What can you do when your only Me Time is at night time? Hannah Banks suggests ways to maximise your R&R once your little ones are tucked up in bed.
New motherhood can be so exhausting and trying to find a minute to yourself can feel next to impossible. Sometimes we think we’ll get half-an-hour to ourselves during the day only to find our baby wakes early and suddenly the brief window of precious “me time” is gone. That time to recharge is essential to a mum's sanity, so here are some tips to make that “me time” time really count - even if the only window you get is in the evening, once the kids are asleep.
Get into a good series on Netflix
Losing yourself in a really good quality series is food for the soul. Sometimes you need to switch off from life and a great series will do just that. There are so many excellent shows out the moment. So put your feet up, pour yourself a glass of something or make a cup of tea and let Netflix entertain you. Just don't fall asleep!
Run yourself a nice hot bath
Bubbles both in the bath and in a Champagne flute are optional. But seriously the kids are asleep so its time to relaaaax. Soaking in a bath is a simple way to let the day melt off you. Pamper yourself; use the best bath products and pop on that face mask, you’ve earned it.
Take the time to learn something new
Sometimes alone time can be about pampering, but sometimes our brain is actually craving some stimulation. The motherhood routine can get pretty mind numbing and checking in with the curious side of our brain that we sometimes neglect post-baby can be really great for mental health balance. Maybe there’s a book by someone you really admire that you’ve been wanting to read, or an online course that inspires you. The beauty of the internet means we can learn from anywhere. So make yourself comfy and let your mind do the exercise. Sometimes we are just hungry for knowledge.
Get your partner to sort dinner, or order in!
If you love to cook, all power to you. But sometimes cooking can feel like a bit of a chore. So if you can get food in once in awhile - do it! There is something so indulgent about no mess to clean up after eating a delicious meal. If you have a partner, make sure they’re doing dinner duty too. If you don’t have a partner, or your partner is home too late, then it’s ok to indulge in a good-quality take out once in a while. It’s a nice way to take the pressure off yourself in the evenings so you can focus on other things.
...a little exercise
I know what you’re thinking: “Its the end of the day. I’m too exhausted!” And I get it. I would probably choose a bath over exercise in the evenings too. But the truth is, exercise makes us feel really good, and often the evening is the only time you have on your own to get a workout in. It’s likely that making the effort to work out is going to make your quality of life so much better, so even if the timing isn’t ideal, it’s probably still worth it. My advice would be try something short and effective. A half-hour class just active enough to get a good sweat up, but not long enough to drag on. A walk with a close friend can be wonderful, meaning you get to catch up as well as walk, and the idea of having to meet up with another person can be very motivating!
And if you really are too exhausted to sweat (no judgment here), then a gentle stretching class could be just the ticket. Restorative Yoga would be ideal and a lot of the postures are designed to help you have a deeper sleep. Perfect for mums!
Have dinner with friends
This can seem impossible in the early stages of motherhood, but dinner with your girlfriends is one of the best ways to recharge your batteries. Sometimes just hearing that you’re not alone, and that your friends are going through the same kind of stuff is just what us mums need to hear. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just some quality time together and a good belly laugh will make you feel a million times better.