If you feel like you never have a moment to yourself, all we can say is: welcome to the club. These days, we are all pulled in a million different directions, and it’s a rare day that we can sit back, unplug and enjoy a little R&R. But a busy day-to-day schedule doesn’t mean you should feel resigned to the grind. No matter how stretched thin you may be, you can still find a few savvy ways to carve out time for yourself. Here are a few tips to make it work. Enjoy.
Become a Morning Person
Want an hour of peace and quiet for yourself? Whether you’re eager to start a new exercise routine, itching to organize your closet, or desperate to just sip coffee in solitude, the answer is simple: get up an hour earlier every day.
It might not sound appealing at first, but there’s something incredibly rewarding about checking tasks off your to-do list before the rest of your family members are even awake.
💡 Tip: Use this early morning time to sweat it out or just go for a leisurely neighborhood walk before the sun starts blazing. It’s a great way to reset and refresh your mind for the business ahead.
It’s easy to get swept up in everyone else’s wants and needs and accidentally — or subsequently — ignore your own. If you’re balancing work, kids, family, friends, and everyday obligations, it can be hard to carve out time to blow out your hair, take a relaxing bubble bath, or binge watch the latest Netflix show.
Get your own list of whims off the back burner, and prioritize that all-important “me-time.” How can you do this? Set some boundaries. Block out time on your office and home calendars, set a specific end to your work day, and communicate with your partner and children. You’ll be a healthier, happier version of yourself for it.
💡 Tip: Sign yourself up to join a dance, art, or creative-writing class that meets once or twice a week. Having these meetings on the calendar will help motivate you to reclaim your life and find a hobby. Plus, if you pay for it, you’ll be more apt to make sure you actually attend and participate.
Don’t Skimp on Sleep
It can be tempting to stay up late after everyone else in your household has gone to sleep — so that you can watch one more episode of your show, read the last chapter of your book or just veg out and stare into space. Decompressing before bed is important, but it shouldn’t stand in the way of you getting a solid night of sleep. Me time and sleep time are not interchangeable.
💡 Tip: Instead of staying up later, try going to bed earlier. Take 15 minutes before you shut your eyes to do some meditative breathing and stretching. Try downloading an app like Calm to guide you through some simple exercises.
Ask for Help
You can’t do it all. You can try, but you’ll just end up feeling burnt out and fed up. We all need a break and some time to do our own thing. Ask for help. If you’re a mom who needs to get out of the house, hire a babysitter for an hour or two. It’s not asking much and it’s not unrealistic — even a few minutes to give yourself a manicure and pedicure can help you feel like a better version of yourself.
💡 Tip: Drop the guilt. Don’t feel bad about putting on a movie or TV show to entertain (okay, babysit) the kiddos while you enjoy some mama time!
Read on the Go
Reading can be a joy or a chore. If you’ve fallen out of the habit, and feel like you don’t have the time to do a deep dive into a long new novel, rethink your reading habits. Try audio books and consider carrying a book with you in your pocketbook. Instead of flipping through your phone during down time — like while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office — start reading. It’s much more rewarding than checking social media for the upteenth time.
💡 Tip: Quilting or crocheting are other great stress relieving activities that you can stash away to take with you on the go. You can squeeze in a moment for yourself even when you’re out and about. It’s all about being creative with your time.
Life is busy and hectic — and the struggle is real. But you can still find time and ways to prioritize your own hobbies, wants, and needs. Make the most of it; be sure to shop with Rakuten for all your me-time essentials, from home spa must-haves to crafting materials to earn Cash Back on all your purchases. Finding me time and saving big — now, that’s a win-win.
Lauren is a digital editor, freelance writer, and Instagram aficionado with a feisty five-year-old boy and a sassy two-year-old diva at home. With a passion for family, travel, style, and alliteration, she spends her days chasing children, chugging coffee, and daydreaming about sleep. As a veteran lifestyle editor and media mom, Lauren loves to find ways to make the aspirational attainable for all the overwhelmed parents out there—because we really need to stick together! Lauren lives with her husband and kiddos in the suburbs of New York City.