We all know that we need alone time as women and even simply as people in order to recharge and to have a break. This is even more evident when we become moms, but we are often so hesitant to take alone time as mothers.
Whether we feel guilty because we feel like we should be spending time with our families, or feel inadequate because we feel like we should be able to handle it all without needing a break, we simply put too much pressure on ourselves to be everything for everyone else.
But really, we need to acknowledge that there are some pretty important benefits of alone time for moms that can leave us in a better mindset, with better mental health and more capability of handling all of the challenges that motherhood throws at us.
If you need to be convinced even more, there are a whole range of reasons why you might need time out as a mother, but at the end of the day, you don’t need a reason and you don’t need to justify it to anyone.
Taking time out and spending time alone is one of the most essential and important things you can do.
The Mental Load Of Motherhood
Being a mom is hard work. Not only are you responsible for caring for your children, but you also have to manage the household, juggle work and family commitments, and deal with the never-ending stream of bills, appointments, and errands.
It’s no wonder that so many moms feel overwhelmed and exhausted.
What’s more, research has shown that the mental load of motherhood can have a significant impact on our physical health.
Studies have linked the stress of motherhood to a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, headaches, and digestive issues.
Even with supportive spouses who take care of a range of things to contribute and help with the running of the household, the evidence is clear that more often than not, the mental load falls to the mothers.
While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the stresses of motherhood, there are things we can do to help ease the load.
Making time for self-care, communicating openly with our partners, and asking for help when we need it are all important steps in managing the mental load of motherhood.
But one of the most important things we can do for our mental health is to make time for alone time.
What Is Alone Time For Moms?
Alone time for moms is simply time that we take out for ourselves, away from our families and other responsibilities.
It’s time that we use to do things that make us happy, that help us relax, and that give us a break from the everyday demands of motherhood.
Alone time can be used in any way that we want. It can be used to read a book, take a bath, go for a walk, or just sit and do nothing.
It’s important to note that alone time doesn’t have to mean time spent physically away from our families.
In fact, one of the easiest ways to get some alone time is to pop in some headphones and do something in a separate area of the house to the rest of your family.
For example, if the whole family is home, you can take time to put music on and have a long hot shower by yourself, or lay in bed and nap, or pop on some headphones and watch your current Netflix binge from the comfort of your bed.
It doesn’t have to be complicated – sometimes just zoning out and not having people demanding your time and attention can be enough to recharge.
What Is Not Alone Time For Moms?
While understanding what alone time is, it is also important to set boundaries for yourself on what does not count as alone time.
For example, going and getting the groceries (for me) does not count as alone time. It’s not enjoyable, I don’t feel rested and rejuvenated after, and to be honest, I mega loathe grocery shopping. This is the same as running any other errands. They increase my stress, which is the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve here.
Set boundaries around what you consider alone time, by YOUR standards. This is entirely personal and not something anyone else can decide for you.
How To Take Alone Time As A Mom
As a mom, it can be easy to get caught up in the never-ending cycle of meeting the needs of your family.
However, we know it is important to take some time for yourself every now and then. Alone time can help you to recharge and recenter yourself, making you a better mom in the long run.
There are a number of practical ways to make alone time happen.
First, try to wake up before your family does and use that time to enjoy a cup of coffee in peace.
Alternatively, schedule some time each week for a solo activity that you enjoy, whether it’s going for a run or taking a yoga class.
Finally, take advantage of any opportunities that arise spontaneously, such as when your partner is home and you can take some time to go and attend a class, head to a cafe by yourself, or even simply take a walk.
No matter how you choose to spend your alone time, the important thing is that you make it a priority.
What Are The Benefits of Alone Time For Moms?
Now we know the importance of alone time for moms and have a few ideas of how to take this time for ourselves, these are some of the benefits you can expect to see when you start having regular alone time:
1 – You’ll Have More Energy
Let’s get this straight, being a mom is hard work – there’s no way to avoid it. But the thing is, so is going to work, or going grocery shopping, or running errands… (You already know how I feel about these….)
From the moment you wake up until you finally collapse into bed at night, you’re constantly on the go.
You’re juggling work, family, and social obligations, and it can be easy to feel like you’re running on empty. But what if there was a way to recharge your batteries without running away to a deserted island?
By taking some time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes each day, you can give yourself the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate. And when you’re well-rested, you’ll find that you have more energy to put towards all the other aspects of your life.
So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that taking some time for yourself can help you recharge and come back even stronger.
2 – You’ll Be More Productive
It might seem counterintuitive, but taking some time for yourself can actually make you more productive.
Well, when you’re constantly on the go, it’s easy to get bogged down by all the little things. By taking a step back and taking some time for yourself, you can clear your mind and come back refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
In other words, alone time can help you to focus on what’s really important and let go of the rest.
Plus, you cannot possibly be your most productive self when you’re running on empty.
