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How to find more 'you time'

10 Jul 2018

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Being a parent – especially with young kids – is non-stop. And because of that, we can easily drift into becoming machine-like, ploughing through a seemingly endless list of tasks, with the only respite being vegging out in front of a screen.

Problem is that after a while you can feel you've lost that sense of self or who you really are. Or lost your sense of fun with your partner.

If you don't have that problem, congratulations! If, however you do feel like this, here are a few ideas to get you some time.

Plan

Sounds obvious, but too often things slide because we don't plan for it. So if you book in a regular time it's more likely to happen. For instance, a regular half hour (perhaps after the kids are in bed) of real 'you' time is enough.

Ditch the screens

When the kids aren't around, our default option is often to head to the TV/computer/phone and veg out. But we never seem to feel better for doing so. So make 'you time' screen-free.

Get support

Even if it's only for a short while getting someone to look after your kids allows you to focus on yourself, or yourself and your partner again.

Keep it simple

'You time' doesn't need to involve an extravagant weekend or lots of time away. A simple hour or two can work wonders. And by keeping it simple there's a better likelihood it'll actually happen, and you'll be able to do it again. Date night can be at home for instance.

Close the door

If the kids are safe, close the door and make it clear mum and dad don't want to be disturbed. The very simplicity means you've got a chance of doing this often.

Share the load

If you have a partner, plan to make time for each of you individually, as well as together. And support one another to get that time.

Be realistic

Having young kids is probably not the time to suddenly take up long-course triathlon, or 10-day meditation retreats in order to find 'you time'. Instead, think of things you can do regularly and close to home.