I debated about how to approach this - from a fantasy/dream angle or a more real version of what could (and should) happen on an on-going basis. I am choosing the latter approach because I rather have a realistic list of things I can do when there are moments of free time.
As a homeschool mom, my job is truly around-the-clock versus the 9-5 jobs I've held in the past. Potentially, without breaks, I could easily get burned out.
Articles in magazines or books about balancing one's life as a mother often encourage women to "get out more often.” I don't find that particularly helpful because the suggestions always seem to involve money - going out to lunch with friends; getting a manicure or pedicure; seeing a movie; getting a massage; or taking a weekend retreat.
What I need are the little ways for renewal within my day - right at home with Sophia and Olivia here. This is certainly a more economical way to approach life and can be equally as relaxing for me. The challenge is to have a variety of ideas "ready to go" so when these times present themselves, I can use them to my advantage rather than wasting them.
At Well Grounded Life, the author (who also is a mother) echoed this thought: "I decided I needed to be more prepared with ideas when I could steal away 15 minutes here or an hour there, to indulge in some personal time."
She continued, "My mind most days doesn't switch over from hyper-focused on my kids and the needs of the house to self-care ideas very easily…and all too often when I do have some free time, it whittles away without me taking advantage of it."
So, I came up with a list of activities that are (for me) relaxing and rejuvenating; and create some balance in my life:
- Do embroidery or quilting.
Miniature journal quilt I made in 2010.
- Read a book.
- Make a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and drink it while watching the birds.
A morning cup of hot chocolate.
- Take a bath with scented soap and/or essential oils.
An entry in my weekly "Take a Stitch Tuesday" journal.
I write a personal reflection and gratitude list; and
combine it with embroidery samples and images that represent the week.
One of the mandalas I colored in the book
"Coloring Mandalas" by Susanne F. Fincher
- Take a walk around the farm.
Snow on berries.
- Go outside and take pictures of things that are beautiful or interesting.
Baby wrens in their nest.
- Going on a bike ride or walk down a quiet, country road.
- Watch the clouds, especially on days when they are moving quicker and changing shapes.
A sunrise one morning.
This is the view from the front yard
looking over a corn pasture to the east.
It would be good to continue to add to this list so that there would be an ever-increasing amount of choices when that free time becomes available and I'm looking for something relaxing to do.