A study recently concluded that mothers only get 17 minutes a day to themselves. While that number probably isn't shocking to most multitasking moms, this—may we remind you—is the average. As you know, life isn't necessarily average, so that 17 minutes is probably a stretch on most days. But the good news is, we have 17 ways for moms to utilize and maximize that time.
1. Watch: Set your DVR to HGTV
"House Hunters" and revel in the ridiculous asks of home buyers coupled with a renovation. Those
30-minute episodes can be watched in 17 minutes, thanks to the glorious feature
of the fast-forward button (plus you can shave off some time fast-forwarding
the recap—because who has time for that?).
2. Listen: If you haven’t
jumped on the podcast bandwagon yet, then now is the time. Our current
favorite? "S*Town." This incredibly compelling story by the creators of "Serial" and
"This American Life" is just seven episodes. While the episodes are longer
than 17 minutes, there’s no reason you can’t hit pause when your free time is
up. Although, truth be told, you’ll become so hooked that we’re pretty sure
you’ll find the extra time to finish the episode.
3. Do: Haven’t worked out in a
while? This 17-minute fitness video will get you burning 155-210 calories in under 17 minutes each
day, making you feel good inside and out.
4. Feel: Life got you a bit
stressed out? Work out tired muscles, knots and pinched nerves with Wahl’s deep tissue hand massager.
Seriously efficient, this massager comes with multiple heads that easily switch
out with just a couple of turns. A switch increases the intensity while the
long-handled piece allows you to target the most-needed areas. I like to make
of game of it with the kids called “Who wants to fix mommy’s back?” Then they
get to work Wahl’s magic for me.
5. Smell: Don’t underestimate
the power of scent—it can trigger memories and help create new ones. Pick up an
aromatherapy kit and mix up your own scent. Take a few moments to smell it when
you are feeling stressed or need a pick-me-up. If the idea of an aromatherapy
kit sounds like too much effort, a bottle of lavender oil from Amazon will do the same
6. Listen: Meditate yourself
calm with our editor’s favorite app, Calm. Prepare for channeling life-changing
7. Stretch: Tight hamstring
muscles can wreak havoc on your lower back, so take this time to give those legs
a good stretch. Sit on the floor with your legs straight and try and touch your
toes. Even better: Grab that Wahl massager and tackle your lower back
muscles at the same time.
8. Do: Paint your toenails.
Psychologists have concluded that painting your nails actually relieves stress.
Thankfully, your toes don’t need the detailed precision that your fingers do, so
go ahead and put a pop of pink on those babies.
9. Shop: Open that sales email
from your favorite shop and finally buy that shirt you’ve been eyeing.
10. Do: Clean out and organize
one drawer. Seeing an
organized drawer or cupboard is the equivalent of a massage. It’s therapeutic
and the results last for as long as that drawer stays that way. It’s also
inspiring so bit by bit you can tackle different parts of your home that drive
you crazy. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.
11. Drink: Master that
cocktail. My personal favorite? The Cactus Culver from the Culver City Hotel.
Mix tequila with lime juice, agave, muddled cucumber and jalapeño for a refreshingly spicy sip.
12. Eat: Our Trader Joe's hacks
will have you eating gourmet-style snacks without the work. From a lentil salad
that I seriously dream about, to healthy-ish rice pudding parfaits, you’ll never
eat subpar meals again.
13. Feel: This moisturizer is
for tired legs so rub it in and prepare to take the irritated heat away with this cooling bliss.
14. Learn: Learn a foreign
language with the Earworm Learning App that sets Spanish, Italian, French or Japanese to music.
Play it in the car on the way to school pickup or on the way to work. You’ll be feeling joie de vivre in no time.
15. Bath: A power bath can have
all the same effects of a regular one and let’s be honest—the water gets cold
pretty quickly. Don’t forget to light some candles and lock the door to fully
take advantage of your time.
16. Call: Text messages and
Facebook updates are great tools on the daily but there’s nothing like hearing
the excitement from your bestie on the other end of the line. Pick a time that
works for you both and prepare to laugh your time away.
17. Read: "An Unknown Novel" by Virginia Wolf will only take you 15 minutes to read but will make you feel like you got lost in another world.