just be present reading. I’m currently reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, a beautiful story set in WWII about a blind French girl and a member of Hitler’s Youth who see the beginning of the war from different positions and whose paths eventually cross. I would also recommend The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion, an Australian author which makes for great tram reading!

2. Do a jigsaw puzzlepuzzle

Instead of coming home each night and turning on the TV, try doing a puzzle! I find jigsaw puzzles incredibly relaxing and they’re so good for your mind! Doing a puzzle is an activity that uses both sides of your brain equally. You use the left-side to think logically about the sequence of the pieces and the right side for creativity and intuition in completing the picture and working out which colours fit where as part of the bigger picture. This kind of activity (cross-words too) has been proven to increase the likelihood of a longer life span as well as lowering the risk of memory loss (MacArthur study)! My favourite jigsaws are the Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles like the one pictured here, they also have a range of Disney puzzles in the 1000 piece range which are great!

3. Complete a 1000 dot-to-dot or Querkle picture

Adult colouring books are really popular at the moment and these books are along a similar vein, taking what is traditionally a children’s activity and making it a little more complex as an adult activity. I love the 1000 dot-to-dot books at the moment by Thomas Pavitte, I have a great big A3 cityscapes one. It just such good fun! They only take 30-40mins each and while they don’t really create the masterpieces that they claim (you can rip them out to put them on the wall), they’re very obviously amateur dot-to-dots, it’s great fun to see a page of dots take on a shape that’s recognisable! The Querkles books come in the same range but are to colour according to number creating shaded pictures!

4. Give yourself a manicure/pedicure and a facial

Instead of going and paying someone else to do it, settle yourself down onto a sofa and enjoy taking some time to indulge yourself in some at home treatments! I love giving myself at home facials, I’m currently using the Kora exfoliator and hydrating mask! It’s fast becoming my Sunday late afternoon ritual! Once I finish all of my chores for the day, I shower, have a facial, have a manicure and paint my nails. Then I watch a movie or an episode of a TV show for an hour while they dry!

5. Go for a walkIMG_1544

Instead of sitting straight down when you get home, go for a walk. Not a power walk, just a casual walk, somewhere nice, drive down to a local river or creek (if you don’t live within walking distance) and just enjoy nature! No headphones allowed! It’s such a mindful activity and is a great setting in which to be present and see and smell what’s around you. For example, on my walk this morning I saw these beautiful Eucalyptus flowers (the snugglepot and cuddlepie variety). If you crush a Eucalyptus leaf in your hands it reveals the strong scented oil that the leaves contain, have a smell! xx

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