This year has been an adventure in decluttering. I find that as a family of five, we have accumulated so many things and they are starting to take over our lives. In an effort to save money and put a stop to purchasing, I have been practicing what my mother told me. “Just stay out of the stores and you will not be tempted to buy things.” She is a wise woman but now I find that the internet has a way of creeping into our lives with retargeting ads and algorithms constantly putting tempting sales in front of our screens and I have to say that I have been enticed by a few things and have succumbed. I am just glad that I don’t have cable so that I am not tempted to turn on the shopping channel.New shoes are fun, but really how many pairs do we really need? Consumerism is all around and now, I just try to take pleasure in grocery shopping where I can take advantage of sales on good produce and in cooking real food for my family.
I have also been researching happiness in the last little while and what truly brings us sustainable happiness. Kristen wrote a very inspiring post last week on Self-Care 101 and I thought that I should add a few ideas for us Moms to celebrate our self-control, reward us for decluttering and treat ourselves without breaking the bank or adding to the clutter in our homes.
Here are some simple ideas to add to your agenda for a little extra self-care and some fun:
- Read a book. Escape into a good book. Borrow from the library or from a friend, you won’t have to spend any money or have clutter sitting around when you’re done with it. If you have a pile of books, start reading and pass them on when you are done.
- Watch a movie. How about a sentimental movie by yourself or with a friend? Maybe a romantic comedy or action-packed classic with your husband, or have a family movie night. If budget isn’t an issue, go to the theatre and enjoy the experience.
- Play cards or a board game. Have friends over for a game night or play games with the family. Even little ones love playing games: an intense game of Go Fish will make their day.
- Treat yourself to a special beverage. While you’re out grocery shopping, splurge for your favorite tea or latte and enjoy.
- Cuddle up by a warm fire. If you have a fireplace, make use of it. Get cozy and enjoy the warmth.
- Play some music. Make necessary routine chores less of a drudgery with some music. Dancing around the living room or kitchen, anyone?
- Squeeze in a date night. If you are on a tight budget, go out for appetizers and drinks, or dessert and coffee instead of dinner. No babysitter? Put on a movie for the kids and have a date night at home.
- Meet a friend for tea or coffee. It’s a bonus if you can time it around your grocery shopping and make it less of a chore.
- Call an old friend. Nothing lifts the spirits and soothes like a good chat with a forever friend that you haven’t talked to in a long time.
- Sleep in. Yes. Let your partner get up with the kids on one of the weekend days and you can each have a turn sleeping in.
- Have a relaxing bath. I particularly enjoy a bath with epsom salts, two drops of lavender oil and a nice candle in a dimly lit bathroom after the kids are in bed.
- Have an impromptu potluck. Forget perfection and enjoy some time with friends or extended family.
- Make a blanket fort. A tent made of blankets can be hours of fun for the kids, albeit messy. Get in with them, at least for a few minutes, and read a book in the tent. They will love it. Keep the tent up and share some sweet time with your partner. You will feel like kids again.
- Colour or paint. Nurturing your creative side is very calming. Check out some of our free colouring pages. When was the last time you coloured or painted?
- Knit, crochet, or sew. If you enjoy this creative pastime, take some time to start a project or finish one that you’ve been putting off.
- Eat breakfast in bed. Surprise someone you love with breakfast in bed. Make some for you too!
- Have some fun outdoors. When was the last time you played in the snow, instead of grumbled about it? Jump in the fall leaves, run through the sprinkler in the summer. Go for a hike. Spending time in Nature will calm and centre you.
If these ideas don’t resonate with you, make your own list of what does sound fun and enjoyable. Do that instead. Whatever it is make it a point to carve out some time for you, your partner and your family. You will just be a little happier, lighter and less troubled.
Check out Self-Care for Moms 101 by Kristen Wint for more inspiration.