Mini-break

5 Ways To Find More ‘Me’ Time

We’re all so busy with work, school, family and home that it seems selfish to even dream about more ‘me’ time, let alone make it a reality. Yet, when you take enough time for yourself, you find that you’re happier, more productive and have more patience for the people around you, so everybody wins. But how exactly do you fit ‘me’ time into your day?

RELATED: Time Alone: The Ultimate Extravagance?

1. Ditch the guilt

Easier said than done, but what if you run an experiment? Take some time out for yourself, then pay attention to how it changes you and your interactions with others. Are you coming up with more creative ideas at work? Are you managing to stay calm when your kids are pushing your buttons? No doubt, you’ll collect proof that ‘me’ time is good for you and good for everyone else, so there’s no reason to feel guilty about it.

2. Accept that you can’t do it all

Occasionally, I’d unexpectedly get some time to myself and instead of enjoying it, I’d find myself frantically going through my to-do list trying to complete as much as I could. Of course, the list wouldn’t get any shorter and I’d miss out on a precious opportunity to relax and do something fun. Does this sound like you, too? If you’re as busy as most of us, it’s rare that you’ll ever get your to-do list down to zero, so instead of stressing about it, accept that you can’t do it all and make ‘me’ time a priority.

3. Ask for help

You’ve managed to ditch the guilt and accept that you can’t do it all, but there are still times when life is so busy that ‘me’ time goes out of the window. You don’t have to do it all alone. Ask your other half or a friend for help, or hire help if you’re desperate.

4. Use pockets of time

When we have 15-20 minutes of free time, we often discard it as insignificant and fill it with meaningless tasks like checking Facebook or folding laundry. Instead of looking for distractions, ask yourself, “What would I like to do?” and start doing it. You’ll be surprised just how much can be done in a short amount of time, plus completion is not the point here. You’re not trying to finish a project, but to engage in an activity that makes you happy and energises you.

5. Invest in your ‘me’ time

If you’re finding that you’re always skipping your ‘me’ time in favour of something else, schedule it in a more formal way and even put some money on the line. Book a class you’ve been wanting to do. Sign up for a workshop. Set up a session with a personal trainer. Then you’ll have a great reason to show up – if you don’t, you’ll have to pay cancellation fees!

Even a little bit of regular ‘me’ time can make a world of difference to your happiness, energy levels and relationships, so make it happen!

Image via Pixabay

February 25, 2015

Take Me Away: The Ultimate Girl’s Escape

If it’s possible to feel homesick for a resort – and heartsick to have to leave – then that is what I truly feel for Noosa’s amazing 5-star Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa. I recently packed my bags for a one-night solo mini-break at the opulent resort; Noosa is on the Sunshine Coast, just over an hour’s drive north of the Queensland capital of Brisbane. Of course, being a local, it was only just up the road for me, but what a lovely and rejuvenating experience it was.

It’s rare to have an emotional connection to a resort – but I savoured every minute of blissful solitude at my spacious, stylish and cosy one-bedroom apartment nestled beside the Noosa National Park (pictured), also conveniently located right beside the idyllic Stephanies Ocean Spa, but more on the latter later. I just felt so ridiculously grateful to have chanced upon the award-winning resort. I mean, I’d heard of it – but I never expected it to be this good. Cue happy dance on arrival! Add this one to your bucket list, ladies!

Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa opened in 2010 and is the region’s first internationally-managed 5-star resort in 20 years, renowned for its environmentally sustainable resort design. My apartment was the perfect setting for a girlie escape and much-needed R&R – I immediately felt at home and had to force myself to get out and enjoy the sunshine exploring Noosa’s famous nearby shopping/retail hub, Hastings St. I opted to walk the scenic 500m journey, but a cute dude in one of the resort’s fab, new, solar-powered electric buggies offered to drop me off, who was I to resist?

The eco-designed resort offers self-contained one, two and three-bedroom apartments, plus villas and penthouses; all of which looked pretty damn fine as we whizzed past, but it’s the hotel’s rainforest setting that sets it apart. Upon my return (successful shopping mission accomplished, tick!), I sat on my private balcony, in the sun, soaking up the Zen, complete with rainforest orchestra. A whipbird (I think, I’m no bird expert) made its soothing, harmonic whip-crack call many times that day – indeed it woke me up the following morning. How cool is that?

