Contributed by Bobbi F.

I have been ignoring myself for years.  Taking care of others and making sure everyone else was getting what they needed, including taking my kids to music lessons, baseball practice, or grocery shopping, picking up the dry cleaning, so on, left me with no me-time.  I ended up feeling exhausted and cranky, was short with the kids, and most of all, felt totally unfulfilled. I said enough is enough. I sat down, looked at what I liked to do and scheduled some time for me.  Here is what I came up with:

Audio books. I like to read books but don’t always have the time.  So I switched over to audio books.  I listen to them in the car when I am doing my errands or when I am doing chores.  It makes everything, even mundane chores like cleaning my house, much less boring and tiresome. Not only is my house cleaner, I can also enjoy a good mystery at the same time.

Shared activities. I bought some large 1000 piece puzzles and put them together with the kids.  It is challenging for all of us, but we bond over every piece we find that clicks.  It also challenges my brain to think differently and watch for details. Now, their playtime includes something I love doing but never could find the time to.

Meditation, my style. This is something I don’t do in the traditional sense of the word.  I cannot see myself carving out 30 minutes each day to sit cross-legged on a mat.  It just won’t happen. But, I do see the value of quite time so, what I do is take my dog out for a walk which allows me to space-out and not think about the hundreds of things I need to get done. It helps me feel refreshed and happy.

My new activities have provided me with more productive ways to relieve stress and give me that much needed me-time.  Also, impulsively shopping to placate my need to feel better about myself is a behavior of the past.  So, in giving more time to myself, I’ve ended up saving money too!

How do you motivate yourself to carve out more me-time?