“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and PEOPLE® and Sunset®, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #MeTimeMags http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH”
Motherhood kicked my butt for a while (as you can see from above, I still never brush my hair). Between the lack of sleep and the constant feedings and just being needed all day everyday, I couldn't keep my head above water. There was very little time for "me."
Today, I no longer tackle diapers or schedule our day around naps or deal with tantrums (well, at least not regularly) and because of that, I finally feel like I'm able to breathe. If I could go back and do it again, I would have tried to find some balance earlier.
My girls are currently at an age where they spend a few hours at preschool during the week and when they're home, they spend a lot of time playing together. Some days those times are spent trying to get all the things done but more often, I try to fit in a bit of "me time." It's critical to my well being (and my mood - just ask my husband!).
I used to spend a lot of that time on my phone or scrolling through Facebook, streaming through news feeds and clicking on articles, diving into the blackhole that is the internet. But I've learned that the endless media stream leaves me more frazzled than relaxed. I'm so much better off finding more deliberate and thoughtful activities during for "me time."
Here are some ways I incorporate self care into these quiet moments.
Flip through a favorite magazine.
If I'm not in the middle of a good book, I love flipping through magazines. I can spend five minutes looking at pictures or thirty minutes reading something more in depth - no pressure. Sunset® magazine is one of my favorites because it's full of beautiful pictures, tips for different places to visit out west and awesome recipes. Everything in it just speaks to me in some way. PEOPLE® magazine is one of my favorite places to get book recommendations. They're just what I need right now - engaging and fun without being silly or overly difficult. (I'm so excited to read Amy Poehler's new book, how about you?!?)
As you can see, "me time" quickly turns into "us time" which is why sometimes I prefer magazines to books while the girls are home. Gracie loved flipping through and pointing out her favorite "princess dresses" on the celebrities in People.
Read a book.
I don't hesitate to pick up a book during the day - especially if I'm in the middle of something good. Before kids, I worked as a reading specialist and I think modeling a passion for books is one of the easiest ways to instill a love of reading in to children.
Make a cup of tea and light a candle.
I'm not a big tea drinker but I have a few special blends lying around for when I want to relax on a cool day. And the smell of a favorite candle instantly brightens the mood around here - especially in the winter when it gets dark in the early evening. Candles and tea - making everything brighter!
Finding a way to get ten minutes of stillness in my day is something I struggle with (I usually default to reading before meditating) but I always feel better when I fit it in. I use an app on my iPhone which leads me through about ten minutes of guided mediation. There is a lot of research on the health benefits of mediation!
Cook a new recipe (or just flip through my favorite cookbooks).
Sunset® magazine is one of my places to find new recipes. The recipes range for simple weeknight meals to more complicated holiday dishes and once again, the photos are beautiful. I made a lemon olive oil cake from PEOPLE® magazine a while back that was a total hit. Because I love food photography, I also enjoy flipping through cookbooks with pictures looking for styling and composition tips.
Break out my real camera.
I'm always snapping pictures on my phone but I'm currently learning to use my real camera on manual mode. Because I have to be a bit more deliberate with my camera, I love spending a few minutes taking pictures of the girls or something I just cooked and then playing with editing features in Photoshop.
What are your favorite ways to recharge and relax during your day? Do you make the time for "me time" in your everyday?
If magazines are included in your "me time," both Sunset and People Magazine can be purchased at Vons - click the link to sign up for a the Just4U online portal for a coupon to save $1 on one (1) participating magazine through November 20th (while supplies last).