We’ve all been there, and if we’re honest, we mamas often unintentionally set up camp in this barren wilderness.
Right now I’m in a season of tired, weary, overwhelmed and stressed. Each item I check off my ‘to do list’ is replaced with 2 more items. It feels never-ending. Isn’t the end of the school year always like this? But this one is especially harried.
Graduation, and all the planning involved? Check.
End of school year concerts, activities and parties? Check.
A child leaving for college the week after graduation? Check.
Drivers Ed classes and drives? Check.
Husband crazy busy with work and working late hours? Check.
Child with broken appendage, doctors appointments and uncertainty? Check.
And that’s just the beginning of the list…the big concerns and responsibilities at the beginning of the list..there’s so many things after these ‘biggies’!
Though I feel overwhelmed, one of the most pivotal lessons I’ve learned through the journey of life, and especially motherhood is this:
You can’t pour into your people if you’re running on empty.
Taking time for myself is an important part of being the best version of me. And the best version of me loves and serves my family better than an empty, overwhelmed, stressed out version.
On Monday I went to one of my favorite places, Greenfield Village. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and spring had finally arrived in Michigan. As I saw newborn lambs, giggled at chickens running amuck with feathers flapping, and sat by a pond and read a book, I was filling up my ‘tank’. Energizing myself, renewing my spirits, and finding the kind of rest that calms me. (even walking 10,000 steps felt restful!)
Little did I know at the time, but I would need a day of rejuvenation like that to start my week. Illness (both my kids and the one I nanny) left me concerned, covered in germs and weary from meeting constant physical and emotional needs, multiple school and other activities left me feeling like an Uber driver, dinner on the run or a sandwich at 8 pm left me depleted, and to top it off, yesterday involved a broken thumb for my youngest.
This week has been a struggle to get through, but I know that had I not taken time on Monday (I will acknowledge that because I am a nanny, I have the flexibility and ability to take my littles with me on fun outings…not all moms have this capability) I would be feeling much more depleted, stressed and less fun to be around.
Have I had my moments of weakness this week? Heck yes! But I’ve been able to recover from them quickly and mostly graciously. And for me, that is a triumph!
You may not have a day to go on an outing to a place that is your favorite. You may not have an hour to take a nap. You may not have the room in your budget to go to Starbucks or meet a girlfriend for lunch. Filling your ‘tank’ today might not be possible, but could you ‘top it off’ a tiny bit?
Today I challenge you to take 15 minutes for yourself…’top off your tank’ so you aren’t running on empty.
And in case you’re thinking: But what can I do in 15 minutes for myself? That’s not much time! Let me give you a few ideas.
- Read a chapter in a book.
- Put on some dance music and get your heart pumping.
- Step outside, stand in the sun and listen to the sounds of spring.
- Make a cup of coffee, tea or your favorite drink and sit and sip it.
- Call a friend and chat for 15 minutes.
- Hug someone you love.
- Eat lunch. Not your kids’ leftovers, but an actual meal just for you.
- Take off your shoes and walk in the grass.
- Get out a piece of paper and write a note to someone you love…maybe even yourself.
- Grab one of your kid’s coloring books and color a picture…you don’t even have to stay inside the lines if you don’t want to.
- Read the Bible.
- Go to bed 15 minutes early.
- Take a shower.
- Paint your nails.
- Take a nap (Don’t knock a power nap! They’re magical!)
- Weed a flower bed.
Time for ourselves doesn’t have to look the same for everyone. What energizes and relaxes me might stress you out. And what you enjoy may sound like torture to me. Do what works for you!
Today, commit to taking 15 minutes to do something just for you. I’d love to hear what you’re going to choose to do today in your 15 minutes in the comments or shoot me a quick email!