One of the biggest issues I have (as many other parents do) is scheduling and/or making time for myself on a regular basis. This time to relax that is just mine helps me feel human; myself again. This keeps me sane, my stress level down, my panic attacks at a minimum, and a more effective, present parent.
This list ranges from 5 minutes to 5 hours of time, and from free to ‘possibly’ expensive, depending on you. I am pretty frugal but when I do buy something I like to make sure it’s quality and worth every penny. Like coffee. That is just added as a tip to help you feel like your money isn’t squandered, as I do. Which frankly if you get out and are fully into you, that shouldn’t make you feel you squandered anything. Money guilt over explained.
Self Care Time Elements
You’ll notice that my personal list could be broken down into categories based on a few things-
- By my self or with an adult friend (not children, others’ children, or my partner- sorry partner that’s a date night and not my time)
- Incorporates a relaxing activity and/or taste that I personally enjoy
- Outside or in, as long as it’s quiet or ‘zen’ and more than likely some element of nature
How to carve out that time
Per my therapeutic instructions I do something every day, even if it’s simple and 5 minutes. I do have a habit of making sure I have at least one activity I have to myself for a whole afternoon or morning a week. Small stuff every day helps, but that one chunk I know I have is beneficial. Adding this habit to my routine has helped me ground myself so much more. There are a few ways I carve out time-
- Schedule it in my calendar. If I can schedule it it’ll more likely to get done for one, and that time honored by others in the house. oh and myself since I have a habit of saying ‘yah…I really want to do that…but I’m not…just because other crap needs done….blah blah blah’.
- Wait for a break in the day and risk being interrupted. Not as effective as #1 but when I don’t get a chance to schedule it due to whatever reason I’ll risk a nap time (Murphy’s Law- kids will wake up once you get into the bathtub) or wait til 10 PM when I know they’ll stay asleep. Which by then my time usually ends up zombie-ing out on Netflix since energy left a loong time ago. Or a 5 minute cup of tea. Either way it’s still mine, and if I can swing it interrupted, it helps.
- Run for it when opportunity presents itself. When circumstances/day events/kids get sick/high maintenance/insert sometimes catastrophic kid related event here change the day and I have my partner at home, I’ll take off when I get a chance. J understands my time is important and takes my running away as normal day to day stuff. I’m sure he’s thankful I come back though. I prefer spontaneity frankly.
my personal quick list of ways I like to give myself time to feel human:
- Cup of tea in a quiet space. Hot preferred.
- Read a book.
- Watch a film (not a mindless series.)
- Write a story.
- Take a bath (oils and salts mandatory).
- Paint my toenails.
- Take a walk along the river, nature preserve, or at the park.
- Write a letter.
- Take lunch alone.
- Go to the library and hide in a corner.
- Organize something (calming chaos helps me feel better go figure)
- Try a new recipe (I usually only do this when J takes the kids elsewhere, so I can have uninterrupted time with my creation).
- Eat some chocolate. Dark. Salty.
- Buy myself something frivolous (usually rare, usually a book, notebook, pen, or pair of socks or something).
- Soak my feet.
- Try some yoga. Then go to the chiropractor. (I’m teasing. Kind of. I hurt myself.)
- Sing to some awesome random rock music.
- Coffee at my shop.
- Visit with a friend.
- Try a library event- a movie night or book discussion.
- Watch a hilarious video (Jimmy Fallon’s YouTube channel makes my day sometimes).
- Have a glass of wine (responsibly; usually after the kids go to bed and accompanies a book or film).
- Try a homemade or brand face mask.
- Visit a museum.
- Talk with a support person.
- Try a new oil blend in the diffusor (In this heat, sweet orange and lavender is refreshing).
- Meander through my Pinterest boards (I have some boards like ‘Haaaa.‘ and ‘Animalia‘ that are either just hilarious or just too adorable to not smirch).
- Get out of town. Preferably colder than here. Again, rare, but worth it when I can.
- Take a nap (now, if I am so exhausted I take consistent naps I know something is up and I need more effective self time).
- Buy or pick myself flowers. In an area where it is safe and appropriate.
- Brain dump.
- Roller derby. OK, I currently don’t do this but I’m seriously considering joining a league. Why not. Little round lady on a pair of skates. I could do it. hehe So consider taking up a consistent something fun.
- Have a nourishing snack (mashed avocado and wheat free crackers or chips are a fave).
What are some things you do that is just ‘yours’? How do you ensure you take your own time each day?