Just like every other child-free person on the planet, before I had babies, I used to think it wasn't possible for my friends with kids to really be that busy.
Now seven years into the working mom thing, I'm looking at my to-do list as I type and want to cry. I am grateful beyond belief to have so much fulfilling stuff on my plate, but sometimes I just would kill for one of my aimless single Saturdays of yore.
That's not going to happen for, oh, another 14 years or so, but it is possible to take time for yourself as a mom. Not only is it possible, it's essential! A lot of stress raises your cortisol levels (cortisol is the "stress hormone") and can slow your metabolism and make you gain weight, among other health troubles.
So how do busy moms find a way to get alone time and relax? Sarah James tackles the issue in this latest edition of The Sarah James Show ... read on for tips and check out the video below.
Ask for help. We all get caught up in the idea of being the perfect mommy who never, ever needs a break from her beautiful babies, but if that woman exists, she's probably heavily medicated and not very much fun. Everyone needs a break sometimes. Ask your spouse, trade afternoons of child care with a friend, or get a sitter for even an hour. It's cheaper than therapy!
Do what soothes you. Some people clean (seriously?), some people shop, some people mow the lawn, some people even do their makeup. Anything that gives you peace and lets you hit the reset button is helpful. I shut the kitchen door and listen to NPR while I'm cooking dinner and am invariably a more cheerful person when my family comes to the table.
Exercise. Don't force yourself into finding time for a full workout five days a week if that's not your thing. Instead, stretch, dance, run, or whatever you like for just a few minutes at a time and you'll find yourself wanting to do more. And many gyms have child care, so it's a win-win: you blow off steam, your kids get to play.
Breathe. Just simply inhaling through your nose and then exhaling through your mouth for five seconds can be very calming.
Journal. Go someplace quiet after the kids are in bed and write down your thoughts for the day. You don't have to be insightful or deep, just write things down randomly until you've filled a journal page.
Celebrate little things. One mom here does Champagne Thursdays -- every Thursday she and her husband open up a bottle of champagne for no reason (I am SO stealing this idea!). You can do Dance Party Fridays, Cookie Mondays, or whatever else floats your boat. Just make it a ritual you do regularly and will really enjoy.
Check out the video for more de-stressing tips!
For more tips on making life as a mom more lovely, subscribe to the CafeMom Studios channel on YouTube.
How do you find time for yourself?
Image via Eamon Curry/Flickr