“Geez, sounds like you need some ‘me time’…” If you’re a mom, you are no stranger to this comment, which typically comes from a well-meaning stranger, friend, or partner.
The “me time” comment comes into play after you snapped at someone for breathing too loudly, turned a pleasant conversation into a heavy venting session, or had a very public meltdown in the grocery store.
The appropriate response to this comment is seething over-the-top rage because you don’t have time for me time. How dare they tell you to take care of yourself? The nerve of these legitimately concerned people who care about you. If you think “me time” is for childless people who brunch… well, you’re kind of right… but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something small every day to show yourself some love.
6 Simple ‘Me Time’ Activities for Busy Moms
1. Mommy’s secret stash.
What’s your poison? Ice cream? Oreos? Cheetos? We won’t judge. The next time you’re jotting down a grocery list add a little something that’s just for you. Pick it up, go home, and hide it from everyone. Hide it in the back of the freezer, your bedroom, or maybe in the closet with all the cleaning supplies if it seems like you’re the only one who goes in there. Once the kids are in bed: treat yo’ self.
Whether it’s an extra-long shower or a bubble bath after the kids are asleep, treat yourself to some spa time. This could be as simple as using a eucalyptus-scented body scrub in the shower, painting your toenails or applying a deep conditioning treatment once a week. The ritual doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should be something only you enjoy.
3. Read an article.
We all want to read more. If enjoying a chapter from a new novel every night sounds impossible, subscribe to a magazine. The magazine you choose could be informative or cheesy, but flip it open and enjoy an article every now and again. Having the magazine in your hand versus your phone frees you from the distractions of text and email alerts. There are also no plots or characters to keep track of so you can pick it up and put it down whenever you have the time.
4. Sweat it out.
Exercise is at the top of every to-do list in existence, but you don’t need to sign up for a gym membership to make it happen. How about a 5-minute dance party in your bedroom? Or a walk during your lunch break to get some fresh air? Do five pushups every morning and see where that takes you. When you’re ready to take ‘me time’ to the next level, many gyms do offer free childcare with their memberships.
5. Take some glamour shots.
Have you always mocked selfies? According to research published in Psychology of Well-Being, taking selfies might actually be good for your mental and emotional health. It turns out that taking happy, smiling pictures of ourselves provides an instant mood-boost and builds our confidence and self-esteem. So the next time you’re having a good hair day, give yourself the paparazzi treatment.
6. Get some puppy cuddles.
It’s impossible not to smile at a wagging tail that greets you when you walk through the door or not to feel loved when your cat snuggles close. Pets may add an extra level of complication after you have children but even the presence of fish, birds, and reptiles has been known to reduce blood pressure and alleviate stress and anxiety by lowering our body’s cortisol output. The next time you get a minute, show your pet some love. You’ll both appreciate it.
Most importantly: if you need help ask for it. We all want to be Wonder Woman, but we can’t do it all alone. Asking a friend or relative to watch the kids while you take a minute to yourself is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. Sometimes we need to put ourselves first and that’s okay.