Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Taking Care of YOU

Prioritizing Me

1
Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

ee6ed8b0301933619508f3a8746e86ec0419c4d5.jpg

Let me just start this by saying I love my child I do! She is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything. Sometimes, though, when she’s been attached to my hip all day and “Mommy” has become a curse word, I consider running away to the nearest monastery full of monks who have taken vows of silence.

We all need a little quiet and some “me time” once in a while, especially if you’re home all the time as a full-time blogger. Being a mom is a full time job in itself, so it might be hard to find the time to prioritize yourself and make the most of your me time. In an effort to help keep my fellow bloggers stay sane and healthy, I’ve pulled together a few ideas to help you prioritize yourself without feeling guilty. I use most of these tricks myself, so I can attest to their effectiveness.

Guard Your Gym Time

Getting out to the gym is definitely important for both your physical and mental health but it’s also a great way to do something just for yourself. Getting a good workout in a few times a week is a great way to boost your endorphin and serotonin levels, leading to an overall feeling of wellbeing.

If your gym offers massages or other benefits, consider taking advantage of them. Massages are an awesome way to de-stress. I make it a point to go work out with a personal trainer twice a week just to give me a chance to get away, de-stress, and work out some of my anxiety on the treadmill.

Treat Yourself

If your kid is anything like mine, you probably have to hide any treats you buy for yourself or you’ll be expected to share. It’s also probably the only time you’ve regretted teaching your kids to share.

Even if you have to hide your treats, it’s worth it to treat yourself. I’ve got a bag of Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares hidden inside a frozen vegetable bag in the freezer, and after my little one goes down for the night, I treat myself to a couple of squares. As an added bonus, I can enjoy this treat totally guilt free because all sorts of studies have found dark chocolate is actually good for you in small amounts.

Volunteer for a Good Cause

Nothing feels better than doing something for others, right? It’s especially awesome when it gives you a chance to spend time around other adults, rather than trying to have a conversation with your kids.

Volunteering at your local retirement community, for example, can be a great way to make someone’s day better, plus it gives you a chance to learn about everything from history to crafting. Strike up a conversation with a retiree about what their life was like when they were young — I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Do What You Love

Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress, learn new skills, or just challenge yourself. Doing something you enjoy basically requires you step away from the things in your life that are demanding your attention:

  • Shut off the work email
  • Wait until the kids are in bed or at school
  • Break out your hobby

In spite, or possibly because, of the fact that I blog for a living, my hobby tends to be writing. I work on my fiction stories when my kid is in bed, mostly because if I try to write when she’s awake, I’ll end up with every other character saying things like “Don’t eat that!” or “Stop hitting the dog!”

Stretch It Out

Yoga is an awesome way to shake off the stress of the day or start your day off on the right note, depending on when you decide to start stretching. If you don’t have the time or money to head to a professional yoga studio, there are tons of tutorials and videos on sites like YouTube for free to help you get started.

Searching “yoga for beginners” on YouTube alone nets you something like 1.85 million results, so you’ve got plenty to choose from. I’m not terribly flexible, but I do use yoga to help me wind down so I can sleep at night. There’s a great little 8-minute routine I use that helps me shake off the last vestiges of the day so I can fall asleep without staring at the ceiling for hours.

Binge Watch a Series

Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting around and vegetating in front of your computer or television watching your favorite show. While it might not be the healthiest alternative, sometimes all your brain can handle after a long day of parenting and blogging is some mindless television.

Once or twice a week I’ll shut all the work stuff down, get through the bedtime routine, and spend a couple hours either binge-watching an old favorite show — OK, I’ll admit it, I’m usually rewatching shows like “Doctor Who” or “Battlestar Galactica” — or I’ll catch up on the shows on my DVR that I’ve missed all week.

See A Movie Alone

Heading to the movies by yourself has this ridiculous stigma attached to it but sometimes it’s awesome to spend a couple hours immersed in the world of the movie without little hands tugging on you or whispering that they need to go to the bathroom during the climax of the film.

Seriously, though, if you’ve got a couple hours to kill without the kids in tow, consider hitting a matinee at your local theater. As an added bonus, you don’t have to fight with anyone for the popcorn or candy.

Use Those Headphones

Sometimes, parenting is really hard. We all have those days. If you ever think you might be depressed, consider taking a self-evaluation and speaking to your doctor. It’s always okay to ask for help. Some good news is that science has proven that listening to your favorite song can help make you happier and improve your overall mood and performance, so I’m not just making this up. If the kids are awake, crank up the tunes and host an impromptu dance party in the living room.

If they’ve already gone to bed, plug in those headphones and just enjoy the tunes. You will find it helps improve your mood no matter how bad a day you’ve had. Even if you’re working, consider turning on some music — I’m rocking out to some Sublime while I’m writing this for you, and it puts a great big smile on my face.

“Me time” might seem like it’s in short supply, but even with the little ones tugging at your shirt or your work email blowing up, it’s possible to eke out a few minutes here and there. It’s not impossible, and you don’t need to get bitten by a radioactive spider or develop another super power to manage it. Just take a few minutes to yourself at the beginning or end of your day, and you’ll find you feel a lot better overall. Take a few steps to prioritize yourself, and you’ll be surprised at the results.

