With so much on your plate, alone time can be elusive for a Boss Mom. I can’t emphasize it enough: “taking time for yourself to be yourself,” is so important. Find a space where you can just be you, doing whatever you want to do without any responsibilities or expectations. This is a time when you can just chill out, do nothing, or do something. The key is that whatever you do, you do it just for you and your enjoyment. That’s it. It’s not to soothe someone else. It’s taking time to soothe yourself.
This is a new tool for me. Even before I was married or had children, I rarely took significant, meaningful time out for myself. Sure, I was no stranger to Sunday brunch with friends, a fabulous vacation, or a show. To be clear, these things were quite fun. They just didn’t always reinvigorate me. They were simply an essential part of my social experience.
While I still enjoy doing these things (pre-COVID, of course), they have strangely taken on a different purpose for me. Now, instead of being a regular part of my social calendar, they are welcomed breaks from my typical schedule. They are purposeful moments where I step back from my roles as a mother and professional and just enjoy being me.
This was hard for me to deploy initially. For at least the first year of both roles in corporate and as an entrepreneur, I gave all of myself to one of those two roles (rolling wife into the mother role). I was on overdrive, where my life revolved around completing tasks for my family or my company. It was exhausting but became a part of my daily existence. So, the exhaustion wasn’t noticeable. It was really just my new normal.
It wasn’t until I spoke with a coach that I realized I didn’t have any time carved out for me. It sounds crazy in hindsight, but at the moment, it was just my reality. The coach asked me to write down things that I could do to “treat myself.” She also asked me to find an hour a day (in six, ten-minute chunks) to just be still, where I did not produce or think about producing. The combination of these two exercises awakened in me a realization of how little I was doing for myself. How could I continue to pour into others if my kettle was empty? It was a profound and sobering moment. It was time to schedule myself some Me Time, which I did and haven’t looked back since!
When you’re ready to pick up this tool, here are a few steps to take:
Make a list of things that reinvigorate you. Perhaps it’s reading a trashy novel or getting a manicure. Whatever brings you inner joy, jot it down. It can be big or small things. The key is, does the simple thought of doing that thing light up your soul? If so, it’s a keeper!
Take a look at your schedule and identify 4-6 10-minute chunks where you can be still and just be. We are not “human doers”; we are “human beings.” But how often do we just sit and “be?” Not often enough. So, put time in your schedule to just be.
Schedule both your invigorating activity and your being time in your calendar and treat them as essential appointments that cannot be rescheduled. Let your significant other or other accountability partners know about this time and ask them to hold you to keep this schedule.
Take notes of how it makes you feel when you are doing a reinvigorating activity or just being. Write it in a pretty journal and revisit what you wrote from time to time. It will give you energy when you need it most.
While this may be a challenging tool to begin to use, take it from me, it’s absolutely worth it. Whenever I use it, I’m able to return to my roles with a different strut after having spent some time filling up my own kettle.
Don’t forget to share this series with the Boss Moms in your life!