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Virtual Time Out

SEIZE THE MOMENT

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If ever there was a right time to seize the moment it is now. The coronavirus pandemic has brought us into a different world, forced us to live our lives in a different way. We are in unfamiliar territory, living in a world that seems somewhat surreal. Face masks are the new attire hiding our expressions, hiding our fear, and yet protecting us. 

Physical contact with other people is no longer an option, and two arm lengths or six feet apart is the recommended distance between us all. Shop floors stickers and signs tell us where to stand. Entrances provide hand sanitizers and plastic gloves. Exits are clearly signposted. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Prevent the spread of COVID-19 and all its variants. Warnings and reminders that are keeping us safe.  So how do you cope with the enormity of this pandemic? How do you take time out?

YOUR PERSONAL SPACE

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Create a new space in your life, a new routine that will help you cope mentally. If you are one of the essential workers, this ‘new space’ is even more important. Heightened anxiety and constantly being alert may leave you physically exhausted. Therefore, it’s essential that you take time out in whatever way you can. Easier said than done but try it. 

Take a walk at lunch time. If you are in a town or city, look up at the sky. What colour is it? How many shades of blue can you see? How many shades of grey? Is the sun shining brightly, or is it hiding behind the clouds? Hidden or not, what’s important is that it is there. We need its light more than ever, keeping hope alive and the knowledge that sunnier days are ahead. 

Are there clouds and what shape are they? What can you see on the horizon? Buildings of different sizes and shapes? Glass structures lit up by the sun or perhaps casting dark shadows onto the city? The shapes and shadows of a city are amazing. See them and wonder at man’s magnanimity in creating these structures.

As you walk by the shops take note of their names and what they are selling. You will be surprised at what you discover when you really focus on your surroundings and may well discover little gems you had missed before. Note the colour around you and the quirky shop signs. Window shop and smile at your reflection. And if it’s raining and you don’t want to gaze up at the sky, count the cracks in the pavement like you did when you were a child. Look at people’s shoes as they pass by. Does the shoe fit the persona? Hard to tell perhaps when you can’t see their faces. And as your eyes meet theirs, crinkle them and smile. 

Allow your imagination to run amok and give your world a new image. Step into the artist’s canvas and explore it from within.

NATURE WALKS AND CITY VIBES

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Parks or country, village, or city, all of them have something special to offer. The tranquillity of the countryside versus live-city-vibe is a personal choice. Wherever you are you can choose to absorb the best of your surroundings. Note the seasonal changes. Stop and stare at the magnificent trees and see how their branches reach out forming a beautiful arch.   Depending what hemisphere you live in they may still be dressed in their vivid green finery, or partially clothed in the autumnal crisp golden leaves that flutter round you and carpet the path you walk on.  

We associate Winter with cold days, short days as daylight fades early, but always remember it’s a time of rest as plants lie dormant, plants which will soon blossom into life as Spring arrives, leading us into the warmth of summer. 

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE

Equally for us this is a time of ‘dormancy’ from the lives we knew. Unprepared for the restrictions COVID-19 has brought into our lives we may find it difficult to remain positive. Everything we took for granted and accepted as the norm has been erased. Physical contact – a hug, hands holding hands, sharing meals with family and friends, seeing a smile on someone’s face, now masked and hidden. This is the winter of our lives, but its beauty is the knowledge that like the seasons it will change. The sun will rise earlier in the morning and set later in the day and we will walk confidently into a new future. Life has come full circle.

VIRTUAL SPA DAY

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Set the scene. Prepare your beauty products. Light a scented candle. Play soothing music on your IPOD. It’s a simple as that. All you need is a beauty face mask, hair conditioning treatment, moisturising cream. Massage the conditioner into your hair and wrap a warm towel around it, or a turban if you have one. Slather your feet with moisturizer and put on loose soft socks. Moisturize your hands with cream and cover them with gloves. If you have those lovely aromatherapy gloves and socks even better. I find them very soothing.

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Apply a facial beauty mask. Now lie on your bed and relax. Imagine you are in a 5-star hotel spa being pampered. Inhale slowly to a count of 5. Pause for 3 seconds. Exhale to a count of 5. As you continue to do this your muscles will relax more and more. Keeping your eyes closed let your mind wander briefly from your feet to your legs to your abdomen and up towards your neck and then the eye centre. I do this visualization daily and find it extremely therapeutic. 

Some people may feel as if their body is sinking into the mattress, others become less aware of their bodies and feel as though they are floating. Focus on how good you feel. You are relaxed and totally de-stressed. Right now, nothing matters but YOU – your well-being, your inner serenity. Allow it. Give yourself permission to be free for a short time every day. 

This Spa Experience can be done without any of the beauty aids. It’s my favourite way to relax. I visualize the complete experience, imagine I’m having a foot massage, a hand massage, body wrap, facial and finally a head massage. Virtually awesome.

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Helena

My name is Helena Abrahams and I’m from the West of Ireland, where we currently live. I’ve been married to Richard for almost 40 years and. (Bravery award pending). We have 3 beautiful adult children, 2 sons and a daughter. They are the treasures in my kingdom.

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