HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN MINI-SANCTUARY

Hello everyone,

I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey.  How has your week been?  I bet, like most of us, you find yourselves rushing from chore to chore, job, to school, to work, to the gym (okay so maybe I don’t rush to the gym!!), but you get the idea.  We’re busy. We don’t have time for EVERYTHING. And most of all we often find we DON’T have time for ourselves.

 

Busy Moms

 

If this sounds like your life, then it’s time to create your own mini-sanctuary.

THE WHY WHAT AND WHERE

But first you need to determine the why, the what, the how and the when, so read on and let me help you work that exactly out.

 

The Why

Why do u need a mini-sanctuary?  And what does the word sanctuary mean to you?

Is it a place of respite, a place to recharge and regenerate body and soul? Quiet time.   A time that is just for you.

Solitude and Sanctuary

It is important to have a place that gives you a moment to be inspired, that gives you sustenance physically and mentally amidst the chaos of life. You, me and every other woman has commitments.  Family, children, parents who may be ageing, demands from work or even if you are retired, there are new questions.  What now? Sometimes no matter what stage of a life season we are at, we need a place of quiet from the ever present noise of life and our and our electronic world to have time to simply BE.

 

Have you ever noticed that during the day you have the tv sound up higher than at night?  At night everything seems quieter, no electrical noise, the clatter and chatter of disruptions and interruptions. And yet, by the end of the day, of doing our tasks for everyone around us, we often don’t have time to just sit and think, or what I call JUST BEING.  A quiet time to contemplate.

If you live with any of these happenings and let’s be real here, we all do in some way or another, then having a place of sanctuary and a special moment in time just for you alone, is a good enough reason in the first place.

 

The What?

First you need to evaluate what a mini-sanctuary mean to you? Not simply the idea of what it is, but what the actual physical-ness (if that is a word) does a mini-sanctuary look like to you?  This can only be answered by you.  But first you have to ask yourself a few questions.

What is it I need my sanctuary to give me?

Is it quiet time?

Is it a place to read?

A place to commune with nature? To be able to go for a walk, or exercise.

A place to just be, to luxuriate in quiet time?  Does silence equal bliss to you?

quiet time, a sanctuary

 

Many years ago I was asked the question what did I really want to do that was just for ME?  The question actually took me by surprise, I’d never thought about me time, something just for me, and didn’t really even know what I would want.  For a few moments I simply sat and thought about it.  What did I really want, what would recharge me and I would bring me joy?  Just for me.  Alone.  With no one else to consider.  Now I’m not saying we ignore our family/friends/demands on us as mothers/wives/partners, but maybe just for 15 minutes a day we can do something just for US.  A rather liberating thought, isn’t it?  Does thinking it make you feel guilty?

 

Time to get over that.  In the scheme of things, really, you know that 15 minutes a day isn’t much.  A few moments. That’s all.

Finally, after deliberation, I spoke up.  A bath I said, I want a bubble bath.

relaxing time, a bubble bath, a sanctuary

Well as soon as I was out of that appointment I got myself to the supermarket to buy some bubbles.  No expensive bubble bath, but it did smell good.  The cost of what I purchased wasn’t important.  What the deal was that I was doing something just for me…. And boy did I Iove that bubble bath, in fact I had one every night, a couple of tea light candles, bubbles, the door shut to household noise with the instructions that no one was to enter unless they were bleeding to death.

 

The morale here is that sometimes you have to think hard about what you want just for you.  It’s not easy. We’re used to putting ourselves last on the list of importance, because often as women we get out of practice of thinking about US.  It’s something I wonder is actually inbuilt in us.  Everyone else first. Ourselves lasts.  But don’t give up and think you don’t matter because you do, you are the glue to those around you.

So what would you like to do?

