5 Ways to Steal a Few Minutes for Yourself

I just want 5 minutes. 5 minutes where I can watch a snippet of the Real Housewives. Where I can go to the bathroom in peace without someone looking for me. Where I can take a moment and breathe. Is that too much to ask for? 

I’ve found a few ways I can steal 5, 10 even 30 minutes to myself. To throw on some music and tune out the kids. To watch Tamara & Vicki fight about Vicki’s new face on the RHOC. To take a shower without a kid banging on the door. Here are some of my tricks. ;)

5 Ways to Steal a Few Minutes for Yourself

1. Laundry. I save the laundry to do on Sundays. Sunday night, the Tivo is nice and full and I’m ready to watch, but the kids keep wanting to play video games at top sound level or scream or whatever kids do when they know you want alone time. My laundry trick has been working for years. I simply tell the kids they can play quietly by themselves, or they can help me fold and put away the clothes. They take one look at the massive pile and bolt to their rooms for lego creations and handheld video games and I’m left with at least a good hour of drama and catfights on the TV. Granted, I usually end up so engrossed in my reality TV shenanigans that it takes me twice as long to do the laundry I claimed I needed to do so badly, but hey, I’ll take it for some quiet time.

2. Benadryl. Okay, okay, I’m not really doping my kids to be quiet. The thought has crossed my mind. Instead, I get the kids nice and tired the old fashioned way. By making them walk the dog with me. We aren’t talking a quick around the block walk, but a 1.5-2 mile loop around our neighborhood at a semi fast pace. By the time we are done, they are ready to collapse and veg out and I can steal time to check facebook, write this post or read a bit of my book. 

3. I just want a 10 minute shower. Ten Minutes. I’ll be quick, I promise. For this I save the kids favorite TV show or movie. Want to watch the Regular Show? Not until I say so kids. How about Toy Story for the 569th time? You gotta wait. Finally when they just can’t take waiting anymore, I let them watch and I’m guaranteed to have at least until the first commercial break before their concentration breaks and they are whining again. Say what you want about TV as a babysitter, but in our house, it’s the best invention since, well, ever. 

4. Dog walks. If the kids aren’t with me, I wait for the hubby to be home, or have my 14 yr old babysit the younger 2 kids and I’m out the door with a puppy, leash and my iPod. I’ll listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts, anything that isn’t Spongebob or Adventure Time. My pooch loves the outside time and exercise and I love the fact that I get fresh air and a break. Even if it’s just a block up the road to get the mail. Sometimes any break is good, no matter how short.

5. Enlist help. Husbands/Spouse/Significant Other. Whatever you call it, get someone to watch the kids for you so you can have a break. Hell, invite the grandparents over for playtime if you have to. Trade babysitting with a neighbor or friend. Sell the kids to the gypsies. Getting some alone time is perfect to recharge your soul so you are better prepared to break up fights over toys or have your 803rd tea party. 

Never feel guilty about needing a break or alone time. Don’t forget about YOU. Mommies need breaks too. ;) 

Get Psyched with an Energy Mantra

On the days when things feel really rough (and let me tell ya, I’ve had some rough days lately), it’s all I can do to drag my happy butt out of bed in the morning. Low energy, low motivation and stress have been tempting me back under the covers. Unfortunately I can’t always report for the day from bed.

Get Psyched with an Energy Mantra

But how do you find the energy and motivation you so desperately need?

A mantra, or simple chant, holds a subliminal power that when used properly lift your spirit and guide you towards your ultimate goals. Finding the energy to keep going needs to come from within yourself and a simple mantra can help do just that.

Consider an energy mantra as your one stop, all day source of energy. Put your desired energy mantra in place and use it when you feel the strain of the day or run low on motivation.

Discovering Your Energy Mantra

Mantras aren’t long winded verse. They are short phrases or even one word that symbolizes something of importance to you. Adjectives that can frame and describe your feelings and words that call you to action are best for a mantra. What feelings or strengths are you trying to achieve?

Create a list of words or feelings that move you positively or reflect the kind of energy you want to have and put a few selections together to form short mantras that you can conjur up and repeat when you need a boost of energy.

Some of my favorites mantras include:

  • Breathe
  • Gratitude (That’s my bracelet in the picture above!)
  • Just keep swimming
  • This too shall pass
  • Keep moving forward (which is just another version of just keep swimming. Man that Walt Disney guy was smart!)

