New transitions always make life more full. College brings more. Marriage brings more. Motherhood brings more. More love, more responsibilities, more relationships, more challenges, more fun, more craziness. More.
What doesn’t increase with new life stages is time, especially time devoted to you. Whether you have five minutes of time while your little one plays (before they turn their attention to something dangerous or back to you), or one hour for a lunch break, we all need a reset and some revitalization before getting back to our responsibilities.
With time stretched as it is, though, it’s hard to incorporate and even harder to find the energy to make it effective for you. My problem is that I tend to do the same things when I get time – like watching a TV show or scrolling through social media – or I do things that aren’t actually restful – like running an errand. Those things aren’t always bad and are sometimes needed, but they don’t always result in rejuvenation.
A few months ago I posted about the secret to connecting with your spouse no matter how much time you have. This one is all for you – how to have quality you time in 45 minutes or less. The secret here? Make sure to incorporate something that feeds your body, soul, and/or mind. That’s the surest way to be able to feel refreshed, so you can hit whatever job or challenge that is next up on your to-do list. That doesn’t mean no TV shows – but it does mean not grabbing the remote every single time.
- Meditate on a word, phrase, or scripture.
- Snack on something delicious, but take time to enjoy it, instead of wolfing it down.
- Work on a part of a creative project – get a few rows of stitches in a knit project, or color part of a picture, for example.
- Do a few rounds of a sun salutation, or a few power yoga poses. Or simply stretch.
- Pen a card to a friend.
- Write out your to-do list. (I like to add a few things I’ve already done, just so I can cross them off!)
- Prepare some infused water or overnight oats as a treat for tomorrow (and nibble while you make it).
- Find a nearby park and go for a ride on the swings.
- Tackle a chore that takes 5 minutes or less – something to beautify your house (or office or car) and to check off of your to-do list.
- Read a chapter or two of a good book.
- Take a shower.
- Go for a walk, and listen to your favorite music on the way.
- Browse the Target Dollar Spot or your favorite Dollar Store and treat yourself on the cheap.
- Color a page in a coloring book.
- Make yourself a tasty smoothie (and sneak in lots of healthy things), then enjoy.
- Call a lifeline…I mean, a friend 🙂
- Design an inspiration board for your house, life, style, or otherwise. Tear pics out of magazines or print them off.
- Work on your typing skills. (Warning: it’s addictive!)
- Put pen to paper and practice your handwriting or hand-lettering.
- Wander in a bookstore or library and find something new to read.
- Take a drive to a pretty overlook.
- Write some of your favorite motivational quotes or verses on post-its, and then put them in various places around the house.
- Take photos. Go somewhere that inspires you, or photograph pretty things around your house.
- Plan your next week or month. Use different colors, stickers, whatever makes you happy.
- Do a deeper study of a scripture or story. Look up its history and context.
- Decorate a mug with Sharpies and bake it (or get creative and pick another ceramic item). Bonus points for using a quote that inspires you.
- Have a cup of coffee or tea at a local shop and enjoy the atmosphere.
- Practice a foreign language with a book on CD and some headphones (or in your car).
- Go for a run, fast walk, hike, or make your way around a park with stops for exercise.
- Do a workout video.
- Make something! There are tons of awesome tutorials out there – many are 45 minutes or less! (This no-sew upcycled sweatshirt is on my list of things to try.)
- Take a nap.
- Bake something yummy, and then enjoy some of it.
- Put together a thoughtful gift for a loved one.
- Watch an episode of your favorite show; or your favorite part of a movie.
- Teach yourself a new skill through YouTube videos or websites.
- Have a progressive meal (or snack). Pick your favorites from a couple different restaurants, and then enjoy them on location, or in a separate spot.
- Give yourself a manicure or pedicure (or both)!
- Do a combination of any of the above from other categories.
What helps you to feel relaxed or rejuvenated?