To do lists? Chores? Projects? Errands to run? It’s no wonder we mothers sometimes feel like we’re staring down a never ending line of plates to juggle.
In taking care of everyone else, mothers sometimes get left at the end of the rope, feeling run down and often, let down. Expending all of our energy meeting everyone else’s needs leaves us exhausted.
Have you left yourself at the bottom of your to do list? Ran out of ideas to keep yourself refreshed? I’ll give you my top ten ideas for keeping myself sane.
1. Communication is Key
Your husband needs to hear from you what you need. He may be awesome, but he’s not a mind reader. Take some time to talk to him, and communicate what you need in order to keep yourself fine tuned. House full of children, and no time to talk? Drop him an email, or a hand written note.
2. Spend Some Time in Solitude
I’m an extrovert for sure, but constant stimulation for a prolonged period of time makes my brain hurt. Carve out some quiet time for yourself. Whether it’s getting up early to enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee, or staying up late to read a favorite book, minutes spent quietly will help to refresh your mind and spirit.
3. Endorphins Make You Happy
Since you’re maneuvering your schedule around, how about carving out twenty minutes for exercise? While training for a half marathon, I’ve found that if I slack off with my training, my mood seems to tank, too.
Don’t like to run? Find a sport that you love – try tennis, weight training, or yoga on for size. If all else fails, get out in the back yard with your children for a raucous game of tag.
4. Self Care is NOT Selfish
Grey hairs too numerous to count? Eyebrows looking a little unkempt?
We manage to get our children’s hair cut on a regular basis, so why not ourselves? One of my friends offered me this tip:
When I get to the hairdresser this week, I’m going to do just that.
5. Hang on to Your Health
Right after you schedule your hair appointment, check your calendar. How long has it been since you’ve seen your own doctor? Make sure to take time to have your annual checkup, to keep yourself healthy. As a nurse for almost twenty years, I’m a firm believer in preventative medicine.
6. Never Overlook the Importance of Indulgence
After a busy day at the park with the children, I frequently stop at Starbucks for my favorite drink: Chai Frappucino. It’s $5 well spent, to reward myself just a little bit. Out grocery shopping, or on a Target run? Pick yourself up your favorite fancy cheese and crackers, or a new lip gloss. Little treats like these are a definite pick-me-up!
7. Exercise Your Creative Spirit
Most of the women I know have a creative streak a mile wide. Whether it’s my friend Mary Dawn’s beautiful handmade cards, my friend Angie’s novel writing, or my friend Daune’s amazing photography, different veins of creativity bring us joy. Find something you like, and carve out time to nurture that part of yourself.
8. Relish the Rest
Set a goal for everyone to turn in early one night a week. For me, getting enough sleep always recharges my batteries.
9. Girls Just Want to Have Fun!
As much as I love and admire my husband, there are voids that he simply cannot fill. I need time with my friends to laugh, chat, and refresh my spirit.
Girls’ Nights Out don’t have to be expensive, or a late night, causing you havoc the next morning. Plan an afternoon at a coffee shop, a jaunt to the ice cream store after the kids are in bed, or even a potluck movie night, if the hostess is lucky enough to have children who sleep well.
10.Keep It Simple
You don’t have to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or join a book club to have time to yourself. Sometimes, sneaking off to the garage and enjoying your stash of candy works wonders.
Head over and congratulate Dianna on completing her first half marathon! Now that she’s finished, she’ll be spending more time working on homeschooling her kindergartner and teaching others about her faith. You can also catch her frequently on Twitter.