No matter how organized or effective we feel we are, moms need to find ways to break away from the responsibilities of work and remember who we are. We are women with precariously balanced loads of projects, activities, and things for which we are accountable. Not to mention those people in our lives who make it all worth it – our families.
1. Get outside. I’m not one for lounging in the sun, but nothing refreshes me more than moving around outside. My favorite things to do are work in one of my gardens and play with my kids, and the best is when I can combine the two.
2.Create a retreat. You don’t have to wait to have one find you. I have two dear friends who are proactive and plan their own retreat weekends. They know when they need a break and either plan a girls’ night away or even a solo trip for reflection and rejuvenation. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either.
3. Exercise. I admit this one I struggle with sometimes because it doesn’t always feel like I am accomplishing anything that will be noticed – the laundry piles stay the same, the dishes still wait, and the floors are still dancing with dirt from the day. However, after one particularly long day at the computer of 13 hours of writing, there was nothing more needed than a bike ride to get my legs moving and my focus shifted.
4. Play a game. Even a round of Go Fish with the little ones or a serious duel of Wii tennis can be the best distractions. Laughter can reduce stress hormones and lower blood pressure. Playing with your family also reminds you of why you work so hard every day – them.
5. Explore your faith. Research shows that people who have personal faith beliefs are healthier and can handle stress more effectively. Explore your faith by meditation, through prayer, in Bible study classes, or just evaluating your current faith options and beliefs.
7. Leave. When all else fails and the day just can’t seem to be won, take a break. I love to call Road Trip! and have the kids pile in the van so we can all have a change of pace. It can change the energy of the day from negative and full of tension to refreshing perspectives. Go to the park, the zoo, visit someone at a nursing home, window shop for tree fort supplies, or even just go to the library.
No matter how you take your saving breaks, just make sure you take them before you really need them, and live in the moment. Take time each day to renew yourself and your family will thank you.