I feel very fortunate to have two sets of grandparents around, and with two young kids, it can be easy to take them for granted. Any help with childcare is a blessing and I love seeing the bond that the kids have with them. I have written in the past about the grandparent honeymoon period. The first grandchild is precious. How much excitement does this beautiful little bundle of joy bring to a families heart? It really is a super special time. I remember it well. I remember all of us fighting over him. Who would get the next cuddle? With no kids of my own to worry about I was a KEEN Auntie and would often have to wrestle my parents over who got to put him to bed with his milk bottle. We had time to get gushy, to get emotional. Time to watch him sleep. Fast forward the clock 8 years and my parents now have 6 grandchildren and less energy than they did before. I was recently picking up the kids from their house and I felt a pang of guilt when my Mum told me she was feeling exhausted. It was clear to me why she felt this way. She spends her life running after other people. When we visit, she struggles to sit still and constantly asks us what we need. She lies awake at night worrying about what gifts to buy the grandchildren for Christmas and birthdays. She is an over-thinker, as so many of us are. She doesn’t like to make a fuss though and always insists that she will just get on with it. She thinks of others before making herself a priority. You know how I feel about this folks – we need to show ourselves love by the bucket load.
That night I booked us a spa day at the incredible One Spa. For one, I could tell by looking at her that her shoulders were tight and tense. I am a firm believer that we should get a massage at least once a month. We build up a lot of tension in our neck and shoulders. Many of us carry this around with us, rushing from one thing to the next and feeling stressed. Sadly, it’s the new norm and I am saying NO.
Mum and I had a wonderful, relaxing time together. She was a little tense on arrival, worrying about other people and if my Dad would be okay without her. After a nice cup of tea, she started to unwind. I showed her around the amazing heat rooms, pools and tropical scented showers with tweeting birds. She was a bit nervous about coming in the outdoor pool with me, but I managed to persuade her and she loved it. As I watched her lie back in the bubbly beds, looking up at the sky, I knew how much she needed this and deserved it.
We both had a full body Balinese massage where warm oil is poured on to the centre of the body and massaged into the skin with sweeping elongated movements. The massage additionally uses hot stones to soothe aching muscles. It was absolutely glorious. I love that floaty feeling at the end. We were taken to the chill out lounge, tucked up in blankets and handed lovely cold infused tea and magazines. It was bliss. We then had a lovely, light lunch. My Mum gets nervous about eating out as she has some allergies, but the team were wonderful and got her the gluten and dairy free options that she needed. Sometimes in life it’s the simple things and for me, being able to have a kiddie free chat with my Mum, and time to laugh together without interruptions was wonderful. Seeing her relax and show herself some serious self care was the ultimate mojo injection. We both slept like babies that night.
I think it’s important that we are honest with those we love. I had planned to arrange a spa day for Hubs and I, but it was a no brainer that my Mum needed it much more. Sometimes we need to book it up, without question for those who are less likely to do it. Let me ask, are you all talk no action? Do you schedule in time for self care? Time to slow down. It’s a selfless act because when we take the time, we have more to offer those we love.
Are you feeling burnt out? Here are my top tips.
Book a spa day. Enjoy every minute. Allow yourself plenty of time and try and make it a regular event that you can look forward to. The busier you feel, the more you need to schedule in times like this.
Relaxation Zone. Create a relaxation zone at home. It could be the bathroom, an area in the lounge or in your bedroom. Have some nice scented candles, pillow sprays, comfortable blankets and feel good books nearby.
Quality not quantity. A ten minute walk is better than nothing. Get off that screen and into a change of scenery to re-energise.
Bedtime Routine. Avoid screens an hour or two before bed. Reading, writing in a gratitude journal and mediation are all super relaxing activities, helping us unwind and prepare for a great sleep. I’ve also started some motivational mindfulness sessions you can follow for free here. I decided to do this when a client asked me to suggest something before one of my speaking gigs. I couldn’t find anything so decided why not just do it myself? ENJOY.
Sleep. A good nights rest is significantly underrated. Treat yourself to an early night once or twice a week. Embrace JOMO (joy of missing out). Enjoy JOMO from the TV, from your phone, from the to do list. It feels wonderful.
Yoga. I appreciate yoga so much more now that I have completed my mindfulness course. Time to clear the mind and be present with our breathing and movements is so soothing.
Read. We are what we read and reading can be a hospital for the mind. Pick your books wisely. Go with recommendations from people you trust. If you are not enjoying a book park it and move on. It may not be the right time or it may never be. I started reading a book this year that I parked two years ago. It’s the right time now.
Face to face contact. If you can kill two birds in one stone and do this in the spa then even better. It’s more relaxing and better for your mental health than having a heavy night on the town. But life is all about balance and hey if you love both, One Spa have champagne on the menu 🙂
Be kind to yourself. Your happiness is important.
Thanks to our friends at One Spa for all the support with the mental fitness work I am doing and gifting us this amazing day.