My days as a work-at-home mom are typically pretty hectic, and while I often daydream of all of the different things to do by yourself I enjoyed when I was a carefree 20-something, ‘me’ time typically involves being able to pee by myself these days.
Let me break it down for you…
After the craziness that is feeding and entertaining my 4-year-old while simultaneously trying to shower and make myself presentable, I drop her off at Kindergarten, run a couple of errands, make sure our fridge is stocked with food, throw in a load of laundry, go for a workout, make myself some coffee, and sit down at this desk to power through as much work as I possibly can before school pick-up, at which time I force myself to switch from Work Mode to Mom Mode so that I can be 100% present with my daughter.
Once the dinner dishes are done and my little one is tucked into bed and playing with whatever ‘bedtime toys’ she’s chosen for the evening, I sit down at this desk once again to finish up the tasks I inevitably ran out of time to complete earlier in the day, and when I feel like I’m going to fall down from exhaustion, I curl up on the couch with my husband to watch 30 minutes of mindless TV before crawling into bed.
I often find myself wishing there were more hours in the day, but the truth of the matter is, I completely and utterly love my life and wouldn’t trade the ridiculousness for anything. I thoroughly enjoy my job, and love that it gives me the flexibility to be so involved in my daughter’s life, and I am so grateful my husband supported me as I found a way to make my dream of staying home with my daughter while still keeping my brain active a reality.
But, like every other human being I know, there are days (and sometimes weeks) where the constant GO! GO! GO! becomes too much for me, and whenever that happens, I become a completely useless and unproductive pile of rags.
Last week was one of those weeks.
I don’t know if it’s the weather, a lack of Vitamin D, the fact that we haven’t had a vacation in 9 months, or a combination of all 3, but I was feeling pretty down in the dumps, and while a good night of sleep followed by a long, mind-clearing run on the treadmill often gives me the energy I need to snap myself out of funks like the one I was experiencing, I just didn’t have it in me to do anything.
So after another unproductive morning last Thursday, I decided to do something completely uncharacteristic and took the afternoon off. I had a list of at least 15 things I probably should have focused on for the remainder of the day, but I knew it would be much better for my psyche if I just unplugged for a couple of hours and enjoyed a little bit of ‘me’ time.
The only problem is, it’s been at least 2 years since I’ve taken a day off to do something nice for myself, and I had absolutely no idea what to do with my time. I ended up doing 3 really fun things – I walked around the mall for an hour, grabbed a magazine and read it from cover to cover while enjoying a venti Americano at Starbucks, and enjoyed a 20-minute, uninterrupted phone conversation with a girlfriend – and felt AMAZING afterwards.
And the next day I woke up feeling refreshed and energized and ready to tackle the world again.
But before I dove into my never-ending list of things that need to be accomplished RIGHT THIS MINUTE, I wrote ‘Things to Do By Yourself’ on the top of a piece of paper, set the timer on my phone, and challenged myself to come up with as many ideas as possible.
It wasn’t an easy task for me to do, but I managed to come up with lots of great ideas, and before I tacked the list onto the cork board of my office, I scheduled 2 hours of ‘me’ into my calendar every week for the next 6 months.
And I’m determined to try every single one of my ideas.
From reading a trashy magazine and indulging in a mani/pedi, to binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix and making a new workout playlist, this collection of Me Ideas for Moms is filled with great suggestions on things to do by yourself to help recharge your mind, body, and soul.
25 Things To Do By Yourself
1. Call a girlfriend
2. Go for a walk
3. Organize something
4. Pump the tunes
5. Enjoy a warm mug of tea
7. Take a nap
8. Go for a workout
9. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi
10. Read a book
11. Read a magazine from cover to cover
12. Go for a drive
13. Have a long, hot shower/bubble bath
14. Watch mindless, daytime TV
16. Cook your favorite meal
17. Grab a coffee, sit outside, and watch the world pass you by
18. Make a new workout playlist
19. Go shopping
20. Spend a guilt-free hour on Pinterest…or Facebook…or Twitter
21. Binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix
22. Watch the sunrise/sunset with your favorite beverage
23. Do something touristy
24. Take a class
25. Watch funny clips on YouTube!
My challenge to you today is to make your OWN list of things to do by yourself, and to find time in your hectic calendar to enjoy at least an hour of ‘me’ time each week. I know it may be daunting – who will scrub the toilets?! – but I promise you will be a much better mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend if you take the time to make yourself a priority every now and then.
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And if you’re looking for more ways to focus on yourself and your wellbeing, please follow our Health and Fitness board where we share all kinds of great ideas!