The other day, I realized that by 3pm I had only eaten a random bag of crushed crackers I found under the seat in my car and drank a stale can of La Croix that was sitting in my cupholder. I realized I needed to make me time during the season’s craziness or else I wouldn’t be a very fun family member to be around.
The overwhelming majority of women agree that it is important to have time to yourself. Almost 3/4 admit to putting the needs of friends and family before their own, pushing this much-needed me time aside. If you read my opening line, you know I fall into this category. I often wake in the middle of the night, mind racing, running over everything that I forgot to do yesterday and need to do tomorrow. Here are 5 easy ways to make me time, take a break- you deserve it!
Create a She Shed
Man Cave. We’ve all heard that one, but what about a She Shed? Gather up your coziest blanket, chic eye mask, aromatherapy oils and healthy snacks to create a home away from…well…home! My She Shed is on the third floor where no one can find me. We have a guest room up there that my parents stay in every few months, so I have decided to claim the space as my own. Bonus- my kids would NEVER guess where I am. If you have smaller children that might get into trouble when you exit stage left, keep a Pack n’ Play handy to pop them in and new toys for emergency situations when you NEED a break.
The fabulous people from Fiber One sent me a complete She Shed kit:
Breathe Deeply Spray with Peppermint Essential Oil
Cans of La Croix
Your body needs certain things to function, and a She Shed should be stocked with those that you miss out on. The Fiber One Brownie Bars are only 90 calories and supply 20% DV of fiber, giving you that guilt-free good for you kick. Chocolate is known for increasing serotonin (calming) levels in the body as well as dopamine. Many people don’t get enough fiber in their diet, but it helps satisfy hunger so it is easier to eat less without feeling as hungry. Keep these hidden in your She Shed!
Also, even mild dehydration can have negative effects on mood and energy. If I am hungry, cranky, or tired I try to drink water first.
Put Yourself in Time Out
Our bodies natural responses to stress allow it to cope with the effects stress can have. When my kids are driving me absolutely bonkers, I tell them that I am putting myself in a 5 minute time out. If I am beyond frustrated, my body responds in one of two ways- scream or sob. I exit to a different room, grab a pillow and scream my lungs out.
I have also gone the tear route, using up a box of tissues in order to decrease my stress levels. This is actually an excellent way to model coping and stress relief for kids. My son started putting himself in a time out when he hit his limit. He will excuse himself to his room and come down when he has regrouped.
Give Yourself a Massage
Ummm….sounds tricky, right? You can use tennis balls to give yourself a massage if you are like me and have over-asked on the massages from your partner. Thank you to POPSUGAR Fitness for this video. I was going to make my own but this chic looks ten times better in a sports bra and Spandex capris than I EVER will.
Try a Meditation App
I know, I know, meditation might sound hokey to some. It did sound hokey to me as well until I tried it, and I have friends that swear by a number of meditation apps to help them calm their crazy mind. My family is addicted to Shark Tank- my 6 year old in particular becomes completely absorbed in each entrepreneur’s journey. I watched the episode where the founder of Simple Habit presented her app and Mark Cuban called her a Gold Digger. Ugh. Kudos to Yunha Kim for sticking with her passion throughout his barrage of insults, and cheers to Sir Richard Branson for tossing water in Mark’s face (although I had to explain to my kids that this was not something we do…).
Anyways, Simple Habit is a free meditation app (yep, I am cheap when I am skeptical) and the team truly wants to make mindfulness more accessible to the world. You need less than five minutes to start, and there aren’t a bunch of explanations and commercials to wade through.
I loved giving myself permission to “Take 5,” and felt a sense of accomplishment at the end of each session. After a week, I was more patient with my kids and more forgiving of myself, two major goals in my life. Give it a try, all you have to lose is 5 mintues and c’mon…haven’t we all fallen down the Pinterest or Instagram rabbit hole for MUCH longer than that?
Plan a Vacation
Notice that I didn’t say “Take a vacation”? Many of us don’t have time to hop on a flight at a moment’s notice, leaving all commitments and obligations behind. The simple act of planning a vacation can reduce stress and inspire calm.
I have been planning a trip to Europe with my husband for months now, but it keeps getting postponed. Although we don’t have a fixed date for the journey, when I look at photos of La Sagrada Familia or the canals of Amsterdam I become transported to the magical places where I can re-discover what it means to simply enjoy my surroundings.
Cheers to taking some time for YOU this season!
Disclosure: I was provided with product from Fiber One for review purposes but all opinions are honest and my own.