Several years ago I bought a book called 20 Minute Retreats. I thought it was a great idea so I picked a retreat and performed it in the 20 minute time frame. It felt great.
I never opened the book again. It's just too hard for me to grab even 10 minutes of peace and quiet, let along 20! I wish things were different but they just aren't right now.
I care for 6 infants toddlers and preschoolers for 60+ hours per week in my home, so I understand why Moms are stressed and perpetually busy. I understand why self-care, although so crucial to the well-being of the entire family, is so often and so severely neglected.
I also understand how important it is for us to care for ourselves as well as the people we're responsible for. It only makes sense.
I put together a list of one-minute self-care techniques for busy moms based on what works for me.
Afternoon tea. Or morning tea, evening tea. Just do this. Make yourself a cup of healthy tea such as an herbal tea with coconut milk or coconut oil and stevia. Now sit and drink it by yourself.
If anyone says anything at all to you simply say, not now, I'm having my tea in a calm and steady voice. Some Moms use a special cup or a place mat as a visual signal that means you need this time to yourself.. Soon you'll teach them how to treat you when it comes to tea time. If they don't respect your words at all, read this article I wrote about gaining respect with 3 little words.
If they still won't leave you alone, escape to the bathroom with your cup and once you get there, just sit, breathe and enjoy your beverage. You deserve this and you know it.
I realize that, of course, getting to the bathroom is not always possible so here's another idea that might help. I'm going to share with you today my personal mantra that has kept me sane and mostly calm for the last 10 years. Here it is, feel free to change it to suit your own needs.
My only goal is inner peace....
The only moment is now......
My only functions are forgiveness and appreciation.....
Music is a huge stress reliever for me and I bet it is for you, too. I'm giving you total permission to choose your favorite song for a change. And turn it up. Then dance.......... Like no one's watching................. Even though they may be!
Move your body freely any way that feels good to you. Get your heart rate up and don't stop until the song's over, even if it's more than a minute You deserve some fun, too!
Get a leg up. This yoga pose feels good immediately. Just scoot your bottom up as close as you can to the wall and raise your legs. Use a pillow under your sacrum if it's more comfortable. Relax for one minute and enjoy your breath as you heart slows down, your body relaxes and lower back tension is relieved.
Let one rip!! A song that is. It turns out that singing improves mental alertness by increasing circulation and bringing more oxygen to your brain. It can also release endorphins, feel good brain chemicals that naturally boost your mood. So why not? All of these benefits work regardless of the quality of your singing voice!
I hope you don't just read these techniques but you do them and do them often. Or design your own.
It's so easy to just say to yourself, "I know that already.". But it's darn hard to take the time to actually do them. Convince yourself that you deserve this because you do. And so does your family. They'll respect you for it, believe me.
Have questions about healthy weight, sleep, family boundaries or your kid's behavior. Need support from someone who understands and never judges? Ask Nanci. Find out more here.
Nanci J. Bradley is a child and family educator, author, energy facilitator, family aerobics instructor and all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, lifelong learning, healthy eating, fun, and more than anything else, PLAY! She studied early childhood education at Triton College and received her BA in education from Northern Illinois University in 1986. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lost 100 lbs in her 40's on a low carb diet and learned to keep it off for good. Before and after pics are here. She lives and teaches in Madison, WI.