Make time for yourself

Make time for yourself

When was the last time you had a bit of quiet time? Can’t remember? Then it’s time to make a date with yourself to recharge.

As Marlaine Walters, who specialises in family counselling, says: ‘If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your family as well as you’d like to.’

Make a date with yourself and keep it as you would any other appointment. Ask someone to look after the kids for the time you’ll need, or occupy them with a game or puzzle.

If you have 5 – 10 minutes

  • Enjoy a cup of tea on the stoep or in your garden. No cellphone, no newspaper. Make it quiet time.
  • If your only me-time is when you travel to and from work, make the most of it. Read in the bus or taxi or listen to music in your car. Try not to make lists of everything you have to do when you get home.
  • If you have a cat or dog, pet him or play with him for a few minutes. It will take your mind off the dirty dishes and unmade beds.

If you have 15 – 30 minutes

  • Sit in your favourite spot and read. Do this every day and switch off for this time.
  • Go for a short walk, even if it’s around the block, and chat to a neighbour about anything that does not involve kids, work or housework.
  • Do ‘homework’ you enjoy, such as redocorating your room with different bedding and pillows.

If you have 30 – 60 minutes

  • Take a nap.
  • Join a cooking class, knit or sing.
  • Make a date with a friend to go for a long walk each week. Don’t have a race – just stroll and chat.

On a larger scale

Form a club with a few friends where you take turns to look after each other’s children. Work it out so that everyone gets one afternoon a week to herself.

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