Remember the old saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” We all know there is a lot of truth behind this analogy. But sometimes as moms, we think we’re an exception to the rule. Making time for yourself is last on the list. We are moms for goodness sake. We were made for the grind, the busy days and long nights, right? No! While I absolutely believe moms are made with a superhuman unexplainable strength, I also believe we have limits. And we aren’t giving our people our best self if we are mentally and physically empty.
Let me share with you a personal story to set this up a bit more…
This past fall, my husband and I celebrated our 9-year anniversary. Our daughter was exactly one month old on the day of our anniversary and I was EXHAUSTED. I’m talking – the body aches, fuzzy brain, extremely edgy type of exhaustion. I remember my husband begging me to go lay down and get some rest so we could enjoy the date we had planned for later that night. I gave him the usual – I’m fine, I don’t need a nap, I have too much to get done, just let me do my thing!
When he realized he was getting nowhere with me, he said, “Krysten, I’m taking the kids out for a bit, and you’re going to go lay down.” He doesn’t make demands often, so when he said this, I knew I was probably in worse shape than I realized. So, I listened and took an hour rest. I woke up feeling like a new person. I mean, literally a new person. And you know what, I can almost guarantee you, our night out would have been a disaster if I hadn’t had that hour of sleep. He knew it, and deep down, I knew it too.
Sometimes we don’t even realize how desperately we need time to ourselves until someone points it out to us. Looking back, I don’t even remember what “pressing” things I thought I hadto get done on that anniversary day. All I remember is, I was about to ruin a really special night out because I just couldn’t take a moment to stop and take care of myself.
I still struggle with taking time for myself. At times, I still think I have superhuman strength. And sleep? Yeah, who needs that. But experiences like these with my husband help me remember, I’m not superhuman. Finding time for me isn’t optional, it has to be a priority. Because my family needs and deserves my best self.
21 Ways To Make Time For Yourself as a Mom
1. Listen to a podcast while in the car
One of my favorite things to do is put my headphones on in the car, drown out all of the crazy and listen to a podcast. Your kids are fine – they are all buckled in and safe – just take a moment and listen to something that lifts you up.
2. Take a power nap
Sometimes just a 20-minute nap can do wonders.
3. Take a bath
After putting your kids down, turn the lights off, light a candle, and just lay in the bath, in silence. I often do my best thinking while taking a bath.
4. Read a book before bed
Turn off the television, lay in bed and read a book. It’s relaxing and a nice change of pace before bedtime.
5. Attend a fitness class
If you have young kids, put them in the gym childcare and attend a fitness class. This is one of my favorite self-care practices. There is something so great about dropping your kids off in childcare and having an hour to push yourself and sweat it out with other like-minded moms.
6. Get up before the rest of your house
If you want to know the secret to starting each morning off great – wake up before the rest of your house! Take some time to do a devotion, yoga, pray, or any other practice that will fill your soul and get you ready to take on the day.
7. Go for a 15 minute walk outside
Fresh air and a bit of exercise can give you a new perspective on the day.
8. During nap/quiet time – take 15 minutes to have a cup of tea/coffee and destress before doing anything on your to-do list
Your to-do list can wait 15 minutes. Take some time to breath and center yourself during nap time – you need it!
9. Have breakfast with girlfriends (aka free therapy session)
There is something really therapeutic about getting together with girlfriends for coffee to talk, encourage eachother, and laugh.
10. Swap babysitting with a friend
If you have a neighbor or friend that you trust, take turns watching eachothers kids so you can have some time. Even if it is just an hour – how amazing to know your kids are well cared for, and you can take some time for yourself.
11. Purge a room in your house
Sometimes throwing junk away can be really therapeutic. Especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed about something. Take a garbage bag to a closet. I can almost promise you, you will feel better when you’re done.
I know this sounds crazy, but coloring has been known to be a de-stressor for adults which makes sense. It’s fun, relaxing and mindless.
13. Take a social media break
Social media can affect our mood, focus, and so much more. If you’re in a funk or just feeling blah, shut off all of the social media noise for a solid bit.
14. Look through a magazine
I love scrolling through magazines because it’s mindless looking and just brings a feeling of peace and calmness for me.
15. Go for a run
Running is a quick way to get your endorphins flowing and often results in mental clarity.
Get a pen and paper out and right out your thoughts, dreams, stressors, and ambitions.
17. Listen to music
While cooking dinner or driving, turn up the music you enjoy and sing away!
18. Try a new recipe
If cooking is your thing, try a new recipe that sounds really good to you.
19. Go out for coffee or to a movie – alone
Crazy I know – but sometimes just doing something by yourself, where you don’t have to talk to anyone can be really amazing.
20. Just sit
Sometimes you just need to sit with your favorite drink and do absolutely nothing. Just sit there. Let your mind wander. Focus on the good in your life and the things that make you happy.
21. Go buy some flowers and plant them
Planting flowers can be really relaxing and stress relieving.
These are all practices I have done that truly do work! I’d love to hear what you do to make time for yourself. Let me know if the comments below!