Most of us lead busy lives, whether we’re working, studying, or looking after our family, pets and home. This can make it easy to file time for you under something for another day. However, looking after number one is essential for your physical and mental health – and investing time in yourself can help even the busiest week feel like less of a struggle.
Read on to discover some simple ways to make time for you…
Take mindful moments
Mindfulness is now something of a buzzword, and it’s a really simple concept. The NHS website explains mindfulness as: ‘Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you.’
Finding moments to be mindful can help calm a busy mind and improve mental wellbeing. Perhaps focusing on the smells, sounds, tastes and textures while cooking dinner could help you to forget the stress of the day? Or maybe go for a mindful walk in the countryside or park, noticing the feel of the air and nature all around you?
Eating ‘mindfully’ – so really enjoying and appreciating what you’re eating – can also help you feel more satisfied and prevent overeating.
Put it in the diary
A busy week can pass by in a blur, so scheduling some self-care slots is a way of ensuring that you don’t run out of time for you.
As many of us are creatures of habit, popping a regular lunchtime walk in your work diary, or a Friday catch-up call with a friend in your phone calendar, will ensure these things are on your radar every week.
Slimming World member Lucy (@lucyleax) blocks out a day to focus on her own wellbeing. She shared her self-care list – and it looks like a day very well spent:
Focus on your goals
Taking the time to focus on your goals is key to achieving them. But don’t worry about having to tackle them in one big bite. Breaking goals into smaller steps will make them much easier to work towards, whether that’s spending an hour planning your meals for the week, doing week 1 of Couch to 5K, or booking your place in a Slimming World group.
Make time to move
It’s often easy to let being active slide down our list of priorities – yet moving more brings so many benefits for our health and overall wellbeing. As well as being fantastic for our physical health and supporting our weight loss, activity can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy levels.
Booking a class or a swimming session, putting activity slots on your calendar and exercising with a friend are great ways to firm up your feel-good fitness plans.
Cycling helped Lois through her son’s leukaemia battle. She says: “I felt at peace riding around the beautiful lakes, fields and canals of the country park. Those 55 minutes became my time to relax and unwind, letting go of all life’s worries.”
Hone your hobbies
Time spent doing something you enjoy is never wasted, and many hobbies also have the added benefit of leaving you feeling calm and relaxed. If you’re looking for a new hobby, here are some suggestions to get you started:
- colouring in: adult colouring books and fine-tip pens make this a mindful choice
- crafting: creating stained glass is a growing trend
- cross-stitch: you can buy some really cool kits online
- gardening: make a mini garden for even the smallest space with a terrarium kit
- photography: we all have a camera on our phones
- soap making: create natural soaps and bath bombs for a relaxing self-care soak
- journaling: use an app or go old school and put pen to paper
- baking: get your bake on with this easy slimming-friendly chocolate madeleines recipe
Phone a friend
Who says me-time has to be spent alone? Chatting to a friend can be just as restorative. If you usually like to meet for coffee, walking and talking with a takeaway is a tonic for both body and soul. The magic of the mobile phone means you can do the walk and talk with faraway friends too.
Lou (@sw_run_love_repeat) enjoys her morning run so much more when her friend comes along, too!
You’ll always find a friendly ear at your local Slimming World group. A weekly meet-up with people who understand the challenges of weight loss can be a vital support – so much so that those who belong to a slimming group, alongside people who care and share their goals, are more likely to succeed than those who don’t. That’s well worth making time for.
Kick back and relax
Sometimes, all you really need to do is absolutely nothing, and that’s OK! Give yourself permission to forget that to-do list and put your feet up – you could actually be making your weight loss goals easier to reach.
If you love a relaxing read, you’ll find lots of slimming success stories on the blog, and even more on our exclusive member website. Lauren (@laurens_sw_life) has got the right idea – she loves enjoying lunch in the sunshine and having a flick through Slimming World Magazine.
What’s on your me-time to-do list this week? We’d love to know. Send us an email or share on social using #theSlimmingWorldblog. We hope that you’re doing something you enjoy – even if that’s nothing at all!