Taking time for herself when she becomes a mom or is currently a mom-to-be, isn’t just nice but it’s essential. Time for her to recharge is a necessary part of life, especially when she's constantly on call for others. But, for whatever reason, we moms have quite a challenge getting away to do some TLC. Some of us may call these mini escapes guilty pleasures, but there’s nothing to feel guilty about. Taking a few minutes to recharge allows ourselves to be our best self.
That said, it’s often easier said than done. Scooting out for a couple hours may seem like a daunting task, no matter how old the children are. And if mom is currently in the newborn stage, it can feel like it’s next to impossible.
That’s why it’s important to have a stash of quick, easy, 30-minute escapes that are dedicated solely to HER. And sure, some of them may feel like guilty pleasures (hello chocolate), but most of these entries are also healthy ways to unwind. Having a stockpile of healthy ways to treat yourself is a key element to living your best life. So dig in, and see if you can indulge in one of these ways to unwind every day. If that’s too ambitious, try for a few per week, and work your way up. You know the saying “happy wife, happy life”? That counts for moms too, in spades.
Some days, there can be no sweeter luxury than alone time. Between all the giving of ourselves we as mothers do, alone time can be the antidote to that. As many moms can attest to, there are few places in the house that can truly offer alone time. One of which includes the bath.
A quick shower can do if necessary and can feel amazing to have hot water cascading down your back in silence.
But, for a truly relaxing experience, take out all the bath toys and let the tub filled with warm water, lacing it with your favorite bath oil or scents (hot tip: coconut oil and lavender tea bags work just as well as the gourmet bottles, and are far more natural). If you feel like going all in, set some mood lighting with candles, music & maybe even a beverage of your choice, these can boost the experience, giving you the luxury that you deserve mama – in 30 minutes or less!
Not only useful during bath time, candles can bring a relaxing (not to mention romantic) atmosphere to any room. When you reach the point of overstimulation, and just want to block out the world, consider not just noises, but also visual stimuli. You may be surprised by how calming it can be to turn the lights down low, and bringing a small flame into focus. Many people even use a candle as a meditation tool. For further proof, join any candlelight yoga class.
Luckily, candles today come in more scents that you can name. Want to go the all-natural route? Beeswax is where it’s at. Don’t have any candles but you need a spa night pronto? Amazon can often get it to your door in 24 hours. Having a few of these on standby can be a great tool to get you into the zen state of mind, in just a few short minutes.
Side bonus? It may bring on the cuddles with your sweetie.
There are numerous studies done on how music can affect your mood. From pumping athletes up before a big game to using in meditation, to setting mom up for success in the labor & delivery room, music can create a powerful effect on your emotions.
The best part of music is that it can be tailored to the exact mood you want to emulate.
If you’ve had a frustrating day and just need to dance it out, a few pop songs can get you there. On the flip side, if you have had an exhausting day and just want to zen out, throwing on some classical tunes can help you unwind and get into a peaceful state of mind. Not only is it helpful for relaxing before bed, if you only have a few moments to yourself (or even if you’re on duty and can’t check out), some relaxing music may be just the thing to drag you out of your mood and into a new one.
I smile even thinking of the word chocolate. There is no substance on earth quite like rich, dark chocolate. It’s been used throughout the centuries in various formats. Today, it can be used to create so many different treats, from a cake to candy bars, to hot cocoa, to…excuse me, while I go search for chocolate.
While some consider this one a guilty pleasure, there are many proven health benefits of high percentage dark chocolate. Consider indulging in one or two fine squares at the end of the long day, and shut out the outside world. Try to truly enjoy every indulgent, small bite. Let the chocolate melt on your tongue. Close your eyes and focus on the aroma. Allow yourself to enjoy this wonderful, blissful, delicious moment all to yourself.
Sometimes, a 30-minute comedy can be just what the doctor ordered. While we don’t want to fill up our evenings with television, sometimes it just feels good to stop your brain from rerunning the day or planning for future catastrophes. They say we’re living in the golden age of television, with a plethora of options available.
Cuddle up on the couch with your hunny, or with a big fluffy duvet, and let yourself go for 30 minutes.
Let go of the outside world, and let your brain go loose for a quick 30 minutes.
Whether it’s cable, Netflix, YouTube, or otherwise, enjoy the little break from reality and enjoy something that can put a smile on your face.
Curling up in a cozy nook, with a good book, can be one of the best ways to relax at the end of a long day (or during nap time). Many of us have long reading lists that we just don’t have time to indulge in. Reading a delicious novel can be an indulgent and healthy treat. So many of us believe that treats have to be unhealthy. Yet, this is a treat that can actually be good for you.
If you’re one of those people who used to love reading as a child but hasn’t picked up a book in ages, consider hitting up the local library, or reading through the bestseller lists. Most libraries even have apps now, where you can get access to an entire building’s worth of books all from your pocket! Sneaking away to escape into another world can be a wonderful, quick escape.
It’s fascinating the effect that nature can have on the human body. When you can escape the hustle of the day-to-day world, from the sirens to the board meetings, and the constant chatter, something magical can happen. Your heart rate begins to slow. You start hearing birds chirp, and you realize that the stresses of life may not be as dramatic as you considered them.
Even the simple sounds of the wind rustling through treetops can be musical.