Let me just start this by saying I love my child. I do! She is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything. Sometimes, though, when she’s been attached to my hip all day and “Mommy” has become a curse word, I consider running away to the nearest monastery full of monks who have taken vows of silence.

We all need a little quiet and some “me time” once in a while, especially if you’re home all the time as a full-time blogger. Being a mom is a full time job in itself, so it might be hard to find the time to prioritize yourself and make the most of your me time. In an effort to help keep my fellow bloggers stay sane and healthy, I’ve pulled together a few ideas to help you prioritize yourself without feeling guilty. I use most of these tricks myself, so I can attest to their effectiveness.

Guard Your Gym Time

Getting out to the gym is definitely important for both your physical and mental health but it’s also a great way to do something just for yourself. Getting a good workout in a few times a week is a great way to boost your endorphin and serotonin levels, leading to an overall feeling of wellbeing.

If your gym offers massages or other benefits, consider taking advantage of them. Massages are an awesome way to de-stress. I make it a point to go work out with a personal trainer twice a week just to give me a chance to get away, de-stress, and work out some of my anxiety on the treadmill.

Treat Yourself

If your kid is anything like mine, you probably have to hide any treats you buy for yourself or you’ll be expected to share. It’s also probably the only time you’ve regretted teaching your kids to share.

Even if you have to hide your treats, it’s worth it to treat yourself. I’ve got a bag of Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares hidden inside a frozen vegetable bag in the freezer, and after my little one goes down for the night, I treat myself to a couple of squares. As an added bonus, I can enjoy this treat totally guilt free because all sorts of studies have found dark chocolate is actually good for you in small amounts.

Volunteer for a Good Cause

Nothing feels better than doing something for others, right? It’s especially awesome when it gives you a chance to spend time around other adults, rather than trying to have a conversation with your kids.

Volunteering at your local retirement community, for example, can be a great way to make someone’s day better, plus it gives you a chance to learn about everything from history to crafting. Strike up a conversation with a retiree about what their life was like when they were young — I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Do What You Love

Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress, learn new skills, or just challenge yourself. Doing something you enjoy basically requires you step away from the things in your life that are demanding your attention:

  • Shut off the work email
  • Wait until the kids are in bed or at school
  • Break out your hobby

In spite, or possibly because, of the fact that I blog for a living, my hobby tends to be writing. I work on my fiction stories when my kid is in bed, mostly because if I try to write when she’s awake, I’ll end up with every other character saying things like “Don’t eat that!” or “Stop hitting the dog!”

Stretch It Out

Yoga is an awesome way to shake off the stress of the day or start your day off on the right note, depending on when you decide to start stretching. If you don’t have the time or money to head to a professional yoga studio, there are tons of tutorials and videos on sites like YouTube for free to help you get started.

Searching “yoga for beginners” on YouTube alone nets you something like 1.85 million results, so you’ve got plenty to choose from. I’m not terribly flexible, but I do use yoga to help me wind down so I can sleep at night. There’s a great little 8-minute routine I use that helps me shake off the last vestiges of the day so I can fall asleep without staring at the ceiling for hours.

Binge Watch a Series

Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting around and vegetating in front of your computer or television watching your favorite show. While it might not be the healthiest alternative, sometimes all your brain can handle after a long day of parenting and blogging is some mindless television.

Once or twice a week I’ll shut all the work stuff down, get through the bedtime routine, and spend a couple hours either binge-watching an old favorite show — OK, I’ll admit it, I’m usually rewatching shows like “Doctor Who” or “Battlestar Galactica” — or I’ll catch up on the shows on my DVR that I’ve missed all week.

See A Movie Alone

Heading to the movies by yourself has this ridiculous stigma attached to it but sometimes it’s awesome to spend a couple hours immersed in the world of the movie without little hands tugging on you or whispering that they need to go to the bathroom during the climax of the film.

Seriously, though, if you’ve got a couple hours to kill without the kids in tow, consider hitting a matinee at your local theater. As an added bonus, you don’t have to fight with anyone for the popcorn or candy.

Use Those Headphones

Sometimes, parenting is really hard. We all have those days. If you ever think you might be depressed, consider taking a self-evaluation and speaking to your doctor. It’s always okay to ask for help. Some good news is that science has proven that listening to your favorite song can help make you happier and improve your overall mood and performance, so I’m not just making this up. If the kids are awake, crank up the tunes and host an impromptu dance party in the living room.

If they’ve already gone to bed, plug in those headphones and just enjoy the tunes. You will find it helps improve your mood no matter how bad a day you’ve had. Even if you’re working, consider turning on some music — I’m rocking out to some Sublime while I’m writing this for you, and it puts a great big smile on my face.

“Me time” might seem like it’s in short supply, but even with the little ones tugging at your shirt or your work email blowing up, it’s possible to eke out a few minutes here and there. It’s not impossible, and you don’t need to get bitten by a radioactive spider or develop another super power to manage it. Just take a few minutes to yourself at the beginning or end of your day, and you’ll find you feel a lot better overall. Take a few steps to prioritize yourself, and you’ll be surprised at the results.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.