Small pleasures – finding time for things you love

three pairs of hands making heart shapes

three pairs of hands making heart shapesFinding windows of time for little pleasures can make all the difference to your week. They leave you feeling indulged, and provide a relaxing break from the mayhem of family life. Here are a few ideas…

Literary luxuries

  • Retire 20 minutes early to read in bed. It’ll feel indulgent, and guarantee you’re off to the land of nod in no time.
  • Listen to audio books while you cook or drive. Rent them from the library for a couple of pounds, and it’ll easily take your mind off the traffic jam.
  • Bring a book to read while the kids do their activities. That hour of ballet will fly by, while you escape into another world.

Tasty treats

  • Go for an indulgent coffee and cake while the kids are at a party, instead of tearing home to bash off the chores. By the time you get home and make a start, it’s always time to leave again – leaving you cross and frustrated. Take some time out instead.
  • If you’re watching your waistline, treat yourself to luxury fruit at work.  We often give the strawberries to the kids, only to have the mangy ones ourselves! If anyone deserves them, it’s you.
  • Treat yourself to some ice-cream or sorbet after dinner. It won’t add much to your supermarket shop – or your waistline.  You won’t feel deprived of a treat now and then!


  • Do you record programmes only to never have time to watch them? Put them on while you’re clearing your email or shopping online. It’s a welcome distraction while you keep up on your favourite soap.
  • If you’re frustrated that you’ve not seen the latest films, take a DVD to your friend’s next time you babysit. Not the environment for your favourite horror, but anything else and you’ll make a treat out of a favour!
  • Take the laptop to watch programmes and films while the kids practice football or gymnastics. It beats waiting around looking after their kit!


  • Get to the hairdressers as often as you can, if only for a blow-dry. It’ll spare you the hassle of washing it yourself, and won’t take up much time if it’s local. The hair washing alone will relax you, and you’ll feel treated for the rest of the day.
  • Take a bath in the evening instead of a rushed shower before the school run. You’ll sleep well afterwards and it’ll relax those stressed muscles.
  • Paint your toenails after dinner while you watch TV. It only takes a second but will make you feel better about yourself – plus it’s nice for your man, too!


  • Go for a splash yourself while the kids have swimming lessons. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes, you’ll relax knotted muscles while setting an example to your children.
  • Nip to a local exercise class one evening a week once the little ones are asleep. Whether it’s traditional aerobics, some relaxing Yoga or a Zumba class – you’ll return relaxed, toned and with more energy.
  • Walk where you can. By the time you’ve sat in traffic and found somewhere to park, walking is often quicker. Whether it’s the school run or popping to the corner shop, you’ll feel refreshed and revived from those ten minutes of fresh air.