When I realised I needed more #metime

I need more me time

When I realised I needed more #metime – by Hannah Epps

We are all so busy in our lives that we can be too busy to see the damage this is doing. Last week I mentioned to friends that I needed more me time as I was feeling overwhelmed with work, teaching and all the kids activities I had to plan for. People offered to help and it’s just giving me a little for time to step back and prioritise. I was at the stage where I was tearful and needed to take a walk and sit and work in my favourite place, Frensham Ponds! Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing, but it is something we all need to do from time to time.

I asked friends, work colleagues and other fitness friends what do you do for me time? From responses it’s so interesting that many feel too guilty to take time off or don’t know how to do it with young kids at home. Even reading a book for 10 mins at nap time can help your brain re- set. As you may know as a busy mum of 2 and my husband building a studio I’m always late and I’m really working on that. My mum always used to do “one more thing before we got out of the house” – I promise I’m working on it.

I have felt guilty about not being in a “proper” job and I also feel guilty when people think I just “teach pilates”. However, running your own business for 10 years, doing your own admin, bookings and social media, your time is so limited that I often feel guilty about not spending enough time with the family. Out of this own guilt I do so many play dates, parties, dinner parties, kids sleepovers, fundraising, charity dos (The Strictly Experience I did for Phyllis Tuckwell raised £26,000) taking hours making and cooking dinner and cleaning for all the family and fitting in dog walks, I have realised I’m not doing as much exercise as I used to.

I need more me time

Challenge yourself to have an hour unplugged today!

I’m not getting enough ying and yang in my life.  I need more balance and when I got a bad back 3 months ago it forced me to stop and reassess what I needed to get that balance. I had to work out what the best thing was for me to do. Yoga was hard so I went back to basic Pilates. I missed running but did fast walks and just sat to think and breathe, spent time with the family with no iPhone! This helped me come home refreshed ready to face questions, busy house work, family arguments.

It got me thinking that I was probably not alone with not having enough time to myself. I was so worried about people not having time to breathe that I did research with friends, fitness colleagues, business owners and got great feedback about what busy working mums do –
Long walks (with or without the dog), yoga, pilates, meditation, or just mindfulness, 8 mile hikes, gratitude diaries, beauty/spa treatments, cycling, open water swimming, just having a shower or time in the garden– the results were quite different but all great personal activities that make a difference. You can see some of their lovely videos on what they do for me time here.

With my new studio nearly finished it has been a great space to “just breathe” and if stressed I have a “special happy place” I visualise to lower my heart rate – especially over the summer when the kids are rowing.

Write yourself your Perfect me time list- so you can plan 2-4 things weekly. Create your own space strategies – screen time off, write a gratitude diary and be aware of being happy and enjoying he moment rather than thinking and worrying #justbreathe! Try this, it will change your mood and if stressed, take a deep breathe and #justsmile.  And just stop and unplug everything for time in quiet silence! It’s essential to us to contemplate and assess!

This will enable you to be a stronger or better mum, wife, daughter.

I’m off on holiday next week for time with the family and hoping to totally unplug and recharge myself.  This video has really inspired me to do this. All work and no play certainly makes us dull in many ways.

 

Will you arrange Me time ? Look out for our next blog to see the dangers and symptoms of not taking time for ourselves or sign up for our FREE 10 day Body reset email course and get on track for a stronger, healthier and more fulfilled you!

Take a moment out and just breathe

Life balance for mums

When I’m not so busy, then I’ll take some time out to …”

We’ve all been there. So busy with the daily bustle of our busy lives that we don’t have time to even take a minute to breathe.

Kids. Family. Work. Home. Schedules. Pets. Health. STUFF.

We promise ourselves that once everything is done we’ll treat ourselves, or give our lifestyles an overhaul.

But time gets squeezed or something unexpected and urgent crops up that only we can deal with.  Or you are so busy that when you sit to relax or watch TV or check Facebook, you are too tired to move and time is wasted and suddenly our time is squeezed even more.

Or perhaps it’s a little deeper than scheduling. Maybe we already recognise that we prioritise the stuff because we don’t really believe that we’re worth the time out and attention. We love our kids, our families, our lifestyles so we have to make compromises or sacrifices. It’s a small price to pay. Isn’t it?

Well newsflash lady! It will never all be done! You will never not be busy! There will always be unexpected visitors, meetings or family management crises (AKA children,work or husbands).