But back to that magical day – I trotted off to Stephanies Ocean Spa in the late afternoon for a beauty treatment, as part of my R&R mission, and was immediately impressed with the large, tranquil, candle-lit waiting lounge (pictured).Take me away: the ultimate girl’s escape
I opted to enjoy a pedicure, but Stephanies offers the full gamut of your day spa menu, with a twist – there’s luxurious mineral floatation treatments, hot-stone massages and anti-aging vino therapies in 11 treatment rooms.

Post-treatment, all shiny and new, I floated back to my apartment for the night, opting to order in some culinary delights from the on-site View On Little Hastings Restaurant and Bar. I popped some bubbly, turned on Max Music and I was in heaven! Other resort facilities include a very purrty heated resort pool and lap pool.

Villas, penthouses and treetop villas also offer guests exclusive use of Brooke’s Pool (pictured below), with sweeping views of Laguna Bay and Double Island Point. All in all, I had a fabulous time and I can’t wait to get back there!

Take me away: the ultimate girl’s escape

Visit www.outriggeraustralia.com and www.stephanies.com.au.

July 29, 2014

Time Alone: The Ultimate Extravagance?

“Time and silence are the most luxurious things today” – US fashion designer and film director Tom Ford

Have you ever felt like you desperately needed the clear the clutter; to drown out the incessant noise of the everyday? To take a mini-break, just for you? I did just that today – I took off by myself for an indulgent night away, flying solo, for some much-needed R&R away from my beloved husband and two toddlers.

The mother guilt was palpable as I drove away from loved ones with crumpled faces. But, by God did I need some “me time”! Indeed, if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a new mother of two: if you don’t get a day off to yourself to recharge every now and then, you ain’t good to anybody. How can you look after everyone else, if you yourself are too tired and broken?

And so it was that I drove off to my 5-star hotel, with the blessing of my lovely husband, who will shortly be taking his turn to escape to same resort, upon my return. We’ve decided our littlies are too young to leave with anyone overnight and so we’re resigned to spending nights apart, when we can, to restore our sanity. And I’ve had the most fabulous day– I have thoroughly enjoyed some quality travel time alone: sitting in the sun, being still, pampering self with a beauty treatment and drinking wine and feasting on my private balcony. Bliss!

I even actually listened to music and watched a favourite trash TV show uninterrupted – crazy!?

I just desperately needed to find my Zen; sleep deprivation as a new parent can be very debilitating and I couldn’t remember the last time I had a whole day off to myself. However, the psychologist in my family, who shall remain nameless, was a little scathing on the concept of “alone time” – which got me thinking; is this because as late-starting mums in our 30s, with we women increasingly delaying marriage and child birth, are we so used to our own space that the gruelling demands of parenthood are more of a shock?

Do we expect more from motherhood than our parents’ generation? Are we trying to do more: juggle motherhood with a career? Or, are we just better at taking care of ourselves than our parents’ generation? You know when you’ve reached the end of your tether – when you feel like you need to crawl into the foetal position, with a bottle of wine, in the pantry. Life can get so crazy busy, you can lose your sense of self, if you’re not careful.

Today, I needed time, space and silence to be me, first and foremost. Not a wife or a mother – just me. And it’s been absolute heaven! Now, I feel restored, revitalised and ready to return – in fact, I’m terribly missing my little family. For what it’s worth, here’s the tough love from the psychologist: “I don’t think spending time by yourself is necessarily the answer,” she says. “If you come back the next day and your thinking hasn’t changed, then you’ll be just as stressed as before.

“Conversely, you can do the introspection and self-analysis necessary to improve your emotional state without leaving your family … Our thoughts have an extraordinarily powerful impact on our emotions. So, the way to improve the situation is to examine your thinking/self-talk and work out what is causing the stress or anxiety and address these issues. Write all of your concerns down.

“Are you being reasonable and realistic, and if so, what can you do about your stressors? If you don’t do this self-analysis, you can go away a dozen times and nothing will change.” Bit of a Debbie Downer, isn’t she?

What do you think: is time alone necessary? Do you need regular solo getaways to recharge?

Images via pixabay.com

July 27, 2014