Carving out time for yourself isn't just relaxing; it's good for your health. Here are 10 strategies for making it happen.
By Susannah Felts
Amid a demanding teaching schedule, mothering two young children, and life's inevitable little surprises, Plymouth, Wisconsin-based college professor Alayne Peterson has a special routine she sticks to at least once a week, after the kids are in bed: "I grab whatever I can find to read, run the tub hot and soak for at least 45 minutes," she says. She always includes her favorite bath salts—different scents depending on the season. "And If I want to dial up the 'luxe,' I'll have a glass of chardonnay."
Ah, "me-time"—so lovely that just reading about it is relaxing. But there's more to this grownup time-out than just chilling out: Taking a break from your daily demands can keep your immune system ticking and ward off the effects of aging, says M.J. Ryan, a life coach and author of AdaptAbility: How to Survive Change You Didn't Ask For, Not only that, you're doing your family a favor. "If you just exhale, what would happen? You have to inhale as well. When you replenish yourself in whatever way works for you, you have physical stamina and emotional resilience—and that is key to good parenting," Ryan says. "Self-care is never selfish."
Happily, 65% of the Motherboard Moms we polled at themotherboard.com say they manage to carve out a little me-time every day—and they do so in many different ways. Here are 10 simple and surprising strategies for squeezing in your own personal getaway from the grind.