Summer should be full of carefree, relaxed moments for the entire family, including mom and dad. Here are 6 ways to find a little “me time” each day, even when the kids are home on vacation.
My routines are really what preserves my sanity (well, most of it!), and one of the things I do that is absolutely critical is my daily ritual of waking up nearly an hour before the rest of my family. Most mornings I get right out into my neighborhood and take a brisk powerwalk. Those walks are for me, and me alone; I usually don’t even walk with a friend or neighbor, because I treasure that time to either listen to my iPod (which is loaded with my favorite QDT podcasts, of course), or walk and just chill out with my own thoughts.
If you can get into the daily habit of creating even one small ritual - such as doing a few yoga stretches, or starting your day alone with your favorite cup of hot tea - you will soon find that this is time you will treasure. Protect it at all costs.
Tip 3: Ditch Your Time Wasters
Evaluate the things that are wasting your time each day. Do you play a little bit too much on Facebook or Instagram? How many times a day do you grab your smartphone and check your e-mail messages? Do you have the necessary ingredients on hand each night to make dinner, or are you constantly running to the store on the way home from work so you can cobble a meal together?
Once you identify how and where you are piddling away your time, you will have a better grasp of one or two areas that you can organize so that you will not only feel less harried and more productive, you'll also free up chunks of time that you could be spending on yourself.
Tip #4: Hit the Road
If you’re really struggling to find true “alone” time without your kids, pets, or even your partner, you can do what I used to do years ago when I had 4 kids under the age of 3 — gas up the car and hit the road.
I'll never forget that summer that I had a newborn, a one-year old, a two-year old, and a three-year old. (I’m shaking just putting this memory down into words!) It truly was the most trying time I ever experienced as a mother, but, thankfully, my babies loved to nap in the car. So nearly every day after lunch, I loaded them up in the minivan and would take a 30-minute drive.
They fell asleep almost instantly, so I would either drive thru and get an iced tea and just enjoy the peace and quiet, or I would listen to audio books. I came home refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day - and, as an added bonus, had a summer filled with great books.