How To Fit In Self Care As A Busy Mom

de-stressing self care Feb 11, 2022

You probably already know that self care does wonders for maintaining peace of mind and helping you rebalance when you encounter challenging moments in life. But if you're like the average American woman, you spend about an hour or more each weekday traveling to and from work or sitting in the car while running errands. Even as delivery services became more popular during the pandemic, we're finding ourselves slowly leaving the house more and resuming some of our normal routines. If you think about it, that’s at least 5 hours a week you can turn into an opportunity for self care instead of wasting time or feeling stressed.


How much flexibility you have to change your commute probably depends on your job and lifestyle. However, there are positive changes you can make under any circumstances.


Look through this list of suggestions and come up with your own ideas for making your commute more productive and fulfilling.


Making small changes can have a big impact

What could you be doing on your way to work or as you run errands instead of fuming about traffic? Spend that time on activities that enhance your mental and physical wellbeing.


You may be thinking it's hard to accomplish anything while driving, especially if you want to do so safely. However, there are still activities that can make your commuting time feel shorter and more beneficial.


Try these techniques:


  1. Continue learning. As long as you avoid distracted driving or other safety hazards, you can study various subjects that interest you by using audiobooks, podcasts, or even listening to YouTube videos. Notice I did not say watching YouTube videos while driving!
  2. Plan your future. Figure out what you want to accomplish this week or this year. This may include thinking about your next vacation destination or setting goals for advancing your career.
  3. Relax and tune in to your body. If you’re on your feet much of the day, you may need some quiet time. Focus on your breath and observe your thoughts. But if you're driving, be sure not to close your eyes or tune out too deeply.
  4. Listen to music. An upbeat or soothing playlist can put you in the mood for the day ahead. Discover new artists or enjoy your old favorites.
  5. Be social. Taking your neighbors and surroundings into consideration, maybe you can spend your commute connecting with others by making phone calls using a hands-free device or BlueTooth.
  6. Bring snacks. Small things can make a big difference. Treat yourself to healthy foods or premium coffee to upgrade your travel experience.

Making Radical Changes to Your Commute


If a long commute is making you unhappy or interfering with your family life, you may want to reconsider the tradeoffs you're making. Maybe a different job would be more satisfying or perhaps you and your employer can reach a compromise.


Consider these ideas:


  1. Adjust your hours. The same route can feel very different during peak and off-peak travel times. If your job doesn’t require any specific start or end time, you might be able to start early or leave late so you can beat the crowds.
  2. Stay home. How much of your job could be done remotely? With the pandemic, we saw more companies switch to remote working out of necessity. While some offices want to re-open and go back to pre-pandemic conditions, maybe your employer would be open to fully-remote or hybrid working? With a hybrid style of working, you'd propose working from home on certain days of the week. Offer to start with a trial run so you can evaluate the results.
  3. Walk or bike. Is your office too far away to walk there? You might still be able to travel on foot or bike part of the way so you can enjoy some exercise outdoors.
  4. Disconnect completely. Studies show that time off from technology makes you more mindful and productive. You may even start looking forward to turning off your phone once a day or more.


Each additional minute of commuting time takes a toll on your mental and physical health, according to a research review by Scientific American. If you’re unable to shorten your travel, you can still make those hours more rewarding by devoting them to self-care.


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