I can’t wait for them to be home everyday and get a break from our regular busy schedules, but the last couple weeks I’ve been feeling like I needed a little “me” time and because of how things turned out, I actually got a whole week’s worth!
My college age daughter was in class and working and then went to the beach for a few days, my husband was traveling out of town for most of the week, and my other two children were on an all-week mission trip.
When I first realized I would be all alone at home for several days, I felt a little sad. But then it hit me….. a whole week of “me” time! Whoo hoo! I worked at my own pace without any interruptions, played some tennis, cleaned the house (and it stayed clean), spent a day at the spa with my mom and had lunch with girlfriends. It was awesome!
I missed my family terribly while they were away, but having all this “me” time did my heart good. I usually put everyone else at the top of my priority list instead of myself. So I realized that I had spent so much time this summer taking care of the kids, husband, house, chores, taxi-ing to sports practices, and playing referee to arguments, that I hadn’t really had any time to just relax. Unfortunately for most of us, that is our normal reality. It’s a rare opportunity to have an hour of “me” time, much less a week, making it all the more important that we deliberately plan to make time for ourselves.
Even though it might seem selfish, the truth is that taking time out of our busy schedules to focus on our own needs and desires every now and then will help us a live much happier and healthier life. And remember that old saying which says “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? It’s so true! So taking time for ourselves really benefits everyone, not just us.
If it’s been a while since you have put “you” on your priority list, start thinking about some ways that you can do so very soon. Your family and your job matters, of course, but “you” and your needs matter too.
Below are a few ideas to get your brain thinking about how you might schedule some “me” time into your busy summer:
* Call a few friends and start a “me” time group. Set up a schedule to watch each other’s children for a couple hours a week so you can each enjoy some time alone to do what you need to do, or just take it easy.
* Get lost in a good book. Instead of doing laundry and dishes after the kids go to bed, snuggle up in your favorite spot, put on some soothing music, and read to your heart’s content. The laundry and dishes will be there tomorrow, plus some.
* Get up before the sun rises and go for a walk or a run, or have some quiet time with God. Although sleeping in seems like what we are supposed to do during the summer (if kids don’t wake us up), there are great benefits to having some “me” time to start off our day. Try it for a few days and see if it makes a difference in your attitude and psyche.
* Sign up to take a class you’ve always wanted to take like cooking, cake making, pottery or art and arrange appropriate child care if needed.
* Put aside guilt. For moms who work full time, guilt over feeling like you need to hurry home after work may prevent you from ever going out to dinner with co-workers or stopping by the mall or nail salon on the way home. Every now and then, put aside that guilt and enjoy a few hours to yourself. The kids will be there when you get home.
* Rent some movies to watch with a friend or spouse that are not G-rated. There are some hilarious movies out this summer that are not really kid-appropriate, but that would bring on a good laughter that’s good for the soul.
* Pop plenty of popcorn, then rent a new Netflix or DVD movie for the kids. Once they are all settled in to watch it, go run a hot bubble bath, including candles, soft music, the works. Tell the kids not to bother you unless someone is bleeding or the house is on fire. 🙂
* Use scented oils and soaps in the shower, and take a long drawn out shower. Consider using lavender to help you relax, or peppermint to make you feel happy, or cinnamon and cloves for a feeling of harmony. A drop or two of these oils in your shower or bath can help you relax. Do some research about which fragrances would best cater to your own personal needs and senses.
* Consider taking a day off of work to do something you want to do, like lay at the pool and read a book, run some errands, or do lunch and shopping with friends. Every day off of work doesn’t have to be spent at home, so commit to pushing aside any guilty feelings that try to creep into your mind.
These are just a few ideas, but I encourage you to give some serious thought to scheduling “me” time into your daily or weekly routines. You may want to start a new habit of taking a few minutes at the beginning of each week to determine what day and time you can have some time to yourself, and for yourself. Then remember to treat your “me” time as you would any other appointment. Make it a non-negotiable, and explain this to your kids (or anyone else who vies for your time).
It may take some time for you and your family to get used to you taking time for you, but it will be well worth the effort.
Today’s giveaway is a $15 gift card to Bath and Body Works so you can pamper yourself!
To enter to win, leave a comment answering one of questions below.
How do you make time for yourself each week? What tips can you offer others for how to schedule “me” time when life is busy?