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'Me Time' Counts More Than We Might Think

By Sandy Schroeder

Finding time to take care of yourself can be a challenge if you are a busy mom, dad, or spouse. By the time you divide your attention between work, family, and other necessary evils such as cooking, cleaning or paying bills, “me time” can easily lose out.

I was reminded of this when I saw Harvard Health’s Dr. Beth Frates discuss parenthood, saying, “If you are not working or taking care of another relative, you’re giving 100 percent of your attention to your kids.”

What Happens Next

Frates goes on to explain why taking a break is so crucial: “Parenting is a drain. It requires CEO-like thinking that requires self-control and rational decisions. When you are exhausted you’ll shift into the emotional part of the brain that fights or flees, which is good in a bear attack, but not so much against your child.”

I think Frates makes the point that helping yourself can help you help your family better.

Recently a young mother told me, “I make room for a weekly yoga session because that hour away helps me be a better mother, spouse and friend.” Her kids, spouse and friends all adore her. I would say her hour away, plus a very positive attitude, is working.

How to Make It Happen

If you are looking for “me time” for yourself or your spouse, you may have to take the first step. Ask yourself what you used to do that you loved so much. Biking,  swimming, shopping flea markets, having coffee with friends, or just enjoying a long soak in a hot tub all count. If it worked for you then, you might consider making room for it again.

If your spouse desperately needs “me time” too, you might set up a membership at a local gym, contact friends to create get-togethers, or choose from other favorite things that you know your spouse loves.

Handing off kids to a sitter, or taking turns sitting while the other parent enjoys a blissful hour running, swimming, or just napping, can make a big difference for both of you.

I worked with two teachers who had two beautiful kids. They supported each other’s careers, and took turns at home so each could enjoy some free time. Both of them obviously enjoyed their children, their careers, and each other.

Wherever you are with “me time,” take a moment to find a few ways to make it work. Everybody benefits.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Las Vegas, Nev.

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