I am always on the move. I’m a mom of 5, an attorney, a business owner, blogger, board member, and PTO secretary (and quite possibly the holder of other roles I should be doing something about right now instead of writing, but who can keep up?). At this point, I recognize that staying busy is just part of my personality, and that’s okay. Those who know me and all the balls I have up in the air often ask, “How do you make time for you?” Over the years, I have learned little secrets that help me keep my sanity, maintain my health, and sneak in that alone time that we introverts-posing-as-extroverts so desperately crave.
My first and favorite trick is the use of the audiobook. Folks, audiobooks have saved me in more ways than I can count. I love to read, but I do not sit down to read–nor have I finished a hard copy book in nearly three years. Enter: Audible.com (FYI, this is not a sponsored post. I’m sure there are other places to get audiobooks, this is just the one I use.). I download books using the Audible app and listen to them at the following times:
- As I’m falling asleep. I have always struggled to turn my mind off to fall asleep. I’ve discovered that listening to audiobooks gives me just the distraction I need to slip away for a while, first from the worries of the day and then into dream land.
- In the shower. Not kidding. Go buy yourself a waterproof blue tooth speaker (you can find them on Amazon for like $7) RIGHT NOW and turn that relaxing shower time into an even more enjoyable experience. If you struggle to shower without a toddler audience, perhaps this will give you just enough motivation to hop out of bed a few minutes before they wake up for some “you” time.
- In the car. Road trips for work, running errands around town, waiting for kids to get out of baseball practice…whenever. The car is prime audiobook territory. If you have kids with you at all time, I realize this is a bit more challenging, but you can still sneak it in if they happen to be watching a movie on a road trip.
Working out. Another one of my favorite times to listen to audiobooks is while I’m out for a run, either on the treadmill or in the great outdoors. Nothing keeps you pushing your distances like wanting to finish a chapter!
Consistent exercise and sleep.
My second trick is not exactly ground-breaking, but it’s new-ish to me.
I do this crazy thing where I make myself go to bed at a decent hour most nights, and then I wake up and work out before my kids are awake. I know, it’s weird. I still can’t believe sane people voluntarily get up when the alarm clock starts with a number preceding “6” either–and yet somehow, I’ve become one. Working out 4-5 times a week and getting at least 6-7 hours of sleep (I’m one of those people who can easily operate on the less than full 8) has been a pretty major turning point for me. I’m happier, I am healthier, and I feel more balanced. Believe me when I say that I KNOW how hard it is to get to bed before 11 and to get up when that alarm goes off in the morning, especially when there are late-night emails to respond to, deadlines to meet, lunches to pack, and houses to clean. I get it. FIND THE TIME ANYWAY. So many other things just fall into place when you’re taking care of yourself, and I guarantee your quality of life will increase dramatically.
Last, but not least: dry shampoo and a shower cap. Because I have very thick hair and it is a beast to blow dry/curl/straighten, I used to skip doing my hair (resulting in feeling less “put together” all day) or skip my workout (resulting in feeling less energized and healthy) because I didn’t feel like I had the time to do my hair. Now, I stick a shower cap on my head for a quick rinse and spritz a little dry shampoo in my hair to save time in the mornings. The result: I workout much more frequently and I get compliments on my hair regularly. When did I last wash it? A lady (or mom) never tells.