Every woman’s must have…Self-Care. It seems to be a buzz word lately. The reason is that we are not meant to function in survival mode all the time. Many moms realize they have every minute scheduled for their family, and work, and school activities and there is zero minutes left at the end of the day for them. This is not a long term survival plan for health and happiness. To all the overscheduled moms, do not feel guilty taking a little time for you. The dishes, the PTO, the work, the kids, the husband; they can wait or better yet, give them some the jobs you would normally do like washing the dishes, planning the next school party, or doing a few loads of laundry. Now that you have this new found time, here are some ideas on how to spend it.
Exercise. We all know from watching Legally Blonde that exercise creates endorphins and endorphins make you happy (and happy people don’t shoot their husbands). Take a walk, join a workout class, go for a swim, do something to get the blood pumping and endorphins flowing.
Read a book. Find a good book and dive in. An even better option is find a book club. If you cannot find one, start one! You can spend time with other women, read a book, and usually have some kind of fun food or drink to enjoy the meet up.
Swing by Sonic Happy Hour and grab a Diet Coke if that is your thing. This keeps many of my friends moving and a little daily treat before school pickup and nightly chaos ensues. A few minutes alone with a cold, bubbly Diet Coke can be just the reset trick needed to maintain sanity. (On a side note, I am currently off Diet Coke however it sounds fabulous right now!)
Go for a manicure or pedicure or get wild and do both! Relax and let a professional pamper your hands and feet. If painted toes are not your thing, find a foot reflexology place. It is amazing!
Hike. Many cities have trails in public parks. Explore the outside and get a nice dose of fresh air and vitamin D. Don’t forget your water bottle. Stop on your way and pick up a fun to go lunch from a café. Enjoy it on a park bench before your hike. If the weather is warm enough plan for an extra 10 minutes of barefoot in the grass time.
Combo night! Wine, chocolate, Netflix binge. After the kids are in bed and the house is quiet pour a glass of wine, grab a few squares of chocolate, and find a series on Netflix to binge watch. Grab a few episodes here and there when you have time. I suggest Gilmore Girls, 30 Rock, The Office, Scandal, ok the list could go on and on. The point is, spend the $8 a month to increase your me time with mindless television! It is ok to not get something accomplished for the one hour a week you sit down and do nothing!
Friends. There is nothing better than good friends. Find yourself a group to hang out with so that you can all schedule down time together. It will help everyone’s mental health, marriages, and family appreciation if you are able to relax with your friends for a few hours once a month. Go to a fun restaurant, a wine bar, a girlfriend’s house when her family is away, anywhere that is adults only and fun.
There are so many options for making time for yourself to relax and reset your mind. It will make you a better parent, a better partner, and a better person. Enjoy life and do something for you!