Take Time for Ourselves

When we are trying to get going, particularly with a new venture, we often want to spend all our time working on that venture. This is really commendable, but it is also very important to make sure that the blinkers don’t come down and we fail to see what is going on around us.

I have been working very hard recently. At the end of the school year there is always plenty to do: paperwork to complete, books and work to tidy up and then to start to think about and prepare for the next academic year.

Add to that my own children finishing for the summer break – one finished a while ago so we are now awaiting the results of his GCSE exams at the end of August. They have their own activities to look forward to and prepare for and this can all take a toll on our own sanity and health.

One of the most important things we can do is to make sure that we take a little time for ourselves – some ‘me’ time.

This can be done in many ways and each of us knows what helps us the best. It might be something as simple as sitting down with a book, listening to music, going for a walk, having a relaxing bath. We should try to do this on a regular, if not daily basis.

Perhaps, even more importantly, particularly during these difficult economic times, we also need to take a more extended break if possible.

Now, I know that many will say “I can’t afford it” (financially or timewise), but that can put us onto a rocky road.

Even if we cannot physically go away on holiday, it is possible to have some time when we do things that we perhaps we wouldn’t normally do, to help us refresh our batteries and give us the ability to continue with our work.

A few days doing things we enjoy can make such a difference to our mood and well-being. For me it has been walking, visiting National Trust properties (houses, gardens, lansdscapes, coast) and generally living my life at a much slower pace.

What have you done recently to give yourself a boost?

Look at the place where you live with the eyes of someone visiting. Go to your local Tourist Information point and take leaflets about places to visit and things to do – many of them are free or low cost.

Take time for ourselves. Give ourselves the feel-good boost we need. Don’t feel guilty about not doing our work (it will still be there later). Build our dreams – find out what is important to us and what we really want.

There’s a good reason why, in the event of an emergency on an aeroplane, adults are told to put on their own oxygen masks before they put them on to their children.

We cannot drive ourselves to the position where we have no oxygen left to help ourselves or others.

We are all important. Let’s take care of ourselves too.

13 thoughts on “Take Time for Ourselves

  • August 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Hils

    We definately need time for ourselves away from the grind and doing the same things day after day.

    I relax by going away in my caravan for weekends or longer breaks and just not looking at the same 4 walls is enough in itself to revitalise me.

    As I am retired the break means I am looking at different things in different parts of Ireland, mainly Northern Ireland but occasionally in the South as well, and being in the Caravan Club do meet the other members regularly on these breaks.

    The closest to home I’ve been for a weekend has been 3 Miles door to door and the furtherest in Ireland nearly 300 miles. I have also been to events in England, Scotland and Wales but not for a few years now.

    Keep enjoying your break and come back totally relaxed.

    Richard M
    Richard Moloney invites you to read My ProgressMy Profile

  • August 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Hils
    I love building memory days, no none can ever take them away from you. I have ‘Dee’ days occasionally, though few and far between these days and just one day away from everyday life keeps me going for 6 months. Enjoy your break.

  • August 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm


    Thanks for your comment – it appeared in my Spam folder, though I don’t know why. You are right that distance is not important – it is a change of surroundings, or how we view those surroundings that is important.

    This is true in many aspects of our lives if only we would take note.


    It can be difficult somethimes to get that break – but even 10-15 minutes a day can help us to retain our sanity. I’ve learnt that through experience – I enjoy reading a chapter of my book before I go to sleep as that helps me to wind down. I miss it when I don’t do it.


  • August 5, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Hils!

    You know, I struggle with this. I only have one child (OK he’s a college student) at home but when building a home based business it’s SO hard to separate work from home.

    On occasion I’ll choose not to turn on the computer for an entire day, usually Sunday. I do pay for it the next day, with emails and all, but it can be very relaxing and help me clear my head a bit.

    My husband is on vacation next week and I’ve already warned him that I still have work to do. Keeping your post in mind I will make an effort to step back and take advantage of the opportunity to take some time for myself, and my family!



  • August 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    @ Lesley

    That computer can often have such a strong pull can’t it? You are right to have some computerless time occasionally. We can become overworked and even confused with everything there is to do.

    My husband is still on holiday next week and after a lovely few days away, we plan to try and still do some things together next week.

    We owe it to ourselves to look after both ourselves and others. Have a great break.


  • August 8, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Hi Hilary

    It’s been nice to read about the extended break you had. And you gave me a reminder to go see some more of Vermont while the summer still hangs about.

