Last week the kids and I drove up to Indianapolis to visit family and friends for a few days. It was a much needed break. It's been a few years since our last visit and it was nice to get away. It's always nice to return to familiar places. I'm sure the kids tired of stopping by my old, childhood neighborhood but they didn't say anything. They'd seen these places several times over the years and listened to my stories of growing up near Butler University. I love my kids as they listen without judgment and not once have I heard them sigh "Mommy, we know" as I've undoubtedly shared these stories with them more than once or twice.
An outing with some old friends left me feeling some kinda way. My the years have been long and the stress of everyday life seemed to show on their faces. "You haven't changed a bit", one said. "You look so young", chimed in another "what's your secret?" she asked. Secret? Secret? Really?
I will admit the years have been kind to me but life is good. I mean really, it's good. Hubby is healthy. Kids are thriving. Love my family, friends, job and just my life is good. We're all church-going, full o' faith chicks but clearly have different ways of managing daily stresses. When asked "what's your secret T" I had to share it. I MAKE time for ME.
In Joyce Meyer's latest book, Unplug, Meyer instructs on ways "to Unplug, Unwind, and Unleash Yourself from the Pressure of Stress." Beginning with Chapter 1, Meyer shares how stress not only effects us emotionally but physically and how eventually stress creeps into other facets of our life.
Making time for me is easier now that the kids are a little older but even when they were little I always made sure to create a little "me" time whenever I could.
1. Set a Timer
Allow yourself at least 15 minutes of time to yourself every single day. Set the timer on your cell phone for 15 minutes. Go for a brisk walk. Write in your journal. Read a few pages of a magazine or book. Go sit in your car. No distractions. No talking. No sound. Nothing. Just commune by yourself for a few minutes.
2. Same Time, Every Day
Let your family know you are out of commission from ___ to ___. This works well for families with older children. We call it "Homework Time". Everyday, the kids sit at the homework table and I sit at my desk. They complete their homework and I complete "mine". Kids need a little decompression time and creating a scheduled study time is a great way to get a few moments of much needed peace and quiet at the end of a long day.
3. Declare the Last Few Minutes of the Day as Your Own
After the kids are asleep, take a few minutes to yourself. Retreat to your bedroom and cuddle up with a good read. Encourage yourself to read 10-15 minutes or write a few lines in your journal. Try this 2-3 times a week initially and then build up to doing it daily. You will feel revived having put aside the stresses of the day.
Be sure to visit http://openbook.hbgusa.com/openbook/9781455559862 to read an excerpt from Unplug by Joyce Meyer and discover the importance of making a little time for yourself.
What are some ways you sneak in a little time for yourself?
Disclosure: Many thanks to FaithWords / Hatchette Book Group for the opportunity to review this title. I received a review copy in exchange for this review. No monetary compensation was received. For more information on the Disclosure Policy of Three Boys and an Old Lady blog, please visit http://threeboysandanoldlady.blogspot.com/2010/01/advertisecontact.html