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Get even more "me time" this school year

Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.

How to score more "me time" during the school year

Does the start of school signal a return to harried mornings and jam-packed schedules? Take a deep breath and carve out a little more "me time" this year.

Set the alarm

Even if you're not a morning person, getting up early is a sure-fire way to grab a few moments alone before the chaos begins. Enjoy a few stretches as the sun rises, take a relaxing shower, savor a cup of coffee or check a few emails. These "me" moments will help you start the day with a clear, calm mind.

Just say no

If you have a hard time saying no, give yourself a little pep talk before the school year begins. You do not — we repeat — you do not have to say yes to every opportunity that presents itself. Yes, it's flattering to be asked to chair a committee, serve on the board or host an event, but if you're going to end up a frazzled mess, steel yourself ahead of time and practice saying no. Of course you can phrase it differently. Maybe something like, "Thank you so much for thinking of me. I appreciate being asked, but I don't want to take on any duties that I can't perform exceptionally so I'm afraid I will have to pass."

Take advantage of after-school activities

If your kids are old enough to participate in after-school activities, by all means sign them up. Those extra hours will give your kids an opportunity to learn a new sport or skill, and you can use the time to get some work done, run a few errands and clear your plate so you can focus on family time during the evening.

Get help

It's not always easy for moms to accept the fact that we can't do it all. In our quest to balance work and family, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Unfortunately, we're not the only ones who suffer. There's a direct correlation between Overscheduled Mommy and Mean Mommy and Overworked Wife and Witchy Wife. If your current schedule simply doesn't allow for any true "me time," enlist the help of the grandparents, your partner or a babysitter. Treating yourself to a few hours of free time each week is well worth the investment. (If you can't afford paid help, ask a friend if she'd like to take turns watching each other's kids.)

More "me time" tips

It's "me" time not "mom" time
Ways for single moms to find some "me time"
How to find me time

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