When you’re a parent, the concept of free time can seem like a myth or a distant daydream. If you’re struggling to find a spare minute to get the bare minimum done for yourself — showering, brushing your teeth, grabbing a bite to eat — working to maintain your health may seem impossible.
Being a parent doesn’t mean you can’t eat and live healthy, though. You can give your kids all the love and attention they need and still work towards your own goals. You just need a little help managing your time.
Here a few time-saving tips for busy parents:
Say “No” More Often
If your kid has extra-curricular activities they love – like sports, choir, dance, art – of course you’ll find time to get them to practices, recitals, games, and so on. But if you find yourself dedicating time to something neither you nor your kids enjoy, consider taking it off your schedule. Set boundaries. You don’t have to participate in things that don’t help your family towards greater goals.
Streamline the Morning-Time Rush
Chaotic mornings can leave you feeling exhausted before your day has even truly begun. Try doing as much prep as you can the night before. Doing it when everyone feels more awake means that the rest of the family can help with prep, too.
Check the weather forecast and lay out appropriate clothes the night before instead of hurriedly searching for something to wear when you wake up. Set the table for breakfast. Pack lunches, snacks, and water. Place purses, briefcases, backpacks, shoes, and jackets by the door. Wait to check social media and email until everything else is done.
Put Free Time in Your Schedule
Don’t wait for a spare moment to pop up to take some me time. Whether you need to work out, spend time on your hobby, or just relax, make time for it the way you’d make time to cook, grocery shop, or any of your other responsibilities.
Track How You Spend Your Time
If you find bedtime creeping up on you unexpectedly every day, there are probably a few time-sucking activities that can be eliminated from your schedule. Keep track of how your time is spent — on paper, with an app, or however works best for you. Include everything from how much time you spend at work, to the time for your commute, to how much time you spend scrolling through social media on your phone. See where you can eliminate unnecessary tasks that are taking too much of your precious time.
Don’t “Rabbit Hole” — Stay on Task!
Sometimes you plan to do something quick, and it ends up eating much more of your time than you expected. Whether it’s checking email or running to the store for just a few things, it can easily lead to doing more than you thought you would. Try to tackle these tasks in set batches to save time. Pick a few times a day to check and respond to emails instead of checking at each notification. Schedule errands around the same time of day and keep a shopping list to avoid going back for forgotten items. Set a timer for checking the news or scrolling through social media – don’t get endlessly sucked in!
These are just a few of the things that can add time back into your jam-packed schedule. Every minute of your day doesn’t have to feel like a hectic, unorganized rush. You and your family can work together to make the most of the time you have. Managing your time is the key to living a happy, healthy life.
Another key part of leading a healthy life is to find a health care professional that will take care of you in your time of need and guide you in maintaining your health.
At Stellar Health and Wellness, we are moms and know how much work moms do. If you are a mom and want to focus on your wellness, call 503-344-6631 today for a free consultation!