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How to Take a Mom Break

“If I can just get through the holidays, then everything will slow down.”

“I’ll take a break as soon as I make my next deadline.”

“If I can just hold on until Friday, then I’ll be able to relax.”

I used to find myself saying some variation of these phrases quite often. It was my way of coping with a constantly overloaded schedule, until one day I stopped and realized that I was just rushing the calendar instead of taking time to enjoy the little moments. And I definitely never considered setting aside an hour or two to “de-stress.” The word was not even in my vocabulary. It is now. At least once a week I make an appointment with myself to do something simple and a little decadent. It makes me a better mother and a better person in general. (Hint: That’s my way of telling you that you should join me in making me-time appointments and that you should never feel guilty about it.)

Here are a few of my favorite ways to de-stress for an hour, an afternoon or 20 minutes:

Take a nap: Don’t underestimate the power of the nap—just 20 to 30 minutes can do wonders and revive you for the rest of the day. Also, I hereby apologize for all the naps I refused to take as a child. Can I cash in on all those unused hours of sleep now?

Plan a spa day: Probably more like a spa afternoon. “Spa days” may have existed in the land before motherhood. Now we should be proud if we can get a manicure and pedicure and actually let the polish dry. Take pleasure in small victories.

Run a bath: Buy yourself a decadent bubble bath or two, grab some reading material, light some candles and check out for as long as life will allow.

Move: Walk, hike, take a spin class or dance class, roll out your yoga mat, figure out what your body likes and do that. If you are pressed for time or can’t leave the house, search through some of these online yoga classes. There is always a way.

Sit in a park: Sometimes I go to the park by myself to gather my thoughts or read, but most often I take my children and sit on a nearby bench as they play. In my opinion, watching children at play is the best therapy in the world.

Grab lunch with friends: Eating, laughing, and catching up with friends is the second-best therapy. Especially when desserts are ordered and shared.

Enjoy some art: Take yourself to a museum, a movie, a concert, a book reading, etc. Get inspired. Get lost. Discover something new.

Unplug: For most of us, our phones are our lifelines, which can sometimes bring along added stress. Turn off your phone for a few hours. Don’t check your emails, your texts, your voicemail, your Instagram, your Facebook, your Twitter, your Pinterest and whatever else I’m forgetting. I promise you, every message will still be waiting for you when you turn the phone back on. Every single one.

Go ahead, moms. Enjoy a little me-time, and tell me all about it.

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