I will never forget standing in a department store next to a woman who was quickly trying on one pair of shoes after another while talking on the phone. I couldn’t help but overhear her conversation with what could have only been her significant other. She was reassuring as she said she would be home fairly soon. She was just finishing up at work and would be leaving the office shortly.

I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. Who doesn’t try to steal a few minutes of “me” time whenever and wherever they get the chance?

Where can you steal some me time when you have a schedule that barely lets you breathe? This isn’t the me time we all crave – the hours-long lunches with friends or days at the spa. That is important but takes some real planning. This list holds ideas for a few ways to capture the true stolen moments that you can manage to sneak into your day every now and then.

  1. Slow Time in the School Pick-Up Lanes These are the classic times for a 10-minute phone call with a friend, a close-your-eyes breather (with the car off, of course!), or to read the mail or flip through a magazine in peace.
  1. Grocery Store Chaos Those long holiday lines are tiresome, but they do give you a chance to edit your phone messages, read a blog, check out a magazine, or debate new nail polish colors.
  2. Shave Time Off Errands If you are squishing in all the extra holiday errands, try to be efficient and shave 5 minutes off each stop. You can land yourself 20 to 30 minutes at the shoe store, at a favorite park or scenic spot, a garden center, a coffee shop, or a corner in the book store.
  3. Take Advantage of Traffic Seriously, traffic can be a bonus if you aren’t running late for something vitally important. Keep a special playlist set or a calming ocean music CD in the car for when you’re going nowhere on the roads. Tune into talk radio to catch up on the news or just turn off all extra noise and enjoy not having to listen to or talk to anyone.
  4. Spend a Little Less Time in Bed It’s hard to drag yourself out of bed, but if you can manage it, you can have the quietest time of the day to yourself. If you are a night owl, stay up until after everyone has gone to bed and sit down to watch your favorite show.
  5. Embrace Anything Canceled Was your meeting rescheduled? Did your doctor’s office have to cancel your appointment? Was the school’s booster’s club meeting called off? Capture that time for you. Sneak home if no one is there or run over to the drug store and check out all the new body lotions. Just do something you want to do, not that you have to do.
  6. Stay at “Work” a Little LongerSo the woman trying on shoes was pretty smart. If you can, leave work on time and make a stop on the way home just for you. You won’t be terribly late getting home and those extra few minutes can act like a decompression time.
See also
How to Ease the Holidays for Your Medical Staff

Getting time for yourself during the holidays is essential to keeping a good outlook on the season. You won’t feel as bogged down by your “have-to-do” list if you can cross a few things off your “want-to-do” list. Make time for some “me” time today.

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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