In a world where our calendars become so overwhelmed with spouse events, kid events, and our own work schedules, sometimes it’s hard to remember that we need to slow down and take a moment to breathe. We hear the phrase “happy wife, happy life” and laugh it off, but there is a grain of truth to that. So what is it you do to slow down and make yourself happy?

Is it physical activity? I play softball for my church. I’m not good. In fact, I’m pretty awful at it. But I have so much fun trying. It’s one night a week that I get to go out and laugh with friends who know it will be a miracle if I manage to hit one ball the entire game. My husband has a love affair with the gym. He makes sure to carve out time every day for a bike ride. While I may not understand why anyone wants to sit on a bike for 30 miles, I will say it gives him legs I’d kill for. And it makes him happy. It’s his place to clear his mind and just be for a while. 

Maybe it’s pampering. Are you the type who likes to bring Pinterest ideas to the manicurist and make sure you get the newest colors on your toes each season? Do it! Do it for me since the Navy dictates I can only wear boring pale colors. Make room in the budget if you can and make it happen. It seems like something small but if it makes you happy and gives you a 30-minute break from life to relax, enjoy it. 

For me it’s a massage. I will pass up dinner out with friends to make sure I can squeeze in a massage once a month. I’m lucky that I have friends in the city I live in, and the one where my husband is stationed, so I can make sure it works with my schedule. And I know it’s as good for my physical health as my mental health to get all the knots and kinks worked out. 


 

How about a clean house you didn’t have to lift a finger to get? I am very organized and feel my house is a mess when there are even just breakfast dishes sitting in the sink after dinner. I have a weekly cleaning schedule and I was excited when my wonderful sister-in-law sent a vacuum as a “welcome home from deployment” present. I still whip it out to show it off to my friends when we start talking appliances. 

But sometimes I am tired of cleaning and straightening and doing it all on my own. With work, church, softball, school, and writing, my weeks get so chaotic the last thing I want to do is pick up the mess I made or scrub the shower. I’m lucky to know a woman from church who cleans houses for a living. I pinch pennies and once a month I hand her my key as I leave for work and get to come home to a spotless house. It’s one day a month I don’t have to worry about what needs to be dusted, vacuumed, or scrubbed. My husband shook his head at me when I first brought it up, but I reminded him of the happy wife happy life statement and he said as long as it was in my budget, then go for it. 

While these are just the things that make me happy, things I try to squeeze in between trips to my husband, final papers for my college classes, and going on deployment work-ups, your list is just as valid. Whether it’s something like a monthly girls’ night out, guys’ golf game, or a Saturday morning you head to the state park to run it out, it’s important that you carve out time to breathe. It will leave you feeling rejuvenated and better prepared to face whatever might come your way. 

 

If you like this article, check this out: An Independent Dependent 

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