Whether you schedule in a Facetime with a friend or find an online community that shares a common interest of yours, connecting with other people helps me regain my mental balance.
These types of interactions and engagements are usually the first thing to get flaked on, so make it a goal of yours to talk to your friend at least once a week. Or join an online book club and meet some new people that also love to read! With the internet making the world more and more connected, you can always find a group or organization that is into the same type of thing you are. Human beings are social creatures, so decide what level of social interaction you need for your mental health, and dedicate some “me time” to this at least a few times a week.
This is perhaps my favorite self-care idea as it combines some of the best things in the world: baths, face masks and chocolate. Ok, that is my particular way of indulging myself, but please feel free to steal and use for yourself.
An indulgent treat can be anything. Whatever makes you feel great about yourself or allows you to be fully in the moment. For me, this includes a bubble bath with candles, a face mask and a large glass of red wine. Give me an hour with all three of these things and I am ready to face anything. Hungry toddler who hasn’t had a nap? Bring it. A teething baby? I got that. A last-minute really important project due right now? I’m your gal.
Pampering yourself can really look like anything. Maybe you give yourself a mani/pedi or order a bouquet of flowers for yourself. Maybe you order in a take-out and binge-watch your favorite TV show. Maybe you bake your favorite dessert and then eat it. Whatever pampering yourself looks like to you, give yourself permission to be really present with yourself in an activity (or activities) that you enjoy.
I am probably the first person who would say that meditation is just “not for me”. I used all the excuses. “I don’t have time” or “I’ll do it later” only to quickly flake out of doing it. Then I went to a girl’s night centered around “self-care” and my eyes were opened. A wonderful mindfulness coached lead us through a meditation session and showed us how we can quickly incorporate meditation into our daily lives.
Internationally known Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love, once said that devoting as little as five minutes every morning to your inner life can set a positive course for your entire day. Get rid of the idea that meditating needs to be in spa-like surroundings with monks chanting in the background. That’s great if you can do it, but most of us can barely get out of the house to do the school run in the morning. The biggest misconception is that meditation has to be this long, drawn-out spiritual process. It definitely can be that, but you can also meditate in the car while you’re waiting to pick up your kids from school. Or you can meditate at the end of the day when you’re lying in bed before you go to sleep.
There are multiple apps and videos you can find online to introduce you to a mindful, meditation practice; but just like exercise, the more you meditate the better you will get at sinking into it and achieve a lot more stillness and clarity out of every practice.
No matter what way you take your “me time” the best advice I can give is just to take time for yourself every week. Not only will it improve your mental and physical health, it will allow you to be a better mom and have more fun with your family.