Thirty-one percent of moms feel an increased sense of “time starvation” versus their single counterparts, and 71 percent say their daily to-do list contains more than they can accomplish, according to a study by Ketchem. Moms are more stressed out than ever, and they are sacrificing sleep, exercise and personal time to fit it all in, despite knowing that self-care and alone time are important. Others simply can’t find the time to prioritize it or feel guilty for doing it.
Carving out time for yourself is about more than getting a reboot, though. It shows your children that self-care is important and a healthy lifestyle choice for when they are kids, adults and future parents.
But saying you need time and taking it are two different things. You may only have a half hour to claim for yourself, so make it count. Here are five tips to create a mommy vacation, so you can take time for yourself.
Prove your commitment to yourself by creating small indulgent rituals. Whether you’re slipping into a hot bubble bath with essential oils at the end of the day or mixing up a cocktail with high-quality vodka, make that indulgence a special part of your day. Indulgences can also be solo walks through your favorite hiking trail to clear your head or time to grab a coffee without family interruptions.
Create a Refuge
It’s easy for mothers to sacrifice their personal space as well as their time. But everyone needs a safe refuge where they can go without worrying about dirty dishes and unfinished homework. Plant a garden and add patio furniture for an outdoor retreat. Turn a shed into a workroom and decorate it with your favorite paints to reconnect with your hobbies. Let your family know your refuge is off limits and a place just for mom.
Go on a Mini Staycation
You don’t have to leave your town to enjoy a mom-focused vacation. Skip errands to the grocery store and splurge on a day just for you. Visit your favorite attractions, such as a museum or state park, and spend the day getting to know yourself again. Do something you can’t do with the kids, like a book reading or an R-rated movie. Meet a friend for lunch at a kid unfriendly restaurant and savor the time and food together.
Self-care is crucial to your health. It includes getting to the doctor for a checkup and making regular trips to the dentist. But that’s not the only way to care for yourself. Book a monthly massage and facial to take care of your body, mind and spirit. Make getting enough sleep a bigger priority, even if it means sacrificing housework in exchange. If you’re looking to infuse more time into your day, hire a maid or mother’s helper to pitch in and free up more opportunities for self-care.
Saying no is one of the first steps in taking more time for yourself. It’s impossible to tackle everything from work, housework, chauffeuring the kids around and taking care of everyone without losing yourself. Start saying no to doing it all, and come up with a plan to get your kids and partner involved in the day-to-day duties. Whether you manage a 20-minute cleaning session at night or certain chores to be completed by the end of the week, stick to a cleaning routine that involves everyone. Next, start saying no to unnecessary commitments and turning down invitations to join boards and causes that don’t interest or motivate you. The more you say no, the more you can say yes to yourself.