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Recharge in 15 Minutes or Less

Cari Wira Dineen
April 29, 2011

Hey Caregivers, Here are 9 ways to boost your energy and lift your mood.

Baby fed?  Check.  Laundry folded?  Check.  Taking a moment for you?  Not even close.  We women have a hard time taking care of ourselves when we're so focused on taking care of everyone else.  But taking a quick 15-minute time out can do wonders for your mental health and energy level.

"When you take care of yourself with a small indulgence, you're a better mother, friend and partner because you feel recharged and rejuvenated," says Laura Berman Fortgang, life coach and author of Living Your Best Life.  Schedule 15-20 minutes of me-time into your day to try one of Berman Fortgang's tips to recharge your batteries:

Say ohm.  Do a quick yoga pose, such as the classic Downward Dog.  Stretch the arms away from the body, keeping them aligned with the spine.  You can push through the first finger or the middle finger.  Have the heels hip width apart and the legs straight.  Push through the heels and up through the tailbone in opposing directions.  The top of the head can be pointing down or in line with the direction of force through the arms.  Raise the navel upwards towards the chest.  This will straighten the lower back.  Downward Dog stretches your back, neck, Achilles, calves and your mind.  Breathe in.  Exhale.  Hang in there and push your heels in for as long as you can.  Stand up and repeat a few times.  After the initial pain, it feels amazing.  Don't forget to breathe!  

Take a long shower.  Instead of your normal 3 minute-lather-rinse-repeat schvitz, linger in the shower.  Slather on a face mask or a deep conditioning hair mask (or both!)  and suds up with your fanciest shower gel.  Stand there and feel the water running over you.  Exhilerating and relaxing all at the same time, huh? 

Grab a designer beverage.  Folgers? Fuhgedabboudit!  Brew up some gourmet ground coffee in a French press or a pot of pricier herbal tea.  Sit down, put up your feet and sip slowly from a fancy cup.  Dunk in a store-bought biscotti and relax into your chair.  Ahh.  A good cup of coffee is a sweet indulgence -- and just what you need to feel like you again.

Call your pals.  When you're feeling like you've hit a wall, a phone call to the right friend is sure to recharge your soul.  "Reminiscing with an old girlfriend can take your mind off your to-do list and give you a mental escape," says Berman.

Blast your favorite song.  We all know a song that inspires a karaoke-moment within us (Free Fallin'? Son of a Preacher Man?)  Find your new personal anthem and belt it out.  (Best done while kids look on in horror!)

Make like a cat.  And take a quick nap. "Just laying down for 15-20 minutes can hit the reset button in your brain," says Berman Fortgang.

Give yourself a foot massage.  Don't wait for your next pedicure to get a good foot rub.  Get some thick foot cream and really work it into your heels and toes.  Spend at least 5 minutes on each foot.  When you're finished, slide on some soft socks or booties.

Grab some tennis balls.  Put one or two on the floor. Lay down and slowly roll them around on your back, concentrating on any knots or tight spots.  Or slip off your shoes and roll your foot on top of one of the balls for a quick tension release.  

Go surfing.  Set a timer for 15 minutes and let yourself go wild with Internet surfing.  It's easy to get lost on the web but this way, time won't escape you while you're arm-chair travelling or window shopping.

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