Time: 31 Ideas for Mom's Daily Downtime
Everybody needs a break from the demands of daily living. And moms are no exception. Downtime is important. Don't think of it as self-indulgent… think of it as self-preservation. Giving yourself permission to slow down and relax for a few moments a day, or a few hours each week, will help you gain a fresh outlook and a renewed sense of perspective. Here are some ideas and inspirations for your own downtime delights!
1. Go to the movies with your best friend. Have popcorn. Schedule 3 hours.
2. Write something. Poetry, a letter, a short story, a journal or blog entry… take 30 minutes.
3. Close the blinds, put on some music and dance your heart out for 15 minutes…15 more if you're really feeling it.
4. Bubble bath, soft music, candles and a glass of ice-cold sparkling cider in your best crystal flute. I hour.
5. Take a walk in the woods. Bring a walking stick, bring your camera, or bring that journal. 30 minutes to 1 hour.
6. Window shop ideas for what you'll wear to your daughter's wedding – even if it's 15 years away. 2 hours.
7. Treat yourself to a civilized lunch. A sit-down restaurant, please… you can hit the drive-thru anytime! 1 ½ hours.
8. Take a nap. A real nap… flopping down on the couch doesn't count! Get in bed, under the covers, in your favorite pajamas. 1 hour.
9. Indulge in some pretty underwear…the kind that doesn't come in a 3-pack, please. While you're at it, get fitted for a new bra. Most nice department stores will be happy to assist you. And, you'll look and feel better. 1 ½ hours.
10. Catch up on your reading. Not the newspaper… but a good book, or that stack of magazines you've been too busy to get to. Take an hour.
11. Go for a swim. If you have a pool, clear out all the kids' gear and hop in… or go to the local YMCA or neighborhood rec center. But remember, it's not the Olympic time trials… it's just for pleasure and fun! Plan for an hour.
12. Reconnect with a friend. Call someone you haven't heard from in awhile and catch up with each other's lives. Before you hang up, make a date for your next call. 15 to 30 minutes.
13. Pull out your wedding album and relive those memorable moments. Remember why you married the guy and how you felt right before you walked down the aisle. Take a 20 minute stroll down memory lane.
14. Take your mom to Sunday brunch. She could use a break too! Schedule 2 hours.
15. Pray, read your Bible or devotional. Spend some quiet time, soaking up the silence and listening for that still, small voice. Take as much time as you need.
16. Get crafty. Try your hand at something new, like ceramics, weaving, flower arranging or scrapbooking; china painting, card-making or calligraphy. Many craft stores, rec centers and community colleges offer classes. 1 to 2 hours.
17. Try a little yoga. Buy an instruction video or catch one on TV and prepare for 30 minutes of surprisingly invigorating relaxation.
18. Go for a drive. It may seem odd to drive without a destination, but it's actually a great way to meditate, relax, and explore! Find a country road, play your favorite CD, roll the windows down, and let the wind blow through your hair. 15 minutes to 1 hour.
19. Never, ever underestimate the power of a pedicure! Treat your feet and your whole body will thank you! 1 hour.
20. Have a tea party. Find a local tea room, or create your own at home, complete with lace tablecloth, linen napkins, a pretty teapot, fine china and a plate of finger sandwiches, scones, and other sweet treats. Invite another deserving mom to join you. 1 ½ hours.
21. Watch your favorite movie on DVD, or rent a new one you've been wanting to see. Grab some snacks, turn off the lights, and curl up on the couch for 2 hours.
22. Wake up early one morning to hit some yard sales! Check the local paper for addresses. There are some great deals out there, but even if you don't find anything, it can be a blast to browse! Plan for 30 minutes to an hour.
23. Go to your happy place. Maybe it's a beach in Maui, a French country market, or the wicker rocking chair on your grandmother's front porch. Close your eyes and you're there. Spend some time doing whatever you love, wherever your happy place happens to be. 15 minutes.
24. Take a bike ride. Bring a bottle of cold water, your helmet, and head for the nearest park or bike path. Plan on pedaling for 45 minutes.
25. Find your mom's recipe for your favorite comfort food when you were growing up. Think about why it makes you feel so good. If you haven't had it in awhile, ask your family if they'd like to give it a try. 20 minutes.
26. Send yourself some flowers… or pick up a bunch at the corner market. Keep them wherever you'll see them most during the day. 15 minutes.
27. Go antiquing… find a quaint little shop and browse without thinking of buying. Just admire the antiques and try to imagine the stories behind them…who might have owned them, how they lived, and what their families were like. Take 2 hours.
28. Do nothing. (Yes, it's really okay…) 30 minutes to 1 hour.
29. If you can, treat yourself to a massage or facial. You'll come away revitalized and relaxed. 1 hour.
30. Schedule a play date for yourself. Connect with a friend for some frivolity and fun, like bowling or miniature golf. Go for ice cream afterwards. 2 hours.
31. If you play an instrument, pull your guitar out of the closet or dust off the piano keys and indulge in some music! Play your old favorites or learn some new songs. Give yourself an hour.
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