I am checking in with my fellow moms out there.
I used to define “me-time” as time alone, time with my own thoughts, and time when I can just… exhale and not have to worry about anyone else for a little bit. Time to sleep.
Well! Given our current situation these days where social distancing is happening everywhere else except in your own home… I find that “me-time” feels hard to come by. Anyone?
Let’s agree — it is a lot to deal with these days. A LOT! As it is the nature of motherhood, we give of ourselves on a regular basis. But lately, does it feel like we need to give so much more these days too?
Which leads me to ask — What does “me-time” look like these days?
We can only give what we have, so we definitely need to fill our emotional cup. And I’m not talking about a Mom’s night out, a massage or a day trip away (besides, I don’t think those are options nowadays).
We can’t add hours in our day to make time for ourselves. There isn’t much physical space left (if it’s not in the bathroom). So maybe, we just have to make it happen in our minds.
The mind is a powerful thing, isn’t it?
A shift in perspective of what “me- time” can look like in a time like this, could fill our emotional cup without trying so hard. It may just help us get through each day with a little bit more of a smile.
Here are some ideas of shifts we can make, to find our “me-time” and peace amidst the chaos.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be everything. Just ONE little thing a day.
A repetitive pattern of four short inhales, and four quick exhales. When done at the beginning of the day for about five minutes before anything else, it can help invigorate you and get you going with more energy.
Getting in sync with the kids’ study time and breaks. Okay — so it may not be all “at my own time”, because there are other people home all the time. So I’ve had to re-frame my day such that I time distance learning, recess and lunch breaks with them as well. P.E. time is also when we work out.
Mandatory “quiet time” for everyone at home. While your kids are reading, take a nap! Or read a book too. Join their quiet time and make it yours as well. This may be the most obvious “me-time” switch there is, and it’s an easy one too. Besides, what could possibly happen in the 30 minutes that you power nap or bury yourself in a good book? 😉
Work! Doing productive work (paid, volunteer and otherwise) that isn’t a chore. Ideally, this is work that you love or like though, so remember that!
A Salt Bath. Of course — the bathroom is always a place to retreat when all else fails. But this is my favorite part. After a stressful day, or a day that was just “too much”, a warm soak for 15 minutes does the trick. When you sit in the bath, think of all the things that stressed you out, and see it wash away — literally down the drain — when you rinse and end your bath with a scrub. Trust me, you will feel lighter.
Practice Daily Gratitude. For some, it’s a meditative prayer. Others, it’s a journal. Sometimes it’s really also only just the thoughts.
I can’t handle too much negativity. I’m always out for the positive spin. And just finding the good is sometimes enough.
Sometimes, I do it alone. But these days I see it as a chance to connect with my kids without the hustle and bustle of our typical day. We do it at night, before bed — as a reflection of another day safe, at home, together.
And we always always say a special prayer for the doctors, nurses, and frontliners out there who are risking their lives to save ours. They are parents too, who are parenting the world these days. Now THAT is truly a lot to carry.
When I shift my perspective to that… I find I have no reason to complain about the loss of my alone time.
With everyone at home together 24/7, it purposely makes us slow down and have more me-time — together.