How to fit in much needed me-time within a busy routine

*in collaboration with David Lloyd Milton Keynes

Do you also start the week with the best intention to hit the gym, eat healthy and then spend some time pampering yourself whether it’s a manicure, a new haircut or just some time on the sauna or reading a book?

I do! And then reality kicks in… being a mum of two kids under four and running a business, there is just not enough hours left in the day to attend to that much needed yoga class, or a coffee and chat with friends.

The summer was particularly busy for me in every aspect, on top of everything I had renovations at home and additional projects to prepare for. Then September arrived and if felt like the weight of the world was hanging on my shoulders. I was doing too much and spreading myself too thin. Not being able to cope with the daily demands of my business and family left me in a very emotional state.

It was no surprise that I started having anxiety attacks. If anyone reading this has had them, you’ll know the horrible feeling of helplessness along with all the other symptoms that come with it. Hands down, the worst month I had since I can remember. September also marked two years since I was made redundant from a long-term job and found that I was pregnant with my youngest. In those two years, I haven’t had much of a break and kept pushing myself as if saying no was a failure - BIG mistake!

I have always been quite good at going to the gym regularly and exercising, even it I could only fit in one session a week, I would do it. It didn’t happen in September though, as the demands of my business/life were too high I did not find the time to have any kind of me-time.

It was time for a change…

After a month away, I returned to David Lloyd in October determined to put myself first. If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be enough help when taking care of my family and business.

Exercising has made a whole world of difference to my mindset and energy levels, and if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I join Blaze classes weekly and those are amazing to get in shape and re-boot! (I added some of my IG stories snapshots below)

If you haven’t heard of Blaze, it is a dynamic new workout combining mixed martial arts, intense cardio and strength training, it's a HIIT boutique-style class synced to up-beat, motivating dance music. Everything about the class is prepared carefully for us to have the best experience. There is loud high-energy music (a must when I work out!), mood lights and (the best part!) cold peppermint-infused towels ready for you when you finish. Those towels are always a treat after you’ve worked out hard. When you want to lose weight and shape up, the recommendation is to attend three Blaze sessions per week.

Trust me, those 45 minutes in class fly by, so you’ll definitely be left waiting to come back for more.

I used to take Pilates classes years ago (pre-kids) and I always loved them. I missed pilates! So last month I also decided to go back and now I’m asking myself why didn’t I do that sooner!? I’ll definitely be keeping that up in my weekly routine.

Not just for exercising

It is definitely not just for exercising though, I have found David Lloyd to be a safe place for me when I just need time out from my routine, perfect to re-energise and also to be productive.

I have recently spent a couple of days there working. There is plenty of space to work, a quiet working zone if needed, and everything I need for the day.

The smashed avocado from their menu always ends up being my lunch choice, it’s delicious! Plus the convenience of being already there when I want to work out. Win-win!

Beats every coffee shop I’ve ever worked from…

Family time

Our Sunday morning routine is pretty much like this:

-Get everyone ready and out the door by 8am to head over to David Lloyd (it takes a lot of organising and saying ‘let’s go we’re late’ about 20 times but it is all worth it)

-I take a Blaze class or run for 20 minutes, followed by a Pilates class

-In the meantime the girls stay in the play area with the Mr and plenty of snacks!

-He then works out and I order early lunch for the girls. They normally request beans or eggs on toast, that easy…

-We then head back home, and by the time we get back the youngest is ready for her nap, perfect timing!

It’s our weekly ritual, we get to spend quality time with the girls, get a work out session in, and also gets them plenty of play time. My 3-year old is always asking to go to David Lloyd to play, that’s how much fun she has there!

David Lloyd family fun kids

Now that I have realigned my priorities I feel much more in control of my life at home and business. This doesn’t mean at all that I am slowing down, it just means that I am working smarter (not harder!) and making time for the things that matter: ME TIME is finally in!

*This post was written in collaboration with David Lloyd Milton Keynes.