We hear it all the time. Over and over again. Women need to make time for themselves.
It’s important. It’s vital. You nod along and agree.
Then you look at your life and think, “Later”.
I know because that was me. Once upon a time…
“When was the last time you took time for you?”
Confession: I hate that question.
It brings with it a flash from the past…
I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was sitting in the waiting room. I had been sitting there for what felt like an eternity. Waiting.
I could hardly swallow. My ears hurt. My body ached. I was dressed in a work uniform because I just finished a full 8-hour shift.
I glanced at my schedule for the upcoming week. Black Friday. Every cashier’s nightmare even in Canada. I laid my head back and closed my eyes.
“Jen, you can come back now.”
He poked, prodded… “say ah”
Then started the usual questions. When was the last time you slept? Are you eating? and then the dreaded question. “When was the last time you took time for you?”
That last question earned him a proper glare. As I sarcastically answered in my head, “Well doc let me see…” Thankfully my throat hurt to much to voice the words aloud. Which is for the best, he was just doing his job.
When he asked, “Why did you wait so long?”
Apparently “work schedules” and “no answer at the doctor’s office” weren’t quite the response he was looking for. It’s blackout which means you can’t ask for time off, not even if you are sick. It’s a “no no” and I wasn’t working for fun.
Jobs rare and for 30 somethings who had been in and out of the workforce it wasn’t easy.
After he filled out the prescription pad and looked at me with a final demand to go home and rest. I laughed in my head. Sure, I’ll get right on that, after the holidays, after the storms, after school, after work, after housekeeping, after…
I don’t have time for that.
That is my number one reason, ahem, excuse. I don’t have time to look after myself. I don’t have time to rest. I don’t have time for me.
I am a mom. Like most moms that means everyone comes before me, right? Right?
However I will give him points for being “on to something”. I knew in my heart that looking after me was important. I should be making it a priority. After all there was only one of me and who else was going to walk around picking up after everyone…I kid. Kinda.
I challenged myself.
I can fit 30 minutes in at least once a week to do something for me. Anyone can fit that in, can’t they?
How to find time for YOU in your life:
- Choose a small chunk of time. Start small something you can manage. Even 5-10 minutes makes a huge difference!
- Mark it in your calendar or planner or your phone. If you can, set a notification and make it important.
- Choose something you will enjoy doing.
A Moment for Me: 20 “For You” Things that take 30 Minutes or Less:
Now that you have no excuse, here is a great list to get you started!
1. Learn a hobby you are interested in.
I used to crochet. I was horrible at it but it was fun. You can make a whole scarf in 30 minutes. Like this one: 30 Minute Cowl
2. Create Something.
With number 1 in mind do something, create something, gift something for someone else. Giving makes them happy and will make you feel good. Win-win.
3. Read a book/watch a show.
If you like to read, set aside a few minutes to sink into a favorite book or a brand new adventure. Travel the world from your couch or soothe your fears with an informative funny book. I laughed my way through this homeschooling book.
4. Get outside.
Breathe some fresh air, go for a walk, connect with nature. It lessens the stress and quiets the mind. Try to go alone.
5. Take a hot shower or bath.
Light some candles. Turn on the music. Shut and lock the door. Throw in some Epsom salts, oils and you are set to go.
Proven to release pent up frustration. Choose something fun. Dance, kickboxing, or stretch. Whatever makes you feel good. Keep it simple, something you can do at home.
7. Do your nails.
Okay probably my least favorite thing but once in a blue moon I do this. It forces me to sit still and be still. After all, the polish has to dry right? I choose happy colors, buff, file and take my time. Since work beats my nails to snot, I have to put on the top coat too.
8. Write in your journal.
Pick a good book and writing instrument of choice. Need some tips? Read this post to get you started.
Yes, coloring has made a comeback for adults as well and you can get pretty much anything type of coloring book you want. Even ones for gardens!
I love to plan. It relaxes me, makes me feel less stressed and organized. I have several planners. For school I use a coloring one, for blogging I use the Epic Blog Planner and for life I use these sheets.
11. Call a friend.
Yes, call. Don’t text, Facebook message or email. Actually use the phone. Connect with a real person.
Find a favorite recipe and plan a date with yourself. Teaching your kids to cook is awesome but sometimes I like to be alone in the kitchen. Right now I am playing with my Instant Pot and falling in love with cooking again.
13. Listen to a podcast.
This is a little new to me. There is pretty much something out there for everyone. Hunt around, ask your friends. Here is a massive list for homeschoolers.
14. Spend time with your Mom.
Because you’re never too old to need your Mom. If you don’t have one, borrow someone else’s. Chances are someone somewhere is trying to get rid of their mom for a minute or two. 😉
15. Take a Coffee Break.
Go for a coffee break, alone or with friends. Get out of the house. Indulge in a treat you don’t have to hide or share.
16. Go for a drive.
Turn on your favorite tunes and belt it out. (If that’s your thing!)
Take a nap. Shut or lock the door if you need to.
18. Play with your pet.
They don’t judge. You can talk to them about your problems they won’t tell.
Volunteer for a cause you really care about and believe in.
Turn off the computer and TV. Leave your cell phone charging. The world won’t crash and burn in 30 minutes.
No Excuses! Make Time for You When You “Don’t Have Time”
These little things can make a huge difference from helping you to avoid burnout to lessening the stress in a crazy hectic world.
By doing these few things I’ve managed to spend less time waiting in the doctor’s office and more time doing what I love.
And now if you’ll excuse me it is time to take my own advice. 😉
Here’s to taking care of you!
PS. Taking care of you doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as taking a 5 minute break. For more tips on how to avoid homeschool mom burnout helping you to avoid burnout