Getting caught up in work, family life, online dramas and friendship groups can create not only huge amounts of stress, but a lack of focus. We’re always rushing from one place to the next, trying to stay in contact with loved ones across the world while juggling our personal lives and online presence. It’s no surprise that a recent study* of 100,000 working Britons found that 48% of respondents considered themselves stressed. Of this group, 28% said they had been feeling this way for more than a year, while 27% said they regularly feel “close to breaking point” – that’s seriously worrying. If left unchecked for a prolonged period of time, stress can cause much more serious, long-term mental and physical illnesses that include anxiety, depression, heart disease and even obesity. Each of us will have our own coping mechanisms for day-to-day life and sometimes we need to be reminded to take that time to consider who we are, what is important in our lives and how we can move forward in a positive way. A simple fifteen minutes a day of ‘me time’ can offer an opportunity to relax, de-stress and re-focus the mind to ensure you’re prepared for the coming hours and days: it’s a time when it’s all about you, a time to just sit and be with your own thoughts and feelings, establishing clarity that allows you to move ahead.
It could be as simple as sitting quietly with a cup of coffee, taking a walk, giving yourself a hand massage or sitting on a park bench and breathing in the fresh air – but all these little things really do make a difference. I constantly find myself being pulled every which way due to the immense commitments and obligations I put myself forward for, which inevitably has a negative impact on my focus and ability to concentrate; my mind is always running at a million miles an hour and thinking about what I haven’t done that day or a conversation I need to have the next. However, I’m making a conscious effort to give myself fifteen minutes every day to do something just for me. We all want to be happy, well rounded and supportive individuals – but we can’t do that if we’re not in control of our own body and minds.
Taking a fifteen minute afternoon break at work, away from the rat race, can really help you to be productive for the rest of the day. Removing yourself from the busy office, an overflowing desk and a noisy environment can help you move on practically and more efficiently – something that also equally applies to our home lives. Sitting quietly and listening to music, breathing slowly and deeply will help your worries to wash away and leave you feeling somewhat relaxed; it’s amazing what removing yourself from a situation does for your clarity. Here are three ways you can make the most of a fifteen minute break by giving yourself some ‘me time’ and ensuring the day ahead is as positive and productive as possible:
1. Doing light exercise in the afternoon can help get your heart pumping and your energy levels back up. (They often slump because of lack of sleep or poor diet choices at breakfast.) Take a few minutes to touch your elbow to the opposite knee several times – this will get both sides of your brain activated and move blood around your body at the same time. Exercise also helps to re-focus the mind and leave you feeling motivated.
2. Give yourself a pampering hand massage with Dove’s new Purely Pampering Nourishing Body Oils. The Pistachio & Magnolia oil smells delicious, providing a moment of comfort and relaxation to the senses while simultaneously adding serious nourishment to the skin – our hands and wrists can often become exhausted after long days sat typing at a computer, so it’s important to look after them. The nutty, sweet and subtle scent is incredibly uplifting, while massaging the non-greasy formula into the skin (focusing on pressure points with your thumb and rolling your wrist both clockwise and anti-clockwise,) will leave your hands feeling renewed.
3. It’s been well documented that massage can increase the production of certain chemicals in the body, including endorphins and serotonin – the hormones that make us happy. Partnered with the fact that we carry the majority of our stress in our necks, shoulders and heads, a quick scalp massage could offer a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Using the base of your fingers to massage the scalp in small circular motions can not only help you feel more awake, but give you a much needed boost – with no need for a sugary snack!
Why not make a pact to give yourself fifteen minutes of ‘me time’ every single day? Do you have any personal ‘me time’ moments that help you relax and re-focus?
*Study conducted by Bupa Nov 2013
The Dove ‘Purely Pampering’ Week is sponsored by Dove.
The Purely Pampering Nourishing Oil is available in Pistachio & Magnolia and Shea Butter & Vanilla variants, priced £8.99 each and available from Boots, Tesco and ASDA.