I know that when you’re a busy mum, it isn’t easy finding time for yourself. There is always something that needs to be done and you already feel pulled in so many different directions – work, home, kids, partner, friends…the list probably goes on.
But the fact of the matter is, you need to make time for you. Taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your family. Me-time, self-care – whatever you want to call it – is so so crucial for your physical and mental wellbeing. Its importance should not be underestimated.
If you can only find 20 minutes to yourself, that’s fine – it’s better than nothing! And I promise you will find yourself savouring every delicious second!
Not sure what to do with your 20 minutes? Here are nine simple ways to recharge your mind and body, and make the most of those precious moments for maximum recharge. Ready to hit reset?
Simple ways to recharge your mind and body
Listen to some music
Confession time. I still listen to Radio 1. My husband says that I’m trying to cling to my youth (I’m 37, probably not quite in Radio 1’s target demographic) but I honestly don’t feel ready for Radio 2 just yet. I may not know 80% of the artists’ names but I don’t care! I’ve always listened to the radio and I think I always will.
Recently I’ve been listening to more of my own music too, which I really haven’t done in a while. I’d forgotten how great it is, and how music can transport you anywhere.
What kind of music are you into? Put something on that you love, turn it up, and enjoy.
Read a magazine
Whether you’re looking for fashion or home inspiration, or you just want a good old trashy read, magazines provide the perfect escapism.
Even though the high-end fashion modelled by 20-something Kendall Jenner-types, may not *quite* suit our school-run lifestyles, I still enjoy glossy magazines. There’s something about flicking through the shiny pages that makes them feel like a real treat.
Oh, I love sleep. Obviously getting a good night’s sleep – around 7.5 hours – is the aim, but experts say that power naps are beneficial too. Even a 20 minute power nap will increase your alertness. Got more than 20 minutes? A longer nap will help to sharpen your decision-making skills and boost creativity.
If you do decide to get a bit of shut-eye, please don’t forget to set an alarm in case you properly doze off into dreamland and miss school pick-up! #parentingfail
In case you missed it, everyone is meditating these days. And for good reason. It does amazing things for your mental wellbeing.
You do need to invest some time in learning the proper techniques, but once you’ve got it sussed, 20 minutes of meditation a day will do you the world of good.
If you can’t make it to a meditation class, you could try an easy-to-follow app, such as Headspace. You can choose from lots of different options depending on your mood and your needs that day. There is even a version designed especially for children – and I honestly think you can’t start learning these techniques soon enough.
In her book ‘Purpose: find your truth and embrace your calling’, entrepreneur Jessica Huie MBE shares how learning to meditate took her a long time but, once it clicked, was truly transformative.
Getting into a set routine of meditation every morning is a good habit to get into. Learning to switch off and fully relax the mind and body will allow you to reset, shift any negativity, and be ready to face the rest of your day in a positive mindset.
Everyone should do yoga, honestly. It is so so good for you, mind and body.
The great thing about yoga is that once you’ve learned the basics, you can buy yourself a mat and practise anywhere. There are plenty of straight-forward 20-minute yoga flow sequences designed to re-energise you.
Personally, I’ve found that regular yoga classes help to keep my dodgy back in check, and allow me to clear and refocus my mind.
Eat and drink
Have you been so busy today that you haven’t eaten properly, or drunk enough water? Chances are if you have a newborn, you may have forgotten to feed yourself.
But you need nourishment! If you have 20 minutes, take this time to refuel your body. Drink plenty of water. Eat some food – ideally something healthy if you can.
If you find you’re forgetting to drink, fill up a large bottle of water, keep it with you, and sip it throughout the day.
Read a book
There’s nothing better than losing yourself in a good book, right? I remember when I used to spend a whole day devouring a book from cover to cover. Those were the days!
Since we had our son, most of the books I’ve read have been parenting books or ‘work’ books. And although extremely useful, they’re not quite the thrilling page turner I used to read!
So set aside 20 minutes in your day and get stuck in to some good, juicy fiction. Oh and if you have any recommendations, please share them in the comments below – I’m sure we’d all love to find something great to read.
If you can’t get to a spa, why not pamper yourself? You’ll be surprised how little things can really help you to feel better.
Put on a face mask. Moisturise. Paint your nails. Pluck those wayward eyebrows. Deep condition your hair. Even just have a long, hot, uninterrupted shower! These will all make you feel great.
Have a bath
The ultimate in at-home relaxation. Use a good quality bubble bath (try one with special muscle relaxants for extra oomph), light candles, and cross your fingers that your kids don’t wake up while you’re bathing. Their timing is always spot on, isn’t it?
You could always multitask and pop a face mask on while you’re in the bath. The steam from the bath will open up your pores, allowing your face mask to really do its job.
Okay, ready? And…relax.
Share your thoughts
I hope you find these simple ways to recharge your mind and body helpful.
What’s your favourite way to recharge and relax? I’d love to hear them. Please share your ideas in the comments.