This topic comes up with just about every Mom I work with. Every Mom knows they need to take care of themselves, but every Mom struggles with how to do that since their family takes up so much of their time. This train of thought creates guilt (want to give up the guilt? Read more in this blog post) in every Mom that feels it, too. It can also build resentment towards their support system.
To everyone who is struggling with this, I have two things to tell you:
1. It's up to you to handle. It's not up to your support system to make it happen for you, it's not up to your kids to give you space. It's up to you to find the time. I say this because once you're able to take ownership of it, you're far more likely to be successful in finding time. A bonus to taking ownership of it is that you feel a sense of pride when you do find time.
2. It is possible to find time with even the most hectic schedules. To anyone who tells me that they don't have time, I challenge them to show me their schedules and I will find time. Though I've found time with every client, it's often not time they're lacking, but energy. Once you acknowledge that's what it is, you're ready to put the next tips to use.
Time and energy are two different things. We all have 24 hours in a day and it's always possible to find time. It's not always easy to find energy, however, so here are my top 5 ways to find the energy to take care of you:
- Delegate a task to your kids. Yes, that's right, your kids. If they're young, they can sweep. If they're older, they can do a lot more. Once you give up an activity that's draining you, you can redirect that energy towards something that fulfills you instead. This means that your kids won't do it "right", they'll do it their way, but they'll be learning how to do it better each time, too. Feel like it's an energy drain to argue with them to get them to do it? There are ways to motivate every child!
- Schedule it. Many parents live by their schedule. I know that I've had my calendar out for just about every conversation I've had this summer. I'd be lost without it. If you're a scheduler like myself, once you put time for you on the calendar, it's there - all you have to do is seize the opportunity.
- Just do it. Yes, I stole that from Nike, but it's true. Sometimes it takes more energy talking yourself into or out of doing something you know is right than it takes to just do it without the internal struggle. Train your body to take those 5 minutes, 10 minutes or even an hour if you can.
- Lower your expectations. In a dream world, taking care of myself includes an evening filled with wine, gelato and Pride & Prejudice, but I don't live in a dream world. Rather than having grand expectations for your taking care of you time, lower your expectations and start small. Put on music while you shower to drown out the sounds of kids fighting. Put your phone on DND while you catch up on your favorite show. Take the long way home from work and blast your favorite music in the car. It doesn't have to be a weekend at the spa, something small can make a world of difference.
- Order takeout. This is a tip for finding energy to take care of you and it's also a treat for you. Use paper plates and utensils. Order takeout. Then sit back and enjoy the clean (ish) kitchen and the time after dinner when you would have been doing the dishes.
What's your favorite way to find energy to take care of you? Better yet, what's your favorite way to take care of you? Comment below and tell us what you think. Don't forget to share this post with anyone who may be interested.