This past Friday, I had some alone time. We were just home from our latest vacation and coming off weeks off being busy. I love traveling and seeing new places. I love seeing friends and visiting with family. I love the change of pace and relaxed schedule, but I’m still always glad to come home again.
My mother-in-law graciously offered to babysit Nathan so I could have a break and I thankfully took her up on it. I dropped Nathan off at her house mid-morning and then Andy headed into school to work. The laundry was (momentarily) done and the fridge was (mostly) restocked. I had the quiet house to myself and it was lovely.
I stopped by Panera on the way home and used a gift card to treat myself to an Asiago cheese bagel and vegetable cream cheese. I drank some Simply Lemonade. I wrote some custom books. I completed my assignment for the day in the “Make Over Your Mornings” course. I caught up on my blog reading and wrote a bit for the blog. I made frozen chocolate chip cookie dough yogurt because I hadn’t made it in awhile. I worked on finishing up our North Carolina vacation photo book before my free code expired that night. I fixed enchilada casserole for dinner without little hands grabbing at me. I even closed my eyes for a power nap in the quiet of the day.
It wasn’t anything extraordinary but the break was just what I needed. I think that women – especially Moms – are good at running ourselves ragged. There is always something more to cross off our list. There is always one more chore to be done or one more person who needs our help. There is always something to do. A break refreshes us for the day (and weeks) ahead.
We might not always be able to have 5 glorious hours of alone time for a break. It’s rare for me, too! That said, I think we all need to make time for the breaks we need.We don’t have to take the whole day to be refreshed. Be aware of the time you have and claim a pocket of time for yourself.
Maybe it’s that quiet 5 minutes when you drink your coffee in the morning. Maybe it’s 15 minutes spent reading in bed each night. Maybe it’s ignoring the chores and taking a nap when your baby naps. Maybe it’s leaving your children at home with your husband so you can run errands by yourself. What refreshes you? What do you long to do for yourself – just because? Figure out what break you crave and make it happen.
My husband recharges by going out and doing things. Me? I recharge with the quiet. I crave quiet and alone time and the freedom it gives me. Maybe you need activity to recharge, or maybe you prefer the quiet like I do. Neither way is right or wrong. Whatever and whenever it is, let’s give ourselves permission to take breaks.
The other thing that holds me back is that I hesitate to ask for a break. Do you do this, too? I push myself to keep going. My husband is always more than willing for me to go do something for myself. I’m often the one making excuses. Sometimes, I’m too frugal. Sometimes, I don’t have anything to do outside the home. Sometimes, I just push myself on the back burner. I’m working at speaking up and taking a break before burning out.
The reality is this. When I take a break, I am able to accomplish more. I could keep working through my list slowly and methodically but a break often re-energizes me to tackle that to-do list with more energy and enthusiasm.
My recent break was lovely. With it came the realization that I need to take breaks more regularly. It’s important for me to take the breaks I need and I want to encourage you to do the same.
What does a refreshing break sound like to you right now? What would you do with 15 minutes to yourself? How about 2 hours? Make yourself a priority and take the breaks you need!