All of us wear so many hats. From mother to father, sister to brother, daughter to son, employee to employer … most days can be filled with exhausting minutes that lead to tiresome hours. We wake up early, go to bed late, and always feel connected. We are all busy. Many of us are beyond tired. So many of us just want a tiny break, even if for just a few minutes. This “on-the-go, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, always have to be bigger and better” lifestyle frame of mind can leave you feeling tired, frustrated, or inadequate. Rarely do we have time to sit back, reflect, and enjoy the moment.
As a work-at-home full-time, stay-at-home full-time mom, I have never known this kind of tired. I’m sipping coffee throughout the day, watching wrinkles form on my face, waking up early to the sounds of my son, pulling late nights to get my work done, and trying to keep my head above the water. And then it hits me when I look at my son and see him growing by the minute. We can be running at full-speed all the time but this year I realized the severe importance of enjoying the moment.
Part of enjoying the moment is finding a bit of “me time.” What good are you to your family and friends if you’re running on fumes all the time? “Me time” can range from seconds to minutes to hours. From listening to your favorite song to sipping coffee, by spending just a few minutes a week to take care of yourself, you will be better equipped to be there for your family and friends. Trust me. You don’t want to burn out and hit your breaking point.
Five Simple Ways to Find Me Time
1.) Get Sleep (yes, this is difficult)
Sleep is so important. And yes, many of you who know me on a personal level are probably thinking, “Jen, listen to your own advice.” I go to bed late (usually up working late) and wake up early (always to the sounds of my son’s monitor). The other night, my husband looked at me and said, “Sleep in. I have Hudson in the morning.” So, that’s exactly what I did . I slept in … until 9:00 a.m. Since our son’s birth and due to my husband’s work schedule, I’ve only “slept in” a few times. I’ve grown accustomed to waking up early. I have fallen in love with morning time with our son. But, I have realized that on the days that I do get some sleep, I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the day.
If you don’t get sleep, you’ll crash. One moment you’ll be sitting on the couch, the next minute you’ll find yourself asleep on the couch at 7:30 p.m. Trust me. That happened to me once. I knew that my body had enough. So, get your sleep. Your body needs it to keep you healthy during your on-the-go lifestyle.
2.) Listen and/or Dance to Music
“Me time” doesn’t have to be a long trip to the salon (seems impossible, right?), a mani/pedi (who has time to let their nails dry?), or an exercise class (my exercise is chasing after my toddler). Take two minutes, turn on your favorite song, and rock out to it for a few minutes. Music is one of my favorite loves in life. It’s a release for me and I get so much out of listening to my favorite songs and finding new artists. The best part? If I need a bit of a break during the day and my toddler is attached to my hip, I turn on our favorite music (he loves my music) and we dance together. Best. Break. Ever.
3.) Get Fresh Air
When my nerves are shot, I fix myself a cup of coffee, sit on our back porch, and enjoy some fresh air. Our son loves to play on our porch so I bring some of his toys outside with me and let him play while I take a bit of a breather. If I’m having a really rough day, I take our son outside to shoot some hoops. He loves the basketball and I love to play basketball. There’s nothing quite like a fun stress-reliever to keep you going through the day.
4.) Cuddle With a Pet
Let’s face it. Pets are where it’s at when it comes to comfort. After our son goes to bed, I’ll sit on the floor with our dogs and cuddle with them for a few minutes. A little one-on-one time with our dogs helps to relieve the stresses of the day. We never allow our dogs on our couches. But, the other night, I was in the mood to cuddle with our dogs. They are pretty large dogs … and the next thing I woke up on the couch sandwiched between both of them.
5.) Have a Creative Outlet
One of the reasons I started this blog was because I needed a creative outlet. I’m a writer (hello, journalism major), photographer, cook, homemaker, and story teller. I needed a way to combine all of my loves in one place that would serve as my creative outlet. Since I started my blog in 2009, this has been my go to place when I need to get the creative juices flowing. Yes, I do have other hobbies and creative outlets (such as Jen Tilley Photography #shamelessplug). I’m all about creative outlets. People ask me how I find time to be a stay-at-home-mom, work-at-home-mom, blogger, and photographer all while trying to be there for my family. I tell them that the blog and photography business are my creative outlets that I’m passionate about and, due to that reason, will always carve out time for even during the busiest of times. So, what’s your creative outlet? Find something your passionate about and make it part of your “me time.”
How will you make time for yourself this week?
Photo by Hoai Anh Bino.