Whether you’re chasing kids, balancing fiscal year end for your business, running a household, and/or running a corporation, making time to care for yourself needs to be a priority. Now, I’m not talking about a day at the spa once a week, or anything like that. Kudos if that is you, color me green with envy. I’m talking about the moments you create in the middle of the chaos that life is most of the time. The 20 minutes you take to sit at a table like an adult and read something for the pure enjoyment while sipping your favorite beverage and indulging in your favorite treat. I’m talking about making time for you to decompress and refocus.
Here’s how I make time for quiet.
- In the car – Every day I spend 2 hours in the car driving between schools for drop-off and pick-up and carpool. It is an even 2 hours simply because I steal 15 minutes for myself in the quiet of the car sitting outside the school waiting for the bell to ring. Most times I read, sometimes I snooze, sometimes I stare off into space and listen to pure silence.
- In the morning – I am not one to wake up extra early just to spend time in the quiet. However, there are days when I get up early to see my husband off to work and I find myself faced with the decision of going back to bed for an hour, or making a cup of coffee and enjoying the silence. Truth be told, sleep wins most of the time, but sometimes I know that I need the quiet time to myself more than I need a few extra winks of sleep.
- While the kids are away – I am blessed to have school-age children who attend a quality local public school system. Therefore I have the advantage that many moms dream of – a quiet house during school hours. However, I find that I rarely use those hours for myself. Those hours are taken up with the usual chores, errands, and work. Working from home is a definitely blessing for us, but one that requires I squeeze all the productivity I can out of those childless hours. That being said, I do find myself grabbing a few minutes here or there to stop, stretch, and take a few deep breaths of the quiet when I find myself more harried than usual. It works wonders and often takes just a few moments.
- Bust out the technology – Yep, I am a parent who will spend a weekend morning in my PJs, drinking coffee and bing-watching cooking shows in bed while my children take over the house with cereal and video games. It makes them happy, it makes me happy; there really is no downside to this.
- Ask for help – Why is this always the hardest for us? Why do we wait until we are at our breaking point to seek help? I’m completely guilty of this one. To make it worse yet, I often fail to seek help in the form of my husband. He offers help so often, and I equally as often say “no thanks” more out of habit than out of not needing or even wanting help. Recently I made myself ask for help. Just an hour so that I could meet some friends for an evening walk thru our local wetlands. He is always more than willing and I need to remember that more often. He wants a wife who is less harried, and more balanced, and lets him help her care for herself. Ask for help, and accept help when offered. It’s good all the way around.
This is how I take what quiet I can find or make, and use it to replenish myself these days. But there were many years when my children were much smaller that I did not have the luxury of school hours, or self-sufficient Saturday morning.
So how do you replenish and renew? Where do you steal your moments of quiet from? What is your indulgence?