Let’s face it - as we busy our lives more and more, we could all spend a little more time on ourselves than we often prioritise. A LITTLE ME TIME is about finding those few precious moments in our day to spend some time on the person who is often ignored the most - you. Over the coming weeks, I will be exploring the 5 senses and how focusing on a different sense each week, and the little finds that I recommend can help soothe and restore us; whether we are at home or away from our sanctuary.
Exploring the 5 Senses - Let's begin this week with Touch.
As a Clinical Psychologist, I am very aware of how emotions impact on our functioning, and how soothing our senses can help to reduce the impact of those high emotions and stress. With travel easier than ever, many of us find ourselves away from home on a regular basis, whether that’s for work, meeting up with friends or mini getaways, making us more and more transient in our day to day lives.
I have always been used to visiting friends around the country, but recently I started working away from home 2 days a week. As much as we like to think of ourselves as jet-setting go-getters, we also remain creatures of habit. So how do we balance the two? For me, it’s all about having the little things that feel like home - which make my home away from home more comfortable, throw in a bit of stress and these things become even more important! Here are 3 ways that have helped me to stay settled when I'm on the road and away from familiar comforts...
1 - SKIN
When emotions are high, it can be difficult for us to sleep, feel relaxed and be the best versions of ourselves. I recently discovered the Konjac Angel Cloth by The Konjac Sponge Company, which is the perfect way to begin my cleansing routine with a touch of luxury - and having a little angel in my case made it all the more special! Making sure that I stick to my skincare routine, even when I'm away, helps connect me to home and feel more relaxed. Routines are often the first thing we lose when we are away travelling, some of which will be out of our control. It can be difficult sticking to a regular exercise plan and you often end up eating out more when away from home. Sticking to my skin cleansing routine, no matter where I travel makes all the difference and is easy to manage.
2 - FEEL
Through the years I have gone from being a mindfulness cynic to convert; there are so many different ways to practice and a whole host of apps that can help guide you through a session. I find by taking a few moments - moving your attention out of your head and into your body - is a helpful way to connect with the here and now through TOUCH. Start by placing your hands on your tummy, on your legs or the sides of a chair and focusing your awareness on the sensations you feel along your body, your feet on the floor, and where you notice your body on the in and out breath sensations. Giving yourself just 5 minutes of this practice can make all the difference.
3 - CONTACT
I have often struggled to sleep in a bed that isn’t mine; it just doesn’t feel the same! A brainwave I had recently was to pack my very own pillowcase wherever I go. It takes very little room in the case but reminds me of home as soon as my head hits the pillow. It’s funny how these little things make all the difference, it may seem like a silly extra, but for me, it has made it so much easier to sleep in another bed, and we all know how important sleep is! My new obsession is the Skin Cycle Pillowcase by Skin Laundry, it is treated with charged silver ion technology to give you cleaner, clearer skin by reducing harmful bacteria. My top tip would be to sleep on it at home at least once before packing it for your next trip, that way you take a little bit of your bed along with you on your next journey.
On the next A LITTLE ME TIME post, we will explore the sense of SMELL...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Amandip Bahia BSc (Hons), DClinPsych, is a Clinical Psychologist and Organisational Consultant with over 15 years of experience working with adults with a variety of mental health difficulties. She has worked both in the NHS and her own private practice. More recently she has been working with organisations, and how psychological theory can help in the workplace. She is passionate about personal well being and how we balance this with busy lives.