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How I Get Inspired + Finding ‘Me’ Time

Disclosure: The post is part of the social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group, All You, and Real Simple but all opinions are my own, #pmedia #SpringintoMeTime”

Manageable + Realistic ways to carve out 'me time', get inspired & renew your life...

Happy Monday my friends!  It is early, early on this first day of the week, but I am feeling ready to tackle the days ahead. The Mister & I got away this past weekend and even though it was for a mere 24 hours, taking a step away from the everyday was exhilarating + rejuvenating!

We’re often pulled in so many directions that carving out time for ourselves – me time – can be a struggle.  Our care + needs are often put on the back burner, while we put much of our time & attention on our children. From the moment I wake around 6am I am on the move, not only getting myself ready, but dressing my 3 kids, making lunches, preparing breakfast, and making sure all is set for the day.  A little before 9 we’re all out the door – kids to school, the baby to the sitter (a few days a week), the mister to work, and me to meet clients. After a full day on the road, the routine of mom mode begins again around 4 and by the time the kiddos head to bed at 8, I am pooped & don’t last much longer. On a daily basis, the hustle & bustle around the homestead leaves really no time for relaxing, quietness, and rejuvenating. That being said, I wouldn’t change one minute of it all, because my family is everything to me.

As I mentioned earlier in the year that for 2015 my focus is to live more with intention.  I’ll tell you, it hasn’t been easy, but that’s life and I feel if I keep it my focus at the forefront of my mind, at least I am working on it and that is something to be proud of.  I am continually trying to work towards strengthening myself and to do that, I’m realizing that it means carving out time for me.  The time away this weekend really showed me that I will be a better + stronger person for myself + others if I take more time for me.

For my job as a designer & blogger, I have to continually be inspire. Even though I find inspiration in the everyday beauty that surrounds me, I often have blinders on with so many distractions.  My eyes just can’t capture it all and I am missing what’s beautiful – big and small.  Carving out me time to get inspired, is important to stay fresh and on top of my game – physically, emotionally, and mentally.

As the mister and I got away from the everyday daily grind to focus on ourselves and each other, we realized we hadn’t been out together by ourselves in over 10 months, which is crazy. We went away to one of our favorite B & Bs about an hour away and laughed  + talked as were dating again.  It was so enjoyable and mind clearing.  And we relished in the quietness.  We actually drove home completely quiet and we both loved it. It was great to just clear the mind and take in the beauty of my surroundings.  I was inspired by so much around me.  The architecture.  The people. The smells. The food.  I just soaked up the many details all around…

Finding inspiration in the beautiful details around us. A few photos I snapped while at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA… so many details.  so much beauty!

During our downtime I got some moments to flip through the pages of Real Simple, one of my favorite magazines, that I picked up at Target last week before our trip.  There were of course some delicious looking recipes that I am dying to try, but also some inspirational articles on creating beautiful spaces.

Ways to find inspiration & Renew your life...

It got me thinking and I immediately snagged my notepad to jot down some ideas on what I am going to start doing for myself… thoughts on what I want to focus on.

1. Schedule my Time Better.  We’re all pulled in 92 directions at the same time and I rarely say no (#1 should really be to learn how to say no more), but I want to become better at scheduling my time by creating realistic work – home hours. I’ve tried to “balance” my work/home life, but honestly what does that mean? Some days I work way too much and some days I don’t work nearly enough, but in the end it all gets done, I guess…  Instead of walking around like a chicken with its head cut off, I think creating/writing a schedule that is suitable to get it all done will help me stay on track and focused.  I bought a calendar at the beginning of the year with a to-do list for each day – I’m going to use that starting NOW!

2. Don’t Obsess.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist and sometimes need to just let go. The house doesn’t have to be spit-spot clean every day. Recently I embraced some new cleaning regiments to make our home feel cleaner quicker and that has really been helping.  With 3 kids a clean / organized home 24/7 just isn’t possible.  I’ve been designated the 30 minutes before the kids get home to straightening up the house that way when they walk through the door, the focus is on them & their homework.  I really like giving them my 100% attention when they get home from school.  I feel that is important.  Cleaning can wait.

3. Do it NOW.  Often the thoughts that linger in my head are those of things that I need to do, but haven’t yet done – Sign my son up for baseball, call my Aunt, make an appointment for a physical, get an oil change.  Again those 92 different things that have to be done.  I am absolutely going to stop thinking about doing them and instead either do them RIGHT when I think about it or make a to-do list, so the thought leaves my brain allowing the opportunity for more inspiration to filter in.

4. Plan Ahead.  Planning ahead is huge.  One of my big downfalls as of late is meals.  Lately, I’m often found looking in the refrig/freezer at 4:30 for what I should make for dinner. Those nights, I become so stressed because I end up scrambling and the result is often pizza or something I really don’t want our family to eat.  On days when I plan ahead, and I take chicken out to defrost the night before, or better yet, put something in the crockpot at 8am, goodness our nights are so much easier + happier.  This means, planning ahead makes everything run so much smoother.

a few more easy + manageable ways to change + renew your life.  all things I am working on as well…

> read more – trashy. fact. fiction.  who cares, but just read more.  Maybe join a book club…

> eat breakfast – on the days I don’t eat breakfast, I snack and not on good food.  breakfast is important.  eat breakfast.

> say no – saying no can be hard.  learning to say no is important.  say no.

> stop watching the news – the news is an inspirational sucker.  I just can’t deal with the sadness.  news is important, but I never feel good after watching it.

> take a shower – shower + dress every day, even when you have no place to go. it’s important and you really do feel so much better!

> smile – smile. smile more. smile a lot.  it’s important to smile for others but more so for you.

> accept perfect now – today is perfect.  embrace the beauty now.  tomorrow is a gift.  this moment we are living in is the most important.

> rid the guilt – don’t hold on to something that’s not worth the time or effort.  if it’s eating at you, fix it.  if you tried, let it go.

> eat good – real food is so important.  eat good.

> free the mind.  do yoga. meditate. just be. do what is relaxing to you.

> write it down.  keep a notepad closeby.  always.  write it down.  rid it from your mind.

Those are just a few thoughts + ideas of what I plan on focusing on throughout the year to come.  It’s amazing how easy they seem, but how hard they can be to implement.  I am feeling so refreshed + inspired after my time away this weekend and it already has the Mister & I talking about our next get away.

How do you carve out me time? How do you get inspired?  What is your focus for the year?

>>> Deal Watch!

If you’re looking to unwind & spend some “me time” for yourself, right now you can Save $2.00 at Target when you buy any TWO (2) participating magazines titles (All You®, Real Simple®, PEOPLE®) from 3/15-3/28 while supplies last – what a fantastic deal.

Also, Save 15% on select special issue magazines which include PEOPLE® Crimes of Passion, National Geographic® 100 Journeys of a Lifetime, TIME® Mark Twain, LIFE® Lincoln while using the Target Cartwheel app. Available until 4/17/15, while supplies last.