Feeling overwhelmed? Between work, family and the stresses of everyday life, it can be hard to carve out time for yourself. You always seem to end up at the bottom of the priority list. But then if you do get some precious time away, a niggling feeling of guilt can creep in. Jobs you should be doing. People you should be looking after. You can end up 'shoulding' all over yourself, sabotaging your own alone time.
However, with a little bit of organisation and planning, you can start taking better care of yourself. Try to think of your time alone as a savoured ritual, one that rewards you with peace, clarity, energy and happiness. Here are Cindy Luken's favourite ways to detox her body and soul.
1. Style your space: create serenity at home
Technology, social media, frenetic schedules and the cult of consumerism can leave you feeling anxious and unfilled. Make your home a refuge from these negative aspects of the outside world by trying some of these easy, calming tricks.
- Use simple natural aesthetics such as pebbles, sand and stones in your home decor to help calm the senses, inspire creativity and give clarity of thought.
- Set up your own personal quiet space where you can find peace and reconnect with your spiritual self for about 15 minutes each day.
- Arrange a collection of special 'found' items, such shells, flowers or driftwood. This creates harmonious energy, rather than a contrived artificial display. Often it is the personal association – for example, a piece of sea glass picked up from a windswept beach on holiday – that has significance beyond material value.
- Candles and natural light are essential in the creation of a peaceful living environment. Light generates energy, amplifies space and nurtures the soul.
- Opt for a palette of creamy, pale and neutral shades in your home for softness and warmth. Pale shades reflect natural light making your space seem bigger and brighter – the ultimate in spiritual chic.
- Create a little sanctuary in your garden where you can rest. Water the plants, drink a herbal tea or and enjoy your own little natural oasis.
2. Make time for small self-care rituals
- Showers are standing spa appointments. Relish the time to focus on yourself and be alone with your thoughts. Step out of the stall invigorated in the morning, and at night, use the fall of the water to unwind.
- Baths are a deeper form of devotion to you. Feeling weightless and warm is blissfully comforting, making feelings of stress evaporate quickly.
- Pamper your hands. As we age the skin on the backs of our hands wrinkles and loses elasticity, just as it does on our faces. Use salt scrubs and vitamin-rich nut oils to make hands silky soft. Keep fingernails and cuticles healthy and indulge in overnight treatments.
- Your feet need to be nurtured as they carry the weight of your body and mind. Cold and hot foot baths stimulate circulation, while hot stone therapy (soothing stones) feels great and reconnects you back to the earth. Book a foot massage to stimulate your senses and balance the body’s vital organs.
3. Nurture your soul with yoga or meditation
- Yoga brings everything back to the breath, deeply oxygenating while stretching your body. It can make you feel more connected, present and ready to take on whatever life throws at you.
- Learn to meditate - but take it slow and go easy on yourself. While it's not an easy skill, if you stick with it you'll be rewarded with sharper focus and lower stress levels.
Image by Ellie Elien