December and January can be extremely busy months, catching up with family and friends, looking after children, cooking and so much more. February is the month you can recharge and start claiming time for yourself.
We must take time to look after our own needs. Otherwise we can end up exhausted, stressed or overwhelmed, which prevents us from living life to the fullest or being available for those we care about.
Everyone is different but here are examples of how you can take time for yourself:
Schedule alone time: Pop some time in your calendar and tell your family or friends you have plans. Use the time for gardening, reading a book in the park, exercise, meditate, or do absolutely nothing!
Plan a monthly treat just for you: Book in a spa treatment, see an exhibition or a movie, get a haircut, play golf or go on a bush walk … whatever you love to do but too often put off. Planning well ahead of time can ensure nothing gets in the way.
Buy tickets in advance: Book tickets to a theatre production, concert, wellbeing festival, art workshop, or any event you would enjoy. Having the tickets already in hand will force you to make it happen.
Leave work on time: Many of us stay at work late on a regular basis. If this is you, make it a point to leave work exactly on time at least once a week.
Join a class or group to meet new people: Find a group or club that revolves around an interest or passion, or try something new. Anything that takes your mind off everyday life is ideal. Maybe a book club, a pottery group, a meditation or language class. It will help you feel rejuvenated and perhaps you’ll meet a new friend.
Do some regular exercise: It can be difficult to fit exercise into our busy schedule, but it’s important. A new habit is started with just one step. Make small changes such as taking the stairs, parking further away or getting off a bus stop earlier.
Once you really get started on looking after yourself, you should be smiling more often and feel an inner calm.