Are you getting enough me time? or are you laughing at the very idea. Over the weekend many of the newspapers were reporting about the new wave of alternative health therapies, yoga retreats and detox diet clinics, popping up all over the world. I was reading these articles whilst sipping my camomile tea, myself on a spa break with my husband.
Finding 'me time' seems to have become a talking point in every circle I meet, whether it's investment bankers taking up Tai Chi or super mums heading for pilates, we all need our little something, a stress buster, to help us wind down and find a zone in which we can relax. In our frantic time-pressured lives we are bombarded by information and even in gyms the endless feed of outside news, screens playing Bloomberg and news captured from around the world only serve to increase this frustration.
As the media report on the rise of anxiety sufferers, cited as the new depression, it is the holistic lifestyles that are taking centre stage. Age old rituals that require a better understanding between mind, body and spirit are increasingly interesting to those that may previously not have thought twice about the benefits. I appreciate that yoga and the martial arts are far from being new but the sea change is the types of people that are accepting these practices. In terms of yoga we are seeing a return to the true and ancient forms of this technology, no longer do people run off to the latest yogalates class in search of the body seen on their favourite actress. A yoga class which teaches in equal measure the importance of postures, breathing and meditation is now favoured before the body punishing modern adaptations. Ten years ago my yoga practice was tolerated with indifference but now people openly ask what is involved and how they might benefit. Where I once skipped off to classes but kept yoga very seperate from the rest of my life, my practice is now very much a part of our family lifestyle. I have many yoga sets that the children enjoy doing with me and my husband benefits from my meditation as the music lulls him into a relaxing Sunday afternoon snooze.
We are all living in a time of information overload and while we benefit from the webs ability to bring us up to the minute news, we are thankfully understanding that we need to step away so that we can catch up with ourselves. I am alarmed by the number of mothers I meet who are on their knees getting their kids to and from activities, but not using even an hour in the week for themselves. I believe it is estimated that a mother with three children gets approximately 26 minutes of free time a day, I seriously doubt this! But if this is the case don't waste it folding more washing! Almost all mothers I ask in this situation would say that it is impossible for them to do nothing with 26 minutes. It should not be laughed off; it concerns me that the ability to tell the body, and more importantly the mind, to be still is lost. I would also suggest that the importance of finding an hour a week to do something for yourself, whatever that may be, is just as, if not more important, than taking Jake to Rugby club. Being able to do this does not mean you are doing less for your family but that you are taking control of your life!