Mums often feel overjoyed - but also over-whelmed - by life spent caring for little ones. It means it's vital for mum to get some me-time. But how does mum get a break? By relaxing and rejuvenating in just one hour, with these 60-minute me-time ideas:
A 60-minute massage
With many mums suffering sleepless nights, give your body much-needed nurture by booking in for a 60-minute massage. A muscle rub is proven to relax both the muscles and the mind by increasing blood flow and endorphins to the brain. Massage has also been found to ease backache, with a study by the Canadian Medical Association finding it the best solution for chronic lower back pain. What other excuse do you need to lie back and smell the lavender oil?
Stay an extra hour in bed
Do you remember the days when you got to sleep in? They may seem like another lifetime ago but an extra hour's shut-eye on a Saturday or Sunday morning could make the difference between a tired and cranky mummy and a happy, refreshed mummy. Do a deal with your partner so he gets up to the littlies on one day each weekend, while you put in your ear-plugs and rejuvenate under the covers (if you're feeling generous, he gets to lie in on the other day!).
Watch two episodes of Sex & The City
While you might not have two and a half hours to watch the girls in their latest movie, dig out a DVD of one of the early SATC series and settle in at a friend's house for an hour of childless sex, high-heeled shoes and lingering all day at fancy restaurants. Gossiping over the clothes and sex will make you giggle - then you'll be relieved you're a mum when you watch them trying to bag a husband.
Do a yoga class
Yoga uses gentle exercises to work out the body and meditative techniques to clear the mind of stress and anxiety. In under an hour you can feel like you've had a two week holiday, minus the expense and drama of traveling with kids! Why not make a deal with one of your friends to mind their kids while they do a yoga class one day during the week, and vice versa while you do one on another day? Just having some alone time is worth every penny to get your mind and body into shape. Some Yoga studios also offer discount classes if you sign up for a term.
Set up a baby-sitting co-op
If you want to spend a precious hour re-connecting with your husband or partner that costs nothing, try forming a baby-sitting co-op. It's simple - get together with a group of mums (mothers' groups are perfect for this) and draw up a roster where you take it in turns to baby-sit for another family's child. If there are four mums in the co-op, you get a free night's babysitting once a month and you baby-sit for another family once a month in return. Bingo! An hour (or more) to go to the movies, on a date or just chat with your partner - completely alone!
Regain your style
Fashion sense (and stiletto shoes) usually rate pretty low on new mums' lists. However, the time will come to bin your maternity bras and Birkenstocks and head back to work. While some of your pre-baby wardrobe might fit, shoes, skirts and button-front blouses may not. It's the perfect time to consult a personal stylist: Book an hour to say good-bye to baggy t-shirts and yoga pants.
Stroll home from work
If you're a working mum, and the distance from work to home makes it viable, forget the bus queue once a week and walk home instead. Combine a fast walking pace with some uplifting music on your iPod and your happy hormones will soon be pumping. The perfect transition between work and home, you'll be fit and ready to take on the demands of the witching hour.
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