Speech Buddies Parents’ Corner – 11 Ways for Parents to Relax and Recharge
Parenting is an amazing journey, but it can also be more draining than a burst pipe. Moms, dads, and caregivers need to have ways to recharge after carpooling, cooking, monitoring homework, cheering at the soccer games, and calming fears from nightmares. Try these 11 ways for parents to relax and recharge the next time you’re feeling the chaos of life catch up to you.
Easy and Inexpensive Ways for Parents to Relax
1. Keep a Secret Supply
Pack an emergency secret supply of a favorite treat, basket of books, special blend of flavored coffee beans, or CD that the kids ban you from playing in the van. Indulge yourself in one of these luxuries whenever you feel the need for a mini-reprieve.
2. Phone a Friend
Even though most conversations seem to flow between emails and text messages, try calling a friend then next time you need to recharge. Hearing a friendly voice can instantly lift your spirits – and it can be even better if you phone a friend and ask her to meet you for a short walk around the neighborhood.
3. Write in a Diary
Writing down your thoughts from the day, worries about tomorrow, or goals for the future can help reintroduce you to yourself. There is something cathartic about journaling, and any inexpensive notebook will work.
4. Put it on the Schedule
So many times parents get caught up in balancing activities for their kids that they forget to add a little “me time” to the calendar. Choose at least one day a month where you schedule an activity for yourself – and write it in ink! It can be even as simple as a date with yourself to the hobby store, for a cup of coffee, or a walk on a new trail.
5. Give a Treat to Your Senses
Buy candles in your favorite aroma, make a tea that calms, soak your toes over the side of the bathtub, or wear an eye mask for 10 minutes as you relax on the sofa. Your senses play important roles in helping you relax, so don’t forget to pamper them.
6. Create an Inspirational Board
If you’re a visual person, your own inspirational board can be one of the best ways to relax and recharge. Use a premade memory board, make your own from corkboard, or try another of these cute ideas. Add motivational quotes, pictures of your favorite people and places, and anything else that inspires you.
7. Listen to a Book on CD
If relaxing is hard to do for you because you like to multi-task, try listening to a book on CD while you make supper or fold the laundry. It is relaxing, transports you to a different place, and doesn’t require changing out of those yoga pants.
8. Send a Card
Write a Thank You note you’ve been meaning to send or pen a letter to your cousin reminiscing about the good old days. Connecting with others – and taking the time to do it without email or texting – is not only rewarding for yourself, but will make the day of the person who receives that card in the mail.
9. Take a Class (Homework Optional)
If you’ve always wanted to learn to knit or make your own stepping stones, there are sure to be classes for those, and everything in between. Check hobby stores, community education programs, and home improvement stores for a list of classes in your area.
10. Make Your Favorite Meal
Every once in a while make your favorite meal, instead of always trying to create menus that will please the picky eaters in your home. If the rest of the family doesn’t like your favorites they can probably survive on cereal and fruit just fine for a night.
11. Get Some High Quality Ear Plugs
When all else fails, take some time to block out the busyness with some high quality ear plugs. For me those are the military-grade noise-cancelling headphones my brother used in the army (yes – I really don those green headphones when I desperately need some quiet).
Busy families don’t have to be stressed families, especially if you can create a little balance sprinkled in among the chaos. The next time you’re feeling the chaos creep into your lives, use these 11 ways for parents to relax and recharge – yourself will thank you for it.