The other day I wrote about making evenings work for myself and my husband. This got me brainstorming about ways to also make time for myself. Pregnant with my first child, I never fully appreciated the total lack of time I would have to give to myself as a parent. Both of our children haven't been great sleepers, so we've spent the past 5 years doing both daytime parenting and exhaustive nighttime parenting. So the snippets of time I've managed to find for myself have been spent trying to eat something (mostly chocolate), or collapsing on the couch.
Lately, though, the intensity of parenting during the early years has slowed down (just a bit!). My oldest daughter is becoming more independent, and we've been working hard with my youngest to get more sleep.
Of course, it's easy for this extra time to be frittered away by scrolling through my Facebook timeline or watching television. And hey, I love me some TV and Facebook, but I'm also hoping to focus on my own personal wellness - something that a screen doesn't usually help with.
Here are some ways I've been making time for me:
- I joined the gym! There is a gym at my work, and although it's certainly not pretty or modern, it does the trick. I do a quick 45 minute workout at lunch.
- I take meandering walks. We back onto a ravine, and on my days working from home, I'll take the dog out into the ravine and make my way slowly through the bush. This quiet time to myself has allowed me to do a lot of thinking!
- Instead of pouring myself a big glass of wine when I get home from work, I've been trying to take time to brew a nice cup of herbal tea. I sip on this while getting dinner prepped or doing the dishes.
- I joined a yoga class. Although it's only once per week, I'm LOVING the time I have to stretch and move mindfully
All of these things are so simple, and don't seem like much. But they've made a world of difference. I feel happier, and more grounded. Of course I have goals for finding even more time for myself too :) At some point I'm hoping I'll feel rested enough to get up early in the morning and practice meditation or yoga. I have a ways to go yet, but I think progress has been made.
How do you make time for yourself as a parent?