Hey moms, when’s the last time you took just 10 minutes for yourself? It’s Hot Mom Monday again, and we’re thrilled to introduce Spa Week’s Hot Mom Spa Squad member Lyss Stern. She’s got a list to share, excerpted from a book she co-wrote, that every mom should stick on her mirror right NOW.
Lyss is the founder of Divalysscious Moms, a networking and events company for the New York area’s well-heeled and fabulous moms. Think Sex and The City meets Mommy and Me. She also co-hosted Spa Week’s first Hot Mom Spa Night NYC last fall!
In 2004, after the birth of her first son, Lyss searched but could not find a single company that catered to the needs of new moms who didn’t want to give up their high heels and makeup in order to embrace the lifestyle changes that come with motherhood. So she combined her creative skills, chic sense of style, networking abilities, love of children, and dual master’s degree in communications and early education to found Divalysscious Moms. In less than eight years, Lyss’s company, which started with just a few friends, has turned into not only the hippest mom event brand in the New York area, but home to the most coveted mommy database in NYC, which has grown to more than 275,000 women.
Lyss is also the co-author of IF YOU GIVE A MOM A MARTINI… 100 ways to find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself, in which supermodel and “super mom” Christie Brinkley wrote the foreword. Here, bliss out with a peek into the book with Lyss’s…
25 Best Blissful 10-minute Mommy Escapes:
1. Recline, Regenerate, Repeat – If you’re at the mall with your husband and kids, tell them you’re going to the ladies room. Instead, slip into Brookstone, sit in one of the massage chairs and listen to the sounds of the ocean on your iPod.
2. Tend to your Kneads – Swing to your nail salon for a maxed-out mommy foot massage. However, if you can’t make it to the nail salon, follow these instructions for a great foot massage at home: Add 4 cups of warm organic whole milk, 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts, and 3 drops of organic lemon essential oil to a warm water footbath. Soak your feet for 10 minutes, and enter mama nirvana.
3. Embrace your OCD – Dump out your makeup drawer and spend ten minutes cleaning and organizing each tube, brush and tool. Sort them by brand, color and frequency of use. Try on a forgotten lipstick with a long-lost gloss or a bold eyeshadow with a daring liner that you haven’t used in ages. Before you know it, you will have given yourself a full makeover!
4. Take a Mind Trip – Plan your next vacation. Start by fantasizing about your perfect locale, whether it’s Fiji, Paris or the Galapagos Islands. Imagine yourself stepping off of the plane and walking into your ideal accommodations. Imagine what you will eat, what you will drink, and what you will see. Then, scour the internet, travel books an magazine to fill in the tangible details.
5. Soak up the Sun – When it is too early in the day to treat yourself to a mommy martini, reclaim your disposition by finding a solo spot in the sun. Lather on the sunscreen, close your eyes, feel the warmth on your skin, and let the serotonin work its magic. You’ll feel better in minutes. Guaranteed.
6. Nap – Preschoolers love them. It’s time to recharge and take a ten minute snooze. Slip into something baggy and comfortable, draw the blinds and light a scented candle. You will wake up with more patience, productivity, and an improved mom-itude. (Don’t forget to set your alarm clock to wake yourself up!)
7. Take a Zen-Ten – A quick meditation session can cause a stressed-out brain to do a U-Turn. Next time you feel you are on the urge of a mommy melt-down, sit on the edge of a chair and place your hands on your thighs with your palms facing down. Close your eyes. Next, inhale and exhale deeply while mentally repeating the mantra, “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.” Allow yourself to smile. Try this for about six minutes to bring yourself to reality. *This is LYSS’S #1 momME time pick!
8. Try a Hair Blowout for Cheaters – Getting your hair blown out at a salon is a surefire way to feel like a million bucks. However, there is a shortcut method that can work in a pinch. Just section off the hair that begins at your outer eyebrows and reaches your crown, and blow out smooth. Then, work mousse through the rest of the hair underneath it, and let it air-dry. The idea is for the top half of your hair to look smooth and to cover the rest. Shhhhh…we won’t tell!
9. Power down – The only tools needed for this is a peaceful place to hide – a walk-in closet works nicely. Hit the mommy pause button and turn off all of your electronic devices: PDA, cell phone, computer. If someone important questions why you were unreachable, just tell them that your child flushed your BlackBerry down the toilet.
10. Lather on La Mer – Pampered women around the globe know that La Mer is the greatest moisturizing cream on the planet. At $150 an ounce, it might not be worth blowing your child’s college tuition on. For those every day moments when your skin needs a pick-me-up, try substituting Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Apricot Baby Oil ($8) instead. Your body will be smooth, nourished and as soft as your baby’s tush.
11. Get a Bloom for your Room – Lilacs and freesias and peonies, oh my! When you need to remind yourself that there’s an actual woman inside the room, say it with flowers. Visit an expensive florist in your neighborhood once a week, and have your child pick out a single, delicious stem for your bedside table. It’s a little thing that will fill your bedroom with a gorgeous fragrance, and will make you feel special all day long.
