I know as busy moms finding a few minutes alone is hardly possible and then to have it be “peaceful AND quiet?” I know, but honestly you have to strive to make a routine in your home where mom can find a few minutes – you just have to.
Even just a few minutes each day for peace and quiet will relax and rejuvenate yourself. Depending on your tastes, you can find several ways to spend as little as ten minutes relaxing when the kids are napping or just before they wake in the morning. Morning is my go-to time. It is my guarantee – so I have to make sure I get to bed in order to wake up a bit earlier. That can be a challenge, but I know how I feel if I miss my time in the morning my attitude can be just a little off).
Here are some ideas:
- During your child’s nap time, take a short catnap. Make sure you can hear your little one when he wakes up. Even 5 minutes with your eyes closed helps.
- Sit quietly and do some deep breathing exercises. Sit straight and breath in deeply to the count of six – breathe deeply under you fill your whole lungs. Hold for a couple counts and then release the breath slowly until all the air is out of your lungs. Repeat several times.
- Read a few pages of a favorite book – two of my favorite books right now are Count Your Blessings, Inspiration from the Beloved Hymn – it is filled with short encouraging verses and poems to brighten my day. Another recent discovery is Prayers from the Pews by Teri Lynne Underwood. It’s sections are short and the author is so genuine in her sharing that it makes me feel uplifted.
- If there is another responsible person in the house, take a few minutes to go outside and take a walk, or work in the garden (but only if gardening is fun for you – if you consider it or anything else work, it won’t be as relaxing).
- Unwind for a few minutes by working on a craft that you love, like scrapbooking, beading or card making.
- Get an exercise DVD that has it’s program cut into short segments – do one or two exercise segments to burn off some stream and relax your body.
- Do a short yoga session.
- Pop on your Ipod and listen to some good music for your soul. My stand-by Cd right now is Big Daddy Weave’s, Love Come to Life. It just stops me in my tracks and brings me back to what is truly important.
- Take a few minutes to do some good healthy stretching.
- Sit quietly and write in a journal. Write anything – your hopes, dreams, plans or funny things that have happened. I have a gratitude journal and just jotting down 5 things will brighten my day.
- Sit quietly on the porch or patio and watch the world go by.
- Make yourself a cup of tea and sip it slowly. Nibble on a favorite cookie, too.
- Fix yourself a healthy sandwich or bowl of soup and take your time eating it – don’t gulp it down.
- These are only a few ideas to get your juices flowing. You can probably come up with a long list of things you like to do when you have some free time that help you feel refreshed and relaxed. Make that list, write it out and keep it handy as a ‘go-to’ resource. Sometimes it is the hardest thing to think of something to do, at least for me it can be.
Even when you have children, a home, a job, a relationship, hobbies, classes to take, friends to pay attention to, a lawn to be mowed and dishes to wash, you still need to grab time for yourself to relax, unwind and refresh yourself.
These small moments can be valuable helpers in keeping you de-stressed and on an even keel. As a mom, you’ve got a lot to do and a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. It’s important to remember that one of your first responsibilities is to take care of yourself.
You’ll be able to better perform all of you other jobs. Relaxation is a vital element of everyone’s life. Without it, stress can creep up and overtake you, making you less effective as a mother, and in other areas of your life.
What is your favorite 10 minute activity?