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10 Hot Tips for Investing in "Me Time:" The Whole Family Will Profit

If you're like many parents, you're probably thinking, "Me time? You must be kidding!" Juggling family demands and working long hours mean that you put time for yourself way, way on the back burner.

Yet, you know that to feel well and function at your best, spending some time on your own health is a must. Your family needs you to take care of you, so everyone benefits when you invest even a few minutes to eat right, exercise and relax. As a bonus, you'll serve as a role model to teach your kids about the importance of self care and self esteem.

Try some of the 10 tips below to find a little "me time" in your busy day.

  1. Make it short, but sweet. Even the busiest person can spare 10 minutes to recharge and refresh. Sip a cup of tea, call a friend, read your favorite magazine or just put up your feet and day dream.
  2. Make a date with yourself. You're more likely to find time to take an exercise class or soak in a relaxing bath if you schedule it right on your calendar.
  3. Forget perfection. In the evening, don't worry if that last load of towels isn't folded and put away. If a task can wait, use the time to unwind instead.
  4. Bag it. Take your lunch to work and spend your lunch hour taking a walk, window shopping or getting a manicure.
  5. Buddy up. Promising a friend you'll go for a walk or join a book club together makes you more likely to keep the commitment.
  6. Get your ZZZZZs. Shortchanging yourself on sleep almost guarantees you'll be less productive the next day. Leave an unimportant chore undone or turn off the TV a bit early so you can turn in sooner.
  7. Start a babysitting exchange. Trade off on babysitting duty with a friend or neighbor so you and your spouse can go out on a "date."
  8. Multiply a recipe. It doesn't take much extra time to double or triple a batch of your family's favorite soup, chili or casserole. Freeze the extra for another night and use the time saved for yourself.
  9. Enlist the kids. Assigning the kids their own household jobs strengthens their sense of responsibility and frees up some time for you.
  10. Mellow out on your own time. Buy a yoga or meditation DVD or video tape to use when it's convenient for you.

More "timely" articles:
Time-Saving Tactics for Healthy Family Eating
Getting Kids Active—10 Minutes at a Time!
Setting Limits on Screen Time


Reviewed by the Kidnetic.com Scientific Advisory Panel, 2006