The Ultimate Guide to Me Time: Simple and cheap ideas
By: Claire, redwigwam
School is back.
We’ve taken the first day photos – and the house is QUIET between 9 and 3. Top of the list is probably a deep clean – something that never gets done properly in the summer holidays, but it’s also tine to think about some ‘Me Time’. Something else which never happens in the school holidays…
But it is important to take some time for yourself: You’ll lower your stress levels, find your energy levels increase and you’ll feel more productive.
We know money is tight at the moment, and while the idea of a spa weekend with the girls is appealing, it’s not really a reality for most people.
So here are some quick and simple ideas for Me Time which really don’t cost the earth.
Binge a Netflix series no one else wants to watch…
If you’re home and no one else is, there is really nothing better than binging a Netflix series no one else in the house wants to watch. You don’t even have to binge it – an episode a day only takes 45mins or so and can really boost your mood.
My top tip? Make a list of things you want to watch and then you don’t spend ages debating with yourself and waste your precious me time!
Get outside and listen to a podcast
I don’t have a lot of free time, but I do have a golden rule of taking a short walk at lunchtime. 20 mins away from my desk makes a real difference to my mood and productivity. I’ve always been an early starter, so if I don’t do this, I really struggle from about 2pm.
I do love a Podcast when I’m walking – to really help take me away from reality (and learn stuff too!) I’m a big fan of Teach Me a Lesson with Greg James & Bella Mackie, and anything True Crime – there are so many to choose from!
Bring the spa to home
I know it’s a bit of a cliché but giving yourself a facial or a pedicure at home does make you feel so much better. You really don’t have to spend a fortune on products, but a face mask or foot mask isn’t a massive purchase, especially if it’s not something you use all the time.
Go to the cinema
I’ve always wondered why we see the cinema as a social event… You can’t really talk during the film, and it’s quite often difficult to find something everyone wants to watch.
Be brave and go alone. Honestly – it’s a brilliant way to spend a couple of hours. You don’t have to speak to anyone, no one pinches your popcorn, and you can watch whatever you fancy.
Turn off the tech
Bear with me on this one…
How often have you been distracted from whatever you’re doing by the constant ping of your phone? Now the kids are back in school, I’ll bet the various class chats are pinging non-stop with spelling lists, school dinner menus and when PE day is this year. And let’s not get stated on messages from the school!
So, turn it off. Just for 20 mins. Enjoy the peace and quiet – sit outside with a book. Or just do nothing. But don’t look at your phone.
Have a nap
Be honest. When was the last time you had a nap in the day. Bet it’s been a while. There’s always something to do. But there’s a reason we’re so keen on our children napping when they are tired – they need the rest. And you know what – sometimes, so do we.
So, lie on your bed and shut your eyes.
If, like me, this doesn’t come naturally in the day, try listening to an audiobook or a mediation track – even if you don’t drop off, you’ll feel refreshed from the rest.
Oh – and don’t forget to set an alarm (nothing worse than missing school pickup because you’re asleep!)
Read a book
Make a cuppa, get comfy and get lost in a brilliant book.
30 minutes of escapism from the real world. I love it.
(Two tips from me on this one:
- If you’re not already a member, I would highly recommend joining your local library. It’s free to borrow books and they have such a huge selection you’ll find something you love.
- Join Goodreads and keep a list of books you want to read. I add any recommendations to my list then it gives me a good starting point to browse when I am in the library. I also do the annual reading challenge which gives me a target of books to read for the year!)
If you're still in doubt, have a look at this blog we wrote: 5 reasons you should find more time to read.
Meet up with a friend (or even just call them)
There really is nothing better than a catch up with a friend – and we all know how hard planning a night out is (why is there NEVER a day you can all do?)
So, make it a short catch up. Grab a coffee together, or just go for a walk. Free – and really, really good for the soul!
If you really don't have time to meet in person, pick up the phone and ring them. 30 mins of chat is way better than half-conversations over WhatsApp!
Bake a cake
You probably bake with the kids – but when was the last time you made a cake just because? Try out a new recipe. Make a family favourite. Get creative with the decoration.
And remember how lovely it is not to fend off arguments about who gets to use the mixer or pick out a million bits of eggshell out of the batter!
Oh – and make sure you factor in time for a slice of whatever you’ve made before the kids come home!
Do a jigsaw puzzle
Jigsaws are NOT just for kids (or your Nan). There are loads of fantastic and challenging puzzles out there – and they don’t have to cost the earth.
Take as long as you need to put it together (although I would recommend a case to store it in if you don’t have space to leave it out!)
Rediscover the music you love
If your house is anything like ours, the playlists are more music the kids love than my choice of tunes.
So, change that. Find some bands you loved as a teenager (and possibly cringe at the dodgy lyrics!) Rediscover your festival days. Or even find some new music to love.
The best thing about this, is the children will end up listening to it as well – and in turn start to love it themselves. My 8-year-old was blasting out Oasis in his room the other evening – I have never been prouder!
Do some yoga
While attending a paid class is a great way to relax and improve your general health, the costs can add up and the timing isn’t always convenient.
But all is not lost!
There are hundreds of free yoga sessions on YouTube, which you can do at your leisure when you have the time. Have a look at Yoga With Adriene as a start point – there really is something for everyone!
Taking some me time every day is so important for your mental health and wellbeing. Just setting aside 20 minutes or so every day will make a huge difference. Schedule it in so it becomes part of your routine – and do not feel guilty about doing something just for you.