Finding a balance between work, home, kids, marriage and personal interests is difficult enough for a couple to manage, but when you take one of the key players out of the picture for months at a time? That’s when you see the expert-level juggling skills of military spouses.
Whether it’s holding down the fort during a deployment or handling a cross-country PCS, military spouses often focus much of their time and energy on taking care of others, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes out of just general awesomeness. But what military spouses are less than awesome at is taking care of themselves, a task that’s as important as the many, many other items on our lists.
It’s understandable, of course. There are only so many hours in the day and so many things to accomplish. How are you supposed to find time for yourself on a regular basis? But dear military spouse, it’s so important that you do! If you are worn out or at the end of your rope, you aren’t going to be able to give all that you want to your friends, family or job.
That’s why I’m encouraging all military spouses to take their own spring break. And yes, I recognize a week in Daytona may be out of the question for some of us (or all of us), but you don’t actually have to go somewhere to have a spring break.
For one week, give yourself five minutes a day to do something for you. That’s only 35 minutes total, doable for even the busiest military spouse. If you can allot more time, do it, but carve out at least five minutes for yourself.
How to Create Your Own Personal Spring Break (Even If You Don't Go Anywhere!)
Read a magazine.
Ideally, I would read at least a book or two during my spring break, but for the busy among us, a magazine may be more doable. Pick something you enjoy and give yourself five minutes to flip through it. Bonus points if you do it outside while sipping an adult beverage, but this is something you could do just about anywhere. The mechanic, in the school pick-up line, while your kids finish up homework; the world is your oyster!
Paint your nails.
I always feel better when my nails have some polish on them, but I don’t feel good about spending the time or money having someone else do it for me. If you’re short on either, you can do it yourself really quickly. This forces you to sit down and spend a few minutes on you. If you’re super speedy, do your toenails too!
Go for a walk.
Is it really spring break if you don’t spend any time outside? Find the nicest day of the week and go for a walk, preferably solo. Skip the music, the podcasts or making phone calls. Listen to the birds chirp, smell the freshly cut grass and admire the blooming flowers.
Go to bed five minutes early.
How many of you stay up really late trying to get everything done? Yeah, me too. For one day, say no to that mentality. Leave the to-do list where it’s at and head to bed at least five minutes early. Use those extra five minutes to do some light yoga, read or even just catch a little extra shuteye.
Condition your hair.
On rushed mornings, the one thing I’m guaranteed to skip is conditioning my hair and then I wonder why it won’t cooperate when styling it. So give yourself the five extra minutes and condition your tresses! Enjoy the steam, let your fingers get a little extra pruney and feel good knowing that at least your flyaways will be calm, even if nothing else in your life follows suit.
Wake up five minutes early.
Not everyone is a morning person, but everyone can appreciate not feeling rushed in the morning. By getting up a smidge earlier (just one less snooze), you may feel calmer and more relaxed during your morning routine. Savor your coffee, catch five minutes of the news or just bask in the peace of a silent house.
Wear your fancy underwear.
Let’s be honest for a second, we all have “fancy underwear” that only sees the outside of the drawer when we’re feeling really good about ourselves or going out on the town. We buy them and know that they’re for special occasions. Well, I’m here to tell you that YOU are a special occasion. Don’t wait for someone or something else to mark it “fancy underwear” day. You decide when to wear them and do it with pride!
One week and 35 you-minutes later may not be the spring break of your dreams, but it can do a world of good for your energy and outlook. Military spouses deserve to feel good because they spend so much time making other people feel good. Give yourself an at-home spring break!
Rachel is a proud Navy wife, avid reader, dog mom, baker and care package maker. She blogs all about life as a military wife at Countdowns and Cupcakes, a place where military spouses, new and experienced alike, can come for support, encouragement, a little humor and maybe a care package idea or two. She can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy and Bloglovin.