I don’t know about you, but as a busy mom of two whose hubby works 40 or more hours a week, I don’t get a whole lot of “me time”. My husband is super gracious and is so willing to spring me for a while when we can, but it’s not a common occurrence! And while I love my children so very much, I am sometimes completely spent by about two o’clock in the afternoon and in desperate need of a pick-me-up.
To that extent, I’ve written this list! Here are some ideas of little things you can do throughout your day if you need something to perk you up and keep you going. Some take a few minutes, others take a few seconds, but will hopefully bring you some joy and rejuvenation!
1) Light a great smelling candle and stand close to it for a while.
I’m a sucker for a yummy candle. Sometimes, when it’s just about time to start dinner and my kiddos are reaching their max for the day, I will light a candle in the kitchen to have going while I do my cooking. For some reason, just having a different scent around me and having that candle burning can completely reset my mind and give me a fresh start! Plus, watching a candle is much the same as watching a bonfire; it’s a little mesmerizing and helps you to calm down. All in all, it could be very helpful to you!
2) Turn on some music and have a dance party.
This is one we do around here a lot at the Klesick house. My oldest and I are both highly emotional and we end up in a battle of wills quite often, and I’ve found that the only thing that can really break a bad groove for the two of us is a dance party! So if things start getting challenging, I will grab the remote and turn it to a good dance station on Pandora and we just go for it! Lots of benefits to this: 1) endorphins from exercise will cheer you up, 2) your kids will be delighted by your dance moves no matter how good of a dancer you are, and 3) you will have fun and a change of pace will surely bring you some joy! Try it out!
3) Put on a quick spray of your favorite body spray/perfume.
I think this is a good one for if you’re just down in the dumps or need a quick pick me up. Some days (especially ones when I’m at home in comfy clothes and lacking in the shower department) I just need a reminder that aside from being a mom, wife, housekeeper, etc, I am also a woman and I want to feel like one! If you find yourself in that place, try a spray of perfume and see if the smell of something pretty brings your joy level up a notch! It might be just what you need to lift your mood.
4) Listen to a mommy podcast.
About a year ago, I discovered podcasts. I fell in love with many different ones pertaining to motherhood, marriage, and faith. What I loved about these was that I could listen to them wherever I was, but most often I would listen to them in the car. My oldest and I had a deal that he could listen to one of his first (a kids storybook one) and then I could listen to mine. I found myself coming out of the car a much more encouraged mom, and on the hard days the words of encouragement and truth were water to my weary soul. I highly encourage you to check some out and see if you can find something that encourages you!
5) Scrap your dinner idea and order take-out.
I know this isn’t one you can do all the time, but if you’re day is in a funk and you’ve have an allowance in the budget, this one totally has the potential to turn the afternoon/evening around. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in stress about dinner planning and making sure I have things defrosted on time, cooking on time, roasting on time, and if it’s been an especially busy week or two, I’m ready to just tell my four-year-old that he’s in charge of making dinner! So once in a while, we move to plan B. You could even make things easier on yourself and pre-plan for this and have a special “save Mommy’s sanity” envelope with a little extra cash in it. Bonus points if you use paper plates.
6) Make a coffee with a special “only for hard days” creamer.
For the days that you aren’t able to make it to a coffee stand or your local Starbucks, keep a special coffee creamer in the fridge for days when you might need a little boost. That one that you might think is just a little too indulgent for every day, but is a good one to have on hand if you need it. It just might make that cup of coffee that gets put in the microwave five times before 2pm a little more uplifting and little more delicious!
7) Read a quick encouraging devotional.
Confession time: I am an avid encourager of being up before kiddos and spending time in the Bible. However, as avid of an encourager as I am, the follow-through is sometimes a struggle. Sometimes I hit 3pm and realize that I haven’t made space for God anywhere in my day, and often I will feel the evidence of that in my hardened, impatient heart. But I remind myself often of this verse: “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:11) God sees me in the midst of my crazy mommy days and He will lead me gently and lovingly. So I’ve found that if things are hard and I need a quick minute to regroup and get my focus back to where it should be, I will go read a devotional or two. Now, if you have children who will actually leave you alone if you open a book with real paper, by all means use a real book and your bible! I have one who will attempt to destroy any book of mine left within arm’s reach, especially if I am presently trying to read it, so I’ve gone to apps on our iPad/iPod. I love the YouVersion Bible app, but I also love She Reads Truth and goTandem as well. The options out there are endless and you can find encouraging content intended to refocus your heart and uplift your spirit.
8) Write down three things that you are thankful for.
Or write as many as you want. I find that sometimes I am being less than grateful on hard days and not setting a good example for my kiddos at all. But if I stop for a moment and take them time to find a pen, pull out a piece of paper, and write down some things that I am truly thankful for, then I see my day a little bit differently. The giant pile of laundry that has been moving around the house all week? It means I have a family, a home with busy boys who go through clothes quickly and we are blessed enough to have enough for them to wear. All the dishes in the sink? It means that we are fed, that my children are growing up with access to food and water. The battles fought with strong-willed boys? It means that God blessed me immensely with two little warriors, that He saw me to be the right fit to raise them up and train them, and those quirks that make me crazy now will be what drives their character when they are grown! This perspective shift often changes the path of our day and sends us going the right direction. Gratitude can change everything.
9) In lieu of a bath, go for a foot soak.
If you are a bath person like me, there are often days when you are longing for a good soak. A quiet room, warm water, scented candles and bubbles sounds like heaven when it’s 4pm on a Thursday and we’ve been going non-stop! But of course, if you have little ones, this isn’t something that you can enjoy in the middle of the day. But, you can improvise a bit and have a good foot soak! Fill your bathtub up about halfway with water and add all the things you would normally add for a bath. You can even get your kiddos involved in this one, and they might really enjoy the pampering too!
10) Stock a special “Mommy” snack stash.
These are snacks that are just for you, Mom. Things like high-protein almonds for the afternoon crash, protein bars for when you’re running out the door and realize you’ve forgotten breakfast, and maybe a little stash of chocolate for when you need a little sweetness on a sour day (bonus points if there are hidden encouraging words on the wrapper!) can all help keep you grounded when you’ve spent your day making sure other little mouths have been fed and your own has been neglected. However you choose to stock this is up to you, but fill it with things that fuel your body and your heart! Maybe even leave little notes to find later, you never know when you will need it!
The point behind all these ideas is not to add more effort to your day, and if any of these feels stressful or like it’s adding more work for you, don’t do it! You are a hard working momma, and my hope is that somewhere in this you will see that you are important and invaluable, and you need a little love sometimes! So whatever that looks like for you, be it chocolate, candles, dancing, or something else entirely, make sure that you make space to take care of yourself and do the little things that bring you joy. You might be surprised how a little thing can change your whole day, and how a changed day can change many days beyond it.
Keep on, awesome momma!
What about you? What things are your pick-me-ups? Let us know!