    I’m excited by the new direction we’re all walking, however, so am inspired to spend more time at the little screen too 🙂

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  • August 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    @ Anthony

    Thanks for your comment – it is always good to get out and about wherever we are. Fresh air and a change of scenery can give us so much more energy once we get back to that little screen…

    Our new direction with the help and support of all around us is very exciting and is sure to lead to many leaps forward for those of us who are taking action on this journey.

    Ah – journeys and maps. Now that reminds me of another conversation we had recently which I think I shall turn into my next post.


  • August 15, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Hi There Hils,

    I would like to commend you for being a teacher. It’s one of the hardest jobs anyone could do other than being a mother. Kudos to you!

    I don’t take the time away from the computer that I should but I do take some time to play online card games and once in a while I will watch track and field on the TV. Been thinking about going to the beach for a day just to get away from the computer. I will suffer withdrawal but like you said it something we all need to do to refresh the batteries.


    • August 15, 2011 at 11:38 am

      Hi Dennis

      Yes teaching can be hard, but it can also be incredibly rewarding too. It’s just trying to keep up with all the paperwork that can be a problem sometimes!

      It really is so important to take time to do other things. I spent much of the day in the garden yesterday, tidying up the borders and washing stones! (Yes I know that sounds mad, but we have a large number of flints in our soil and rather than buying paving slabs to put under our bench, I have decided to try the traditional East Anglian practice of using the flints to form a base – they’re free too!)

      I was also able to watch the air display going on at our neighbouring airfield – another interest of mine – so I was doing several things at the same time. I feel very stiff today, but mentally much more alert and that is the reason for taking a break in the first place.

      Now onwards with my paperwork!


  • August 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Hey Hils,

    Firstly, please let me apologise for not commenting over here for a while. Secondly, don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of my lengthly legenday rants (or at least, I don’t think so!).

    Taking time out for ourselves is often one of the hardest things we can do.

    I know some people worry that it may be seen as ‘selfish’ and that there are other things that we should be doing with our time. However, I really like your analogy of the oxygen masks on the aeroplanes – how can we bring the best of ourselves to others if we don’t take time to look after ourselves?

    You’ve reminded me that I’ve got a voucher to go and have an Indian Head massage – my brother got it for my birthday in April so I really should make the time to go and have that!

    Speak to you soon,

    Nikki (Purple Minxy Witch) invites you to read Check out my brand spanking newly revamped blog!My Profile

    • August 18, 2011 at 11:31 am

      Hi Nikki

      Thanks for coming over – I’ve missed some of those great long conversations(?) we had in the past…

      As a teacher especially, the summer break is important, but I really believe we all need to spend even just a few minutes a day doing something for ourselves – a walk, run (well mine is more like a 10 minute shuffle!), reading a few pages of a good book (not just a business one – no matter how good that might be) etc.

      My daughter gave me a papmper voucher for 2 for Christmas and I finally used it with a friend in April – really glad I did that. We went on to the theatre in the evening (to celebrate my birthday) so I had one of those great times to put into my memory bank. Do make the time to use your voucher (before it goes out of date!).

      I’ve popped over to your new purple lair, though I didn’t leave a comment at the time. I love the new look and will come and put my muddy pawprints on it very soon!

      Good to see that you are enjoying your coaching with Sally.


  • August 18, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Hi Hilary,
    Most of us come online to make a little bit of extra money
    all of a sudden you find your spending more and more time at the computer.
    Sometimes it’s worth taking a step back and maybe going for a walk just to clear your head.
    Its surprising of all the ideas that come flooding into your head when your out and about in the fresh air .
    Hope you had a nice summer break.
    Cheers Mick
    Mick Fallon invites you to read How to make a cool header or fanpage with powerpoint.My Profile

    • August 18, 2011 at 11:38 am

      Hi Mick

      You are so right – I spent Sunday in the garden, partly because I needed to do some work there and partly because I needed some fresh air.

      I also go for a short “run” most mornings and I have lots of ideas and thoughts whilst I am out – I just have to remember to put them into practice when I get home. I think I might set up an ideas pad in the kitchen so that I can write things down when I come back in for my morning cup of tea – and I know Nikki will understand what I mean about the importance of that!

      We had a great break and now we need to keep up the momentum in all areas of our life – it is so easy to focus on one area to the detriment of another and we need to find the right balance.



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