In case you missed it, you can read this post to see what this series is all about.
One of the hardest things for me is to try to find time for myself. This was even difficult back before I became a parent and had even more available hours in the day. While I think it is definitely important to help others I think it is also incredibly important to take time out for ourselves. I often find that when I do take a time-out and even find 15 minutes during the day to do something I enjoy that it gives me a renewed sense of energy to keep up with the kids or to conquer something on my to-do list. I whole-heartedly believe that I am often an even better mother when I give myself a little time to unwind.
Here are a few of the ways I’ve come up with to try to help me make sure I make time to recharge:
1) Swap “free time” with my spouse. Make sure that each month each of us gets a day or even a few hours to do something that we love. The other person also gets a reward as they’ll get some quality one-on-one time with the kids.
2) Set aside at least 15 minutes a day just for myself. This time can be used however I please – perhaps flipping through a new magazine, reading my favorite blog, squeezing in a quick game on my phone, etc.
3) Get in the habit of arriving early at school when I need to pick up the kids and sneak in a chapter or two of a book. I kept a book in the car last school semester and looked forward to that time daily to see what happened next in the book. Even though it was difficult, I didn’t allow myself to bring the book inside at all until I was done.
4) Walk! Walking is such a great way to get in a little exercise and clear the mind of worries and stresses. Make it fun by bringing a camera and snapping some great nature pictures.
5) Keep pen & paper handy near my computer and in my car so I can have them handy when I feel inspired to write. Make it a goal to write weekly.
6) Pick up my favorite snack and allow myself even 5-10 minutes a week to sit and enjoy it alone—without sharing for once! (My favorite? Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate Bars!)
7) Plan something special each quarter – a movie outing with my Mom, a nice dinner with friends, a little getaway such as a blog conference or visiting a friend out-of-state, etc.
8) Work on getting more organized – This will help reduce the amount of stress I have and hopefully open up more free time for myself!
9) Set-up a random at-home pampering day each month. Something as simple as a quiet bubble bath, starting a new book, getting time to work on my favorite hobbies, finding ways online for at-home pedicures/facials, etc.
Basically, it all comes down to one thing – Make time!
I’m hoping that these ideas I’ve come up with might help you find ways to recharge, as well.
This is the last in the Brainstorming Solutions to Stresses series. I’m hoping that you’ve enjoyed it! You can check out the Recap to see what you may have missed. Here’s hoping that you can work on reducing the amount of stress in your life so that you can just enjoy life. Time is short—make the most of it!