Scheduling in some "me" time
So how does a multitasking, strung-out mama get a little mental downtime? By making and taking time for it. Solitary time for reflection and renewal is a necessity that you need to create, even if you have to schedule it in your day-planner. Quiet time lowers blood pressure, reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and improves your mental state of well-being. Best of all, a little Me Time is a much healthier pat on the back than a muffin!
Making “Me Time”
It’s not necessarily easy. But it’s worth it. Here are some tips for getting there.
Change your thinking. You’re not being selfish for taking care for yourself; you’re being proactive about your physical and emotional health.
Don’t pencil it in. You write down pediatrician appointments, birthday parties, and play dates. Now it’s time to schedule some “Me Time.”
Join a car pool. Collaborate with other parents to transport children to daycare, school, or scheduled activities, so you have a morning off at least once a week to do something good for yourself.
Ask for help. Enlist your spouse or a friend to handle childcare for at least 30 minutes each week at a predetermined day and time.
Schedule a babysitter. Trade time with a neighbor or pay a babysitter to watch the kids while you work out.
Reduce your other commitments. When you no longer have time free time, it’s a red flag that you’ve given too much of yourself away to others. Take back that time. We know … easier said than done, but keep trying.
Use nap time. As soon as the children go down for a nap or go off to school, instead of jumping into a list of chores or heading to the kitchen for a snack, take 10 minutes for yourself.
Ideas for “Me Time”
Sometimes when you arrive at those set-aside moments, or stumble upon some unexpected down time, your mind goes blank about what to do. That can be good! Sit down. Be still. Be thankful for your life, your health, and your family.
You can also plan ahead for your time alone and look forward to the rejuvenating activity of your choice. You could…
- Read a book.
- Take a bath.
- Write in a journal.
- Take a nap.
- Turn off the TV.
- Turn off the radio.
- Notice nature’s beauty while you’re driving.
- Pet the dog or cat.
- Listen to music.
- Rent a chick flick and watch it alone.
- Fire the cook! At least once a month order a healthy take-out meal.
- Purchase aromatherapy items (candles, oils) and, instead of using them to merely decorate, actually light them!
- Browse a book store.
- Read a magazine in a coffee shop.
- Focus on what you can control.
- Express gratitude.
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