Work. The gym. The grocery store. Carpool. Homework. Bills. Time with friends. Time with significant other. Time with kids. I feel like I am constantly going non-stop, like the Energizer Bunny except without all the royalties I’m sure he gets paid every time his commercials air. Being pulled in 100 directions, even if I love to head in them and am doing it for others and not necessarily myself, still takes a toll on a person. No one likes to feel like a human-sized wad of Laffy Taffy.
Two weeks ago I disappeared for almost three hours. I didn’t even tell anyone where I was going. I just went off the grid. Walked straight into the spa and spent hours steaming and saunaing. I got a facial and fell asleep in the quiet room. Do you know what was? That was heaven-on-earth for me.
As moms, we spend so much time taking care of and doing things for those around us, working to put food on the table, and meeting the goals we have set down on our calendars like Pilates class or Spin class or PTA meetings. These aren’t really “me time” activities, because they are scheduled commitments that, even when good for us, we feel obligated to accomplish. Every once in a while, you need to walk away from all of that, and give yourself a moment of unplugged alone time. For me it was at the spa, where I left my phone locked in a locker so that even if I was curious about who (if anybody) was trying to reach me, I couldn’t get to it. It forced me to be alone in my thoughts, giving me a few hours in which I didn’t have to stop the mental spinning of planning a dinner party or debating the status of my relationship. I gave myself permission to just be there, detoxing away that extra glass of wine I had the night before, and letting go of some of the stress and anxiety I had been trying to suppress. In those three hours, I went from feeling a little overwhelmed with my own stuff to walking out feeling lighter and clearer than I had in a long time.
Finding time for yourself doesn’t have to take away from your commitments to anyone else. Its doesn’t mean doing anything but taking care of you. At school-pickup today, I was talking to a mom who told me the day before had been the kids’ “personal day.” One look at them in the morning, and she knew they needed some of their own “me time,” with no school or homework or soccer practice. I loved this. I give my kids one day off a semester too, not to be sick and get better, but to just shut down. However, I loved her title of a personal day, and I think we all need, even if not for a whole day, at least the ability to give ourselves some personal moments.