A while ago I was working with a beautiful new mama that was challenged with the issue of self care. She didn't know how to use her free time to nurture herself. She had the perception that self care was selfish. I told her that we Mothers need to fill our cups and give from the overflow so we can handle the responsibilities of Motherhood. I forwarded her the following article written by Martha Beck to inspire her to create her own self care practice. I share it here with you in hopes that it will serve you as well.
FEAR OF FREE TIME by Martha Beck
When we're not prepared to use empty time, finding ourselves in the midst of it is frustrating and boring. Here are some ideas that can turn unexpected free time into treasure rather than trash.
If you have one minute: Go limp. Settle into the most comfortable position possible. Inhale deeply, hold your breath a second or two, then relax your body as you exhale. Your body will repay the gift of oxygen and relaxation by becoming calmer and more energetic.
If you have five minutes: Forget everything. Jot down a quick to-do list, and let it be your "task memory" so you can let your mind roam free. Patiently and nonjudgmentally, watch where your mind goes, what it says. Then go back to your to-do list. You'll find that you feel as if you've had a brief but refreshing vacation.
If you have an hour: Find a reason to laugh. If you're too stressed or sad to laugh, let yourself cry. Both behaiors release physical and emotional tension, connecting your mind, body and circumstances..
If you have a free afternoon: Disappear. There will be time later for doing; this afternoon is for being. Roam your favorite places. Drink in all the beauty you find. Tell no one.
If you have a whole day: Live it on purpose. Start by reminding yourself what you want your life to mean. Take one small step in the service of your purpose. Then give yourelf a gift. This will remind you that receiving and giving are inseparable and put you in the zone where you simultaneously forget your ego and remember who you really are.