And … (now we get to the really deep stuff) the world and its time are never going to slow down to accommodate your busyness. Oh how we wish that sometimes it would. Kids will grow and need you less. You will age (nooooo….) and oh how you will long for your health and your sanity.

Meditation does not mean a daily visit to bluebell meadows with chanting. Mindfulness does not mean giving up life’s pleasures to worship Buddha in thongs. And gratefulness isn’t something you only do at harvest festival or thanksgiving.

We get reminders in life. Funerals. Accidents. Health scares. Global tragedies. They remind us of our need to slow down and give thanks for our blessings.

Mindfulness is important as its awareness of what you are doing while you are doing it, enjoy the moment and don’t let thoughts and emotions hijack you – focus on one moment release the worries, concerns and regrets. As mothers we have so much guilt. Release thoughts – no guilt no judgement.

Is there a way we can fit the time in to do this ? Get that 5 minute break from life and business?

I believe we can but not always through the obvious ‘scheduling’ of time out. It’s in the small, everyday ways, just as you would do your everyday tasks. I need some time on my own and then I’m a better mum, wife and daughter!

Mindfulness is stopping to appreciate baby giggles or a hug from your child. Kissing your husband in front of the kids. Appreciating the seasons by jumping in puddles, building snowmen or picking strawberries. Making a (sugar free) cake to give to a friend. Sharing a cup of tea. Arriving five minutes before school pickup time and just breathing. Walking the dog in all weathers. Finding a class which suits you and agreeing with your family that at this time, every week, you will be OUT and remember it’s your time.

In my classes we don’t meditate but but we take time to listen to our bodies. Relaxation and mindfulness is part of the experience. Being kind to our bodies and self awareness or releasing pain, aches empowering you to make any changes – live your life with more balance without excuses or schedules. Being present and grateful for movement.

Please don’t wait until you aren’t busy. You are busy because you love life. Take a step back and you will appreciate your blessings so much more without any perceptible change to your busy schedule.

Because after all, do something just for you, you are absolutely worth it.

 #timeout #take5mins #pilateslifebalance #pilatesbalancebreathe #metime #withfarnhampilates

Get Involved

If you would like to get more involved with our #metime project at Farnham Pilates then you can tell us more about how you achieve some me time.  Just upload a short video to youtube telling us what you do for metime and we will share it on our playlist and social media.  You can see some already here – YouTube Playlist

Summer Detox – Getting the balance right

Summer DetoxA summer detox can be a great way to refresh your body ahead of a summer holiday or to help shift that last bit of weight if you have been following a fitness regime.  On my Yummy Tummy Programme we finish with a 14 day diet detox to help cleanse the body and reset some of our not so good eating habits.

However going straight into a detox can be a shock to the system, causing withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.  It can also fail if you don’t get the timing right.  In this blog I share some advice as to how you can make your detox successful by just putting in some preparation to get the balance right

1) Cut down before starting – If you start cutting back on caffeine and alcohol at least a few days before starting a detox then it won’t be such a shock to the body when you actually start properly.  Withdrawal effects such as headaches and irritability can be so severe if you just go “cold turkey” that many people will feel like stopping their detox before they have even really got started.  A little preparation beforehand can really help lessen these effects and lead to success. Increasing your water intake before hand will also get you used to drinking the amount of water needed on the detox.

2) Ensure you are in the right place mentally – If you are in a stressful place i.e. with work or family commitments then this may not be the best time to start a detox. So try and clear your mind a bit before getting started by perhaps making time to meditate or have a massage and choose a period of time where you can make some time for yourself to relax and do things that you enjoy.  This will make the detox process more manageable and enjoyable.

3) Are your hormones right? – If you are really effected by your hormones at certain times of the month then try and avoid these times to start a detox.

4) Clear your cupboards – get rid of the temptation of high fat or sugary snacks and make sure you have plenty of veg on hand and healthy snacks such as oatcakes and nuts.  If the temptation isn’t there you can’t be tempted, so don’t make things harder for yourself.

5) Get the family involved – I’m not suggesting that your children or anyone else should go on a detox but by talking to them about healthy eating and why you are cutting down on certain foods it can certainly help educate those around you.

6) Get support – if you can find others who are doing the same detox this can be a great help in succeeding.  With our Yummy Tummy programme we have a private Facebook group where we all support and encourage each other which can be really effective in seeing a detox through.

Do comment below if you have any questions about detoxing or have a look at our Yummy Tummy programme for more details.