Breathe in. Breathe out. If before your lungs finished filling with air another interruption collided with your inhale or before making it to exhale your mind cluttered with a long list of things beckoning your attention, step back and admit you need time for yourself.
Basking in the solitude of alone time doesn’t magically happen, as a pumpkin turned carriage to whisk a gorgeously clad Cinderella off to a ball to meet her prince, at the waving of a wand and a “bip-pity, bop-pity, boo”. It sounds like an oxymoron, but finding peaceful private time requires reaching for it with gusto and focused energy.
What stops you?
Recharge your battery by setting aside those guilt-ridden myths of excessive self-absorption and sneak away for some necessary solitude where you renew your thoughts and catch your breath before jumping back into the whirling tornado of a hectic lifestyle. Start by answering two basic questions:
- What robs your time? Discover what devours your time and steals away too many hours of each day leaving you unable to enjoy a moment alone. Keep a journal for one full week if you don’t already know.
- How much time does it take? Start small, even if it’s a five-minute walk back from your child’s bus stop or just to stand on your front porch and soak up the sun.
Follow these five tips on how to find time for yourself amidst a busy schedule:
- Schedule privacy. Checking off lists of things that need to get done already accompanies your every day. Why not add yourself to your plan? Mark out a block of a few minutes each day or an hour or two a week just for you.
- Lock the door. Any parent of small children learns quickly that not even a bathroom break truly provides a moment alone. Put your young children down for a nap or in a safe place or with a sitter first, of course, and then lock the door to the room of your choice and wallow in quiet peace.
- Who needs sleep? Make a date with a cup of coffee and wake up early before the kids for a morning person, or for a night owl, stay up after tucking kids in to bed. Choose one or the other and not both, making sure you get plenty of healthy rest every day.
- Seize the day, or any spare minute suffices. Find alone time, as a working parent, during a lunch break, leaving early for work or spending a few minutes after work before picking up the kids.
- Sign the kids up for lessons or join a gym. Drop the kids off at the nursery inside your YMCA or fitness center and find solace in a simple uninterrupted shower in the locker room. Bask in a half hour or more regenerating while your child enjoys piano lessons, gymnastics or anything that doesn’t demand a “mommy and me” hour.