It’s that time when we’re turning our attention to the end of another year: organising get-togethers with friends and family, rushing to meet end-of-year deadlines, and making plans for the year ahead. Stressful much?
With so much going on, how on earth do you survive holiday stress and those tricky family interactions the season always throws at you? The short answer: fill your cup! No, not with wine – though, that could work! – fill your cup with self-compassion, self-care and time… even if it’s just five minutes.
Who better to ask for tips than our adorable friend Cat Sanz whose simple pledge (#fiveminutesofmine) to find ways to give back to yourself in the form of five minute activities – enjoying a cuppa, meditating, a warm bath – was the kick-start we desperately needed to build a habit of self-care.
We reached out to Cat to find out her top tips for taking five and why it’s so important. Do yourself a favour and find five minutes to read this!
We love the #fiveminutesofmine campaign. Tell us about how it started?
Thank you so much! When I became a mum of three, I took a few months off from our businesses to just ‘mum’ and find my groove. Gosh, I love my children, but it was a rough start for our family when baby number three arrived and I recognised the signs of postnatal anxiety creeping up on me again. Knowing how hectic it would be parenting three, returning to work and with the end of the year stress of Christmas approaching, I wanted to finish the year by creating a habit of taking a small part of each day for myself – something I could build on in the new year.
As a parent of young kids you can make every excuse under the sun why you don’t take a solo walk, drink a hot coffee, attend a Pilates class or even take a daily shower, but I was committed to scheduling some time of my own each day before I was staring down the end of December with every last minute devoted to family, work and festivities.
I put my #fiveminutesofmine movement out to my Instagram and Facebook community as a way of letting my community know I recognised my triggers for falling into a more anxious state were lurking. Making the movement public made me accountable, and inviting others to share their five minutes with me would help inspire all of us to ‘turn up’ each day and share what makes us happy in these moments, with the view to create a beautiful habit we could grow and nurture.
And, so it began. Each day I checked in to Instagram either by posting to my feed or stories, and I reported what I did to create #fiveminutesofmine. I watch, share and communicate with others who either publicly or privately share their #fiveminutesofmine with me. I have loved having an incredible group of people follow the movement. We all inspire each other.
Why is self-care so important to you?
Because at the very heart of my lowest times, when I overworked myself and ended up either in hospital or fighting an autoimmune disorder, it was my self-care that received the least amount of attention from me.
Recognising and prioritising my health and mental state, and taking time out for myself were the actions required to bring my health and wellbeing back.
What are some of the things you have seen parents doing to get #fiveminutesofmine?
So many diverse ‘moments’ of enjoyment including a warm bath, a workout, a hot coffee, journaling, meditating, knitting, Pilates, dining out alone, even a solo bathroom trip (ha ha)! These are all important moments for each individual and, practiced each day, create a joy-filled habit.
What is your advice for busy working parents?
It’s impossible to ‘do it all’. Accept the fact immediately and know there is no magical parenting/working balance. Prioritise your top five – a list of what you need to do each day and make sure YOU are one of them. Also, where possible, don’t be afraid to outsource!
What do you hope to see from this campaign?
I truly hope to see more beautiful people taking back time in their day for things that make them happy, and creating a daily habit that gives them confidence and joy celebrating a little bit of time for themselves that ultimately grows into longer periods than five minutes. Making yourself happy pours out into everything you do in your day, working, parenting and being.
What are your top three ways to spend #fiveminutesofmine?
My top three things to do for #fiveminutesofmine would be:
2. A hot delicious coffee consumed without interruptions