It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, whether you’re a working mum, SAHM, WAHM, married, single, rich, poor, being a parent is hard work. It doesn’t matter how much you love those little humans you created, there are times when they will drive you crazy. We all have so many things we are trying to juggle, and people who rely on us, that’s it’s easy to put ourselves last. But do it long enough and you’ll be wound so tight something will snap. It’s important to take some time for yourself, to unwind and regain some form of peace.
I’ve listed 10 simple ways to unwind below. Some can be done every day, others may take a bit of planning, but try and set aside some time this week to accomplish at least one. You’ll feel so much better for it.
1. Curl up with a good book
I’ve always been a huge bookworm and pre-kids I could happily get through several books a week and have been known to read whole books in one sitting. This past eight years however I never seem to find the time and one book can take months to get through. Because I’m not reading it regularly enough I get bored and I’ll start a new one without finishing the last. Books were always my go to when I needed to relax and escape my mind for a while and I’ve missed them. This last month or so I have decided the ‘not enough time’ excuse wasn’t good enough anymore. Even if it was just ten minutes at a time, I would start reading again. And it’s been amazing. I generally only manage a chapter a day but I always feel so much more relaxed afterwards.
2. Spa Treatment
I’ve been for a few massage and reflexology treatments in the past and they are the most amazing way to unwind. This one definitely takes a bit of forward planning and possibly some saving up but perhaps you could ask for vouchers for your birthday or Christmas. This is definitely something I want to do more often. If you really want to push the boat out you could arrange a whole spa day.
3. Have a Bath
Not just any old bath. If you’re going to have to empty the bath of a million plastic toys you want to make sure it’s worthwhile. Rope in the other-half to keep an eye on the kids (making sure everyone has been to the toilet before you get in), or wait till they’re in bed. Light some candles, use your favourite bubbles or bath oil and relax. You could even take a book or a glass of wine (or both) with you. I recently discovered Olverum Bath Oil (read my review here), and the smell is divine, almost like being in a spa.
4. Take a long walk
There’s nothing like a bit of fresh air to clear the head. If you can’t manage a long walk at least try and get outdoors for ten minutes. And if you can’t manage it alone head somewhere the kids can have a good run around in relative safety so you’re not getting stressed about them running into the road or disappearing in a crowd. The freedom will do you all some good.
5. Enjoy a glass of wine
I’m not talking about mindlessly grabbing for the nearest bottle and mindlessly guzzling it down (although I’m sure we all feel like doing that on occasion). I’m talking about buying your favourite wine and sitting down to really enjoy it. If you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for you could combine this with point 1 and read W(h)ine – 50 Perfect Wines To Pair with Your Child’s Rotten Behavior by Jennifer Todryk. Go a step further and combine it with point 3 as well, I did the other night and it was bliss.
6. Watch a Film/Favourite Series
Sometimes there is nothing better than curling up on the sofa and putting on one of your favourite films or catching up on a series you’re behind on. Pop your phone on silent and give it your full attention.
I was given the opportunity to review a mindfulness meditation app called Welzen back in February and since then have tried to make it part of my daily routine. I slip occasionally but I know that on the days I make the effort I start the day feeling so much more refreshed. And when things get on top of me throughout the day I return to the breathing techniques it has taught me to regain control.
8. have an Early night
This one may be a little boring but as parents it’s highly likely we are more than a little sleep deprived a good chunk of the time. so having a catch up session every now and then could be just what is needed.
I’ve written about the importance of dancing before (here) and I still believe it can be a great stress reliever. If things are getting on top of you turn up the music and have a dance party. It doesn’t matter whether you are on your own (some may prefer it that way) or with the kids (they will love it!). Just dance around your living room and let go for a while, you can even sing along (although if your kids are like mine they’ll instantly beg you to stop). I guarantee that it will leave you feeling lighter, happier and more energised. Here are 10 Feel Good Songs To Get You Dancing.
10. Have a Date night
It can be so easy to lose sight of each other as a couple when you have kids to look after, as everything will revolve around them. So it’s really important to make time for each other too. This can be something as simple as having one night a week where you switch off all your phones and iPads and just watch something together without any other distractions (point 6), perhaps with a glass of wine or two (point 5). Or perhaps you could get a babysitter so you can have a meal out. Even better you could rope the grandparents into having the kids sleepover and go away somewhere overnight (see A Romantic Stay at Crab Manor Hotel). If your single make a date night with friend’s and have a good catch up. Go mad and go out dancing (point 9).
I should really add another point for exercise as we all know it’s meant to be a great way to unwind, but I don’t really practice what I preach there so until I do I’ll leave it off 😉
How about you? Do you have any great ways to unwind that I have missed? Pass on your tips below x