12. Make like a Tree – Yoga is the best mommy-time you can make for yourself, however, if you don’t have time to take a full yoga class and only have ten minutes to spare, Tree Pose is extremely helpful for centering yourself and practicing balance in your life. Begin by standing up straight with both arms at your sides. Inhale and shift the bulk of your weight onto your left foot. Point your toes down, steady yourself and take a deep breath. Then raise your arms to shoulder level and stretch the, out from the middle of your back. Finally, bring your palms together as if you are saying a prayer. Inhale as you raise your arms overhead. Exhale.
13. Find your “Be” Time – Give yourself a time-out by waking up a little early – maybe even just a few minutes before everyone else. Take some time to sit and breathe, and take inventory of your life and all of its blessings, things you want to accomplish and things you want to change. Life can be so serene and peaceful when you take time to just “be”
14. See the Light – Looking for a cure to pale, tired skin? Drop into a salon and try LED light therapy. It only takes a few minutes, and you will love the results. Sort of like photosynthesis for the skin, it utilizes light energy already found in skin cells to promote healing and anti-aging effects. More importantly, it also increases endorphins, so you will feel fabulous as a result!
15. Go Down Under – The subway is one of the last places on earth where a mom can spend a few minutes without interruption. No phones ringing, no Blackberries vibrating, no children asking for a snack. Next time you are on the train, savor the time and collect your thoughts. Daydream about the stranger sitting across from you (is he an actor or a porn star?) Or just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Stand clear of the closing doors…
16. Get a Face Lift – Since phones and children do not mix (funny how they suddenly can’t live without you as soon as an old friend calls), stay connected on Facebook. It is a stealth bridge into the lives of our friends, allowing you to “poke” them quietly while the kids are engrossed in play. Then, pore over pictures of the adorable munchkins they are sneaking away from so they can chat on Facebook, too.
17. Polish it Off – Treat yourself to a manicure in order to escape the distractions of home. Afterwards once you catch a glimpse of your nails, you will surely feel sexier.
18. Fall in (Puppy) Love – Looking for devotion, attention and a big wet kiss? When your kids won’t deliver, spend ten minutes alone with your pooch. Studies show that holding, petting and talking to your pet can actually lower your blood pressure. Remember, a dog or a cat can’t talk back, hate the outfit you picked out, or reject the meal you made for it.
19. Laugh – When you need to press the mommy pause button, go to a kid-free zone and log on to YouTube and search for videos like: “Girl licks pickle”, “Fat cat watches TV”, “Panda sneezes” and “Cat eats spaghetti”. We dare you not to forget your troubles and take some time to laugh.
20. Chocolate Indulgence – Chocolate is the one thing other than your child’s smile that is guaranteed to make you melt. If you are ready to live la vida cocoa, find your way to get your hands on some really find chocolate. Forget Hershey’s miniatures and indulge in a finer chocolate (think: one that looks like a beautiful mosaic or tiny present) To further indulge, pair your chocolate with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and champagne. You deserve it!
21. Feel Whole Again – Visit a gorgeous gourmet market such as Whole Foods. Just passing through the electronic doors will take you into a whole different world. For ten minutes you are pampered. You will also leave smarter, and free of guilt. After all, why cook dinner for the kids when you can pick up Citrus-kissed chicken fingers with a side of root-vegetable fries?
22. Gloss Over It – When you look good, you feel good! However, if your time-starved makeup routine has been whittled down to a concealer and Chapstick (on a good day), why not put yourself in the hands of the good people at the department store makeup counter? A free makeover may be just what the mommy ordered. The plus side: generous samples, abundant compliments, and walking away feeling polished and pampered.
23. Solo-Sex Break – Some people think that women need a lot more than ten minutes to have a fabulous sexual experience. With a partner, that’s true. Instead, give yourself an ultimate sexual time-out: put on your favorite music, read passages from your favorite erotica, or flip through some pornography. Then get comfortable, relax and spend time with your favorite vibrating accessory. Having an orgasm does wonders for recharging our sex drives and our overall health. Make sure you have AA batteries handy – there is nothing worse than a vibrator that dies in the heat of the moment!
24. Wax Poetic – If you’re having one of those days where you can’t seem to find the “me” in your Mommy and Me world, try immersing yourself in a great poem. You can even try downloading a poetry podcast – it will help transport you to an entirely different place.
25. Be Good to Yourself – Being a mom is humbling and important and amazing. As a mom, there will always be times when you can’t do enough, give enough or be enough. Overwhelming self-doubt is a prerequisite for your job (that and the ability to grab things with your feet!) Do yourself a favor and let go of “perfect” and surround yourself with friends who truly make you feel good. Remember – don’t forget to give YOU permission to take a few minutes to yourself once in awhile. Everyone (including your kids!) will be glad that you did!
Read last week’s first ever Hot Mom Monday with Ruth Staiman of The Fashion Office and her crystal ball to Spring 2012, and stay tuned for more!
Top mommy and kid photo via.