My friend Kristen confessed something recently that I totally identified with. She was feeling worn down by her current schedule, which offers her almost no time without at least one child in tow. Her husband wants to help out and even encourages her to take off as soon as he returns home from work—to go to shopping, to go exercise, just to go somewhere alone. The problem? Those things don’t recharge her body and mind in the way she needs.
“I’m physically exhausted by the time he makes it home. I really don’t want to leave the house and go somewhere to be on my feet for another hour or two. I just want to crash,” she said.
And therein lies the lesson, friends. Not all Mommy Breaks are created equal, and they’re not one-size-fits-all. For some of our friends, that solo run to Target or TJ Maxx, no matter how late, feels like just the right indulgence; but for others, the chance to hide out with a book and escape to another world for a few minutes is the best medicine. We polled our mom friends on social media to find out how they choose to spend those precious minutes devoted to their own well-being. Check out our list of 9 Killer Mommy Breaks to see if one of their tried and true methods works for you!
- A hot bath with a good book. Take a soak and escape to another time and place in the pages of a great read. If necessary, put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door so everyone will know Mommy is taking a little break and they should come back later.
- Take in your favorite TV series. For some of us, nothing hits the reset button like a date with the DVR to watch the latest installment of our preferred entertainment. After just an hour with all the Granthams at Downton Abbey, I’m ringing for Carson so he can update me on tonight’s menu and wondering how I’ll ever get dressed with my lady’s maid out of town…
- Girl talk. We all just want to be understood! And a good, long chat over a latte—or even just over the phone—with a trusted girlfriend is good for the soul.
- Spa time. Even if you don’t read in the tub, take your time and do all those pampering things you rarely get to indulge in on a normal, busy day. Soak, exfoliate, shave, do the clay mask, and moisturize until you’re Jello.
- Go vertical. Sometimes the only thing that calms my racing mind and restores my spirit is a few moments reading my Bible or a devotional and praying. Connecting with God reminds us that we’re not alone, and that He will help us accomplish the 400 things before us.
- Move and listen. If you love the cleansing endorphin rush of a cardio workout, take a long walk or run with an awesome podcast or playlist.
- Create. For some of us, there’s something very therapeutic about working with our hands. While the hands are knitting, painting or working the clay, our minds are free to wander.
- Organize. I know what you’re thinking: That sounds an awful lot like work. But for a certain breed of moms, having some uninterrupted time to straighten out that closet or sort those photos is like a drug. They love the process and walk away feeling like the world is a better place. Just because they can find stuff now.
- Retail therapy. There are some days that I just want to wander aimlessly around Target or TJ Maxx, with no real goal and no big rush. I am told that I’m not alone in this.
Check out even more ways to unwind in 31 Ideas for Mom’s Daily Me Time!
Share with us… Tell us what charges your “mom batteries” best when you have a few moments to yourself!
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.