Making time for mindfulness has never been more essential than it is today. With many of us trying to juggle work with being a parent, and tackling a seemingly endless ‘to do’ list, it’s no wonder that half the nation is suffering from stress-related illnesses at any one time.
Modern life can be bad for our health
It’s important to find time for ourselves
Without wanting to sound like my parents, I honestly don’t remember life being this stressful. There certainly wasn’t the urgent need to get things done immediately. Modern life has brought a new meaning to multitasking. Nowadays, we are bombarded with instant news and images; we are often eating our meals on the go – and if we don’t answer that email or text message within a few minutes of receiving it, we are ‘told off’! WhatsApp even lets you know if the message has been read – there really is no escaping.
Modern life has taught us that we need to plan everything down to the very last minute. If we don’t, we are at risk of sinking as we continually play catch up. It’s sad to think that we even have to plan in some me time. I can honestly say that I don’t have the time to have a bath anymore. The solution? A shower – it’s far quicker!
All this rushing around began to affect my health. As a single parent, this was particularly true for me after my son was born. I know that every parent can empathise with life’s main focus being firmly directed around the children, but as a lone parent, I found I didn’t have any time for myself. I was exhausted all of the time and my social life dwindled to nothing.
Yoga – a great way to heal
Just a few minutes a day can make a big different
I had always been interested in yoga since my step mother introduced me to it many years ago. However, it wasn’t until I reached a very low period in my life that I seriously considered it as a way to heal. Having very little money (and no time), I couldn’t commit myself to a class at my local gym, so I tried out one of the many YouTube videos. I started with 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene. After a very short time of making the commitment to practise yoga every day, I noticed my body becoming more toned and my mind becoming calmer and stronger. Seven months later, I am still practising yoga every day. I always find the time to fit a session in – whether it’s 20 minutes or an hour. The difference in my health is profound. I am more able to manage the millions of things I need to do, be a mum and hold down a full-time job.
Meditation is trendy
Apps that make it easy to escape
If yoga isn’t your thing, there are endless ways in which you can include mindfulness into your daily routine. Mindfulness has become trendy. There are apps like Headspace that promises to teach you the life-changing skills of meditation in just a few minutes a day. Even with our busy lives, most of us could just about include ten minutes of me time into our day.
Children can also suffer from sleep disorders
Guided meditation to help children sleep
There are even meditation and sleep apps for children. Despite this being a great idea, I do think it’s sad that children are now so stressed that there is even a demand for meditation apps for children.
As a child, I would spend most of my time playing outside and only came in to watch TV if it was raining. Weekends were about having family time with days out or playing board games. Kids now spend nearly all of their free time on electronic devices and the pressure of getting the right grades at school has never been greater. A great app to help prepare children for sleep is Insight Timer. My son was always getting in and out of bed, and he found it difficult to relax enough to be able to fall asleep. After using Insight Timer, he now falls asleep feeling relaxed and peaceful.
Making time for mindfulness is essential for good health
Don’t forget to look after your body and mental wellbeing
Whatever your lifestyle, likes and dislikes, there is always a way of including mindfulness into your daily life. Apart from yoga and meditation, what is mindfulness? And how can it benefit our physical and mental wellbeing?
Mindfulness is about being in the here and now, and living in the present moment.
On its website, the NHS quotes Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre: “It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour”.
It has been proven that if you take a moment in the day to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you, it can improve your mental wellbeing. Next time you take a walk in the countryside, really begin to notice the sounds and smells – and how they make you feel. Ignore the to-do lists, and begin to focus on the present moment. You might be surprised at just how good you feel.
You don’t have to go far to treat yourself to a longer escape
Germany has plenty of wellness retreats
In recent years, many Germans have embraced the wellness trend with its focus being very much on healthy living. Hotels across Germany have needed to change significantly to satisfy the high demand in healthy living concepts; including exercise and relaxation treatments. You can find beautiful, top-quality wellness hotels throughout Germany that offer yoga retreat days, fasting cures, mindfulness workshops, nutritional advice and much more. Many of the retreats are situated in stunning locations that bring their guests closer to nature. Forest bathing, Nordic Walking, cycling and walking are just some of the guided tours many of the hotels offer their guests. You may like to read Nadja’s blog about the popularity of day spas in Germany and her visit to the luxurious Seezeitlodge Hotel & Spa, which is located on Bostalsee Lake in the Saarland region, and close to the Roman city of Trier.
Read Nadja’s personal impression of this secret escape…
“The Seezeitlodge Hotel & Spa opened in July 2017. I visited this little oasis in May 2018 with my husband, brother and sister-in-law. Situated within the stunning Saar-Hunsrück Nature Park, it’s perfect for anyone who loves outdoor activities.
On entering the hotel’s lobby, you immediately notice the spectacular panoramic views across Bostalee Lake. The reception staff are really friendly, and the atmosphere around the hotel is generally pretty laid-back. With plenty of natural daylight, and a very tasteful interior (with my favourite colours lime green and natural beige), the hotel makes you feel calm and relaxed just by being there.
During our stay, we were lucky to have the perfect weather to eat dinner on the beautiful terrace, or just sit around the fire overlooking the lake. The sunset was spectacular – perfect for enjoying an Aperol Spritz followed by a delicious three-course meal and fine wine.
I can also highly recommend spending a few hours in the spacious 2,700m² spa area, which is at the heart of the Seezeitlodge Hotel & Spa. They have created a state-of-the art wellness area that includes an outdoor infinity pool, an indoor pool, various saunas, steam rooms and relaxation areas. All of us booked various treatments, like massages and facials, with the excellent beauty therapists and physiotherapists. The hotel also offers special yoga sessions in the forest and mindfulness classes.
I would definitely return to this lovely place as I came home feeling fully relaxed and recharged. Next time I’d like to try out some yoga offers, as well as discovering the surrounding area a little more.
The hotel can be reached by flying either to Luxembourg or Frankfurt am Main. You then have the option of hiring a car, or continuing your journey by train.
If you’re interested in a wellness break in Germany, I can recommend Wellness-Hotels & Resorts who have an excellent choice of wellness hotels in Germany.”
Embrace the great outdoors – discover why nature benefits our mental health
Happy and healthy kids – let nature work its magic with an outdoor holiday