Lately I’ve found myself caught in the quagmire of busyness, forgetting to stop to take regular breaks to reset and balance myself. When I don’t take this essential time to recharge, I find that I perform less than optimally.
My activities and responsibilities pile up on me, making me feel weighed down and stressed.
I start to dread my responsibilities.
I become cranky with those that I care for, and I become stressed.
When I’m stressed I don’t behave or feel as my best self.
But by taking even small breaks from my responsibilities makes a huge difference in my reactions towards myself and my loved ones.
If I take an hour to have coffee with a friend, I feel revitalized and centered, making all things easier to deal with throughout the day. Even a ten-minute walking meditation can be just the respite I need to set the rest of my day in the right direction.
We all need respite from something in our lives whether it’s from doing dishes, caring for our children, or preparing healthy meals.
So why not seek take a break from the madness of your daily activities and give yourself a well deserved break?
There are several ways we can get support and free ourselves up for that essential time to unwind and de-stress. Choose one of the below suggestions that resonates with you the best and give it a try.
Everyone needs a break and should seek it out, no guilt attached. Most other parents are in the same boat as you are – they’d like a little time to themselves but not exactly sure how to get it or feel guilty for wanting it. So why not work with another parent to allow each other some time without children. Or find a single friend that likes to go to kid’s movies and rent your child(ren) to them for the movie time. Your friend won’t look silly going to a children’s movie by themselves and you get a break from the children – win win.
Eating healthy shouldn’t be stressful. Try a menu planning service to help with weekly recipes and a grocery list., or maybe a personal chef could come in once a month and cook several freezer meals to help. Delegating one meal a week to a family member might also be another option, or you could do it yourself and cook up a double batch of soups and stews and freeze half to give yourself a break from cooking when you need it.
A housekeeper can be a godsend. You might be thinking you can’t afford a housekeeper but I challenge you to consider it even for one day a month. If you think of your time as money then it might be cheaper to hire someone to clean your home, and it can free you up to do more satisfying things that add joy to your life. If a housekeeper is out of the question then delegation of household cleaning duties is in order.
Unless you are wallowing in mud every day you don’t need to wash your jeans after one wear. In fact it’s bad for jeans to be washed frequently as it causes them to break down quicker leaving you to have to buy jeans more often, and do more laundry. A great option is to try a laundry service who will wash and fold your clothes for you, leaving you with the sole task of putting them away.
It’s all too easy to waste an entire weekend running errands. With just a little planning you could easily become more organised and get it done in just one trip. Writing a list the things that need to be accomplished helps to organize where you need to go, what you need to get, as well as making sure you get everything in one trip. Another option is hiring a professional (Girl Friday) to run your errands for you. Grocery stores and big box stores will also deliver your purchases if needed saving you a trip and the time required walking up and down the aisles searching for items. Also consider shopping in bulk – go to a big box store once every six months and buy enough sundries to last.
Clutter has a way of stressing us out, draining our energy and making our world feel chaotic. Maybe it’s time to declutter the house or maybe a room in the house to get rid of clutter for good. “Less is more”, I say. And it always equates to more time and more freedom.
So delegate some of the tidying activities to other household members and also consider if you’re making tidying more complicated than it needs to be – for example if you have ten decorative pillows on your bed then putting your bed together every day is going to become draining.
Family and friend activities can be a large time and energy suck if you’re not careful. Yet I actually find it the easiest to get a break from. My answer is just say, “NO”. There is nothing that says you have to participate in every event or activity your friends and family put in front of you. Choose activities that offer you joy and don’t add to your stress level.
These are just a few examples of how to get a break from your everyday responsibilities and claim essential time for yourself. When we take care of ourselves it makes it easier to take care of others, so for the sake of your own wellbeing and that of your family, make ‘you time’ a priority.
Make sure you do something rejuvenating with this time and don’t fill it with yet another chore. Why not try taking a walk in nature, having coffee or tea with a friend, deep breathing, a bath, walking meditation, massage, or something similar? I’m sure you have something in mind that will bring joy to your heart.