It doesn’t matter whether you are working from home or outside, juggling between work and family can be very challenging. Your schedule is always maxed out and it’s difficult to find time to take care of yourself.
You know it is utterly important to have some “me time” but somehow you’ve been putting that on the back burner. “Well, maybe later”, is what I always tell myself. And that ‘later’ can be days, weeks, months or even years!
I know many moms feel guilty taking care of themselves but trust me you really don’t have to. You can still take care of yourself without sacrificing a lot of your family time. All you need to do is just some planning ahead.
But moms will be moms. Our priority is always our families especially the kids and not ourselves.
Since you are reading this now, may I ask that you shift your attention to focus entirely on yourself just for a short 10 minutes and hopefully this article can give you a new perspective on how you can take care of yourself without the guilt.
You may not have noticed but it is really possible to squeeze something into your busy life. Here are some ideas you can start with. These are convenient and easy ways to help you relax and enjoy some “me time”. Be flexible and schedule your “me time” to suit your lifestyle.
I’ll also be suggesting how much time is required for each so you can have a rough idea of how to adjust your schedules and plan ahead. But if you feel you needed more “me time”, go ahead and plan well for it by all means.
Most importantly, you have to realize why you don’t need to feel guilty at all for taking care of yourself. So let’s get started.
Enjoy The Morning Calmness
This is one of my favorites. I wake up 5.00am every morning. After the morning bath, I love to crawl back again on my bed with a cup of warm water, enjoying the stillness of the morning.
Everyone is still sleeping at this hour and the house is so quiet. Sometimes I can even hear the birds singing outside. It is so peaceful and calm.
If you have always wanted to try meditation but somehow not started for whatever reasons, this is the best time to do so. Not thinking of anything at all, just be there concentrate on your breath for 10-15 minutes. This is good enough to give you clarity as well as enhancing awareness to face the challenges ahead.
Note: Estimated 15 minutes. Family time is obviously not affected because everyone is still sound asleep.
Lunch Hour Hideout
This is really helpful especially when you are so stressed at work. You know you have a lot to accomplish on that day and couldn’t afford to make mistakes. When it’s your time to take a break, find a quiet corner or a spot where you can relax.
My office is located on the 25th floor. I personally love to stand by the window at the other end of the office, that particular spot which is far away from my desk. It gives me a feeling of a short escape and a temporary hideout from all the ‘hoo-haas’.
Willingly, I let myself admire the beautiful skyline and be amazed by the busy traffic out there. Let the surrounding distract you for a while. Your challenge here is not to think about work for a short moment.
I would give myself ample time to wind down before grabbing something for lunch and start the drill again.
My colleague, on the other hand, prefers to get out of the office during lunch break. She needs fresh air and natural vitamin D to destress. A short walk around the block works really well for her.
Do you know that physical activities help stimulate the production of endorphins (the feel good hormone) thus the greater sense of calmness and relaxation?
Note: Estimated 10-20 minutes. Family time is also not affected as it is within your working hours.
After a long day at work, our body & mind start to feel tired. While commuting, listen to your favorite tunes or read a good book. It can be a motivational book, a fiction or even a joke book. Let some humor boost your mood before you reach home. Humour is such a great antidote to relieve stress.
As for me, I carpool with a friend and we take turns to drive. On the day when I’m not driving, I will do some shoulder and neck exercise in the car to get rid of the stiffness built throughout the day.
Closing your eyes for 5-10 minutes can relieve eye strain too. It is also effective in quieting down the mind. Don’t forget to take long deep breaths to help melt the tensions away.
Note: You do this while commuting. That means you still have all the time you need to spend with your family once you reach home.
For me, the evening is the busiest but most enjoyable time. Basically, there are 3 parts of the evening. First, you need to attend to all the chores that are waiting for you…haha (this is a great way to welcome you home). Then start getting things set ready for tomorrow and finally spending time with the kids
So, let’s plan smart. Short routines are best for working days while reserving longer routines for the weekends.
I’m a big fan of body lotions and face masks. Here’s how I make time for these 2 simple indulgences.
After a soothing warm bath in the evening, I would spend 5 minutes applying my favorite body lotion letting my mind quiet down and unwind. This evening routine is a must for me. It’s a little “me time” which I truly enjoy.
And face masks are for weekends of course. Hello, wonderful moms. Can you spare 20 minutes on Saturday evenings to pamper yourself a little?
Now, I prefer Saturday evenings as oppose to Sunday evenings because knowing the next day is an off day will instantly make me feel extra good. So lie down, close your eyes, put on some soothing music and let the mask rejuvenate your skin.
Note: Time required is around 20 minutes but don’t forget, this is only 20 minutes/week, not 20 minutes/day.
Talking about Saturdays, my hubby and I enjoy staying up later than usual to enjoy some kids-free time together. It was only so natural that are having lesser time for each other, as our priorities are always on the kids. Now that they are all grown up, we still enjoy having this simple luxury.
Note: No time limit for this one, of course 🙂 After all, the kids are all in dreamland!
Occasional Gal Hang Out
Plan ahead for your well-deserved gal hang out whenever you have the chance. Planning ahead is important. It gives you a peace of mind, knowing where your kids are, who they’re with and what they are doing when you are not around.
Hang out with your close friends over lunch or tea. Someone whom you can share small talks with. Mutual support from close friends is so important. It brings about a sense of connectedness and it’s a great feeling knowing someone other than your family, not only understand your struggle but applaud to your achievements as well.
Note: Now since this is an occasional meetup, you decide how often that will be. Let’s say you gals meet up once every 2 months and each time lasted about 2 hours. So let’s do some calculation here. You will have 6 meetups in a year. That is just a merely 12 hours/year. Yes, only 12 hours/year!
Take a look at your current schedule now. Would you be okay to allow 12 hours/year to treat yourself with more kindness? Common moms! We all have over 8,700 hours in a year. You certainly do not have to feel guilty for that little 12 hours spend on taking care of yourself, do you?
So moms, all these ideas are easy to achieve with minimal time required. And the best is they can be so easily done without affecting your duty as a mom.
No more guilt, moms. Reclaim your self-care from today. In fact, taking care of yourself is part of your responsibilities as a mom, a wife, a daughter and a person. So, be kind to yourself.
Try out these ideas. Experiment and have fun with it. Adjust them according to what works well for you and your family. Remember, a happy mom makes a happy family!
Share your thoughts in the comments below. What are your most enjoyable ways of taking care of yourself?
Love, Mei N