Daily obligations and responsibilities often have a way of taking over our lives. With busy workdays and balancing time between your children’s activities, finding time to take a break and be alone may seem like an impossible task. However, this alone time is very important and can help you to feel rejuvenated and contribute to a sense of wellbeing.

Tips to Find Time for Yourself

Know That Nothing Is Wrong With You. Nothing is wrong with needing a break. It doesn’t mean you’re not a good parent. And it doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids. Everyone needs me time—even though it’s not easy to come by in early parenthood. Enjoying occasional time away from your kids will help you parent better when you’re with them.

Schedule Some Time Off. Plan for your partner or another family member to take the kids while you take a break. Put it on the calendar. Even 30 minutes to stroll around the block (alone) or read a magazine is worth it. Knowing you have me time to look forward to can help improve your mood when parenting stress is high.

Make the Time Count. Don’t waste your alone time on activities that aren’t meaningful to you—like sorting through junk mail or watching whatever happens to be on TV. Do an activity that you really want to do, whether it’s going to yoga class, playing guitar, or scrapbooking. Otherwise, you won’t feel refueled when the time is over. Make sure your time is restorative.

Let Go of Perfection. When you have extra time during your baby’s afternoon nap or your toddler’s favorite TV show, don’t run yourself ragged trying to finish your to-do list. It’s ok if everything doesn’t get done. Instead of pushing yourself to keep your house as tidy as it was before kids, embrace the chaos as part of parenting.

Be Present in the Moment. Rather than stressing about the work or other tasks waiting for you, practice mindfulness. Give your full attention to finger painting, making grilled cheese sandwiches, or folding laundry. Something that allows you to interact with one another or work as a team.