Making the Most of Parent “Me-Time”

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Parents need a break from their brood now and then. A few hours of alone time is a precious commodity when you’re constantly looking after younglings and keeping a household in functioning order. Unfortunately, too often we see that once this mini-holiday is acquired, parents don’t take enough advantage of the opportunity to accomplish goals and have some fun. It’s more than likely the free time will fly by with little to show for it. This is fine on occasion, but prevents parents from feeling like they have lives outside of home when practiced repeatedly.

It’s important to make the most of parent “me-time” as much as possible, and here are a few tips on how:

Cut Down on Time-Wasting Habits and Procedures

A block of time can be greatly chewed up by seconds and minutes spent getting ready, making decisions, exploring options, and many other robbers of the clock. I’ve found it’s a good idea for parents with some approaching alone time to plan ahead and do what’s possible to cut down on the little things which get in the way of cutting right to the action, so to speak.

Have a gym bag or other gear ready at the door. My recent efforts to maintain a level of weekly exercise are encouraged by proactive, self-driven motivation. Having that bag by the door is not only a reminder, but a way to avoid using limited time as a good excuse for not making an effort.

Streamline your streaming experience and other online activities. Many times when I decide to spend my free-time catching up on shows, shop online, or do other fun things online like search my genealogy, it’s a service I haven’t used in a while.

If you’re cautious like me, you don’t keep passwords saved or use the same password twice. It’s a big waste of time trying to remember them though. Investing in password manager software is a smart way to cut down on the anxiety of online browsing and overall Internet security. You basically get the security of keeping passwords unsaved on your browser without having to remember them.

Get as Much Work Done and Rest as Possible Beforehand

Don’t let your precious few to several hours of parent free time be used to catch up on sleep or left over chores around the house. I know, easier said-than-done. But it’s not really free time if you’re spending it doing things you have to do.

Clean the house. Nothing strenuous, but a good tidying up can improve mood and change the way you experience your free time. If you’re going out to exercise or spend time with friends, coming home to a clean house can carry positive feelings forward instead of checking them at the door. Personally I can never completely relax and/or focus knowing I have a messy house waiting for me.

Get on a sleep cycle. It might sound like pseudo-science, but arranging to wake up between sleep cycles can help you wake up feeling far more refreshed than you would if you wake up during one. Simply put, we snooze in a pattern divided by 90 minutes, wherein the middle 30 are where we’re most deeply asleep. Three hours is two cycles, so on and so forth. Apps exist to recommend sleep time or wake-up time relative to each other. Preventing a sluggish morning can prevent exhaustion later in the day during your free time.

Parents can typically count the number of hours they get to be alone in a week on one hand. These hours are precious but too often consumed by unfinished errands, sleep deficits, and technical difficulties. Eliminating or reducing these nagging variables can help parents make the most out of a little time to be by themselves.

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