Making time for yourself

what about ME??" I hear some cry... My dear, you, should be the last person in your mind to make time for. As long as your not asking the question in a self-pity frenzy, read on.

you absolutely do need time out to rest your body, Refresh your Spirit and Feed your mind, just remember that you have more time available than you think. One can always make time for some R&R. Be it half an hour to read whilst little ones nap... Or an hour in the evening (after kids are in bed) to paint your toes in the bath and listen to some good worship music. Finding "me time" shouldnt really be an issue, because it doesnt take alot of time to rejuvenate yourself if your one with the Lord.

Their is the kind of mumma who doesn't make time for herself because she feels guilty about doing so, not because she can't find the time but she feels she shouldn't as there are other things to be done. To those types, don't feel guilty! Jesus left crowds of people to be with the Father and spiritually re-charge His batteries. Prophets of old took time to rest their bodies and minds. It is essential to take time for you. And it is indeed possible. We don't need a trip around Europe or a weekly massage and manicure to have had sufficient "me time". So ask the Lord to show you a balance and help you get it right.

The three parts of man (or woman) that needs attention. Spirit, soul (aka-mind) and body. In order to function properly and at your best for God and for your family, you do need to nourish your own self.

Spirit is the most important. Sadly, many women feel that time spent feeding their spirit is not considered "me time" because it takes a form of concentration and effort and is about God. But on the contrary, time feeding your spirit is vital, refreshing and certainly "me time". Would you consider a private get together with a good friend and a coffee as a form of time out? I would. Well Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother and we ought to cherish our prayer times and devotional times as times with a dear friend or loving Father. Nothing will help you more with your day and life than sitting down to a quiet devotional time in the word of God with a good cuppa and Bikkie. Or time kneeling at the feet of the Lord in prayer as you cast your cares upon the Lord and Wait on Him.

Then there's mind and body. Depending on your preferences, interests, physical and mental conditions and abilities, it may vary which you invest more time into. Evidently we ought to eat well and exercise regularly and regularly interact with orhers in order to keep physically and mentally active and healthy. But specifics are different for individuals. Here are just some ideas on how to integrate "me time" for your mind and/or body when you find the time (evenings after kids are in bed, early mornings, or even sometimes having Nanna or Aunty look after the kids)

Some of these things are luxuries, others can be made regular things:

Running, jogging or skipping
Workout/dance DVD's from home
Joining the gym (and actually going)
Playing chasee or trampoline games with the kids
Knitting and sewing
Doing puzzles, crosswords and sudoku
Borrowing your kids DS to play brain training games available
Memorizing scripture
Learning an instrument
Learning another language
Having a bubble bath
Giving yourself a manicure and pedicure
Paying someone else to give you a Mani and Pedi
Attending a day spa (definitely a luxury perhaps a birthday present!)
Going op-shopping (budget friendly alternative to typical retail therapy!)
Crafts of all kinds
Painting, pottery, ceramics or other arts
Starting a blog
Writing a book
Writing songs or poetry
Scrapbooking
Creating your dream home via scrapbook and magazine clippings to inspire you
A DIY facial and hot towel wrap
Reading a great book
Going to bed early occasionally (yep!)
Enjoying your favorite dessert (it's okay to indulge sometimes!) whilst chatting to a good friend on the phone for a good solid hour!
Going out to dinner or lunch with good friends
Watching a decent (biblically acceptable) movie
Spending sexy time with your husband ;-)
gardening
Swimming
Walking your dog - alone.

The list goes on. What is one persons idea of time out may be another persons idea of torture. I have a friend who absolutely loves to go for a good long run. She feels refreshed, relaxed and clear-headed afterwards. If I run I feel exhausted, wheezy, miserable and positively beaten up afterwards! I find it extremely relaxing to lay in bed with a snack and some good worship music or a book. My friend can't stand laying in bed for "no good reason" and feels as though it's boring!! So do what makes you feel relaxed, refreshed and/or inspired. That, is your "me-time"

When can you take time out? Whilst kids are sleeping either in the evenings or early in the morning before the rest of the household rises. or when kids are at school if you don't homeschool. Or you can establish "quiet time" in your home. These are times when your children must choose a quiet activity such as reading or drawing pictures or resting whilst listening to worship or something like that. Depending on a child's age this is very achievable and will benefit both them and you. It teaches them the art of winding down and occupying themselves. It gives you the chance to do something for yourself. Although it obviously restricts your options. But you can read alongside your children. You can do some gardening whilst they play in the sandpit within eyeshot. You can do some Scrapbooking whilst they paint a masterpiece. You can paint your toenails whilst they are resting listening to music. Sometimes quiet time will be very separate. Kids in their rooms reading whilst you read your devotional in te kitchen. Other times, it'll be quietly doing your own thing side by side and it will become a unique "quality time" mixed with "me time"!! Unusual as that sounds, it works!!

Spirit, soul, body. Nourish them all to be at your best for others. A worn out, tired, miserable wreck is no good to anyone. We aren't to self-indulge at our families expense. But we are to take care of ourselves to a degree which entails a little "me-time" regularly.