Making “Me” Time

FIVE WAYS TO ORGANIZE SELF-CARE

If you are like me, once you became a mom, “self-care” – seeing to your personal needs and interests – became a distant memory.  Sometimes, it seems like more effort than it’s worth to take time for yourself.  Still, as a professional therapist, I can tell you “self-care” is important.  Here are some ideas for creating that elusive “me” time and space.

1. TO DO:

It’s satisfying to check tasks off a list.  To laundry and groceries, why not add items for yourself?  Maybe it’s simple, like flossing, or perhaps it requires more planning, like taking a class. Include the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of your life.

2. TO DON’T:

If finding the time to take care of yourself seems like a fantasy, have a look at your obligations to see if anything can be tweaked or cut.  My husband found a lot of freedom at work when he learned the principle of a “To Don’t” list.  Now his meetings include time to brainstorm what no longer needs to be done.  You might not have to do all the things you think every good mom does.

3. SANCTUARY:

Find a special room or nook with pleasing aesthetics and lighting.  Have supplies for self-care handy: beloved books, a yoga mat and treats.  This area might seem difficult to create, but it doesn’t have to be big. My friend has energetic sons and although she loves decorating, she has accepted that picture frames and vases have a very short, pardon the pun, shelf-life in her house.  If this is the case for you, try a self-care drawer with personal effects and treasures at the ready.

4. OUTSOURCE:

Be it from family, friends or paid assistance, ask for help when you need it. Try trading off with a friend; this will give you some alone time and provide entertainment for your child when a new face comes to play.

5. BE CREATIVE:

Many household tasks can get dull so get creative! A friend of mine got together with another mom and they prepped, cooked and made meals to last a month.  Get imaginative with the personal interests and hobbies you once enjoyed. Many a mompreneur started with a desire to get back to her artistic passions.

Kelly Flannigan, MSW, is an individual, marriage and family therapist.  She and her husband live in the Caribbean and are the parents of an industrious toddler.  Despite the demands of motherhood, she continues to flex her “self help” muscle for women at all stages of self-discovery through writing and blogging; without this outlet her life would resemble Parenthood meets Groundhog Day.

This entry was posted in Inside & Out and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Making “Me” Time

  1. I like all your news views, even though I am not the mother to small children, I still have many “to do lists” and they help me too.
    Thanks, barbara

  2. Tracey says:

    I couldn’t agree more that self-care is a must. I’m still not great at making time for myself (son 6, daugher 3), but I’m getting better. I’m currently in the process of interviewing teenage babysitters in my neighbourhood–so things are looking up.

    Recently, I enjoyed a pedicure night at a friend’s place. All the moms made arrangements to leave our kids and we hired a mobile spa service to come and do our feet while we had some much-needed girly time. It was surprisingly restorative. It’s amazing what a few hours can do….

  3. Trixie says:

    These are all great ideas, Kelly — and # 4 , Outsource, has inspired me to hire someone to do a job I just can’t get to. I’ve long wanted to paint and paper my bedroom to take it from “off-white” (read: dirty dishwater) to a warm and cosy navy & merlot (burgundy, really, but I like wine). I know this simple change will help to make a sanctuary out of my room, the place I like to read & unwind at night (I’m all about #3). The paint, paper and supplies have been sitting in the bedroom corner for months, reproaching me. But it seems so obvious now: If I’m simply far too busy to get to it, why not hire a handyman? In a few hours of his paid time (it’s a small room), I’ll get a huge happiness boost instead of another (self-inflicted) kick in the pants! Thanks!

  4. Brandi Bos says:

    Well put Kelly!

    I used to have an Adult room in my house. I think I need to create that space again.

    Thanks!

  5. Shannon Weiler says:

    Although I am still in the phase of “looking forward” to having children, I still find it a challenge to find “me” time these days. Work, social events, wedding planning…it all can very easily become top priority over things like: ensuring my nails are kept in decent shape, or my legs are clean shaven. I think all women can benefit from this advice. It’s ok to give yourself that little bit of time to do only what makes you happy – contrary to how our brains are often programmed. Thank you Kelly Flannigan! I especially like the “To Don’t” list.

  6. Amy Matthews says:

    I love the idea of getting together with a friend to cook meals for the freezer. As a mother of an 8-month-old I find it hard to find the time to make healthy meals and not resort to eating store-bought lasagnas! I love to cook, and I think the companionship and sense of accomplishment from making a big batch of freezer meals to share would be very worthwhile.

  7. Casino Bonus says:

    I always motivated by you, your thoughts and attitude, again, thanks for this nice post.

    - Thomas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>