It’s that wonderful time of year again when the air cools, the leaves begin to change, and the kids head back to school. Whether you’ve been pulling your hair out the past few weeks or you’re dreading waving goodbye to your ducklings, now is the perfect time to focus on you. It isn’t always easy to take care of ourselves while we take care of everyone else, but while the kids are busy with school work, you can carve out some time for yourself.
A Little Introspection
While constantly wondering if our choices are best for our kids, our careers, or our marriage, we don’t always take the time to look inward. Evaluate the habits and schedules you’ve created. Are they really working for you? Are you engaged in activities you’re passionate about?
Self-examination doesn’t need to wait til New Years, nor does it need to be critical. Think about the things that are most important to you outside of work and family. List some ways you can make those things part of your everyday life. Most importantly, follow through.
Get Your Daily Dose of D
Whether you spend your days in an office or at home, it can be harder to get outdoors during the day when your kids aren’t pulling you out the door. With fewer daylight hours in the evenings, it’s important to make time during your day to step outside. Limited exposure to the sun every day can help lower blood pressure, improve brain function, and brighten your mood by boosting serotonin levels.
Get a Good Workout
You know working out is important to your health, but so far you’ve been stuffing it into whatever open time you have. Sometimes you get to work out at 10 PM. Sometimes you don’t get to workout at all. Sound familiar? It can feel like there is no room for you in the day. However, few things are as important as taking care of your body. It’s the only one you get. Schedule times to workout, just as you schedule other things, then don’t let life encroach on taking care of yourself.
Learn Something New
While your kiddos are filling their brains with knowledge at school, why not do the same for yourself. As adults, it’s easy to take our knowledge for granted. Learning new things helps our minds stay sharp as we age, but you have to do more than just a weekly crossword puzzle to see the benefits. With continued learning, we boost our self-esteem, improve our memory recall, and continue to growing as individuals. Take guitar lessons, learn to swim, become a certified flare bartender, or try scuba diving. Whatever you choose, have fun doing it.
Indulge a Little
Miss watching a favorite not-so-family-friendly TV show? Avoid buying your favorite gelato because the family scarfs it? The kids are at school during the day and in bed earlier at night. Use that quiet time to indulge. Whether you drink a glass of wine, meditate, get a pedicure, or watch the latest episode of True Blood, choose something you can do solo to relax.
Domestic executives and working mamas alike can use back-to-school time to recharge. The fleeting summer days are gone, the school shopping is complete, and everyone is back on a regular schedule. Go steal some moments to focus on you.