Guest Posts

5 Ways to Find More Time for Yourself This Winter 

To mark the end of Mental Health Month and with winter fast approaching the southern hemisphere, it’s time to think about ways to take time for yourself to make it through the chilly months.

Wellness writer Laurie Larson wrote this post for Aprivé Wellness to share her top tips! Check it out:

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In honor of May being National Mental Health month, it’s a great time to reflect on how you are nourishing your soul. Mental health is important at all times of the year, so take this time to evaluate if you are truly allowing time for yourself and your well-being.

When you have a job and a family to care for, it can sometimes feel selfish to take time for yourself. However, it’s difficult to truly care for others or perform your daily tasks and work responsibilities if you aren’t properly caring for yourself.

 In fact, spending time just for you is good for your overall health and wellness. There are many benefits of engaging in activities that are dedicated to self-care and self-awareness, including releasing negativity, promoting creativity, and fostering patience to help when you’re surrounded by others at work or at home.

With that in mind, here are five ways to find more time for yourself this winter. 


1.Try a New Hobby

Picking up a new hobby as an adult can feel a little awkward and forced. However, hobbies can benefit you in several ways, including promoting flow and balance in your life. In this sense, flow is that feeling you get when you get lost in something that you feel passionate about. It is the opposite of scrolling on Facebook or staring at the television. Hobbies foster inspiration and passion that can spill over into other areas of your life, like work and family. 

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2. Book In Your Alone Time

Although it may seem like you don’t have time for yourself, if you write down what you do throughout a 24-hour day, you’ll probably be surprised at how much time is either wasted or dedicated to other things. Take an inventory of your activities down to the minute, and notice where you may be able to work some time in for yourself. If there’s a certain time of day when you notice you’re passing the time in unproductive ways, begin to fill that time of day with a hobby, do some exercises, or go for a walk. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

3. Create a Nighttime Ritual 

In order to ensure that you’re getting quality sleep every night, you have to make it a priority. Set aside an hour before bed to dedicate to yourself. Try creating a wind-down routine. Not only will this help you sleep better, but it will also be great quality time to yourself. Some activities that can help promote relaxation and getting a good night’s rest include stretching, meditating, reading a book, and taking a warm bath.

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4. Book a Staycation

One great way to ensure that you get a chunk of alone time is to schedule a vacation in your hometown. You can spend the time at home or even book a hotel room. You’ll get the benefits of a vacation getaway without spending quite as much money. If you need some deep relaxation and the hotel offers massages, take advantage of them! Soak in the hot tub at the hotel spa, then order room service. If you enjoy camping and you live near a state park or natural area, take a couple of days away to spend in nature.

5. Start Doing Morning Affirmations

All too often, we don’t allow ourselves enough time in the morning to relax and set our intentions for the day. Instead of giving yourself just enough time to shower, get dressed, and grab your coffee on the way out of the door, wake up an hour earlier to sit and enjoy your coffee and meditate on some positive affirmations. Leaving the house in the morning feeling like you don’t have enough time will see you carry that rushed feeling with you all day. Starting the day with a thought like, “I am grateful for the job I have,” or “I will only say what I want to put into the universe today,” can get you started on the right foot and dispel negative thoughts.

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Remember that taking time for yourself is not selfish. It’s the opposite! The better you are to yourself, the better you will be overall.


freelance wellness writer laurie larson

Guest Author Bio

Laurie Larson is a freelance writer based on the east coast of the USA who writes on home, health, and lifestyle topics. In her spare time she enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible.

Why You Need Sleep to Restore Your Body

Many of my clients and attendees at my retreats tell me they're so busy and stressed, they sleep around six hours per night; but that's OK right? Wrong. Evidence on the biochemical changes that occur during sleep is mounting, meaning sleep is more important than we ever realised!

I asked one of the experts to tell all of you about the importance of sleep - check it out!

why you need sleep australia nz

Sleep provides time to heal, recharge and restore the body, yet many people view rest as a luxury rather than a necessity. Many adults don't sleep the recommended seven hours each night. By making sleep a priority and developing good sleep hygiene, you can get the restorative sleep you need to be physically and mentally at your best.

Sleep Deprivation Puts a Stop to Your Healing Abilities

The body has amazing abilities to heal and restore itself but needs time in which to do it. A study published in Sleep Medicine measured the levels of proteins necessary for muscle recovery and correlated it to the subjects’ amount of sleep. Lack of sleep suppressed showed a slower healing process in all aspects of your biology.

The immune system also takes a serious hit during sleep deprivation.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University explored the effects of sleep deprivation on the immune system by examining susceptibility to the common cold. Sleep deprived people were more likely to catch a cold.

Those that slept less than seven hours were nearly three times as likely to get sick.

It wasn’t just how much time they slept but the quality of their sleep as well. Participants who frequently woke during the night were also more susceptible to illness. The immune system needs rest to not only fight off infection but to recharge itself for full daytime functionality.

what is the main reason you need sleep?

How to Get Better, More Restorative Sleep

The benefits of sleep come from spending enough hours in bed and from high-quality sleep. You can improve the restorative nature of your sleep by developing good sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene means that you:

  • Keep a Consistent Sleep-Wake Schedule 

Your body relies on regular 24-hour biological and physiological cycles called circadian rhythms to control your sleep-wake cycle. By keeping a consistent sleep-wake schedule, that means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, you acclimate your brain and body to your natural rhythms. Consequently, the brain will release sleep hormones automatically because it knows what time you need to fall asleep.

  • Develop a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

Bedtime routines are particularly important for those who have a hard time falling asleep. A routine can trigger the release of sleep hormones and provide time to relieve any stress or tension before bed. It should include activities that calm and relax you. Try to perform your bedtime routine at the same time and in the same order each day.  

  • Turn Off Screens Early

The bright light from televisions and smartphones can suppress sleep hormones, making it hard to fall asleep. Try shutting them off at least two to three hours before bed to prevent a sleep delay.

  • Eat Healthy, Regularly Spaced Meals

A well-balanced diet helps improve all aspects of your life. However, it’s not just what you eat but when you eat it that affects your sleep-wake cycle. Try to eat at the same times each day and keep your meals regularly spaced. Avoid heavy high-fat foods close to bedtime.

Sleep gives your body the time it needs to restore and heal itself. When you make sleep a priority, you’re giving yourself a natural boost to your mental and physical health.

About this Guest author:

Samantha (Sam) Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favourite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.