With the way our lives go – swift and severe against time – it is easy to get completely lost in its wake, especially if you are a working mother. Women today want to have it all – a family, a satisfying career, community involvement etc. From the moment they open their eyes in the morning, someone or something is almost always begging for their attention, be it a crying toddler, an irritable domestic worker or impending presentation deadline.
Unfortunately, often having it all leaves us with no time or energy for ourselves. Between the daily humdrum of domestic and work life, the only thing that gets ignored is you. The lesser time you spend with yourself, reflecting and treating yourself right, the more likely you are to become like that one childhood friend you once knew so well but grew apart over time. With every passing year, you will grow further apart from your inner-self and more often than not, it will reflect in your attitude towards your family and work. Hence, the occasional date with yourself is necessary for your mental wellbeing.
Taking some ‘me’ time when you have a family, home and work to cater to may seem like a selfish act but rest assured, it will help you create a more balanced, calm and happy experience for yourself and those around you. So centre yourself back in and relax with these five easy steps towards a better, improved you. Satisfaction is guaranteed!
Ask for help
The modern woman must remember that she is not and does not have to be Superwoman; you don’t have to manage all chores on your own. Especially if you are a working woman, you strategies must change along with your circumstances. If your children are of suitable age, involve them in the daily work routine. In fact, ask your spouse to help around the house when your domestic help is absent and make a chore wheel to keep things interesting. This is particularly beneficial in the summer holiday season when children are off from school and looking for a way to keep busy. Offer them a reward for each chore they complete to keep them motivated. Not only will this inculcate the habit of helping in your children, you will also manage to complete your tasks faster, meaning more time for ‘me’ time. If you want to be balanced, do only what you can reasonably do and ask for help when you need it.
Who said you couldn’t get some personal time at home? Beat exhaustion by learning to say no – at least sometimes – to your friends’ invitations. Try not to over-schedule your activities as well as your children’s and clear out your office responsibilities as much as you can, especially over the weekend. When you have fewer social commitments, lesser chores to complete or deadlines to meet, there are many more opportunities for ‘me’ time. not to mention, too many commitments can only result in a great deal of hustle-bustle. Therefore, keep it simple and avoid too many appointments and tasks for one day.
A weekly retreat
You might need to take time off of work or arrange for a babysitter but plan at least a few hours each week all for yourself and then stick to it. This weekly break can include a visit to the spa, a lunch with your friends or a quick gym session that will keep you active. But most importantly, give yourself the permission to do this. Feeling guilty over leaving your homes unattended or work unfinished will counteract everything this day is meant for!
Writing a journal
Multitasking can be daunting and having to do it daily can lead to immense emotional stress. Many a times, those around you are so busy multitasking themselves to lend you a shoulder to lean on. In times like these, a diary or journal can be of great help. So on days when you feel like breaking down, grab a pen and paper and simply pour your heart out. If it helps, make it a habit to write at least a few lines about your day before bed and marvel over your emotional growth over the years. Once your emotions on paper, you will feel like a load has been taken off your chest.
The lonely traveler
Location doesn’t matter so long as you are on the go! A short trip to a nearby destination will not only provide a break from the daily routine but travelling alone will also relax your mind. Even simply visiting another city within the country can suffice. Granted a lonely retreat is extremely difficult to manage, especially if your children are young but a quick outing to another city or country can do you good. If your children are older, plan a longer holiday to an exotic location along with your friends and gift yourself a change of scenery. You will make lifelong memories along with some much-deserved ‘me’ time.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, July 13th, 2014.
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