Choose words that hold a meaning. They should uplift you and give you a kick of motivation or inspiration. You may want to write your mantras down or even program them into your cell phone so that you don’t forget them.

Psyching yourself up when you’re down can feel like a little silly in the beginning but once you have a couple of mantras in place to repeat and practice during those low times are the boost needed to move through whatever is weighing you down.

What mantras keep you moving forward when you run low on energy?

Winter Blues Can Be Left Unsung

One winter, I didn’t leave the property where we lived for 10 days. That’s right: 10 days! What was even a bit more shocking to me was that I didn’t realize how much it had worn me down until I had gotten away. That’s when I counted the days. That’s when I realized that I had been feeling down. Day by day wore me down little by little without me even noticing. It wasn’t that I didn’t go outside. I took the dog and kids out for fresh air every day. It was the fact that my world had shrunk. At first it was comfortable and cozy. Then it became oppressive and stifling.

All I needed was a place to go and people to see. I didn’t have to talk to anyone or do anything terribly exciting. I felt better just driving into our little town and reminding myself that there is a whole big world out there. Now I keep that turning point in mind and check on my activities and schedule on a regular basis.

winter blues

This time of winter tends to get us down, and sometimes we don’t even realize it. Here are 5 tips to help you beat the winter blues. You might struggle with them even if you are able to get out and around.

  1. Check your diet. Are your eating habits healthy? Are you getting all the vitamins you need? 
  2. Make sure you are getting some sunshine. If you can’t get it naturally there are lamps you can get that simulate the sun’s rays.
  3. Do some physical activity each day. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out exercise session. It could be as simple as dancing around to your favorite songs.
  4. Try something new – maybe a new restaurant, craft, a library, store, park, hairstyle, spa, etc. Do something you like to do.
  5. Make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep – not too little and not too much.

However – and this is important – It’s a good idea to consult with a doctor if you have concerns. Remember that spring is just around the corner!

Stress Relief Through Organization

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute! This site is supposed to be all fun stuff for a break.

What’s this about organizing!?” Just bear with me for a bit.

I’ve tried this in my own life and I can say for sure that organizing your house will help with stress relief.

stress relief through organization


Just think about your day for a minute. 

(did you think about it?)

How much time do you spend…

  • …searching for things?
  • …helping your child look for things?
  • …looking at piles of things and wishing they weren’t there?
  • …feeling guilty because you ran late again?
  • …bouncing from chore to chore because you keep seeing other things that need taken care of?
  • …moving piles of things from one place to another?
  • …feeling bad that you forgot to do something?
  • …trying to figure out what to do next?

Once you have some organization in place you won’t have to use up all that time on those negative things! You’ll have more time to take a break and do something fun – like knit a felted lightsaber for a baby.

Now don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Ten minutes focused on organizing or cleaning out each day will produce good results in a week.

Start with what is on your mind the most or what you feel the worst about. Make a list and prioritize things. Sometimes just getting things onto paper – or in the digital cloud – will clear your brain, help you focus, and provide some stress relief.

Ruthlessly clean out anything you don’t need or love. If you haven’t used it in a whole year get it out of your house! There are lots of places that take donations; most Wal-marts have a Salvation Army box in the parking lot.

Do you realize that if you pare down clothes for your family you will spend a lot less time on laundry and folding clothes? It’s true.  I like to aim for 7 – 10 outfits for each of us; that makes it so much easier for the kids to pick out their own clothes and do their own laundry.

Toys are another area that are just so-o much easier to manage if there aren’t a zillion of them.

  • Clean out that file cabinet or desk so you can get rid of that stack of papers on the counter.
  • Do you really need 25 different cleaners for the bathroom?
  • Plan a menu to save money on groceries.
  • On and on we could go…

Once you start organizing and cleaning out you will be more relaxed in your home and not have to run around in circles trying to get everybody out the door in the morning.

If you don’t have to stare at piles of stuff you will be able to focus better on creative things or business – and that’s where the fun comes in! Remember that it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

Even baby steps will get you there and help you feel like you are conquering your house.

I know there are tons of articles out there on this subject and you could spend all day reading about what you should do.

So don’t just read about it.

Get off your keister and go spend 10 minutes organizing something! Don’t worry about doing it “right;” just do it your way. Believe me – you’ll be glad you did and you’ll have the side benefit of stress relief.

How do you relieve stress?  Are there places in your house that just have to be organized?