If you have children, you’ll notice this effect isn’t just for adults. Kids can experience the same benefits that adults do, causing the whole family to come back rejuvenated, which may give you even more than 30 minutes of relaxation! Enjoy the Vitamin D, and the effect that greenery can have on the whole family.
For some reason, any time I see a woman having a hot beverage on television, it makes me crave one myself. The thought of wrapping yourself around a steaming mug, enjoying the aroma, maybe with a cozy blanket around your shoulders, just seems indulgent. Whether it’s a latte, mocha, espresso, tea, or even just hot water with lemon, there’s a sense that you’re taking a few precious moments for yourself.
Enjoy this mini-break. You can add in a little bit of reading, a crossword puzzle, or a coffee cake to go alongside it if you like. But having one hot beverage is a little escape from the buzzing around you, and an indulgence into yourself. Go healthy, or go indulgent, either way, the effect can be the same.
You don’t always realize it, but taking off your clothes from the day and jumping into pajamas can have a big effect on your mood. It’s a signal to your body saying that you’re done with the stresses of the day. It’s time for your email to be turned off, and the household responsibilities to be put on hold. The sign that you’re going to the resting part of your day can cause you to have a mental shift, but also to those around you. Partners can sometimes stop asking questions about bills and responsibilities, and kids may stop nagging you about silly things (I said maybe).
The first step here?
Get yourself some super comfy, super cute PJs.
If you wear old t-shirts and boxers to bed on a regular basis, that’s okay. But a quality set of luxurious pajamas, that feel like silk rolling over your skin can go a long way in reminding you of the beautiful woman you are.
Sometimes, the thing you actually need is precious, delicious sleep. We can be go-go-go all day long. Whether it’s grabbing a 30-minute cat nap, or hitting the hay a little early that evening, it’s a little bubble of time just for yourself.
Try not to stress if the break isn’t as long as you’d like. Experts say that even a 20-minute nap can have a rejuvenating effect. Even if you’re at work, a quick trip to your car over lunch break can sometimes be enough to come back refreshed and ready to take what the rest of the day has in store for you. Nobody said mothering was easy, and these little top-ups can make a big difference in how you’re able to react to the curveballs life likes to throw your way.
Ever feel like you may have let yourself…go a little bit? Like you don’t have time to eat lunch, let alone do your nails, or have lipstick on when your hubby comes home? (Feel free to raise your hand here mamas). I naively thought that during mat leave I would have a hot dinner on the table every evening, dry cleaning picked up and my makeup done. Oh, best wishes.
But, if there’s something in that old phrase “Look good, feel good” that makes it stick around.
Nobody is saying that you should have everything in order as a mother. Grabbing 30 minutes to just make yourself feel like a woman again can give you an inner boost of confidence. It doesn’t have to be for anyone other than yourself. And, you don’t even have to carve out time to hit the salon. An at-home pedicure, plucking your eyebrows, or curling your hair can be enough to bring back that girly side that you used to know and love so well.
As silly as it sounds, sometimes sloughing off excess skin can make you feel really good. Whether it’s a metaphor for letting go of the day’s stresses, or whether it just feels really good to have a head to toe scrub, there’s something inherently magical about this process that can leave us refreshed and ready for the day.
There are so many beautiful scrubs on the market nowadays, and even some that you can make at home. Try mixing some turbinado sugar with coconut oil and a splash of vanilla. Take it to the shower with a loofah and enjoy the way your skin is refreshed from the outside in. Follow it up with a good, deep lotioning, and your skin will feel renewed. And after all, couldn’t we all use a few renewal moments throughout the day?
Sometimes, getting thoughts on paper can be oddly empowering. Journaling can help you process your emotions and figure out how to tackle certain situations. Blogging can get your voice out there to help empower others. And creative writing can tap into the storytelling nature that human beings have been for millennia, back when we started drawing on cave walls.
Even if you haven’t written anything since your mandatory academic days, try giving it a shot.
You may be surprised at how words can flow from you if you give them the chance. We all have our unique stories to tell, and this may be a great way for your voice to become heard. At the very least, it’s a way to process the day or to disconnect and think through someone else’s eyes for a little bit.
Science has given us some strong correlations between human interaction and happiness. Loneliness can be a huge contributing factor to depression, and when you’re depressed, you’re less likely to reach out to friends – a bad circle. While it can be hard to find the time to connect with friends with all the other things we have going on in our lives, it can be a huge mood booster. Worst case scenario, try to do it while multitasking, like feeding your child, folding laundry, or preparing meals. Very few people say they wish they had connected with friends less. It’s an investment that pays dividends over the years, and a quick 30-minute phone call can give you a huge mood boost. So reach out to those friends and family, and let the endorphins flow!
While 30 minutes isn’t really enough time to go meet up with friends, it is enough time to make plans to do so. Sometimes, just the fact of knowing you have something fun coming up on the calendar is enough to get your excited and make your day.
Sure, 99% of your day may be dedicated to your kids and career, but make sure you have some fun events on the calendar just for you, mama.
Whether it’s organizing a girls night, buying tickets for an event, signing up for a class, or even just blocking time on your calendar for a trip to the local art gallery, having something to look forward to can be just the thing you need to unwind and get excited about the future.