How difficult is it to find time for ourselves these days? Jean Hailes found that the two biggest barriers for women not maintaining a healthy lifestyle is ‘lack of time’ and ‘health not being a priority’. However by looking after ourselves more we are in a better position to care for those we love.

I used to think once I complete all these tasks, get through my (very long) to do list – THEN I can take some time out. The problem is that list keeps growing and the light at the end of the tunnel just gets further and further away. Sound familiar?

Don’t wait until you have a spare few hours to allow yourself some time out; you may be waiting a while! Look for little pockets of time in your busy days that you can stop for a moment and just be.

I realise everyone is at different stages with work, family and kids and some days just do not go according to plan, but these are some simple ways I’ve managed to find those pockets of time:

2 minutes: stop and take 10 deep breaths, or do a few quick stretches.
5 minutes: rather than take my cup of tea or coffee back to my desk or drink on the run I stop and truly savour the flavour (outside if the weather permits).
5-10 minutes: if you arrive a little early for an appointment or to pick the kids up from school/sport resist the urge to check in on your phone and simply sit and be.
10 minutes: the baby is asleep/ the kids are happy playing or watching TV….resist the urge to throw yourself straight into that job list and take a little time out for yourself first.

5 minutes is not a lot of time; but then again it can be! I realised this when watching Masterchef and being constantly amazed at what the contestants would manage to complete in the final countdown!

So make a point of finding a few minutes here and there in your day and dedicate it to yourself.