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Read our top tips for making time for yourself

Make Time for Yourself

Written by – Emma Gunavardhana (Independent Beauty Journalist)

At times it can feel as though you’ve got enough on your plate without having to factor in some relaxation too. In fact, even if you do manage to grab a precious five minutes to put your feet up you might feel so stressed that you find it almost impossible to relax. So what’s the answer? We might be excellent at multitasking, especially given today’s busy lifestyle, but the clever way to relax is to turn the things you have to do every day into activities that nurture, nourish and relax you. Intrigued? Here’s how…

NOURISH YOURSELF:

We all have to eat, don’t we? Rather than grab meals on the run or hastily popping something in the oven when you get home, why not try batch-cooking? By setting aside time every week to prepare your meals you’re actually sending yourself a message that you care about your wellbeing and the wellbeing of the people you’re cooking for. The food we eat impacts on how we feel so it makes sense that preparing to eat well is as much of an act of self care as something like meditation or yoga, which are both known to have positive health benefits. Plus, not having to worry about what’s going on the dinner table is one less thing to think about on the way home from work and can make your evenings a lot less frantic.

MORNING RITUAL:

Some mornings there’s nothing more tempting than hitting the snooze button, flipping the pillow over to the cold side and going straight back to sleep. There’s more and more evidence to show that having a morning ritual can be calming and set you up for the day. It could be something as simple as sitting with a coffee and the newspaper when you wake up, writing in a journal or going for a run, but do it every day and you’re sending a message to you and the people around you that that’s your time. Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, wakes up early and plays tennis every day to start her day while Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post, starts her day with yoga and meditation and writes down her intentions for the day.

PLAN YOUR OUTFIT:

We’ve all done it, you’re in a rush to get ready, you go to the wardrobe to grab your favourite top and realise it’s in the ironing pile. Something as simple as laying out your clothes the night before removes any stresses of ‘what should I wear’ or having to cobble together an outfit. It’s another way of troubleshooting anything that might slow you down, cause stress and anxiety or make you late. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every day, a grey t-shirt, jeans and trainers, so his mind is focused on the important tasks he has ahead of him that day.

BEAUTY RITUAL:

Makeup and skincare are two ways in which we can look after ourselves, but if you’re doing it a rush you’re missing an opportunity to use it as some ‘me time’. If you layer your skincare take the time to apply each step using facial massage. Disperse congestion under the eyes by gently pulling from the bridge of the nose, under the eyes and down the side of the face and if you’re prone to carrying tension, use your thumbs to unfurrow your brows by pulling them over and across the brows. Give this ceremony a soundtrack, listen to some calming music, tune into your favourite podcast or plug into an audiobook to help make it more than just a functional part of your day, but something you really enjoy.

WRITE A TO-DO LIST:

It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed by the things we have to do every day like keeping on top of housework, social commitments and work tasks, but taking time to write a list of everything you have to do can not only give you a structure it can be a way to centre yourself for the day ahead. Writing lists and organising your tasks means you’re not using the neuro-resources in your brain that have to remind you, which means they can be directed elsewhere - the art of list-writing could make you more productive. But how do you write a good to-do list that’ll actually make you feel better? Start with the thing you want to do the least and get it out of the way first. If you adopt a rule of doing what you have to do and then what you want to do, you’re giving yourself an incentive to get through your list.Rather than scribbling on a scrap of paper, make list-writing into something luxurious that you look forward to. Buy a notepad that’s just for your lists and cross-off each task as you go.