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September Editor's Comment

The first September of the Millennium has arrived, and for those of us in the UK, the days are beginning to shorten already. One thing I am finding more and more as the years go by, is that the older we get, the busier we grow, and the quicker the time seems to disappear on us.

Somewhere along the line this year, I became so ingrained in the work ethic that I had completely forgotten about the importance of taking some time out for myself. The last time I had a holiday would have been at Christmas – no wonder the soul has been flagging of late! So, shortly I will be winging my way to Snowdonia in Wales for some much needed R&R. Envisage an enormous National Park and you’re half way there. I’m looking forward to miles and miles of peace and tranquility, fresh air, and the distinct absence of laptop, mobile phone and public transport.

It becomes so easy for many of us to become so embroiled in career, kids, family, and friends that we often forget to take time out for ourselves. We keep our bodies working at a frantic pace for days on end, wake up one morning and wonder why we feel so weary. Sometimes, just getting enough hours sleep seems an impossible task, and yet even having enough sleep still does little to soothe a frazzled soul.

Substitute ‘Alone time’ for ‘Downtime’ and you may start to get the picture. For a while I thought of taking up Yoga or Meditation, but somehow the ‘not enough hours in the day’ theory always seemed to win out. I have now found that what works best for me is allocating a few hours every Sunday afternoon, solely for myself. Initially it may be hard to turn down that lunch with the girls, or catching up with the washing, or heading to the park with friends – but within a few weeks you will start to feel the rewards, and you’ll find yourself starting to look forward to these few precious hours to spend with yourself.

During these hours, pick all your favourite things to do. Buy your favourite junk food and video and curl up on the couch on a rainy Sunday; take a notebook to the park and doodle pictures and scribble poems while you watch people wander by; lock yourself in the bathroom with a sensuous bubble bath, good book and glass of wine; head out to the country side for a walk; or splurge out on a makeover in town. Whatever it is that you find yourself wistfully craving for when you’re rushing to the next appointment, jot it down and make plans. Just remember the following golden rules for success, and you’ll soon be on your way to inner calm and a healthier sense of well being.

Be firm, allot your time and stick to it. Let your friends and family know that this time is for YOU.

If at home, take the phone off the hook. If out and about, turn off that mobile phone!

Plan ahead. If it’s a bubble bath you want, take the trip to the chemist for the bath oils BEFORE the event.

Persevere. It may feel strange at first – and you may have to fight of feelings of guilt that you are wasting time, or should be spending time with others. This will pass; think of it as a part of maintaining a healthy state of body and mind.

For best results, I have found once a week of quality alone time really helps. If you can’t manage this, try at least for once a fortnight. You're worth it!

Let me know how it goes. If you have any other great ideas for pampering yourself and would like to share them with others, please send them in to us at Happy September!

Cara Talbot - Ed.

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

- Albert Camus