Have a reading spot

reading time, quiet time, sanctuary

Sit in the sun /shade outside and just listen to the birds

relaxing, sanctuary

Have that bubble bath like me.  Make it a spa time. Relax in luxurious fragrance and bubbles.

bubble bath, sanctuary, quiet time

Go a walk along the beach/Forrest path.

walking, beaches, quiet time, sanctuary

It may take you a few days to come up with some ideas.  We’re not used to thinking about alone time.  So every time you think of something you may like to do, don’t ignore it, write it down, no matter how silly it might sound. Put pen to paper.  Then, when you can get that first 15 minutes alone, re-read your list of ideas.  Evaluate them, maybe giving them a score of 1-10 – ten being the most important to you.

Silence.   Sun     Relaxing      Reading

Having a home made facial, giving yourself a manicure/pedicure.

Sewing even, or a craft piece you can pick up and put down easily.

Give every idea a value, and slowly you will see which type of ‘relaxing time’ is important to you.

 

Now we get to the next step.

 

The Where?

Once you have chosen what you want to do, the next is to decide where.

 

A reading spot

Create a little corner that’s just for you.  A comfy chair, a good reading light, maybe a cushion and pretty throw just for you.   In your bedroom, a sunroom, a corner of the home office, out on the deck/patio in this chair. A place that brings you serenity and is relaxing.  Tell the family this is your special place and when they see you in this chair then it’s your quiet time.  It may take them a little to figure this one out – you know the repeat, repeat process until they get it.  It doesn’t mean you’re not available, just not right this minute.  It’s like the Mum I need you.  Mum. Mum, they say whenever you’re on the phone.  My practice with that was to hold up my hand to them, they knew then I was aware they needed me, and if they waited a few moments I would give them all the attention in the world.  I wasn’t ignoring them, but was not available right at that minute.

 

A Bubble Bath

relax, bubble bath, sanctuary

Create a spa-like sanctuary in your bathroom.  Beautiful candles, dim the bathroom light or turn it off, add those sweet smelling bubbles to the bath. A little hint here.  You may not want to leave out all your beauties for the entire family. This is your treat, so store it in a decorative box that you bring out for your special time, as you make it your ‘event’.  Some other ideas for your spa.  A loofa, maybe even a face mask, music, and even some wine to go with those bubbles in the bath.  Then the ultimate wrap yourself up in softly luxurious bath towels as you get out, massaging fragranced bath lotion all over.

 

Nature and Quiet Time

solitude, quiet time, sanctuary, nature, walking

Actually if you really listen, nature isn’t that quiet.  It’s full of noise, animals, the wind, rain, the click click click of insects.

But if sitting or walking in nature is your idea of bliss, then create a little piece of native solitude outside.  A chair, maybe a cushion and throw (yes you can tell I’m a cushion gal), a pair of sunglasses and a coffee or cold drink, heck why not a glass of chilled wine.  Now sit and listen.  Let nature wash through you, revive you and reveal its wonder, because it is such a beautiful thing.  Can you hear the wind rustling through the leaves, the grass, the bees buzzing to garner the nectar from the flowers?  Relax and enjoy this moment because it’s just for you.

 

I’ll leave you with a few sayings about relaxation:

 

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”   Mark Black

 

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”    Jim Goodwin

 

“Relaxation means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being.”   Donald Curtis

 

“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.”   Norman Vincent Peale

 

“Put duties aside at least an hour before bed and perform soothing, quiet activities that will help you relax.”   Dianne Hales

 

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”    Chinese Proverb

 

“Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well.”   Judith Hanson Lasater

 

And this one reiterates exactly why YOU should create that mini-sanctuary and moment each day, just for you.

 

“When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?”     Ralph Marston

 

 

Remember, be kind to YOU and make time for that mini-sanctuary – but most importantly, make sure you use it because you deserve it.

I would love to hear about your sanctuary spot.  What is it? Where is it?  How did you create it?  Comment below.

 

Happy days

Jane xxx

PS: thanks to my daughter Yana for being my photo model!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY I WANT TO BLOG

Life Seasons, Blog Journey

Hello there,   

 

 

 

 

I’m so pleased you joined me today, a rather auspicious day as it’s my first blog post.  As a wife, mother, employee (I work night shifts), homemaker and general try-to-do-it-all gal, you’re probably wondering why I want to blog.

