Tag Archives: me time

Taking time for you when you have no time at all

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It only takes a split second to renew yourself.

(Blogger’s note: I received a request today for a column printed in 2009 in The Times; indeed, it does seem relevant as ever, given that we’re in a season in which parents are getting bogged down with work, requests for fund-raisers, fall sports, and the like.)

Today’s column is about taking time out for you. With the advent of beautiful weather, I get outside when I can and take the kids with me. Outdoors, I don’t worry about them watching too much TV or getting too little exercise. I get my workout and keep the mess out of the house.

Last column I discussed making goals. To minimize burnout and maximize your wellness, take a few minutes to determine if your life is balanced as possible. Do you take time for your intellectual development? This can be as simple as picking up the newspaper and reading one article you normally wouldn’t.

Practice your spiritual wellness. Take five minutes to read about faith, pray, or meditate.

Do something today for your physical well-being. Substitute a healthy snack for that candy bar. If you can’t spare the time today, plan to wake early tomorrow to walk around the block before your kids awaken.

Most moms have no problem fulfilling the interpersonal side of life. So think about ways to improve. Start by giving everybody in your family an extra hug today.

Satisfy the vocational element of your life. If you work outside the home, solve a problem at work or join a professional group. If you work inside the home, connect with another home manager to make yourself the best you can be.

Most moms don’t have lots of time to ponder their wholeness. But almost everybody can spare 15 minutes a day, if only after your kids go to bed. And 15 minutes is all it takes to turn around how you feel about your life.

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Thank God Charlene has never been here

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When I speak to parenting groups, definitely the question asked most often is how parents can make Me Time.

There’s no cure-all, but to start, recognize that finding Me Time is a process you’ll improve and adjust daily. If you accept that, you’re done with the tearful “But what happened to me?” Instead, you can say, “I did X for myself today, and I’ll do X and more for myself tomorrow.”

Next, redefine Me Time to include Pampering Myself.

If you’re really time-strapped, start by having Me Time while multitasking. I’m completely aware nutritionists advocate only dining while sitting. Realistically, if you have many small kids, you’re so busy fetching this or that, you have no chance to sit.

Sooo, your Me Time consists of the exceedingly healthful banana you hork down with one hand while pouring milk with the other. Voila! You’re Pampering Yourself by sampling the raw-food diet, which Madonna has used.

You get bonus points for seeing the positives: I say, “Thank goodness I’m so busy. I don’t have time to overeat.”

Fruits and veggies are the ultimate convenience food because prep (washing) takes seconds and you can snarf them while multitasking. After you’ve eaten enough fruits and vegetables, you might have less trouble waking before your kids for Me Time.

Yet another way to take care of yourself is to scatter Me Moments throughout your day. Buy fun mints, moisturizer, and lip gloss. Then, instead of cursing the stoplight at 30 and Burr, use your little luxuries for Me Time.

Look for otherwise icky time periods to conduct Me Time. If you’re sans kids and waiting at the doctor’s office, bring something fun to do with you, say, your favorite book or knitting.

Evaluate how you really spend your days, beginning to end. After my kids went to bed, I would lie awake about an hour before convincing myself to sleep.

Then I realized I could use those sixty minutes for a killer workout. So I arose an hour early to exercise, and eventually I experienced the proverbial Falling Asleep Before My Head Hit the Pillow.

I have a theory, admittedly unsubstantiated by research, that when you’re really tired, eventually you must sleep. Awakening early for that exercise gives you Me Time, leads to more energy later, and makes you muscle-tired at night.

Maybe my ideas will work for you; maybe they won’t. But they’re a start. Write the banana on your to-do list for tomorrow. If that doesn’t work, put the stoplight spa on your to-do for Tuesday.

Keep a notepad with you so you can jot Me Ideas while you wait at stoplights. But always, always keep trying.