Who knew 40-minute sleep cycles were a thing? I certainly didn’t, but after having a baby I learned pretty quickly that lots of infants have these 40 minute cycles of sleep, where they will either wake up after 40 minutes, or toss and turn a bit and get straight into the next one – otherwise known as heaven.
Sure, this isn’t always the way it works, sometimes there are annoying 12 minute powernaps where the baby thinks they’ve had a full/big sleep, or there’s the times there simply isn’t any sleep… but in my experience this 40-minute sleep cycle thing… was a thing.
In chatting with friends and mums at mother’s group it became apparent that there’s quite an art to maximising this 40 minutes in taking time to be yourself. By now we all know that investment in yourself in the first thousand days of parenting pays dividends for…. well from my calculations the return is about 48 hours increased wellbeing per single-hour of self investment (I’ll get back to you once a meta study has been done to prove this theory).
There’s probably a hundred other things you could be doing for the house or whatever, but when you hear your internal dialogue starting down this path, take a moment to have a chat with yourself, and agree ‘this one’s for me’.
Here’s some ideas to maximise that precious time for your Self. By the way the following ideas are best undertaken without a single ounce of guilt (not even 0.02%) … this 40 minutes for yourself ‘aint a reward… it’s survival baby!
Yoga Gaia App
By far and away my favourite use of a 40-minute baby sleep cycle was with the “Yoga Studio” app. It suits so well because you can choose both your session duration and the level of intensity (you might feel like a more meditative relaxing vibe, a good ol’ stretch or a more intense sweat maker… careful on this last one, I learned the hard way you’ll want to build towards this over a few moths after the physical process of enabling human life lol).
Mini Passion Moment
I recently read an article where an artist (who became a mother) loved her new role as a mum, but knew in her self that creating art was a crucial part in living well.
Obviously she couldn’t dedicate the same amount of time to her art and passion once babies were in the picture so she came up with a quick fix to paint a teeny-tiny miniature piece of art each day. I loved this. Google image-search “Brooke Rothshank” to see some of her tiny work. Got me thinking of other ways you could have a mini moment for your passion without the time (think mini dance break, mini photoshoot, mini sing like Aretha Franklin moments).
This app is a great wellbeing maker. Especially good for grounding and anxiety management.
This one’s for when you’re after an entertainment break… but sick of screens. It’s also a good one if you absolutely have to get some stuff done around the house but still want to invest in your Self (mobile in the back pocket – one earphone in because… you know, baby). My personal favourites were Serial, Ted Talks Daily, Finding Richard Simmonds and How I Built This (thanks Barnes… the Kate Spade one is especially good).
Netflix and Chill.
Or whatever your entertainment platform of choice here is. There’s something to be said for having a series to go-to. One day I’ll tell my little girl that her first 6 months of life was complemented with Kevin Spacey’s rise to presidential power in House Of Cards season 3. Damn that guy can act.
Last but not least, a quick around-the-grounds with my (incredible) friends at mothers’ group also suggested these for your 40 minutes while bubba is napping;
- DIY wash and blow wave, you’ve got time for a double shampoo and a little head massage here.
- Online shoppppppping
- Search Instagram for inspiration on whatever you’ve got coming up
- Catch up with family and friends over the phone – it’s the simple things 😉
- Something (anything) creative to keep your mind active (i.e. for you and you only)
- If choosing the above ‘netflix and chill’ try to watch something educational “so you feel like you’ve been productive for the day”…. This is too true
- Bath with salts and essential oils (Hayley recommends this especially if you’ve had a hard night the night prior)
- Catch up on real Housewives (or whatever your guilty pleasure is)
- Face mask and nails combo (this better not be a 12 minute nap!)
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bupa in support of the First thousand Days of parenting.