When was the last time you enjoyed a good book? Or did something you love just for fun?
If you’re at all like me, you might have a hard time coming up with an answer! I was talking with my husband recently about his hobby and said, “I wish I had time for the things I like to do.” Then I realized I DO! I just have to make the time. It doesn’t have to be something that takes hours or days of my time, but I can carve out time each day for me. Time for me to refresh, relax and be me. The more I thought about it and talked to my mom friends, I realized I am not alone in struggling with this. It is hard for a lot of mom’s to even take 10 minutes to themselves, but it’s so important. If you have kids you’re constantly parenting, being climbed on, and needed by others, but you’re a person too! And you need some downtime to reduce your stress, therefore improving your overall wellness and letting you be a better parent.
So here are my top five ideas for quick and easy ways to take time for yourself to better yourself!
1} Zentangle or Adult Coloring
No, I’m not talking about X-rated coloring books, but the more intricate detailed coloring pages of mandalas and Zentangles. Coloring and doodling has been shown to reduce stress, inspire creativity, improve focus and improve overall wellness. I’ve even used it in the classroom with students to help them find calm and focus before a big test. It’s like meditating and it’s easy to get started. You can buy coloring books at Barnes and Noble, print pages from the internet or even create Zentangles with paper and pen at home. There are lots of tutorials on the web and it’s fun and easy
Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Want to feel amazing? Want to feel strong, powerful, confident and focused? WORKOUT! Just 20-30 minutes of a heart pumping workout will give you an endorphin rush that can give you all that and more. There is no amount of overwhelmed, distracted, stressed out and annoyed feelings that a good workout can’t cure. I believe this because I live it. Exercise is my medication. There is something for everyone. You can take a walk around the neighborhood, go to a yoga class or pop in a DVD. It’s simple, easy and will do wonders for your mind, body and spirit. Think you don’t have time to workout? Then you better find time to continue feeling sick, tired and grumpy.
3} Talk to a Friend
Remember in High School when talking on the phone was a hobby? I know I begged my parents for a phone in my room so I could get even more time on the phone!! Sometimes I forget just how amazing and spirit lifting it can be to talk on the phone with a friend. People are so caught up in texting and messaging that we never get on the phone anymore. Do it! Meeting up with them for coffee is even better! But take the time to just catch up with a friend. Share your struggles, commiserate, share victories and your kids milestones. Laugh and plan and SMILE. Your mind will follow and you’ll be feeling better in no time.
4} Read Personal Development
Ten minutes. That’s it. I challenge you to carve out at least 10 minutes every day to read or listen to some personal development. I started reading about personal development about a year ago and I can’t get enough now. If I’m doubting myself as a parent, there’s a book for that. If I’m questioning my faith, there’s a book for that. If I’m lacking confidence to make a big change or take a risk…you guessed it! There’s a book for that. You’re probably wondering where can you find 10 minutes? How about waiting to pick up your kids? Before you go to bed at night? Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier? Waiting line at Costco….you get the idea! My favorites right now are: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, PUSH by Chalene Johnson and The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz.
Dear Diary…. Ha ha just kidding! All you need is a notebook or computer to get started. Write the date and just write. What’s on your mind? What are your goals for the week? The year? What are you struggling with now? What are five things you are grateful for? Write a bucket list, write down your hopes and dreams. There is no wrong way to journal! It’s a time for you to reflect and process what’s on your mind. It you’re struggling with fear or insecurity, writing out a list of your blessings is a surefire way to improve your mood.