Self-care is becoming a buzzword in our society. As we are able to work from home (or anywhere), connect with hundreds of people at the touch of a button, and multitask like true professionals … but we’re only getting busier. The call to slow down and take care of yourself is simultaneously getting louder and more difficult to heed.
As a SAHM mother of three children under five, who also works part-time, finding time for myself is often not at the top of my to-do list. But I’ve also realized that I’m a better wife and mother if I have a little time to myself. It looks different each day, and I spend it differently each time.
Here are a few things I do to ensure a little time for me:
1. Plan it with my hubby.
He’s my biggest support and cheerleader, and he’s always willing to help me find time to get my nails done or even just take a nap. He encourages me to write, to practice my music, and to go out without the kids and have coffee. I plan with him to find times when he can keep the kids and I can sneak out for an hour or two to refresh, relax, and do whatever it is I need in order to regroup.
2. Let some things go.
Sometimes, when my kids are napping or go to bed early, I get the urge to clean all the things, fold all the laundry, and prep all the meals. Other times, I let it all slide (even though those chores are still waiting on me) to take a long shower, read a book with un-re-heated coffee, or watch a movie with a glass of wine. Believe me—the dishes aren’t going anywhere.
The call to slow down and take care of yourself is simultaneously getting louder and more difficult to heed.
3. Hang out with a girlfriend (or a few).
My girlfriends are a mix of fellow moms and also gal pals who don’t have kids. Sometimes it takes a lot of planning (and babysitters) to get together with them, but other times, I can just have a friend over for morning coffee after preschool drop off, or a post-bedtime chat over wine. Being with a girlfriend can refill the relational and feminine parts of me. And never underestimate the reinvigorating qualities of a girls’ night!
4. Take a power nap.
Napping isn’t for everyone, and it wasn’t for me until I had kids. But now that I often choose many things over sleep (including things I love doing, not just chores), a power nap can work wonders. A 20-minute snooze during their nap time can be just as good as napping the whole time they’re asleep! If I know I have things to do after their bedtime, the power nap can keep me going a little longer.
5. Get dressed.
I always feel more productive and happier with myself when I make the effort to get out of my pajamas (even if I’m not leaving the house), wash my face, and brush on a coat of mascara. It sounds silly, but it gives me a boost, and makes me feel more like myself, even if I don’t need to do it.
How do you make time for yourself?
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