Whew! Summer is just beginning and as a mom of a little one I already feel a bit weary. As moms, we seem to take care of everyone and everything. But I have to admit, sometimes I feel guilty when I take time to take care of, um… ME! But let’s take that guilt, throw it over our shoulder and take some personal “mama” time for ourselves this summer ~ GUILT FREE!
Each of us has the capacity to nurture others and accomplish great things but a constant focus on others takes its toll. A car is filled with gas to make it run. Eventually the gas runs out and your car won’t move unless the car is replenished with fuel. The same goes for us. Emotional issues can develop when we don’t take the time to take care of our spiritual and emotional well-being, not to mention the physical results of emotional neglect.
Taking time to refuel our emotional tank is important so we can be the best for our family, our jobs and for others. A wise friend is teaching me that sitting for fifteen minutes doing nothing helps restore what a busy schedule drains out of me. In the summer, relaxing in a hammock under a tree is the perfect getaway from the pressures of the day. Reading a book for 30 minutes can also seem like heaven to many moms and overscheduled women.
So, join me as I commit to taking time to refresh my spirit so I can be the best I can be! Try one of these tips and leave a comment on this blog entry about how it goes. Share ideas YOU have found that are helpful for “filling your tank.”
1. Get up early if you have to. When you have kids or a full work schedule, the day begins at a hurried pace. Once you hit the ground running, there is no stopping. Waking 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time means quiet solitude to spend time reading the Bible, praying, drinking your coffee, and/or listening to music.
2. Turn ordinary experiences into major events. When you take a bath, add candles, bubbles, quiet music and/or an inflatable bath pillow. Your regular bath has now become a spa level experience. If you watch a movie, turn out the lights, pop a bag of microwave popcorn and curl up on the couch.
3. Ask your husband for help. Kids love their mothers but time spent with dad is important too. Let them bond with dad while you go shopping for a new outfit or root around in the garden. Since the time is yours, do whatever you like.
4. Use the Boy Scout motto. Always be prepared and you can spend more time in a relaxed mode. Fix lunches the night before. Iron clothes for the next day. Place backpacks by the front door so kids can grab them on their way out. The fewer things you have to do throughout the day, the calmer you will be with your family and not experience burnout.
5. Take exercise breaks. When you get a few minutes the last thing you want to do is exercise but getting a little physical activity in your day has far-reaching implications. Exercise helps you to think clearly and stretches the muscles. Also, stress will drain away as powerful endorphins are released into your system. Keep walking shoes by your desk at work. Do jumping jacks during a television commercial or jog to the bus stop to pick up the kids.
Tara is an Associate with iBloom. She has a heart for MOMS and she helps them face challenges and celebrate victories. Click here to visit Tara’s bio page.