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5-Minute mommy time outs

Your typical day is hectic, to say the least. With keeping your children clean, fed and entertained, and shuttling them from school to activities to play dates, not much space is left for “me time.” Set aside five minutes or more to center yourself and find calm amid the chaos.

Woman drinking coffee, taking time out for mom

1Find your mantra

Meditation is easy to work into your daily life. No special equipment is required, and it can be done anywhere, whether you are in the car in a parking lot or on vacation. The first step is to find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted for five to 20 minutes. Take advantage of your child’s naptime or moments between errands to start implementing this practice.

Next, sit down in a position that is comfortable for you, close your eyes and focus on breathing deeply, in and out. Take a few moments to notice how your chest rises and falls through the rhythm of your breath. Common mudras, or physical gestures that go along with meditation, are folding the hands or sitting with them cupped up towards the ceiling.

>> Learn how to meditate in a busy world

The most popular meditation method uses a mantra: A word, phrase or prayer you chose to repeat over and over again during the course of the meditation practice. You can say your mantra out loud or silently to yourself.

2Get a quick facial

Sure, you don’t have time to go to the spa, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reap some spa-like benefits at home. Ask your hubby or a friend to watch the kids while you escape for a few minutes. Slather on a quick facial mask, lie down in bed, turn off the lights and play some soothing tunes. Sudden Change Green Tea Facial Mask (available at most drugstores for about $10) offers a cooling sensation that instantly relaxes skin. It rejuvenates, moisturizes and leaves you feeling refreshed. If you can get 30 minutes, all the better: You can actually draw a warm bath and really make the bathroom your oasis.

>> Dealing with mommy stress

3Keep a journal

At the end of the day, take a five-minute time out and write in a journal. But the trick here is to make it all about you. Write down the things you did for yourself that day, jot down what you love about yourself, or even put your wildest fantasies on paper. Having a “me” journal is a terrific way to remind yourself that you’re not just a mom and a wife; you are a special woman.

>> 5 Stress-busters for moms at their stress limits

4Dance, dance, dance

When you feel yourself about to blow up at the kids, take a time out to redirect your energy elsewhere. Plop the kiddos in front of the TV or computer for a few minutes and give yourself a break. Go into the next room, put on your favorite CD of dance music, and get into the groove. Dance, dance, dance for five to 10 minutes. It will get your heart pumping, and it’s a lot of fun.

>> Dance fitness: Latin-inspired Zumba

5Sneak five minutes in the morning

Rise and shine five minutes or so before the rest of your household wakes up. Sip a cup of hot tea or coffee, read through your favorite magazine, and take a few deep breaths. Enjoy the uninterrupted time before your morning chaos begins.

>> 8 Do’s and don’ts to simplify your morning routine

More ways to make time for you:

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