If you’re a woman juggling a career and a family, you know that “me” time is a precious commodity. When you have a moment to yourself, it’s important to make the most of it.
Here are five things you can do during your time alone to rejuvenate and recharge:
One of the best ways to improve your energy and mood is to get active. Go for a walk, run, or bike ride outdoors. Or, if the weather isn’t cooperating, hit the gym or do a workout video at home. You don’t have to go all out—get moving and get your heart rate up for a little while.
If you want to stay at home but still be active, you can book an online fitness class or follow along with an online video. Plenty of free options are available, so you can find something that fits your interests and schedule. Aside from working out, you can stay active by doing yoga, stretching, or even taking a brisk walk around the block.
Read Something Fun
When was the last time you read a book that wasn’t for work or school? Make some time to read for pleasure. It can be light and easy, like a beach read or a celebrity gossip magazine. Or, if you’re looking for something more substantial, choose a classic novel or non-fiction book that’s been on your list for a while. Reading can be a great way to relax and escape everyday life.
If you are into digital reading, you can find plenty of free e-books online. Just do a quick search, and you’ll find classic books and newer titles for free. If you have the budget, you can subscribe to a digital book club where you get a new book delivered to your device each month. Or, if you’re up for it, why not sign up for an actual book club? It’s a great way to connect with other book lovers, discuss what you’re reading, and take your mind off things.
Take some time to pamper yourself and do something that makes you feel good. Get a manicure or pedicure, give yourself a facial, or take a long bath with some candles and soothing music. Do whatever will make you feel relaxed and refreshed.
Your alone time is also great for taking care of any nagging health issues. If you’ve been meaning to see the dentist or get a physical, make an appointment and take care of it while you still have free time. It will be difficult for you to find time to go later, so it’s best to get it out of the way now.
You can also treat yourself to a nice meal. Book a reservation at a fancy restaurant and enjoy a leisurely dinner yourself. Or, cook your favorite meal at home and take your time savoring it. Either way, you’ll feel better having taken the time to enjoy a good meal.
Connect with Friends or Family Members
Use your alone time to connect with the people you care about—catching up with an old friend on the phone, Skyping with your college roommates, or Facetiming with your parents or grandparents. Staying connected with the people you love is important for your mental health and well-being.
Initiate conversations that don’t revolve around work or the kids. Ask your friends about their latest vacations, what they’re up to, or what they’re reading. Share some things you’ve been up to. Take advantage of your “me” time to catch up on old conversations and strengthen your friendships. This may be counterintuitive, but you may find that spending some time talking to others other than your co-workers or kids can help you feel more relaxed and less stressed.
Do Something Creative
If you’re feeling disconnected from your creativity lately, use your time alone to dive back in and get those juices flowing again. Paint, draw, write, scrapbook, dance around the living room -whatever helps you express yourself creatively. Don’t worry about whether what you’re creating is good—just let go and enjoy the process of being creative again.
If you have that DIY project you’ve wanted to start, use your time to get it going. Pull out those supplies and get to work. You may not have time to finish it in one sitting, but at least you can make some progress. And once you start, you may find that you can’t stop.
Don’t forget that being creative can also mean trying something new. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit or play the piano, now is the time to start learning. It may be challenging at first, but it’s also very rewarding. And you never know—you may find a new hobby.
Enjoy the Process
There’s no shortage of things women juggling careers and families can do during their “me“ time to recharge and rejuvenate themselves. Choose an activity from the list above next time you find some free time—you’ll be glad you did!