Thursday, September 27, 2012

Take Time For Yourself

Vanilla Verbena Bath Soak, at Bath & Body Works

We women are the caregivers of the world. We take care of our husband/partner, our children, our relatives, our friends, and our pets first. Only then do we stop and take care of ourselves. But if we don't take good care of ourselves, we'll have nothing left to give to others.

This autumn, give yourself permission to be a little selfish sometimes. The more relaxed you are, the better mom you will be. The healthier you are, the better you can take care of your elderly parents. The more you laugh, the more fun you'll have with your children. The more time you spend making yourself happy, the more happiness and joy you'll bring to your friends and family.

What are you going to do for fun for YOU this fall? Long, dark evenings, cold rainy or snowy weather, and beckoning warm fireplaces encourage homey activities. Will you take a class, join a book club, join or create a dinner party club, write, journal, blog, work on your scrapbooks, go see fall movies in the theater, actually use that gym membership, work through that pile of books by your bed, rubber stamp and do paper crafts? Paint, knit, crochet?

Will you save up your Starbucks money for a month, drinking coffee at home instead, so you can treat yourself to a professional massage instead of overpriced hot beverages every day? Might you take your best friend out for a cocktail and a manicure, leaving your kids at home with their father or your best friend's husband and kids?

What will you have to do to be able to indulge yourself in some fun activities? What will you have to give up? If you have children, you'll need to budget for babysitters, or budget time to swap with your children's other parent, or perhaps trade off kid sitting with a friend or neighbor. What will your activity cost? If you take a class, you'll need to budget money for the class, materials, and gas - plus budget your time for the class, moving housekeeping chores to another time slot or letting some slip by temporarily.

Uchida Pens Set, on Amazon

In my case, I've given up most television shows in order to buy myself time for enriching and stress relieving activities. (Although TV is fun for me to watch!) What I need to do is buckle down, carve out time and religiously enforce it: "This is my crafting afternoon." "This is my cooking Sunday." "This evening, I will craft while I watch TV." "Tomorrow night, I will enjoy attempting to create handmade Halloween cards."
"I can't answer the phone, I'm enjoying reading a book right now."

I'm not going to force myself to read, craft and cook if I am not in the mood that day. But I really do enjoy doing all those things. Rather, I'm going to make myself watch less TV, go out to fewer dinners, and spend less time goofing off on the computer (such as checking Facebook repeatedly). Then I have more time to spend quietly by myself enjoying creating some things at home.

Think about your entertainment time budget. In my case, I get mostly done with the bulk of my work every day around 4pm. I take a break, read magazines, eat a snack, do my nails, do laundry, whatever. By 5pm I'm cleaning, and by 6pm I'm cooking. After a 7pm dinner and twenty minutes of cleanup, I have maybe two hours left before bedtime. At least one of those hours is spent working on my business. So basically every night I probably can count on just one hour for entertainment. How do I want to spend it? I'm limiting the number of fall TV shows I am going to watch.

As you start taking more time for yourself, your family members may initially resist and complain. Just keep smiling and firmly insisting that you need your Mommy time. Set kids up in the other room with crafts of their own, or make Daddy do something fun with them for an hour every week.

Make sure you have something extremely important for your creativity, health, and peace of mind: UNINTERRUPTED time just for YOU. Value yourself enough to give yourself this necessity.

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Emporium Black Collection

I'm already obsessed with MOR's products, and now they had to go release a new line with even more beautiful packaging and several new tempting fragrances. I'm going to have to find an excuse to pick up the Blood Orange hand wash. I've smelled the Lychee products at a trade show and found them lovely but too sweet for me. I'm thinking Candied Vanilla Almond would be a fabulous fragrance to gift at Christmastime. For fall gifts, I'd suggest Black Cherry Plum. There are soaps, lotions, candles, hand washes and body butters in this heavenly product line.

Emporium Black Collection, at Mor Cosmetics

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Fever Tree Sparkling Lemon

Fever Tree is finally bringing their Sparkling Lemon mixer to the US. While I wish they'd come out with it before summertime, I think I'll still stock up on a pack to use for making festive citrusy cocktails at my holiday parties.


The Boneyard Project: Airplanes as Art in the Arizona Desert (Jaunted)

How to Organize Your Accessories for Fall (Woman's Day)

Ireland: Leprechaun Luxury (National Geographic Traveler)

Models and Photographers Teach You How to Take Awesome Profile Pics (The Budget Fashionista)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan (Oh She Glows)

Three Ways to Wear Metallics This Fall (The Globe and Mail)

Tiny Canvas Makes Cents for Penny Artist (Today Show)

Whatever Happened to Contempo Casuals? (The Budget Fashionista)

Why Some of the Best Universities are Giving Away Their Courses (Seattle Times)

World's Most Beautiful Universities (Travel and Leisure)

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