How to make the most of your time so you can discover your zen

May 28, 2019
A relaxing scene of an open book, a cup of tea and some pears


It’s a pleasure to welcome Kirsty Russell as our guest poster for ZTT #19.  I’ve known Kirsty online since way back in 2012, and we have met once briefly in person at a blogging conference in 2015 at the Gold Coast.  Kirsty has a very busy life.  She’s a special needs parent, a wonderful advocate for kids with special needs, and provides resources and support for parents, teachers, and service providers at Positive Special Needs Parenting.  Kirsty shares with us some tips for better time management, or rather – looking at our time in a different way, in order to get some zen in our lives.  You’ll find all the links you need in order to connect with Kirsty and learn more about who she is and what she does in her Bio at the end of the post.

If you’re joining us for the ZTT Link-Up #017, welcome and I look forward to reading your post!

A relaxing scene of an open book, a cup of tea and some pears

Are you a member of that rather fabulous generation, promised we could have it all as long as we kept all the balls in the air?

My hand’s up, waving madly. Mind you, that could be my way of signalling for help too …

I’m not sure I have it all, but I’m certainly doing it all. I’m raising kids and teens, helping them grow into compassionate, independent and well-rounded individuals. I’ve spent the last four years caring for my parents, helping them navigate the last years of their lives. All the while, running two businesses, advocating for my kids’ various needs, keeping the house in order and, somehow, staying sane.

As I said, I’m not sure I have it all but it sure seems like I’m doing it all!

In today’s world, it’s not easy finding time to discover your zen. It’s hard enough to find time to take a breath, let alone allow yourself the opportunity to practice self-care. Then, there’s the mind battles when you finally give yourself permission to stop, as you struggle to relax, keep the guilt at bay and still your thoughts for any length of time.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Over the years, I’ve connected with fellow parents who all struggle with the same issue – a lack of time. When you feel time poor, overwhelmed and under pressure, you tend to push self-care to the side and consign it to the too hard basket.

However, just because we all feel time poor, doesn’t mean we actually are.

Looking at time differently

When you take the time to look at your day, you may be surprised at the amount of time actually available to you. We tend to write off valuable time each day, usually because it comes in small amounts that never seems to be enough for our needs.

Taking the time to diarise what you do each day over the course of a week will reveal those hidden pockets of time and help you find ways to make the most of them. You can approach this in two ways.

First, you can look at how you can more efficiently schedule your day to make these pockets of time bigger by combining them. Or, you can change your thinking on the time available and come up with ways to make the most of each individual pocket of time.

Either way, looking at time differently will help you make more time for you and allow you to discover your zen and find more enjoyment in your day.

Making plans for your time

Once you’ve identified the extra time hidden in your day, it’s a great idea to make a plan for how you’ll spend it. I know from experience that the temptation to be “productive” can be strong – there’s been many times I’ve found myself tidying up or putting the washing on when I could have been doing something for me.

There are many ways we can find zen and practice self-care regularly during each day. Even better, these activities don’t have to take a lot of time, cost money or require extra effort. Here are some examples of the way I find zen every day, in between the insanity of my life:

  • Savouring a hot cup of tea
  • Being mindful in the shower
  • Taking time out to do sudoku
  • Reading a chapter of a book
  • Watching TV
  • Listening to music
  • Spending time in my hammock
  • Sitting on the back deck
  • Going for a walk
  • Participating in Parkrun
  • Playing with my pugs
  • Taking a nap

None of these activities cost much money, take a lot of time, or require a whole lot of extra effort. However, they make a huge difference in my life and allow me to practice self-care and find zen each and every day.

It’s easy to get lost in our responsibilities and miss the opportunities right in front of us. You are not alone if you need a reminder to take stock, reassess your time and make a plan for how you’ll spend some of the precious time you have, on you.

Remember, it’s never too late to make the most of your time so you can discover your zen.


Photograph of a woman called Kirsty Russell


Kirsty Russell is a writer, speaker, consultant and special needs parent. A mum of three, her two eldest children share a variety of diagnoses, including autism and anxiety. Since 2011, Kirsty has shared her experiences at Positive Special Needs Parenting, where her mission is to help fellow parents support their children, find the positives in their lives and advocate effectively for their needs.

Here’s where you can connect with Kirsty:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram



#ztt, #zentiptuesday, #zen, #balance, #mind, #body, #spirit, #tuesday


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  • Reply Denyse Whelan May 28, 2019 at 8:48 am

    How fab to see Kirsty’s story here today! I have known Kirsty in person since Melbourne Digital Parents’ Conference in 2012 and before that as a new to blogging person.

    I love that her list contains ideas where there is nothing to be spent..other than some time …Good one.

    Kirsty and I are, very coincidentally, meeting up today in Newcastle for morning tea and a BIG catch up of chatting too.

    Happy Tuesday Min.
    Denyse x

    • Reply Min May 28, 2019 at 11:20 am

      How coincidental that you’re meeting up with Kirsty today. Wish I could be there with you both. Have a fabulous time! 🙂 xo

      • Reply Denyse Whelan May 28, 2019 at 7:21 pm

        Thank you, you would be most welcome..only a few (!) hours’ drive south. Was great to catch up with Kirsty today!
        Denyse x

  • Reply Leanne | May 28, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Good grief Kirsty! I was exhausted just thinking about what your life looks like! I love that you still manage to fit a few quiet moments in here and there to care for yourself and give your mind a body a break. I feel quite decadent sitting here in my yoga pants doing nothing except reading your post! I’ll count this as my Zen time to make myself feel better 🙂 Lovely to meet you x

    • Reply Min May 28, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      Well hello there decadent you in your yoga pants LOL! I think you most certainly can tag the time spent reading this post as zen time. Hope you have a great week! xo

      • Reply Leanne | May 29, 2019 at 8:43 pm

        Hi Min – back again with #MLSTL and thought I’d let you know I’ve shared on my SM x (and I’m in yoga pants again – one step up from pj’s really!)

  • Reply Kirsty Russell May 28, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Min, thanks so much for hosting me today! It was lovely to get some of these thoughts out of my head. Sadly, blogging has had to take a backseat to everything else – it was great to have the chance to share again x

    • Reply Min May 28, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      It was my pleasure Kirsty. Thank you for taking the time to participate. I’m glad you enjoyed getting the thoughts out of your head and sharing them with us all! Hope you have a wonderful week. xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 29, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    A lovely post and I agree with the others, what a life you have! Thanks Kirsty for your ideas and tips and thanks Min for introducing Min to us. #mlstl

    • Reply Min May 30, 2019 at 1:03 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks Deb!

  • Reply Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond May 30, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Do you have any spare time Kirsty? I’m exhausted just reading about your day. We were carers for my in-laws for 11years so i know what that entails. Thanks for sharing your tips on not only keeping Zen but also sane 🙂 Thanks Min for linking up at #MLSTL. xx

  • Reply Pradeep May 30, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    It’s so important to take a break. One needs to be also conscious and enjoy that energising interlude. Valuable tips.

    • Reply Min June 3, 2019 at 9:00 am

      So true Pradeep!

  • Reply Erica/Erika June 2, 2019 at 1:20 am

    Nice to meet you Min and Kirsty, I quickly have learned that I have to limit the number of balls I juggle and prioritize. The concept of balance, self care and the precious gift of time. A great, relatable read:) Erica #MLSTL

    • Reply Min June 3, 2019 at 9:03 am

      So glad you could relate to the post Erica! Lovely to *virtually* meet you too! 🙂

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