It’s never easy. Let’s face it; life as a mom, wife and parent leaves many of us emotionally and/or physically exhausted at the end of every day – especially after the holiday season. With family visiting, travel and the kids being home, not to mention whatever plague they managed to bring home from school and/or daycare plus ensuring that special holiday magic feeling for everyone, it’s hard to take time for yourself.
While I usually don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, I do try to give myself some extra self care after all the holiday celebrations.
But, like most moms out there, I’ve fallen into the trap so many times of actually feeling GUILTY for wanting a pedicure or a massage… or even just a walk… by myself without any noise through the neighborhood, the nature trail near my home, or my personal holy grail – a solo Target trip.
However, this post isn’t about the failure of not finding/making time. It’s also not about guilt or making resolutions that get pushed to the wayside after a week or two. It’s about making a list of things you can do – simple things to bring yourself joy when a spa pedicure, gym workout or… ahem… a solo Target run are just not possible.
If you have just 10–20 minutes, you really can give yourself just a little bit of love and care. Here are a few of my favorite ways to recharge in 20 minutes or less.
Sports Practice Walks
Like many of you, I spend A LOT of time at “the fields.” Soccer, baseball, swimming and ninja classes make my Google calendar look like a pretty rainbow of colors on a weekly basis. But I know once I’m there, I can slip out for a quick 10-20 minute walk and get back before anyone even knows I’m missing. I feel better knowing I took a little time for myself and my kids see me taking a little time to recharge while they’re otherwise occupied and engaged. It’s a win-win for me!
There are so many great ones out there. From meditation to yoga, to stretching and even standing core workouts, you can find it all online to fit any time increment you have. It’s amazing how good it can feel just to stretch your body in a new way. I’ve been known to escape to my walk-in closet, bring one up on my phone and just take a few minutes to breathe.
Get some sunshine! Sit near a window during your lunch, or even head outside if you can and enjoy the fresh air. My school has a small courtyard with a picnic table or two, and I usually head there in the fall and spring to eat my lunch. During the winter, I try to sit near the window in my room and enjoy the view of the grassy courtyard; especially if there’s snow falling. It keeps me from trying to work through my lunch completely – although I usually have some papers to grade!
A favorite of mine for a quick pick-me-up. I like to toss a handful in the bottom of my shower in the morning and let the scent wake me up and clear my head. Bonus if you have time to soak them in a tub. I love eucalyptus in the morning or lavender before bed to help relax and soothe my mind. Plus, a handful of Epsom salts are so much less expensive than a giant bath bomb!
Even if it’s just putting a coat of clear polish on and filing for a minute or so, there’s just something about that simple act that makes me feel a bit better and relaxed. The best thing about clear is that mistakes aren’t noticeable either!
I LOVE looking back at pictures on my phone. It takes me back to that family vacation, sports game, or when my kiddos were babies – I get an instant boost. It’s so much better than scrolling through the news or social media for me, as I tend to get upset easily by news stories and events. Give me just 5 minutes and I can disconnect from the world and go back in time to see the places and people I love most.
Every person deserves time to recharge to give themselves the love they so often show others. What’s on your list? I’d love to hear how you treat yourself in the small moments in your busy days. But most of all, I hope you can find your 5, 10, 15 or even 20 minutes for yourself, even if it doesn’t include a Target run. Or if it does, send some positive vibes my way so that I get there again soon.