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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
Sit in the sun /shade outside and just listen to the birds
Have that bubble bath like me. Make it a spa time. Relax in luxurious fragrance and bubbles.
Go a walk along the beach/Forrest path.
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.
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
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
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.
PS: thanks to my daughter Yana for being my photo model!