Life with a toddler can be especially demanding and it can be hard to find time to look after yourself too. Here are three simple strategies to help you make more “me time.”
1. Add your health to the to-do list
A quick trip to the gym can ease stress and help you maintain your long-term health – you just have to make squeezing in a spin class a priority. Maybe you can find a gym with a daycare, or invest in a jogging stroller so you can work in some extra cardio. Remind yourself that exercise is as important to your health as a dentist appointment, so write it in your agenda. “When it’s written down or on your BlackBerry, it demands attention and gives it more importance,” says Dr. Wendy Froberg, a registered psychologist in Calgary. Whether it’s scheduling workouts or taking an extra few minutes to make yourself a healthy lunch, looking after your health should be a priority.
2. Connect with friends
Another crucial component of self-care is nurturing friendships with other women–without your toddler fighting for your attention. Staying connected within a social network provides access to essential emotional support. “Partners provide different kinds of support, but most women get the emotional connection they need from their friends,” says Froberg. Spending quality time with your girlfriends gives you a chance to talk through your concerns and blow off steam, helping you manage stress and cope with family tensions. “Women bond through what we call ‘trouble talk,’” says Froberg. “We share and commiserate over difficulties with our spouses, children and work – it’s a wonderful coping mechanism.”
3. Do something you enjoy
Reading a book, soaking in a bubble bath or watching a favourite TV show count as quality me-time. Small indulgences will go a long way to rejuvenating your health and mental state at this time, so pamper yourself with luxury beauty and at-home spa treatments. Order groceries online to help simplify your life. Let your partner get a little one-on-one toddler-time while you slip away for a quiet moment to yourself. “We have to remind ourselves that relaxing isn’t goofing off,” says Froberg. “We deserve quiet time to rest and recharge.”