It has been a challenging time to mother through. There are days that our sanity seems to be hanging by a thread. The rollercoaster of emotions many of us have been feeling over the past few months has taken its toll. School is wrapping up, and the summer ahead looks a little different than we remember. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
But, you are not alone.
We see you over there, ridden with mom guilt. You’re sporting the same yoga pants and messy bun as you did the day before. We know you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. We see you because we are you. We are navigating the same unfamiliar territory.
So we won’t sugarcoat it. It’s a difficult time to be a parent right now, no matter what age bracket your kids fall into. And it’s the reason that now, more than ever, you must remember to take care of YOU. We know showering, brushing your teeth, and eating an extra piece of chocolate can seem like an accomplishment these days, but we’re here to remind you that making an investment in yourself doesn’t need to be costly or require a ton of effort. We hope some of these ideas resonate with you and help you find some inner peace amid these uncertain times.
8 Ideas for Taking Care of You
Note: Any restful, playful or creative activity that allows you to take a break, re-center, and refresh can be substituted!
1. Take a Drive
Find some time for yourself to escape … alone!
- Catch a glimpse of the sunrise on Lake Winnebago at Jefferson Park in Menasha or Kimberly Point Park. Enjoy a treat – try macaroons from Whisk and Arrow in Appleton, a baked donut from Happy Bellies, a Caramel Macchiato from All Seasons, affogato from Acoca or boba tea from Fika Tea Bar.
- Take a drive out to LedgeStone Vineyards and enjoy a glass of wine and a cheese board or hummus plate and wander through the vineyard and beautiful grounds.
- Wander through a greenhouse like Honeymoon Acres in New Holstein.
- Listen to an audiobook. Try the Hoopla App with your library card.
- Find a new podcast.
2. Discover a New Hobby
Try new things. You don’t have to have a long term commitment. There is less pressure if you don’t invest a ton of money to try it.
- Branching Out offers classes both virtual and in person for flower arranging and wreath making.
- Tamara’s the Cake Guru offers cakes and the supplies that you need to decorate, delivered right to your door.
- Fox Valley Hidden Rocks (FVHR) Facebook Group – Paint Rocks using paint and brushes or paint markers.
3. Journal & Meditate
- Meditation Apps – Many meditation apps offer free trial periods, allowing you to take some time to see if it is the right choice for you.
- Journal Prompts – Check out the prompts from Daring to Live Fully.
- List Journals – Sometimes staring a blank page or being asked a hard question can take journaling from relaxing to stress inducing. Enter a list journal. The 52 Lists Project can be found on Amazon and in bookstores.
- Gratitude Journal – Taking the time to reflect on the small or big things that we are thankful for is proven to lower stress, bring better sleep, and even improve relationships.
- Just Doodle – If words feel hard in general, no problem. Just doodle. Making patterns such as mandalas or zentangles can be particularly soothing.
4. Plan your Week
Take care of some small tasks to help your week go more smoothly
- Food Prep – for easy snacks and meals cut up veggies, wash fruit, cook chicken breasts, cook rice or quinoa in a big batch. Anything that can be done in advance to make putting together meals throughout the week can relieve a lot of stress when that weird time jump happens where after a long morning, it was just 1:30 and now suddenly it is 5:30.
- Make a pitcher of delicious tea – Fava Tea has gorgeous, summer-y teas for pick-up or delivery via USPS. Iced tea in the fridge for a quick option for hydrating other than water can feel like a real treat.
- Think about Chore Allocation – We’ve heard about families having great success with posting a list of tasks that need to be done for the week on Sunday for family members to sign up for.
- Plan and Set – Look at your calendar and set phone reminders or alarms for any calls or appointments that are coming up during the week. More than once, we’ve looked at our calendar to see an afternoon call only to forget that it was coming up later in the day!
5. Get your Heartbeat Up
- We love Yoga with Adriene. She has free yoga videos focusing on all different practices from ten to 45 minutes long.
- Zumba – There are a ton of great Zumba workouts on Zumba With Dovydas. We also love Just Dance!
- Hike – Time in the woods or by water are often very grounding and peaceful and you’ll get in a workout too!
- Bike – A ride around town or on a trail alone is a very different experience from a family ride where we spend a lot of time focusing on our kids’ safety and enjoyment.
- Walk – A walk can be the perfect time to catch up with a friend or family member on the phone. It’s quiet and likely not to get uninterrupted.
- YMCA360 is a great resource for workout videos.
- The Planet Fitness App has hundreds of FREE videos for everyone.6. Get Outside Count squirrels or birds. Or just listen. Head out to your patio, porch, or stoop in the early morning or in the evening for quieter times.
6. Get Outside
Count squirrels or birds. Or just listen. Head out to your patio, porch, or stoop in the early morning or in the evening for quieter times.
- Fox Valley Area Trails
- Oshkosh Area Trails
- Green Bay Area Trails
- 1 Hour Away Trails
- Nearby Wisconsin State Parks
- Pick your own flowers at R.A.M. Acres
7. Watch Some TV that Makes you Laugh or Feel Good
Here are some Netflix shows we have enjoyed.