Lifestyle 12.10.2017 10:39 am

How to stop and take a personal time-out

Image courtesy

Image courtesy

Life is draining. Between work, family, partner, friends, and designated shaving days, it never seems like there is time to spare for yourself.

As difficult as it may be, every once in a while you need to take a personal time-out and reconnect with yourself a little bit. This can be done 15 minutes a day or over an entire day.

Regardless of how much time you manage to fit in, any of these activities will help refocus your mind and give you some new energy to carry on the day.

Switch off

First thing, if you’re going to get any peace of mind, is to switch off. No messages, emails, TV dramas, news stories or social media gossip. Your phone and media are generally your go-to tools for “relaxing” but there are no health benefits or highly de-stressing effects of doing so. You will just be over stimulating your mind again.

Step outside, look and listen to the world moving around you. Leave the digital translation of life for when you can’t sleep at night.

Pamper yourself

As amazing as a day at the spa sounds (and is), there isn’t always the time or funds to enjoy this pleasure. But there are other ways and products that you can use to quickly pamper yourself and freshen up to tackle the rest of the day ahead.

Buy a tub of Ingram’s camphor cream with aloe vera to rub into your hands for a cooling, moisturising and increasing-blood-flow sensation to calm your mind and leave your skin feeling soft.

You can even get a fragrance mist spray to keep in your handbag and quickly spritz yourself. Not only will you smell great but you can find herbal mists that have relaxing and soothing qualities.

Take 30 minutes out of your day and book an express manicure. With your manicure and Ingram’s cream, your hands will be ready to get back to work. If your hands are ready, then your mind will follow.

Relax your mind

Aromas are awesome when it comes to needing to relax your mind. Light a scented candle of your choice, put some calming music on and dim the lights. Or just close your eyes, it works just as well. 15 minutes later and you’ll be itching to get back to reality with this renewed mind-focus.

Also, no one really wants to be left alone with their thoughts for too long — it  can get a little strange.

Music is definitely therapeutic and is a much better media-escape than anything a screen can offer you. It should not be blaring (you don’t need to burst your eardrums while you’re trying to calm your brain), but just loud enough to be able to appreciate instruments and lyrics.

Create a go-to feel-good playlist that you can put on while you’re sitting in traffic. As much as you don’t want to be there, you’re likely to stay in the car and wait for your song to finish before getting out and carrying on.


Exercise to de-stress during your time-out doesn’t need to include a hectic two-hour workout. It can be as simple as a walk or run around the neighbourhood, or a yoga or pilates class.

Exercise releases happy hormones called endorphins. A little stretch, a heightened heart rate, and some stiff muscles will make you feel a lot better than you may think it would.

For some pick-me-ups be sure to have a daily dosage of vitamins, minerals and vitamin B complex. This will give you the extra little bit of energy to get through the day before you can take your time-out.

Put your thoughts to paper

When you make the time, make sure you have a journal at the ready. Putting your thoughts to paper is a great way to get it all out. All your frustrations, experiences and memorable moments for the day can be put into words. It doesn’t have to be legible, logical or make any sense, it’s just an outlet for your mind.

Getting it all out of your head means you’ll free up space for whatever the rest of the day has to offer. Can you imagine the combination of no WhatsApp group messages, relaxing music, scented candles, jasmine fragrance mist on your skin, soft aloe vera and camphor cured hands, and your journal?

At the end of it all, don’t forget to breathe.

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