Six calming ‘me-time’ ideas for stressed mums
MOST mums declare they just don't have the time in this season of life to do the things they would enjoy, the things that fill them up and restore them. Relaxation is a remote idea. But just like any job, you need to have breaks, recharge your batteries and make sure you can continue to do your job without burning out.
1. Let it go
As a simple first step to building a self-care routine, look at your existing week's routine and try to let go of one thing each day. Find something that is either for others or is something unfulfilling (like your daily time wasters - whatever they are for you) and replace it with something you enjoy and will fill your "tank" even a little bit.
2. Take time to be creative
Iron less or not at all and create something instead - a scrapbook page, a journal entry, or spend 15 minutes with your camera if you want to be creative.
3. Curb your time on social media
Cut out 15-30 minutes of your aimless online time and focus on enjoying something with your full, undivided attention - drink an entire cup of something hot and savour it, sit outside and take in nature and let your heart rate slow down, go for a walk, eat your lunch slowly, or make a phone call and connect with someone.
4. Rekindle your love for reading
If you love to read, but never have time alone when you actually have energy to read, then wake up 15 minutes earlier and read in bed when you can, or maybe create a quiet reading time with your family in the afternoon or evening where everyone reads or looks at picture books for 15 minutes (or more) while you enjoy a chapter of your own book. Kids can learn to be with you without needing your 100% attention for 15-plus minutes.
5. Early lights out
Shut down all technology 30 minutes early and do something you have been missing lately - a warm bath, some exercise, draw, write a blog post, listen to music, have a chat with your other half over a glass of wine, get extra sleep.
6. Develop a 15-minute 'me-time' habit
If you currently spend no (or little) time on yourself start with 15 minutes a day and build from there. Ask yourself what you need most and honour that. If you need or want something that requires more time then make it a priority and find a way. Consider swapping babysitting time with another mum, clear dates in advance with your family and mark your time in bold red letters on the calendar. Me time can be alone or with others, the key is to spend time focused on yourself however you need it.
Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: www.stayathomemum.com.au