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A Time-Out for Mom

Ask any mom you know when she last gave herself, instead of one of the kids, a true “time-out”-the kind of time-out that allows her to rest and relax.

If she is anything like the millions of moms in the U.S. who juggle kids, family, a job and the daunting task of overall home management, she is unlikely to recall the last time she dedicated a day, hour or even 15 minutes entirely to herself. With our increasingly busy society, moms are less inclined to take a break from life’s demands to simply slow down and relax. It just seems like there is never enough time to take care of daily responsibilities and avoid exhaustion at the same time.

Make time for yourself
But setting aside time to care for yourself can be easier than it may seem. Just 15 minutes a day spent focused on a rejuvenating or relaxing activity can result in a renewed, fresh-minded mom. Many of us are familiar with the classics such as taking a bubble bath, exercising or reading a book. However, more and more women are finding relief from less conventional de-stressing activities such as playing a computer game or meditating.

Jennifer Louden, women’s lifestyle expert and author of The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year and other best-selling books for women, suggests that moms try something different to combat burnout-her personal favorite is skipping around her neighborhood with her daughter and dog for 10-15 minutes. But if you are looking for an activity that won’t leave your neighbors questioning your sanity, Louden suggests playing a game.

Mini-breaks
Growing in popularity across the U.S. and around the globe are casual computer games-simple word, card, puzzle and strategy games that are easy to learn but challenging to master. These interactive games can be played in small time increments, perfect for a 15-minute breather before the kids come home from school or after the kids go to bed. Many women also play during breaks at work to clear the mind and regain focus.

Play online
Web sites such as RealArcade.com, Lifetimetv.com and GameHouse.com provide hundreds of casual computer games that busy moms can try for free. Louden recommends a quick game of Super Collapse! 3, Aloha Solitaire or one of the many versions of Sudoku to help moms achieve relaxation, mental stimulation and a sense of completion.So listen up, you “supermoms,” you’ve heard it before: It is time to take a “time-out”-today, tomorrow and every day thereafter. Soak in a bubble bath, skip around the yard or sit down to play a casual game. With a little consistency, you’ll realize immediate benefits and thank yourself for taking the time to ensure that your mind and body are renewed. You might even be admired by friends and family for being brave enough to actually take care of yourself.