Make Time for Yourself by Setting an Appointment and Keeping it
No matter what stage of marriage you’re in, you need to make time for yourself in your busy day. Are you looking for a quiet time with God for your daily devotions or prayers? Do you need to refresh with a nap? Have you been looking for time to read the book you borrowed?
When the kids are little it may be hard just to find the time to shower or to socialize with adults. One of the best ways to make the time is to make an appointment for yourself and stick to it. If you had an appointment with your doctor or a hair appointment you’d be sure to get there and on time. Remember it’s even more important to get to your appointment with yourself. Your spouse and your kids will have more of the best you when you make time for yourself.
You Need a Support System to Help Make Time for Yourself when the Kids are at Home
I lived in a wonderful community when my kids were little. Most of us had young children and we’d take time to socialize while the kids played. We also watched each others’ children when we needed to make time for ourselves. There were a few teens and an older couple who would babysit when we could afford it. The best part was never having to explain why you needed to make time for yourself.
When we moved to Northern Alberta, I didn’t know anyone and had no support system. Then I found 2 great programs.
One was an indoor playground. If you have no real winter where you live you may not appreciate the significance of having a large gymnasium full of tricycles and slides where the kids can run free while you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with grownups. Setting aside time for socializing is important to keep you from clinging to your husband as the only adult in your life.
The other program was a weekly Mom’s Day Out. A babysitting coop set in a church where they used the nursery and the children’s church areas. You took your turn supervising and in return you had an entire morning to yourself each week to do whatever you wanted. Some went shopping without the kids and some went home to relax.
Another idea is a gym or craft program that offers babysitting. YWCA’s or community programs can be a good place to look. I also found Bible studies that offered babysitting. A group of friends once got together and paid one sitter to watch all of our children. You can be creative in finding or starting support groups.
Make Time for Yourself a Priority
When the kids are all off to school, you have time alone even if not always as much as you need. I found I needed to prioritize my time for looking after myself or it was left out. Have you ever had those days when you look up at the clock and realize the family will soon be home and you’re still not dressed?Sometimes I forgot to comb my hair as I frantically went through my to do list.
The only answer for me was to make a time I would use just for myself. Once a week, I would take a long bath, groom my brows and legs, whatever needed doing but in a relaxed hour I had set aside just for me. When less housework was done that day, it never seemed important after I felt rejuvenated.
When I have a book to read, I plan on a time to make a cup of tea and purposefully relax while reading. If I need a nap, I plan on the time ahead and take a conscious break.
Your appointments can be for big things or small. You can make your appointment days ahead or the same day. The idea is to make time for yourself to refresh. The secret I have found works for me is to decide on the time I’ll stop what I’m doing and focus on myself. I try to think of this as sacred time. Sometimes it’s for devotion and prayer. But I know God is honored when I make time to look after myself.
Stick to Your Appointment even if it’s Only with Yourself
My children are nearing 40 and I have the house to myself all day. You’d think it’s easier to make time for myself. Not so. My day can go by in a blur of activity if I don’t consciously put myself on the calendar. After my husband leaves for work, I like to start my day by cleaning the kitchen and getting organized for the day’s meals. I do watch the clock a bit and I tidy up until it gets to the hour I stop to exercise then shower and get dressed.
If I make the mistake of going to the computer first, I can lose most of the day without even getting dressed. Suddenly it’s time to make supper and I throw on some clothes to be presentable when my husband comes home.
In the summer, I have to watch that I don’t spend most of the day in the garden where I can also lose track of time.
Be Flexible With Your Appointments so You Will Keep Them
I change up my days to accommodate weather and timed events. Gardening is a hobby as well as food source so it doubles as time for me and a chore at times. When it’s cold in the spring and fall, I garden in the early afternoon and in the heat of summer, I garden in the early morning. I work in the warmth of the basement when it’s cool outside and in the coolness of the basement when it’s hot outside. My sewing studio and my office are down there.
Work With Your Spouse to Coordinate Your Schedules
Soon my husband and I will be retired and we’ll need to work around each others’ schedules all day. We’re practicing by organizing our evenings together now. We start with scheduled events and things we need to get done together and alone. It will be another adjustment when he’s home full time.
Schedule Time to do Nothing
Don’t forget that It's good use of time to do nothing if that's what you need. The trick is to do it consciously and without regret. Click To TweetIf you need to schedule a whole day for yourself, do it and enjoy. Your husband will enjoy the new and relaxed you.
What are your favourite things to do for yourself? Do you make appointments with yourself? Do you keep your appointments?
Get more self-care ideas to bring more joy to your life and your marriage Subscribe to our newsletters.