With many of us leading such busy lives there’s scarcely time to think, let alone stop and have quality time for the important people and things in our lives. So there’s even less time for a break and some relaxing ‘me time’. But it’s hard to ignore the importance of finding some calm and taking a break in managing our stress levels.

An incredible 25% of us struggle to sleep on a Sunday night due to apprehension about the week ahead, whilst 90% adults say they don’t get enough sleep. 1/14 of us don’t use our full holiday entitlement for a myriad of reasons.

So if you’re one of those people who force yourself to keep going let’s identify some ways you can find yourself a calm place in which to take a short break. When you’re busy it’s important to be a little creative and use what you have!

Some tasks are what’s called trance-inductive; we go into a drifty, floaty state and operate on auto-pilot. There’s no need to concentrate or focus too much. We simply do what’s familiar and may not even register what we’re actually doing.

Lots of domestic tasks come under this heading; ironing, baking, clearing the leaves, cleaning the shower, changing the bed can all be calm places where we don’t need to engage brain or think too much. But they’re also good because we’re doing something useful, not ‘wasting’ time, whilst having a guilt free interlude.

Then there are those who find decluttering and going to the tip their calm place. There’s a good feeling to clearing rubbish and taking it to the tip adds a 30 minute timeout. Or what about that visit to the hairdressers or nail salon? You’re effectively trapped, cannot do anything other than chill and sit it out.

Even a train journey or traffic jam, with the right perspective, can be your calm place. Once you’ve perhaps dealt with any necessary apologies why not decide to give yourself a break and not work or check your phone? Zone out for a while and enjoy your calm place.

And mine? I have a friend who’s very relaxed about the time she arrives for our dinner dates. It’s fine by me and often I’ll deliberately arrive early, order a drink, do a little work and relax. I really enjoy my calm place, getting a few leisurely things done until she arrives.

Susan Leigh, Altrincham Counsellor & Hypnotherapist