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Wellbeing / Work life balance

Me time for soloists

As a soloist and mother to two children, finding me time is a task as difficult as it is necessary.

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It is often said that nobody wants to be lying on their deathbed wishing they’d spent more time working. I certainly don’t. When whole days can be taken up reading and responding to emails, it becomes very important to switch off.

This is where ‘me’ time comes in.

Besides taking an actual holiday away from my home office and not checking my BlackBerry every half an hour, there are some other ways to unwind and remember who I am (besides being a business owner and mother). I like to feel pampered, and although this means something different to everyone, here are five of my tips for creating the me time needed to relax, refresh and recharge those tired soloist batteries:

1. Turn off the phone

I know this is hard for many (including me), but once I’ve accepted I don’t need to check Twitter and Facebook updates, emails, or be available 24 hours a day, I start to wind down and enjoy the silence and lack of the phone’s flashing ‘on’ light.

"The thought of grabbing a novel, lying in the hammock and reading in the dappled sunlight underneath our apple tree fills me with excitement."

2. Visit the beach or somewhere tranquil

I live right on the coast and can hear the waves at night, but don’t visit the beach often enough. When I do I find the sea air, people watching and the waves mesmerising. I am happy to visit in storms or on a beautiful sunny day just to see the ocean changing, and a walk along the sand is even more soothing.

Want more articles like this? Check out the stress management section.

3. Read a book or magazine

I don’t devote a lot of time to reading outside work – or parenting-related material, which is something I constantly regret. The thought of grabbing a novel, lying in the hammock and reading in the dappled sunlight underneath our apple tree fills me with excitement.

4. Get out of the office

For me this is a chance to get away from home and the office at the same time, but a change of scenery is always good for me. Sometimes I meet a friend for coffee, see a movie, watch the sun set with some fish and chips, or spend the night with my partner in a fabulous hotel . A break from my normal routine, however simple or elaborate, inspires me.

5. Soak in a bubble bath

I love the feeling of bubbly water covering me while I enjoy a good, long soak. For it to be truly relaxing, children, pets and maybe even your partner have to be banned from the bathroom, but your body and chilled-out mind will thank you afterwards.

These five treats are simple ways I use to take back a little bit of ‘me’ time. I find after indulging in one or more of these I see the tasks on my to-do list in a new light and find a zest for planning better ways of ploughing through them.

What do you do in your ‘me’ time?

Johanna Baker-Dowdell

owns Strawberry Communications, a writing and public relations consultancy specialising in helping businesses tell their story. Services include articles, copywriting, case studies, press releases, media liaison and PR strategy.

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