Did you know that the average mom gets 17 minutes of time to themselves a day? (And that many spend those few spare minutes planning the next day?)

I know it’s a reality, but it’s a little stark when you see it in black and white typeface.

We all know that when you don’t take time for yourself it can impact your relationship with your spouse — and even your kids. So how do you reclaim that time?

STEP ONE: Skip the guilt. 
Science supports taking time for yourself.  “Me time” isn’t a luxury — it has psychological and physical benefits. As stated in Scientific American, “learning and memory depend on both sleep and waking rest may partially explain why some of the most exceptional artists and athletes among us fall into a daily routine of intense practice punctuated by breaks and followed by a lengthy period of recuperation.” You’re on the go all the time, just like an athlete in competition. To be in peak performance, you need to rest.

STEP TWO: Schedule it.
The best way for anyone to ensure they get a little ‘me time’ is to regularly schedule it. Literally take a different color pen (or text color on the google calendar) and schedule some time for you in the planner. Once you’ve committed to it, it’s harder to let life creep in and you’re more likely to make “me time” a priority.

“You have to build in battery recharge time,” says Margaret Moore, co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School to WebMD. “We’re very good at project management in our work lives, but not so well in our personal lives. Treat it like any project: I want to recharge my batteries so I don’t feel so frazzled and worn out.”

STEP THREE: Make the time special.
This is NOT the time for filling up your planner, catching up on work email, or taking a magnifying glass to your child’s IEP. This is the time for a cup of tea, catching up with a good book, or even going for a walk.

STEP FOUR: Schedule something fun for the kids.
If your kids have something fun to look forward to while you take a little time, you’re less likely to let the guilt creep in. Have the spouse take them for ice cream while you go for a manicure. Or take a yoga class at a gym like acac that has an awesome kids zone.

STEP FIVE: Plan for after. 
The surest way for your ‘me’ time to backfire is if you immediately rush into a stressful situation afterward. If your yoga class is from 4 PM – 5 PM and you rush home to a “MOM, I’M HUNGRY. WHAT’S FOR DINNER?!” situation, all of that good “refreshing” is thrown out the window. If you know taking a little me time will put you in a time crunch right after, plan. Throw dinner in the crockpot that morning or order from a healthy meal delivery service like Galley

… and if you really need another excuse for a little me-time, we’ve got one for you! (cool) progeny is partnering with acac Timonium for a pop-up Moms Night Out in February. Stay tuned for details!

about our wellness wednesday sponsor: acac

acac’s mission is provide a great fitness experience for members of all ages (including kids!) in a clean and safe environment. They are dedicated to the integration of medicine and fitness to improve community health by focusing on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of lifestyle-related disease. Visit their website and then visit them at their Timonium location!