Like most mid-life women (and undoubtedly men too), I don’t get much time that’s solely for “me”—to recharge, reflect and “be” in myself.
In the last week, though, I had that time and it reminded me of the importance of self-care in life as well as writing.
Attending a writing conference in the UK, thousands of miles (and the Atlantic Ocean) away from home, I was removed from family and domestic crises large and small. Since I left my laptop behind, and apart from checking social media on mobile devices, I was removed from day-to-day writing tasks too.
As a result, I nurtured friendships in person rather than through the interface of a screen and grew those connections in ways that will sustain me in the months and years to come.
Through the conference workshops, I learned new things about writing and myself as a writer.
By the seaside in North Wales, at the conference venue near Leeds, and during the day I spent in Manchester, I walked and noticed the world around me in ways I don’t often do at home.
A flower petal, the arc of a building, and how the sun dappled the sea—these things and more helped me focus on life beyond writing, solve problems and hit a much-needed “refresh button” on my brain.
I also had unstructured time to think seriously about what matters most to me, review my goals and, looking ahead to the next half of the year, set some new ones.
Although I missed Tech Guy, English Rose and Floppy Ears, having some time alone and a bit of an escape from everyday life helped me refill my well in ways I needed to be a happier and healthier wife and mum.
And I came home with ideas for two new books, lighter in weight from all that walking, but heavier in reading, including a SIGNED copy of my friend Kate Field’s wonderful, award-winning debut, The Magic of Ramblings.
With International Self Care Day coming up on July 24, there’s no better time to take that next step to incorporate more “me time” into my everyday life to keep the benefits flowing.
Do you have any tips for scheduling self-care into your routine?
Note: In the spirit of self-care, I’m taking a little break from blogging for a summer holiday with my family. I’ll be back with my next blog post on 17 August 2018.
So glad you were able to get time away and for yourself. Welcome back!
Thanks, Jennifer. That break was much needed but I’m also happy to be home.
So happy you got away by yourself to recharge and just be. Enjoy your holiday time with your family. And thank you for being a positive example. Hugs xo
And thank you, Lynn. What a kind comment. Sending hugs in return. xo
I feel very lucky, Jen, that we were able to squeeze in a meeting before you flew home. It was lovely to catch up in real life – something I didn’t think was ever likely to happen. I hope you feel refreshed and ready to write some more wonderful books for us. Enjoy your break. x
I feel very lucky too, Kate. Meeting you in person was one of the highlights of my trip. And thank you for such a lovely comment about my books. x
Our lives are often governed by our responsibilities. The opportunity to take a little time away from the day-to-day routine is precious, providing a chance not just to relax but also to feel restored. I am lucky to live by the sea, where a walk on the beach or just to sit on the rocks with a book are ways in which I get my little boost of “restorative.” There’s a lot to be said for the sea air! I’m pleased you were able to have time away and I hope the good effects will be long-lasting. Come back soon to the UK!
You are indeed lucky to live by the sea, Susanna, and I’m lucky too having had the opportunity to visit you there. That sea air was wonderful for me, as was the time we spent together. I also hope I’m able to come back to the UK soon!
Such a lovely post, Jen. I think we all get caught in the push and pull of life’s tide and we need to make a conscious effort to step away from it for a while. ‘Me time’ is so important and I was so glad to have the opportunity to meet you in person.
Thank you for reading and commenting on my post, Sarah. Yes, making that conscious effort to ‘step away’ from ‘the push and pull of life’s tide’ is so very important and I’m resolved to focus more on doing that. I was so glad to be able to meet you in person too.