Ah, the eternal mum question. How to get some “me time”. Despite the memes, whenever someone suggests going to work or doing the grocery shopping counts as “me time”, the resulting eyeroll can be strong enough to detach your retina… or there’s a sudden powerful urge to smack that person about the head.
With that in mind, here are my favourite ways to get some ‘me time’ with a full-time job and two kids under 10.
Make The Most Of Small Moments
You don’t necessarily need hours, days or weeks to recharge. Moments matter too and nothing has proven that more than lockdown – a cup of tea and a crossword, reading a book, a scented bath (sheet mask for bonus self care and fanciness), noticing spring flowers blooming, hugging someone in your household, snort-laughing at a rude joke or meme, putting headphones in and dancing around the house.
Get Into Nature
Nothing rejuvenates like being in nature. “Me time” whether in lockdown or not has always included walking – on my own, or with a friend, early morning or in the evening. As things start to open up I’m aiming to protect this time as sacred to my wellbeing and ability to offer the best of myself where it’s needed. Find green and blue spaces wherever you can – oceans, rivers, lakes, forests, parks and gardens, stargaze or cloud watch.
Stay Connected To Friends
Catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while or write a couple of cards to send in the mail. Simple, but effective. In her book Becoming, Michelle Obama wrote “Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built of a thousand small kindnesses… swapped back and forth and over again.” The older I’ve got, the more important my friendships have become, in particular with the incredible women in my life. The friendships where you can meet after a long absence and it’s like nothing has changed, or a quick-fire text exchange hits the highlight notes of your day. So whether it’s a small kindness like a note in the mailbox, a text, a coffee meet up, a wave at the school gate, a morning stroll or a (rare) night out, stay connected!
Wear Things That Spark Joy
Remember shoes? The fabulous ones you stepped out in for a night on the town or a hot date? The ones you strutted to work in and made you feel like you could take on the world? The boots made for walking? Shout out to all the fancy footwear languishing in the back of wardrobes everywhere.
Pull out your favourite shoes/dress/jewelry/lipstick whatever. Even if you’re just doing school drop off or a run to the supermarket, it can add a much-needed boost of sparkle to an otherwise ordinary day.
Set A Goal That’s Just For You
Set a personal goal that has nothing to do with anyone else, it’s just for you – something that puts a fire in your belly and spark in your eyes and is meaningful enough to keep persisting if the going gets tough, distractions arise or competing demands encroach.
A few years ago that goal for me was signing up for Coastrek – something different, something to motivate getting fitter, something I could do with friends, something that made me feel good because I was supporting a good cause.
Doing that 30km challenge reminded me I could make space for something outside the usual day-to-day, that going for a hike with friends bonds you in a special way that creates lifetime memories and is one of my favourite things ever, and that the confidence you build lifts you in so many ways in so many other areas of your life.
Need a personal goal to bring your sparkle back? Sign up for Coastrek in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide and do something just for you!