Having trouble finding the time to take care of yourself and get the exercise you need? You’re not alone.
Most non-parents think “summer break” means mom (or Mr. Mom) can kick back and do what they want while the kids entertain themselves. Not always true! In fact, pretty much never true.
No matter what, most moms have trouble finding time for themselves while the kids are out of school. And that lack of “me-time” can have pretty significant impact on your mental and physical wellness.
Fortunately, there ARE proven ways to cope, and they’re not that hard.
Try these tips and you can get the time you need.
- Make a list and check it twice. Treat each workout or alone-time like an appointment and value it is as much as you would an appointment with a doctor. Find a time that works best for you. Getting up before the rest of the family might be an ideal time to exercise, meditate or just breathe. Exercise at the end of the day, after the rest of the family has gone to bed, works too.
- Spread your exercise throughout the day. Splitting 30 minutes of daily exercise into segments is just as effective as doing all the exercise at once (USDA). Go for a walk during a 10-minute break. Hop on the treadmill for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night. All these add up and contribute positively to weight management, general health and mood.
- Run or walk a half- or full marathon. Whether you’re a frequent runner, a “weekend warrior”, or just a parent who wants to get some exercise, organized events are perfect. It’s “appointment based” exercise, so you can plan. You can also participate no matter what physical condition you’re in. Most events allow you to walk the course, out of the way of the race-focused runners. You will feel a sense of accomplishment and, if you get a little sore, give you a great excuse for a post-race massage. You can exercise with other moms during children’s (or spouse’s) sports practices.
- Turn family time into exercise time. Try exercising along with your family. Try going for walks after dinner, playing tag outside, going on hikes, running, bike riding, swimming and playing sports, such as basketball and tennis.
- Follow exercise with massage. Once every couple of weeks, reward yourself with a relaxation and muscle-soothing massage from a qualified massage therapist. The benefits are many and the “de-stress” time you’ll get will be priceless. Regular exercise and relaxation for stress reduction, energy and improved moods, are all essential for a busy mom on the go. (Mayo Clinic) During those rare times when both you and your significant other are free, end the day with a couple’s massage.
You’ll notice that all these tips are about exercise and relaxation. There’s pretty solid evidence that if you pay attention to yourself, specifically keeping yourself moving and relaxing occasionally you’ll lead a happier and much healthier life.