Whether productive means you get your to-do list done, have more time to do things you love, or even more time to spend with your family, taking time for yourself can actually help you achieve this.
3 – You’ll Be Less Stressed
It’s no secret that stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health. In fact, chronic stress has been linked to a whole host of health problems, including anxiety, depression, heart disease, and even weight gain.
So it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels. And one of the best ways to do that is by taking some time for yourself.
Alone time can help you to relax and de-stress, giving you a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Consider time alone an important medical requirement, like you would consider daily insulin as a diabetic, and you’ll have a whole different perspective on taking time for yourself.
4 – You’ll Be More Creative
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, taking some time for yourself can give you the space you need to tap into your creativity.
When you’re constantly on the go, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget about your hobbies and interests. But by taking some time for yourself, you can explore those things that make you unique and rekindle your creativity.
Whether it means you have time to take an art class, refine your photography skills, crochet up a storm (that’s me), or sing and dance to your favorite music, time alone will take you out of your practical left-brain dominance, and tap into your creative right-brain (the science says so).
5 – You’ll Be Healthier
When you’re stressed, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, releasing the stress hormone cortisol, which can have a negative impact on your health (as we mentioned earlier).
But when you take some time for yourself, you can help to reduce your stress levels and give your body a chance to relax.
In turn, this can lead to improved sleep, a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of heart disease to name a few.
Giving your body time to rest, to just be still, and to not constantly be on the go, can help your physical and mental health, and can also give you a chance to actually pay attention to your body and notice any changes or potential issues you may have just ignored or not noticed otherwise.
Taking time alone can be a simple healthy habit you can add to your day that will have fantastic health benefits without actually adding to your workload.
6 – You’ll Be More Focused
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re constantly on the go. There are always new things to see and do, and it can be hard to focus on one thing for very long.
But by taking some time for yourself, you can learn to focus on the present moment and be more in tune with your thoughts and feelings.
In other words, alone time can help you to slow down and appreciate the little things in life.
It can also help you to focus on your goals and what you want to achieve.
If you find it difficult to focus on your goals, try setting aside some time each day to think about them and visualize yourself achieving them. You can do this while meditating, journaling, or simply daydreaming about your ideal life.
7 – You’ll Be More Connected
Again, this is something that might seem counterintuitive, but spending time alone can actually help you to feel more connected.
Well, when you’re constantly on the go, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget about what’s really important. But by taking some time for yourself, you can connect with your thoughts and feelings and remember what’s truly important to you.
Essentially, alone time can help you to connect with your inner self and find a sense of peace and calm.
It can also help you to connect with nature and appreciate the world around you.
Finally, it can help you to connect with others. When you’re more in tune with your own thoughts and feelings, you’re better able to understand and empathize with others.
This also leads to…
8 – You’ll Be More Intuitive
Intuition is that little voice inside your head that tells you what to do. It’s a natural form of guidance that we all have, but it’s easy to ignore when we’re constantly on the go.
However, by taking some time for yourself, you can learn to listen to your intuition and follow its guidance.
As moms, we often put other peoples needs ahead of our own, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized it had been a long time since I had done something that I wanted to do simply because I wanted to do it and not because I thought it would benefit someone else.
Taking time alone can help you figure out what it is you want, what is important to you, and remind you that you matter too.
Simply put, alone time can help you to connect with your inner wisdom and make decisions that are in alignment with your true self.
9 – You’ll Be More Grateful
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can feel. It has the ability to shift our perspective and help us see the good in our lives, even when things are tough.
And what better time to practice gratitude than when you’re taking some time for yourself?
By taking a moment to appreciate all that you have, you can help to shift your focus from what’s lacking in your life to all of the good that already exists.
This can help you to feel more positive and hopeful, and can even lead to increased levels of happiness.
10 – You’ll Be More Present
In our fast-paced, constantly-connected world, it’s easy to get caught up in the past or the future and forget about the present moment.
But by taking some time for yourself, you can learn to focus on the here and now and be more present in your life.
This is particularly important if you’re a person who deals with anxiety – anxiety is future based and when we focus on the present moment, what is here in front of us right now, then anxiety doesn’t stand as strong anymore.
It is also important to appreciate the present moment. We always talk about how fast motherhood flies by, and often say ‘the nights are long but the days go by so fast’ and it’s so true. But spending time in the present moment, just breathing it all in, can help us feel more appreciative and more connected.
This is really hard to do when you’re in constant go mode and never get a moment to yourself.
Getting a break and taking time alone can help you to appreciate all that you have right in front of you and live more in the moment.
These are just a few of the many benefits of alone time for moms, and the ripple effect and ongoing benefits are felt from our families, our relationships, and almost every other aspect of our lives too.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, be sure to give yourself some time to relax and rejuvenate.
Your body and mind will thank you for it!