- Clean multiple times a day
- Prepare healthy and delicious meals for picky eaters
- Drive multiple people to and from events
- Demanding boss
- Immediate deadlines
- Long hours
- No paid vacations
- Must work holidays and weekends
- Good role model
- No paycheck (unless you count hugs and giggles as payment)
If you saw a posting for a job with this description would you take it? No? If you are reading this blog then you probably already accepted this position. It’s called parenthood. As parents we have multiple hats we have to wear everyday. These are just a few of our roles and this is why it is very important to take care of ourselves. Some days I feel like the life has been drained out of me.
In order to reenergize, I find time to do a few things for myself. Here are five of my favorite stress relievers.
1) Physical assertion: This can be anything that gets your heart rate up and has you break a sweat. If you like to run, go out for a jog. One of my favorite quotes is “Going for a jog isn’t mommy being selfish, it’s mommy being awesome.”
Sometimes the energy it takes to clean my house is enough to settle the frustrations I am feeling. Other days, I enjoy doing some real physical labor. A good example of this is throwing building material into a dump trailer. My husband and a friend put new shingles on an old garage and there was a pile of scrap material that needed to be gotten rid of. The trailer was sitting there but the guys were done for the day. Thanks to my three-year-old’s persistence, I started to “help him” load the trash. It ended up being a stress reliever for me and I didn’t stop until it was all picked up and even the small scraps were raked up and loaded.
2) Coloring: that’s right, coloring. I have always enjoyed coloring or anything art/craft related. One day while killing time, I wandered around a book store and came across coloring books for adults. Now I can color pages with motivational quotes instead of Mickey Mouse of monster trucks. Instead of buying coloring books you can search for and print off pages from the internet. All I do is google “adult coloring pages” and an enormous amount of pages come up. You can find just about anything you are looking for.
3) Journaling: This is something I haven’t done in quite some time but plan to get back in the habit. It is a way to reflect on what is going on in my life and get out any frustrations or concerns without bothering others with my thoughts. One journal I am looking forward to writing in is “Building the Best You: A Two-Year Discovery Journal”. I heard about this journal during one of my psychology classes this last year and have been wanting to purchase it. This journal is based on positive psychology and helps you affirm your experiences rather than dwell on the negative things happening in your life. It is designed so you can see personal growth on a day-to-day basis. The coolest part? You can see year one and two side by side.
4) Bath: A few years ago I got the bathtub of my dreams. A claw foot tub with an old fashioned faucets and sprayer. Unfortunately my children have taken more baths in it than I have. In order to relax and unwind, I am planning on taking more time to sit and relax in my tub. I am going to have a couple candles just for this me time and plan on using essential oils to help with this relaxation. Just the thought of it makes me happy.
5) Listening to music: I don’t know about you but this favorite past time of mine has gone by the way side. My playlists have been replaced with things such as the farmer in the dell, twinkle twinkle little star, and the alphabet song. Fortunately both of my boys enjoy music, but most of the time when we are driving either the kids’ music is on or the windows are open and I can’t hear anything anyway. On the rare occasion I am driving by myself, I find a station I am in the mood for or pop in one of my favorite CD’s. Another time I really enjoy listening to music is when I am mowing. I load Pandora on my phone and settle in for a couple hours of mowing time. I also enjoy music while getting out some frustrations with physical assertion.
These are just a few things that don’t take a lot of time, so they’re great when you can grab a few moments. Better yet, they can be done almost anywhere you are!
How do you take care of yourself?
What are your favorite ways to unwind from a stressful day?