Parenting is a full-time. It’s all day, every day. Many parents also have full-time employment. So, how do busy parents find time to relax? Finding time to relax seems like just a dream. The hectic schedule eventually takes a toll on your health and sanity. Periodic relaxation relieves the stress on your mind and body.
Great ideas on how busy parents find time to relax
Institute quiet time
Naps are not just for kids. While many parents use nap time as a chance to do chores, they can give parents time to unwind and recharge. Set aside at least a portion of nap time for you. Spend the time:
- listening to soothing music
- pursuing a favorite hobby
- find a quiet space within your mind with meditation
If your children are too old to nap, institute a period of quiet time when everyone goes to their rooms. They can spend the time in quiet play, reading, or with video games. Set a timer so everyone knows when it’s okay to come out.
Play hooky from work
While the kids are in school, mom and dad can covertly plan a day away from work to go to the spa together for a couples massages. Couples massages release tension in the body, and help you de-stress. It also prompts your body to release feel-good oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, which revitalizes your mind. Massages also give parents an opportunity to reconnect on a romantic level. It can help them remember there is more to life than work, school trips, and laundry.
At home pampering made easy
If a spa day is not in the budget, stay home and treat each other to massages. Use an essential oil for relaxation. Essential oils are formulated to induce a calm, sound sleep. The better you sleep at night, the more reinvigorated and capable you feel in the morning. Just imagine going to bed for once, and falling to sleep quickly. No spending precious time worrying about what didn’t get done today, or what has to be done tomorrow.
Use a diffuser to release the scent from the oils so they waft through the house anytime tensions are particularly high. The scent is an instant reminder to calm down, as well as not let the hectic day get the best of you. This approach is especially effective when combined with a long warm bath, candles, and a home facial.
Jog, Walk, Bike, or Box It out
Exercise keeps a body strong. It also helps you relax, refocus, and maintain your sanity. Set aside time each day for a jog, walk, ride, or bout of whatever form of exercise you enjoy most. If childcare is an issue, schedule dad to watch the kids before work while mom goes for a jog. Mom can return the favor while dad goes to the gym after work. If all else fails, trade childcare services with a neighbor so mom and dad can work out together.
The mighty pen
For years, therapists have recommended journaling as a way of dealing with life’s turmoil. The good news is you can journal anywhere, and it takes on so many forms, such as diaries and blogs. It is an inexpensive habit allowing you to channel all your thoughts onto the paper, releasing them from your mind.
Stick a notebook, along with a pen, in your purse, or keep one in the car. As you chauffeur the kids from one activity to another, use the free time you have to write, and unwind. You can also formalize the process with any one of many free blogging options online. Who knows; you may connect with a whole world of people who feel the same way you do.
Finding time to relax as a busy parent is a matter of prioritizing your own wellbeing. This is not a selfish act. It’s a necessity to maintain your health and to be the best parent you can be. Find something that works for you and make it part of your routine.
Author bio: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.