Our mornings start with cuddles and chaos. Getting kids ready for school, lunches packed, breakfast made and animals fed. It’s school drop offs and pick up, homework, sports, laundry and dishes. It’s a revolving door of responsibilities and in taking care of everyone else it is easy to forget about ourselves. When there are days that feel like a marathon, it seems impossible to schedule some much needed “me” time. While I wish we had the luxury of spa days or even just solo trips to the bathroom, as a Mom it is hard to find time for ourselves. Research has shown that Mom’s spend an average of 10 extra hours each week multitasking, usually juggling housework and childcare.
Psychologist say that alone time helps reboot our brain, makes us more productive, allows deep thinking and enhances our relationships. Trust me, I laugh with you about the idea of making time for myself. Where? I’m writing this post in-between drop offs and before a day filled with work, cleaning, parenting and a never ending to do list. There never seem to be enough hours in the day. Or there are too many and each is already full.
Here is a truth bomb. We make time for what is important.
You squeeze in your kids piano lesson before baseball, find the time to help a friend in need, or stay up late to clean before company comes over. There is always time. A good friend shared with me that she gets up everyday an hour before her kids. 5 am is her me time. 5 AM! She gets up to a still and quiet house and makes her coffee in peace. Journals, meditates, does her devotional. She starts her day by filling her love tank. When the tiny feet of her children come running down the hall she pours love into them because she first poured love into herself.
Maybe 5am seems impossible to you. Free time feels like an unreachable luxury. A British study found that quality “me” time is more important than quantity. Here are six tricks to finding time for yourself.
- Eat your lunch outside. You may not have time for a stroll on the beach or a quiet sunrise hike, but you can sit in a park or even in your yard and soak up nature while you eat.
- Unplug your electronics. Put your phone down. The average American spends 2 hours and 3 minutes on social media a day. We say we have no time but where is your time going? Don’t like a strangers post. Find a book you like. Spend time on your own adventures.
- Go on a date…with yourself. Set a monthly date. Maybe it’s coffee alone at a cute cafe. The manicure you want but talk yourself out of. A movie that isn’t animated. Set aside an hour or two each month to do something that makes your heart smile. Whatever that may be.
- Ditch the guilt. Your computer can’t work when the battery is dead. It needs to recharge and so do you. Taking care of yourself prevents burnout. Making time for you will make you a better partner, parent and friend.
- Get social. “Me” time doesn’t have to be alone. Humans connection is essential to happiness. Join a book club, or call up an old friend to catch up over coffee…or a glass of wine 😉 Do something you love with someone who fills your love tank.
- Sleep. Research shows that the quality of our sleep affects our thoughts and mood both positively and negatively. I like to pray before bed and end my day with gratitude. Thinking thankful thoughts before bed can set the intention for a more restful nights sleep.
Put yourself at the top of your to-do list everyday and the rest will fall into place.
Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.Katie Reed