Parenting is exhausting. It’s exhausting for many reasons, but a frequent cause is the feeling of not being able to get a moment’s peace. Especially when you have little ones, a moment to yourself can be all but impossible. And when you give and give and give, but don’t take the time to allow yourself to be refilled, you pretty soon start pouring from an empty cup – which benefits no one.
So when you finally do have a second to yourself, perhaps during naptime, soccer practice or a playdate, it’s important to make the most of that time to help you recharge and take on the rest of the day.
If you have a pet – a dog, cat, or even a guinea pig – take a moment to appreciate them. Even if it’s brief, spending time with an animal can relax you and simply make you feel better. The repetitive action of petting or brushing your animal can be soothing for you and relaxing for them. And if the kids aren’t home, take your dog out for a walk, because exercise and getting out of the house is always a good option.
Take a bath
It doesn’t have to be an hour-long extravaganza with candles and wine and music. It can literally be a 20 minute soak with some lavender bath salts. It’ll leave you feeling refreshed, clean and relaxed. And if you have other chores needing to be done around the house, take the time the tub is filling to cross-off a couple of to-do’s so you can rest in the bath totally guilt-free.
Give yourself a pedicure
This is for those mamas out there, but taking a few minutes to paint your toenails will give you time for self-care, plus it might help you feel a little more put-together. Plus, it only takes a few minutes – you can continue with the dishes or the laundry while you wait for them to dry.
Make yourself a drink
Sometimes making yourself strong iced coffee, lemon or cucumber-infused water or a hot tea with honey is a great way to rejuvenate yourself. Take the time to prepare a drink you’ll enjoy, and then sit down and enjoy it. The emails, the laundry, even the pile of mail aren’t going anywhere, but your sanity might be. Do something for yourself, sit on the front porch with your drink, and just take a moment. You won’t regret it.
Do some gardening
Maybe you have a full-fledged garden with veggies, herbs and flowers in your backyard, or maybe you just have one or two potted plants. Regardless of what you have growing, take some time to care for it. Gardening can be both relaxing as well as fulfilling, plus it gets you outside to soak in some essential vitamin D.
Make yourself a snack
When you’re running from one thing to the next, it’s really easy to forget to eat or to just snack on whatever the kids are having. And while crackers taste good, they’re not really doing anything nutritious for your body. Plus, “getting hangry” is a real thing, which can make dealing with cranky kids even more difficult. When you have a minute throughout the day, make sure to eat a filling, healthy snack – think hummus and carrots, peanut butter and apples, cowboy caviar and tortilla chips, or anything with high protein and low sugar to give you a boost till the next meal.
Let your device be
Your kids want your attention all the time. And your phone wants your attention constantly as well. So when you finally have a break from your kids, take a break from your phone, too. Make sure your time to rest is actually a moment to rest and not a time to still be turned on to texts, emails or calls. Leave your phone in another room and give your full attention to making yourself food, finishing the laundry or dinner prep, or working on your hobby.
Read a book
Books are much more productive and worthwhile than scrolling through a newsfeed and provide you with rest and entertainment all at the same time. It’s easy to forget about reading books, especially if the ones on your shelf have become more decorative than anything, but if you find yourself with a little free time and need to wind down, pull a book off the shelf, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and cuddle up on the couch for a few minutes of peace.
No matter what, make sure that you use the time you have to rest to really truly rest. When you’re tired, hungry or overwhelmed, it’s easier than ever to be impatient or short-tempered. So when you can take a minute to yourself, even to just take some really deep breaths and stare out the window blankly, take that time to refocus, recenter and prepare yourself as much as possible for the rest of the day.
Parenting is challenging in many ways, and help is always there if you need it. To speak with a professional counselor, reach out to Pyramid Online Counseling today at 833-525-3077.