As a busy Mom of two, I can completely relate to comments such as, “I’m starving! Oh right… I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast!” (and it’s now 3pm), or “It’s been three days since I had a proper shower.” At some point or another, we can all relate.
In the beginning, it’s feeding schedules, diaper changes and round-the-clock wakings that get in the way of our own self-care. Later on, play dates, work commitments and household tasks take their place. Weeks go by – maybe months – without so much as a few hours sans kids or work. Think of it as chaining yourself to your desk; the notion of being in the office for that long would seem crazy, right? That’s why it’s so important to schedule “Me Time”. And when I say schedule, I mean actually noting it in your calendar – with a pop-up reminder if possible! (I love my iPhone for this reason alone!) There’s something very “official” about the whole process… you’re more likely to act on it if you treat it like any other appointment. After all, you wouldn’t skip out on the doctor or dentist without a really good reason, would you?
If you’ve decided it’s time to commit to your own well-being, here are a few fab, frugal ways to spend your “Me Time”!
1. Get a massage
One of my favourite things to do, this offers both physical and mental benefits. It sounds expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Many healthcare plans cover massage, as long as it’s done by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), so it could cost you very little or nothing, depending on your coverage. Alternatively, you could visit a school and get your treatment done by a student for a fraction of the cost. Let’s face it, our backs suffer from constant bending, carrying our babies (who become heavy toddlers!), and more. Massage is an important part of our own self-care. Try: Sutherland-Chan Teaching Clinics (Greater Toronto Area)
2. Take a walk
It sounds SO simple, right? Yet, how often are you able to take a relaxing, quiet, uninterrupted walk? You might walk a lot during the day, especially if you’re at home with your child(ren), but it’s definitely not the same. There’s something so innately powerful about quieting your mind and being able to hear your own thoughts, with no babies crying, toddlers whining or kids calling for your constant attention. The fab part? You can take as long or short a walk as you want, so while hubby is bathing the kids (if he doesn’t already do this, train him to!), sneak out for a few minutes and regain a bit of your sanity.
3. Do something you love
Whether it’s yoga, going to the movies, hanging out at a coffee shop with the weekend crossword puzzle or getting your nails done, make sure you indulge yourself once in awhile, despite it seeming frivolous. Let’s face it, a manicure won’t last very long when you’re changing diapers 6 times a day and constantly washing your hands, but it’s not always about practicality, it’s about indulging yourself. Besides, many of the ideas I’ve noted are relatively inexpensive (manicure) to downright cheap (the price of a coffee!), so there’s no need to feel guilty.
4. Try something new
Sometimes, as Moms, we get so used to living in a sleep-deprived haze that we forget we used to be adventurous, spontaneous and, well, FUN! Break out of that Zombie Mom mold and try something you’ve never done before, even if it scares you a bit. And, I don’t mean hang-gliding (unless you really want to) – simply try something out of your comfort zone. If you’re a die-hard yoga lover, try a spinning class; if you don’t consider yourself very artsy, visit a ceramics studio and paint your first masterpiece. You might just feel exhilarated by the whole experience!
5. Get together with other Moms
One of the best things you can do to ensure you take care of yourself is to get out and do things with other fellow Moms. Spend your “Me Time” together, reinforcing the importance of taking time for yourself. (Salsa dancing, anyone?) Sometimes we forgo scheduled time alone because there are other more pressing tasks on our to-do lists. But, if you team up with a group (or even just one friend) to do things together, you’ll be less likely to cancel. Remember, your friends are counting on you!
No matter what stage you’re at (baby, toddler and beyond), every Mom needs to take care of herself. After all, if you get sick, who will take care of everyone else?
Wishing you some well-deserved, rejuvenating, fulfilling “Me Time”.