Time is a luxury. And between battling with work, a social life, personal admin and sexist clichés about whether women can really have it all (yawn) it can be hard to shoehorn in the time for self-care. Having said that, with the right tools it's possible to become a master of your time and free up some important hours.
Even the most stressful situations like catching a flight can be an opportunity to find your zen. Below, we present our tips on how to boss the stresses that come with time constraints.
1. Own your business trip
Travelling is stressful. And when airports are involved we normally find ourselves down to the wire or with a spare six hours to kill (because we're turning into our dad). Instead of becoming distracted by the surrounding stresses of the airport, plug in your headphones and move to the rhythm of some music. Classical music in particular can help slow down a racing heart and stimulate the secretion of neurohormones linked to well-being. Equally, if Beyoncé is more your jam then go ahead.
If you're short on time in the morning, you just need five minutes to find a mirror and freshen up your skin. Go for a BB cream to hydrate and smooth your face, a blush stick for a touch of cheek and lip colour, and a slick of mascara to frame the eyes and you're good to go.
Make sure your passport and boarding pass are easily accessible, and take a seat in the waiting area. Immerse yourself with a good read and time will slow down, letting your imagination take over.
2. Exude productivity at work
At work, it can feel imperative to be everywhere at once. But spreading yourself too thinly can ultimately act against you in the long term. Remember that you can say no to people when you have too much going on, and make a note of times of the day when you're at your most productive. If you know it's game over when you hit the post-lunch slump, knuckle down first thing and don't be afraid to ask your colleagues to leave anything non-urgent until the afternoon.
Try to break up your day by taking a breath, ideally of fresh air, to avoid that dreaded foggy brain and unproductivity. A stroll around a nearby park can get you closer to the recommended 10,000 steps a day, as well as releasing those treasured endorphins.
Consider embracing some wellness rituals to take a step back from your work stresses. We're all prone to rushing to the local coffee chain to flood our system with double shot lattes, but herbal teas are actually a better shout. The likes of ginger, clove and cinnamon are spices that guarantee an energy lift without the side order of stress. Meanwhile cardamom balances the nervous system, as do hawthorn, lavender and orange.
It might sound a bit strange, but when done correctly, massaging yourself with your own hands can provide as much benefit as the hands of a professional masseur or masseuse. Apply gentle pressure at the temples or the back of your neck to ease gathering tension when that deadline is looming.
3. Embrace your inner yogi
Yoga isn't just for endless stretches of free time like a Sunday morning. It's actually at its most useful when you're preparing for, or in the midst of a busy day. Reconciling the body and mind can help attain balance, and one hour of yoga can relax as well as stimulate. Before leaving the house, grab a yoga mat and store some comfortable clothing in your bag. Relaxing poses can be practiced anywhere you find a calm space, be it the park or a spare meeting room.
Sit with your legs crossed and your eyes closed, focus on your breathing and concentrate on the air meeting your skin. Breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling in repetitions of five seconds. Time will stand still.
In the changing room, a spritz of thermal spring water will cool you off and bring natural color back your face. Add a few drops of CC cream to harmonise your skin tone.
4. Don't forget the importance of disconnecting
After a shocking day it's easy to just want to crawl home and into bed. Find the energy to go out after one of those days by looking up from your phone screen and all of its wormholes and out into the world. It's all about mastering the art of disconnecting.
At the bar, opt for an antioxidant cocktail with super-food ingredients like açai, pomegranate or guarana. Packed with vitamins, they'll keep you feeling fresh naturally until the end of the night.
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