TWO MINUTES WITH … IBEN SANDAHL, MAMA TO IDA, AGED 18 YEARS AND JULIE, AGED 15 YEARS

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

Three weeks ago I went to get a full body massage for 1 ½ hour, which to me is pure love. Afterwards, I always feel rooted, relaxed and full of gratitude. I need me-times to fill me up once in a while, otherwise, I very easily am spun into practicalities and demands that consume my energy and don’t do me any good. Me-time helps me reload and connect with my inner world and my heart again – and a massage sometimes helps with that.

 

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

I have some daily routines that I value a lot. I walk with my dog twice a day in the forest or at the lake nearby. Especially when something bothers me, I take in the beauty of nature and I know that I will feel good again. Our great nature helps me to find peace within. I drink a big kop of green tea just after the walk with my dog, and that’s also a special me-time moment. Three times a week, I go to my Bikram yoga class – I have done that for one year now and it is definitely one of the most valuable and mindful things, I have ever done to take care of myself. My body, my spirit and my mind are nurtured and I value that to the greatest extent.

 

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

I haven’t always been good at it myself. Especially when my children were small, I was more aware of being present to them and meeting their needs than caring about myself. I sometimes felt discouraged if I completely ignored to take care of myself, and so I took a choice. I decided to be aware of creating daily routines that should be my “me-time”. I am still aware of my children, of course, but what I did then was to go for a run when there was some space in the program. It became my little Iben room, where nobody expected anything from me, besides myself. Even a nice cup of good hot tea or some deep breathing, meant a little self care to me, and so it grew from there.

My advice to other mamas would therefore be: Start with realistic baby steps – like something that only require 5-15 minutes. Figure out, what makes you feel good, and put it in your schedule equally with cooking or bedtime reading for your children. It is a choice and we have to take ourselves seriously. With a happy mom comes a happy family.

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