I’ve been in a bit of a slump the last few days. I’m agitated and annoyed and can’t put my finger on it. So I thought I’d share some of my “me time” strategies that I use to help defuse flustered and/or stressed feelings.
Mini Me Breaks (If you have only 5-15 minutes):
1) Draw or doodle. Nothing stressful just a quick sketch of something. If drawing is stressful for you, try just doodling lines and make a checker board. I find this helps me just focus on something else for a while.
2) Read a chapter of a childhood favourite novel. One of my favourite childhood authors is L.M. Montgomery. So I started Emily of New Moon on Saturday. I’ve obviously had lots of mini me breaks the last few days as I’m already over half way through. You don’t have to read the whole book though, sometimes I just re-read a favourite part that I know will lift my spirits.
3) Colour a meditation colouring page. If you just google that phrase “meditation coloring pages” and check out the images, you will see some examples. Technically there are some techniques that can go along with this, like breathe in light and breathe out dark or keep a question in your mind that you want answered. I say if any of that works for you, go for it. However, I sometimes just find it soothing to mindlessly colour for a bit and not have to be conscious of desires, effort, or technique.
4) Simply Being app. This is one of my favourites. It might insult meditation aficionados but for those of us with short attention spans and the inability to sit still for long, it’s fabulous. I think I actually paid for it but it was under $5. It has background music and a soothing lady giving you instructions. She guides you through the meditations and you can choose the length of time (from 5 to 20 minutes). I’ve only ever lasted 5.
Grande Me Breaks (At least an hour, preferably two or three):
1) Bubble bath with ice-cream and a trashy novel. Pick your flavor (mine’s a Reese blizzard), pick your trash:)
2) Foot bath and do your toes. You could have a paid pedicure but I try to avoid paid breaks especially on mat leave. If you don’t have a foot bath just soak your toes in a bucket or the bath. It doesn’t need to be fancy. It doesn’t need to be beautiful either if you’re like me and it sometimes looks like a 10 year old did it. It’s more about the taking time out for yourself!
3) Painting session Or scrapbooking/sewing/knitting/cooking/whatever floats your-right-brained-boat session. You want something that allows your mind to wander and causes you to lose track of time because you are in your own Zen space.
4) Swim laps. For some people a run works the same here. This is one of the best for me for de-stressing. I get into a rhythm and my thoughts just float around. After I can have a hot tub too if there is time. However, I haven’t been swimming since this last pregnancy. Maybe I should see if any of my suits fit again yet…
These are some that work for me but I’m always game to hear new ones, especially for the mini breaks right now. Any other suggestions out there?