Between making lunches, doing laundry, carpooling, homework helping and bedtime, parents are busy. Throw in an extra-curricular activity, a parent teacher night and a bake sale, and there’s no question, you’re slammed.
But just as the flight attendant advises you to fit your oxygen mask before your child’s, so too must we all remember to take care of ourselves. We’re no good to our family if we spread ourselves too thin.
Here are five easy ways to carve some “me” time out of your busy days:
- Walk – Sitting is the new smoking, according to the latest dire reports. So do whatever you can to decrease your sedentary time. That means recasting chores like grocery shopping and housework in a positive light. View these busy activities as opportunities for physical exercise, and take another couple of laps around the produce aisles.
- Develop a ritual – Whether it’s reading the newspaper every morning for 10 minutes or taking a bath every night, decide on something that you will do every day just for you. Being intentional in this activity helps and you will soon find you have formed a new habit that you won’t break.
- Make your commute work for you – Whether you drive, walk or take transit to work, turn this drudgery into found time by listening to an audiobook or your favourite podcast. You’ll soon find you’re looking forward to this daily grind instead of dreading it.
- Pace yourself – Whether your work is inside or outside your home, chances are you often go non-stop without taking a break. Unless you’re in the middle of brain surgery, scheduling breaks to stretch and oxygenate your brain are critical. Take a few minutes to hydrate, move around and regroup. Instead of reaching for junk food, snack wisely. A low-cal, high-fibre treat such as a Fibre 1 bar will satisfy cravings and stabilize your energy levels without the sugar rush. Or if you want a little healthy indulgence, whip up one of these bite size recipes from Fibre 1 to satisfy your craving and keep you honest. It’s the perfect addition to your coffee break.
- Set a media blackout – Is technology taking over your downtime? Set a window of time when you WILL NOT check email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and whatever other new social media gizmo comes along, say from 5 to 7 pm. Once you create this capsule of time for yourself, you’ll find people can wait, and that you aren’t missing much.