Taking the Time Out For Yourself

Written By: Mary Beth Evans

I’m often asked how I like to unwind after a busy day or what I do to escape from the day to day hustle and bustle. I tend to push myself to the limit but anyone who knows me knows I am happiest when I am busy and productive. So sitting back and relaxing just doesn’t do it for me. I do think that it is important to take time away from the daily grind and do things you take pleasure in. There are many things I enjoy that keep me busy while helping me de-stress.

Time with my kids

Now that summer is here and the kids are around more I like to spend time doing things with them. My daughter just finished her first year of college and has worked so hard. Now that she is a young woman, I thought I would splurge and take her to a spa. It seems so grown up and just us gals, although I know her two brothers will be jealous! The other thing we plan to do this summer is take some cooking classes together. We have some in our town, but it would be so much fun to go away for a weekend somewhere and take the classes, hike and dine together. It is such sweet time with each other. I personally can’t wait! Any time together doing something you can both enjoy is precious, especially as they get older and are away from home so much.

Gardening

I love to garden. This year I decided to try my hand at an organic garden. I went to Barnes and Noble and chose a book called The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith. I dug the trenches he talks about and added the organic supplements. I am telling you it really works. My garden is so lush and hardy. Every year I planted my vegetable bed but this year I did it right and what a difference! I like to check out my vegetable garden in the morning with my coffee in hand. I feel such a sense of pride at how all the digging, planning, and planting has really paid off. In the evening I usually take one more visit to collect some fresh beets, lettuce or bok choy for dinner.

Entertaining

Nothing is more fun for me than entertaining friends. While some people find this stressful, I have learned over the years how to do actually enjoy the process of entertaining. The best gift you can give yourself is to prep early so you can relax and enjoy the company when they arrive. I always make what I call my peasant dinner – my favorite pasta, a big salad and SEVERAL bottles of wine! It’s quick, easy, and affords us ladies some much needed gal time!

Exercising

I know what you are thinking, exercise as a way to relax? But for me I have found what makes it fun. I have 3 really close friends and we try to walk 6 miles, 3 times a week. It is time consuming, but the health benefits are great and my tush is actually getting smaller. A nice added benefit is the camaraderie. We solve all the problems of the world!

Date Night

Ever since my children were little my husband and I have made it a point to go out on a “date” Friday or Saturday night, pretty close to every weekend. That is such needed time. We started with a teenage neighbor that we had a standing reservation with. Being able to reconnect with your mate and be an adult with a small break from your children and responsibilities is incredibly rejuvenating!

Bath Time

No, not for the kids! When all else fails and I really need to just decompress, one of my favorite ways to do so is a hot bath infused with some essential oils or bubble bath. I go in with a book or a few magazines and close the door for 20 minutes. If you have little ones you will most likely have to wait until they are snoozing in their beds but boy is it worth the wait!

Regardless of what it is you enjoy, make sure you take the time to indulge yourself. If you don’t make it a priority, no one else is going to do it for you!

BIO: Best known for her various soap opera roles over the last two decades, Mary Beth Evans is also a wife, mother of three and entrepreneur, starting Mary Beth’s Apple Pie Co. in 2005. Mary Beth has been a contributor in Hybrid Mom magazine and is currently one of the bloggers on hybridmom.com.