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Finding Mommy Moments: A Five Minute Me Break

Katlyn Joy |25, September 2012


One of the most surprising aspects of new motherhood is just how exhausted you will be, and how little time you have to yourself. Getting a shower is an accomplishment requiring amazing timing and perseverance. Completing a meal without interruption is like winning the lotto.

You've heard the advice, sleep when baby sleeps but likely you'll end up attempting to knock out a load of laundry or prepare some bottles for later.

Eventually it catches up with you and you look in the mirror to find a frazzled shadow of yourself staring blankly back at yourself.

To avoid the new mommy burn out, take moments for yourself. Of course it is unlikely you can go away for a spa weekend, and Mary Poppins is not your new free nanny. So learn to set your sets low, and within reach, but still give yourself a chance to recharge and refresh, Five minute mommy moments will help you do that in manageable time segments.

- Play a game. Sneak onto your favorite computer game, do a crossword or watch a bit of Jeopardy. It's a great way to unwind for a bit and exercise your seemingly soggy mind.

- Give yourself a quick facial. Indulge in a salt scrub, or apply a quick drying peel off cucumber mask. Your skin is likely getting short shrift these days and a little extra attention may perk up your mood as well as your pores.

- Turn up the music and dance like no one but a newborn is watching. Music can rejuvenate and dancing is a fun way to get active. You may feel silly, but that's perfectly OK. Enjoy yourself and don't worry. The baby will not laugh, well probably not, and will certainly not tell on you.

- Watch an internet video that is guaranteed to make you giggle. Whether it's kittens clowning about, or hilarious babies or even ridiculous stunts, a moment to simply laugh is always time well spent.

- Pump up the sensory input in your surroundings. Light an aromatherapy candle, rub some tingly foot lotion on your dogs, cut some flowers from your garden and place near your nursing chair. Having beauty around us, whether to smell, see or hear, will create a sense of well being. Snuggle on a satiny pillow, indulge in a favorite chocolate and listen to some mellow jazz.

- Do a simple yoga pose. While the basic child's pose will suffice, the chair corpse pose may relax you to the point of sleep. For this pose, you need to lie on your back, your calves across the seat of a chair, feet toward the chair back. Place your arms stretched out to the side. Breathe deeply and let yourself sink into the floor. For a boost to the relaxation factor, cover yourself with a light blanket or put on a sleep mask for your eyes.

- Express yourself in writing. Grab a pen and your journal and let go. Write whatever crosses your mind. Or take out the laptop and dash off a quick email to a friend or relative.

- Pick up an old hobby again, in little segments. You can break down projects into five minute sections. For instance, play a quick tune on the piano or knit a row or two. You may take what seems forever to finish anything, but those moments have double benefit; you will relax now and over time your efforts will yield results.

- Get your heart rate up. If you have someone with baby, take a nice fast walk around the block. If you can't leave home, then jump on the treadmill or jump rope. Just get moving and enjoy the endorphin rush.

- Fix yourself a healthy snack and eat it out on the patio. Have a cup of granola and yogurt, or a cheese sandwich on whole grain bread. Then get some sunshine and fresh air. You will refuel and refresh in one five minute break.

- Grab a nap. Put up your feet, dim the lights and take a micro-nap. While you won't get any REM sleep, just a moment of relaxation will help preserve your limited energy. Some old wives tales are wise and sleep when baby sleeps is one of the best examples.

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littlekingdom Aug 26, 2013 06:48:08 AM ET

Great post. I can so relate to this. Finding time for yourself with a little baby around is almost impossible and that is the time mommies tend to neglect themselves. "Sleep when the bay sleeps' sounds good but it never possible to follow that because there are loads of things that a mom has to do while the baby sleeps. Loved your advice.

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