Life Seasons, Blog Journey

Well, I could say it’s just because… because it’s a creative outlet.  I was a fiction author for nearly 20 years, but as the years crept by and particularly as life threw hard stuff at me, the death of my mother, realizing I’m getting older (okay, so I know that’s inevitable but you get it.) it also made me think about what I wanted to achieve over the next 20-30 years or so that I have left, or how I wanted to live my life.  With fiction writing and publishing there are deadlines, stress, always the thought of the next book etc., and I decided I didn’t want that stress any more. Oh, I still plod along and write a bit, but my butt no longer sits at the computer from 9-3 daily plodding away.  I started thinking about life’s seasons and this particular season – empty nest – well for about six months only – till a daughter moved back home.  Along with my eldest moving back home, I’ve a husband who has just retired, another daughter who has made us grandparents and all that involves, plus I want to get out and about, do things, see things.  So this is my next season in life.

One of the things I absolutely love is decorating, and not with tons of dollars, but simply pottering about tweaking things, moving them around (cue family rolling their eyes at me – SHE’S AT IT AGAIN!).  I love to try and organize and always say I’m a would be perfectionist who doesn’t quite get it right.

And that of course brings me to that other realisation.  Okay, I turned 60 this year.

A rather daunting celebration as I wonder where the years have gone, but it also made me question things.  As I said to my sister ‘you’d think at this age, we’d have our stuff (or crap) together by now.

Like weight wouldn’t bother me.

Like I’d be better organized, budgeter, fitter, healthier, dress better, and all those things that go through my mind as I look at my most recent wrinkle in the mirror.

But no it seems life is playing a trick on me, it doesn’t happen like that, or please don’t tell me I’m wrong and it’s only me that feels like the roller coaster is still full throttle.

But one thing that age does give us, is the understanding that ‘’so what?”  So what if we’re a bit overweight, so what if we’re not very organized, so what if we went out with a hem held up by staples or cellotape, so darn what!  It doesn’t matter.

Life Seasons, Adventures,

What matters is that we enjoy life.  That life has seasons and we realize we can make those things better – if we want to, and only if we want to.  We should be happy being who we are, how we are.  I’m not saying there’s always room for improvement, but what I am saying is that we don’t need to be perfect, because we ARE PERFECT just the way we are.  Right now.  Not when we’ve lost 20lbs, or colored all the gray in our hair.  And speaking of which I’m letting all the color grow out, so right now I’m a motley red and gray combo.  I’ve even had a compliment on it LOL.

So whatever your season of life, whether it’s in your 20s and starting out on your career, or in your 30s and playing wife, mom, single parent, along with the hectic career, or the kids have grown a bit – more independent now and then there’s the empty nest (a whole other blog post), right now, today is perfect, you are perfect. I am perfect – well mostly LOL.  We may want change, and that’s okay, good even, but don’t think we’re any less than we are because we NEED to FIX SOMETHING.

I’ve decided to choose things that I’d like to change.  To pick one at a time, but not put extra stress on myself. And to be kind. Love myself.  You should too.  We should all give ourselves a hug every day.  Say kind words to ourselves, not belittling ones, and then embark on the journey WE want, doing the things WE WANT TO DO.

And that’s what this blog is going to be all about.

HOME, FAMILY, DECORATING, ORGANIZING, INTERESTING INTERVIEWS WITH WOMEN FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, AND JUST GOOD OLD LIFE STUFF.

Join me on the journey and subscribe to my email list, you’ll get a blog post twice a week, it’ll be a fun and adventurous ride .

 

Happy days

Jane

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COMING THIS WEEK

Yes, it’s finally time to go live.

Coming this week is the first posts for this blog adventure of mine.  Please join me, and let’s get adventuring and living life’s seasons together

 

 

See you Tuesday!

Jane.