The school bell has rung. The breeze that you just felt pass you by wasn’t a wind, but instead it was the sigh of millions of parents everywhere, breathing a sigh of relief. The kids are back in school, and that means that mom or dad can once again find time for themselves. Summer is a fun time for kids, but admittedly, it does leave something to be desired for parents, especially in the area of fitness. It can be difficult for a parent to devote hours to gym time, even if training for a race means that you simply must work out.
How can you rediscover “you” time? How can you get back in the habit of taking time to put yourself first – and more importantly, WHY should you?
If you’ve ever flown, you’ve heard the flight attendant instructions in the event of an emergency. Adults are always instructed to place their own oxygen masks on first, and then care for young children or those companions who may need help – or in the case of one humorous flight attendant, the women were told to care for themselves before their spouses. Humorous, yes, but there’s a grain of truth in this. If you don’t have anything in you to give, if you are depleted and exhausted – there’s no taking care of your family. You can’t give what you don’t have, and so it is mandatory to fill your own tank before you help your family.
You’ve devoted your time to your kids this summer – you’ve gone to the beach, you’ve taken the kids to the theme park, you’ve made the popsicles and watched the fireworks. Now it’s time for you. Exercise has amazing restorative properties. It releases endorphins and when you are exercising, you are tuned in to yourself and your needs – which can be a very good thing indeed. Feeling exhausted and fatigued and overwhelmed?
- Try hitting the gym and thinking only about yourself.
- Incorporate balance exercises, which can easily be done at home.
- Drop the kids off at school, park, and then walk the track. Four laps is usually a mile.
- If you live close enough, forego the drive to school and start a walking school bus. Without kids in tow, you’ll have a solitary walk home.
- Find a yoga studio with a mid-day session.
- If you’re a working mom, see if you can do morning drop-offs and your husband do pick-ups; that way you’ve got extra time at 5:00 to hit a fitness class, go for a run, or even spend an hour just clearing your head.
What’s your favorite way to be active? Maybe you enjoy walking? Why not discover a new trail in the park, or try walking with a purpose (walking to a store or to do an errand). Ever taken a boxing class, spin or Pilates? Whatever you think will speak to you, take a chance and try it out.