I’ve spent the last couple of years making a conscious effort to reclaim some of my attention for myself and after some big investments – including yoga, an 8 week mindfulness training, weeks of fitness and empowerment sessions, and books and podcast consumption galore – I have landed on some simple activities and indulgences that bring me peace and joy daily.
The larger efforts and inner work I have done have been life changing. With two very little boys I was finding myself at my "whits end" a lot, and small things were feeling like big things in my body. I was often on edge and quckly pushed over and always tired. Honestly, starting my handprints business really woke me up to the amazing feeling of doing something I love and the effects it had on my mood and in turn, my relationships. The mindfullness work helped me identify my needs and acknowledge when I am feeling overwhelmed and might need to recharge. I now have a routine for some daily (if needed) self-care, I call this my “Me Time”. It typically happens each day around dinner time. The stress of a full day of work and caring for my family seems to hit a peak when the kitchen is a mess, my kids are getting a little wild and the daunting task of bedtime still looms. They are 6 & 8 now so they don’t require constant supervision, and in the evenings my husband is craving a little extra time with them so this routine has fallen into place for us, allowing me to step away.
After dinner, about 6:30, I will steal away to my bedroom for 15-30 mins of “Me Time”. These are some of my typical and favorite “escapes:”
Read a book -- this is when I usually read my physical paper books as opposed to audiobooks or ebooks.
Mini spa treatment – a facial sheet mask, a long shower, or a manicure (love the Dashing Diva nail stickers).
Pour my favorite drink -- When I really feel like indulging I’ll have a glass of wine, but most of the time I am enjoying a very iced sugar free ginger beer.
Yoga or stretching -- When I am feeling the stress in my body, or am otherwise physically uncomfortable I’ll look up specific yoga poses to release the discomfort. Stretching has been proven to actually strengthen muscles so it’s a very relaxing, low impact way to build a little muscle!
Those are my favorites but a couple more ideas for some Me Time on the regular are:
Go for a walk or sit outside
Call or chat with a friend, I use Marco Polo to send messages to a far away BFF multiple times a week.
Snuggle with a pet or loved one
Making “Me Time” part of my day has been a very simple game changer. I get the peace I need, I get the satisfaction of knowing I care for myself daily. My family doesn’t question it, they know where to find me. I am not annoyed if they interrupt me, but they have come to respect it. My boys even made a sign for me to put on my door during “Mom’s Quiet Time.” Often my husband is playing with them outside or they are otherwise hanging out together, so it’s a time of day the whole family enjoys.