This time of year is stressful. There is so much to do – budgeting, shopping, rebudgeting, planning, preparing, baking, giving back,… The list goes on!
And if you are responsible for the well-being of others, the seasonal stressors compound on top of an already stressful lifestyle.
But you need to remember to put on your own oxygen mask first. I’m looking at you, mothers, fathers, caregivers of elderly family members, or those sandwiched right in the middle. You need to keep some easy, quick stress relievers up your sleeve. When you need to relax, but don’t really want to wait for an appointment or have to get a babysitter, may I present to you. . .
5 Ways to Take 5 Fairly Free Minutes for Yourself
These can be done at home. So no babysitting money!
They are fairly free. So more money for Christmas presents!
And you can totally control the amount of time you spend.
Only have 5 minutes? Great! Desperately need more me time? Take as long as you need.
1. Meditate. If you do not know how, there are multiple ways. Mindful meditation, transcendental meditation, and more. I personally like guided meditations – I do my own which I know sounds weird but I figured out a couple visualizations I like. So I just see what I want to see. It works for me. Take some time. YouTube and Google it. I even put guided meditations on for the kids at bedtime when they need some help to relax. There are some really great ones. (My daughter particularly loves The Honest Guys so perhaps that would be a good starting place for you too.)
2. Take a bath with scented candles and champagne or tea. I love a bubble bath with some hot tea and a book. It’s so relaxing. I know baths can use a fair amount of water so this may not be an all the time thing, but once in awhile, it is a great relaxing indulgence.
3. Go to a library or find a free book on bookbub.com. Curl up and let your mind escape. I seriously just use the Kindle app on my phone 90% of the time. I love having my book with me wherever I go.
4. Do a free yoga workout on youTube. Or if you would prefer check out some kickboxing, zumba, or any other type of exercise you’ve been wanting to try. There are tons of videos to choose from – different types of exercise, different of time, different personalities. The options are vast. I find exercise refreshing and depending on the type it is possibly calming, possibly an outlet. Getting moving gets the endorphins going and when we are stressed, we could sure use an extra dose of the happy hormone.
5. Journal. Writing is really therapeutic. I heard about the idea of morning pages where every morning you right 3 pages (handwritten) or 750 words (on a word processor). I tried to do it and did a couple of times. Gave up. When we were on vacation, I couldn’t get any internet service for my phone, I forgot to bring the cord for my laptop, and couldn’t do much of anything. But I did bring a journal and my pen. I started writing. I think that first night I even laid out an entire budget plan. I created a spreadsheet based upon it when I got home and, to this day, I still use it. Writing just helps me get my mind focused in so many ways. To this day I don’t write three pages, but I do write 3 things I’m grateful for, things I did to get me closer to “x” goal, or just stream of consciousness til I’m tired. Whatever it is, it feels good to get your feelings out or to clear things up in your head.
***If you are finding your load too burdensome, please seek help. There are support groups. Health insurance should cover most professionals. Do not try to tough it out. That is the worst thing you can do. Find someone to talk to. Call your insurance provider. Google support groups + your area code. Call an old friend. E-mail me. Remember we care about you and love you. You are valuable and worthy.***
So if you don’t have the time or money to take some full out mommy-only-time, make sure you try to take at least 5 minutes for yourself every now and then. Do not let yourself burn out. It is not worth it. YOU DESERVE IT.