Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Week 4: Dial Healthier You Diary--Me Time

Week four of the Dial Healthier You is about ME time.  This is something that is probably most challenging for women, especially mothers of young children.  Chronic stress can harm your health, lead to lackluster skin and premature aging (per Dial Healthier You website).  None of us want that.  Having me time is so important in de-stressing from our daily lives.

I remember the days a few years ago when I would try to explain to my husband how I had no time for me.  as a stay-at-home mother with no family to help, I was envious that he would get to go to the bathroom in peace.  Or that he got to listen to his music when he drove to work.  It seemed that my life was all about one thing--my kids.  From what I ate to what was on TV to what time I got up.  Yes--the shower would wake the girls too early and they would be so grouchy, it was best to not get up.  Or if I got up early to do things, they would wake.  I would try to sneak down and do yoga in the morning, but they would wake and interrupt my yoga.  Yes, time was not mine.  My brain felt fried.  One day, I came across something I had written for work years before.  I looked at it in amazement.  I wrote that? I thought.  It was rather impressive.  I couldn't imagine myself being able to organize my thoughts and write like that again.  It was about this time that my friend started a blog and suggest I write one too.  I didn't even know what a blog was.  And could I really organize my thoughts to write something decent?

Well, I decided to jump in.  About that time, my other friend introduced me to doing book reviews for companies.  I would get a book in exchange for a review.  I wanted to get back into reading, but had been lazy about it.  But if I made an obligation to do a review, I would definitely do it.  Reading is also a great way to have me time--I could do it before I went to bed after the girls were asleep.  I could do it in the morning when I woke without waking them.  It forced me to get my thoughts organized.  I will have to admit, the first few were difficult to write, but I struggled through.  Blogging in the evenings is also my "me time."

As the girls have gotten older, me time is a bit easier, but I still find I don't get as much as I'd like.  Part of the reason I schedule to go to the gym three times a week is because it gives me "me time."  I also schedule "girls night out" when I can and try to do something fun with other women without children.  I have signed up for various craft classes locally and enjoy those classes and the "me time."

Realistically, I do need some more me time so this program is a great reminder.  They suggest that you schedule a bit of me time daily, even if it is something small like a mini-nap or drinking a cup of tea.  I have found that I can incorporate small things like this into my schedule.  Over the weekend, I stayed home and worked on some crafts while the girls were at swim lessons with dad.  Monday, I sipped on some hot tea and read for a few minutes.  Yesterday, I grabbed my camera and took some pictures while the girls were playing in the snow.  I find that focusing on the smallest of things in nature really gives my mind a rest.  Yesterday and today, I shoveled snow.  I know that doesn't sound like relaxing, but for me, there is something about being outside after a new fallen snow--the world is blanketed in quietness.  It is just me and the sound of my shovel.  Later, I will take a little break when the girls rest and I will lie down and read.  Tomorrow, I plan to work on work on some crafts, Friday, workout, and Saturday, I will have a friend visiting.  We will be crafting and have all sorts of fun together.

When I actually put "me time" on your schedule, I have found I am much more likely to do it.  Otherwise, it gets shuffled to the background and forgotten.  Maybe you want to write a 10 or 15 minute me time into your daily schedule?

Disclosure:  As part of the Dial Healthier You program, I am eligible to win a trip to Canyon Ranch.

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