Okay, I’ll admit it. I have a love affair with Netflix.
And for the past few years, I considered my Netflix time to be my self-care time.
Watching episode after episode without commercials while I lie on the couch eating chocolate? Yes please! (and also exactly what I am doing right now – cheers to The Crown Season 2!)
Vegging out like this has always been my idea of relaxation. And before Squiggles I had endless time to perfect my Netflix binging technique.
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But now that I’m a mom I rarely get time to myself, let alone enough time to binge on Stranger Things.
And now that my “me time” is so rare I’ve also realized that TV doesn’t necessarily re-energize me. It just lets me check out for a bit.
While that’s still fine occasionally (because sometimes I need to just become a zombie), I’ve learned that I need to treat whatever precious moments I get as a chance to refuel and invest in some quality self-care.
Have you found yourself chasing after your alone time like Golem and his precious, only to realize later that you didn’t get a chance to recharge at all? I’ve been there, and here’s how I’ve learned to make me-time work for me – even if nap time only lasts five minutes.
1. Recognize what fills YOU
Pay attention to what activities (or lack there-of) leave you feeling restored.
Like actually restored.
My mom is always going going going: accomplishing is what makes her feel refreshed. Me? Not so much.
A messy house doesn’t really bother me (until it gets to the point of no return). I’d rather sit in a comfy chair with a piece of chocolate and just do nothing. Sometimes I need to watch some mindless TV. Sometimes I need to just be still and sip a cup of tea. Sometimes it’s reflecting on a devotional, going for a walk, or taking a hot bath.
Know what can recharge you and allow you to unwind. Don’t waste your self-care time doing OTHER things.
2. Plan ahead
As moms we know any me-time we get will be short…and it can also be interrupted at any second. Make the most of your self-care time by planning ahead.
Pick a space, gather your self-care materials (book, comfy slippers, blanket, essential oils, etc.), and prep what you can in advance: cup of water in microwave with tea bag ready, chocolates easy to access, snacks divided up in baggies the night before.
Don’t waste time looking for what you need. Get your me time space set up now.
3. Let others know what you need
Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help, but we need to be able to realize when we need it before it’s too late.
Tell your husband what needs to happen for you to recharge or ask friends or grandparents to watch the kids for awhile. Even get a babysitter if you have to.
Because YOU NEED YOUR TIME.
I can’t try to be the best version of myself when I’m running on empty, and I’m guessing you can’t either.
4. Focus on essentials
Endless hours of TV may not actually restore you. Like I said before, it can be great to tune out for a bit…but can you walk away from this feeling renewed and ready to tackle the next blowout or tantrum?
Plus, when was the last time you had unlimited time to yourself?
Instead, what about taking some deep breaths? Reading a short devotional or meditation? Sipping a cup of tea and just sitting in silence? Coloring in a coloring book? Stretching? Even just closing your eyes for 5 minutes.
Laura over at Ivory and Pine has some great self-care ideas that are grouped into categories. Now that you know what fills you, scan her list and pick a few that are restorative (to you!) without being too time-consuming.
5. Set goals
If you want to really use your me-time to be a better mommy (and a better you), you need to think about what you want your me-time to accomplish.
6. Stay off your phone
Sometimes sifting through Facebook or Instagram makes you feel happy and energized.
And sometimes it doesn’t.
We’ve all been there, looking at other people’s lives or getting sucked into that one article or news story and all of a sudden you find yourself feeling down about your life.
Don’t let that happen to your me time. Protect it.
7. Create a space for Me Time and maintain it
Find a place in your home and declare it as Mommy’s Space. Make it just for you: add a cozy blanket, comfy pillows, reading lamp, a place to set a mug or a piece of chocolate cake (because yes!), diffuser or candles…you name it. Just make it yours.
What ways do you get the most out of your me time? Comment and share your tips or thoughts!
Image Credits: Toa Heftiba / Unsplash; Nicole Harrington / Unsplash; Anjeli Lundblad / Unsplash; Annie Spratt / Unsplash; Carl Heyerdahl / Unsplash; Estée Janssens / Unsplash; Lauren Mancke / Unsplash; Kari Shea / Unsplash