According to a study on WebMD, many people, especially women, are less happy than they were 40 years ago due to a lack of time for themselves.
Moms, in particular, struggle with finding balance because they’re so busy meeting work and/or volunteer deadlines and tending to the needs of their families and homes.
Following are some ideas to help busy moms claim some time for themselves, especially during this busy time of year.
• Workouts. Plan three days a week when you go to sleep in your workout clothes, wake up 45 minutes before your kids and do a quick workout video in your bedroom or living room on YouTube, Netflix or Hulu on your smartphone, tablet or TV. You won’t have to worry about getting ready and driving to the gym or working out outside if it’s too cold this time of year.
• Girl time. Negotiate one night every month when your spouse, significant other, babysitter or another adult family member can take care of cleaning up after dinner and completing the kids’ bath and bedtime routines so that you can grab drinks or dessert with a girlfriend. It will be nice to catch up and have a chance to relax, laugh and recharge your batteries, especially if it’s with a fellow busy mom who totally gets it.
• A soak in the tub. After the kids go to bed, light a candle, turn on some relaxing music, pour some bath salts into your tub and soak for 20 minutes. This is an easy way to create your own spa oasis in your own home. You’ll feel pampered and relaxed, and it may even help you sleep better.
• Personal day. If you have the time, plan a personal day once a month or once a quarter from work or volunteering, when your spouse or significant other is at work and your kids are at school. During that time, get a massage, get your hair or nails done, go shopping or stay home and watch movies all day.
• Weekend hour alone for the entire family. Pick an hour on the weekends where each member of the family gets an hour to do something they want to do. Depending on the age of your kids, they can watch a cartoon, movie or TV show or play a game on the iPad, and you and your spouse or significant other can read, exercise, watch a movie or sports game, shop online or do whatever you each want for that hour as well.
• Journal entries. Start writing in a journal at night a few times a week before you go to bed. It’s a great way to express your thoughts, feelings, ideas and yearnings and reconnect with yourself. It also will be a calming activity and a chance to think about what’s on your mind and what’s important to you.
Life is busy. As a busy wife and mom of two who runs my own business and volunteers in the community, I completely understand how hard it can be to prioritize time for yourself. However, it’s so important to make time for it because no one else will do it for you. As you approach the new year, think about ways you can claim more “me time” – and make sure that you do it. You’ll be much happier, and your family also will reap the benefits because you’ll be more present, loving and giving to them when you’ve had a chance to do it for yourself.
Reena Vokoun is owner of the Los Altos-based Passion Fit. For more information, visit passionfit.com.