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
Nichole Lobdell, a researcher at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, never thought running could help her relax. "I thought I'd prefer pampering, but that just gave me time to think about my son, my husband, work, or the mound of chores awaiting my return. I couldn't shut down," she says. So Lobdell started training for a half-marathon. "I raised money for a charity I believed in, lost weight, and felt refreshed," she says. Now she's prepping for a second race, jogging three times a week with an iPhone app that tracks her mileage and plays her favorite tunes. "I let my mind wander to the beat and feel my breath, and that relaxes me."
So, you like the sound of a cardio chill-out... but are not ready for distance running? "Start small, and be creative," says Katrin Schumann, co-author of Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too. "Take a walk during your lunch break. Or get up half an hour earlier on the weekend and do an exercise video." As the ads say, Just do it!