We all have a running to-do list in our heads. Paperwork to complete, appointments to make, jobs to do around the house, projects for work, and certainly loved ones to take care of. Life gets busy. Before we know it, our own well-being is at the bottom of the list.
But if we never take time to recharge, we soon find that we’re frazzled, burned out, and ineffective. There are times in life when you just don’t have much time to take care of yourself. However, as much as we can, it’s important to try to make time for it. Self-care does not only benefit you; it benefits your whole family.
In most seasons of our lives, there are friends and family who are willing to pitch in and help if we ask. This month, make it a goal to ask your husband, parents, or a friend to watch your kids for a couple of hours. (Or, if no one is available to help that long, even 20 minutes can make a difference in how you feel!) Then choose one of these ideas (or any that you choose!) to give yourself some peace and rest.
1. Run a bath. We’ve all heard that bath salts, Epsom salts, and essential oils are great relaxers. Try this out for yourself! Light a candle, play some relaxing music, and take as much time as you want to recharge.
2. Take a nap. We underestimate the importance of rest. Even a 20-minute nap can help you feel rejuvenated! Even if you’re not sleepy, you can just lie down and close your eyes for 10-15 minutes. Relax your muscles, and try to think about nothing at all. When I’m stressed, this helps me calm down instantly.
3. Get some exercise. Find an activity or sport you enjoy, and make time a couple days a week to practice it. Whether it’s walking, swimming, running, tennis, basketball, or cycling, a little bit of movement can change your whole outlook on life.
4. Spend time with a friend. Sometimes we just need some good laughs! Get together with a friend for a coffee date, girls’ night, park day, or play date. If you have shared interests, let that be your excuse to get together!
5. Read a good book. I am a bookworm, so I may be biased here…but I feel that there are few things more restful than getting lost in a great book. Find out what topics you’re interested in (historical fiction, sci fi, biographies, DIY guides–whatever you like!) and check out a new book at the library.
6. Take up journaling. Keeping a journal has been one of the most cathartic experiences for me. When you have a space to explore your thoughts, and the chance to read them on paper, you can solve problems faster.
7. Listen to some relaxing music. Some of my favorites include the Civil Wars, the Piano Guys, Tingstad and Rumbel, and other artists that have a chill, laid back sound.
8. Send a letter or care package to a loved one. Doing something for somebody else can be very therapeutic! I love picturing their reaction when they receive the package or note. It always brightens my day to send some fun mail.
9. Try something new. Take up a new hobby. It could be learning an instrument, experimenting with art, writing stories, hiking, checking out a new gym–anything that sparks your interest.
10. Get in touch with your spiritual side. Take some time to think about what really matters to you. Consider what your mission statement is for your life. Look at the direction you are taking–does it line up with your core values? Is there something more you could be doing to add more richness and depth to your life?
There are many other self-care activities you can try, but this is a smattering of them to help you get started. Even just taking a 15-minute break during your kids’ nap or school day can refresh your soul. Spend some time doing something you enjoy. You’ll have a renewed sense of your own identity, and your family will benefit from your peaceful, happy outlook.
What are some things you like to do to recharge?
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