24/7… that’s the parenting gig. Yes there’s the occasional time away or night out, but all day and all night I’m with my kids. This means that when I’m feeling stressed out, it’s not like I can tell them to fend for themselves while I go for a massage. I need to find ways to de-stress and refocus while they’re still hanging off of me.
Here are my top 10 ways to relieve stress when I’m around my children.
I tell them that we’re going to pretend to blow up a balloon. We take a deep breath in and then we let a deep breath out. We repeat this until I feel my nerves have settled.
Play with play dough
Play dough is a wonderful way to relieve stress. Squeezing, pulling, pounding, squishing… all of these actions release stress and tension. Looking for a great play dough recipe? I have several of my favourite recipes available HERE.
Bonus tip: Add a few drops of pure lavender essential oil to your play dough recipe.
Get out those yoga mats and do some yoga together. I love the Yoga Kids DVD but you can also try something like Stay-At-Home-Yoga (online yoga classes). The Stay-at-Home-Yoga online class has a section specific to child yoga too!
Play with puppets
Puppets are a wonderful way to express yourself in a “safe” manner (i.e. “Dragon is really sad because he feels like no one listens to his words when he talks…”). Use the puppet stage to work through those challenging situations with your children.
Colour a picture together
From choosing the colours, to the action of moving the crayon back and forth, I love colouring and find it to be one of the most relaxing activities there is.
Play hide and seek
You hide and they look for you (take a few deep breaths and enjoy the brief alone time). When they hide maybe take a little bit longer to find them (perhaps long enough to brew yourself a cup of tea)?
Have a tea party
Speaking of tea… if you can’t sneak a cup of tea, then why not host a tea party. Brew up a pot of chamomile tea and share it with your little lovelies.
Listen to music
Music is a wonderful way to relax and destress with your kids. Put on some calming music and lay on the bed or floor. Look up at the ceiling and let the music take your mind on a journey.
Last week Matthew shared some wonderful ways to incorporate music into your homeschooling day. His website CalmingMusicWeekly.com has some wonderful posts about music… especially calming music. I encourage you to check it out for ideas and inspiration.
Some of our favourite choices of calming music are classical pieces and mellow jazz.
Go for a walk
Getting ready for a walk can be a bit of a daunting task but once you’re outside breathing in the fresh air and hopefully soaking up sunshine, you’ll feel better in no time.
Whether you read side-by-side or you simply read story after story to your children, reading is great for stress relief. If you don’t have the energy to read out loud, then try listening to a child-friendly audio-book.
Parenting IS draining. With a little bit of planning, you can destress, even with your children around! Try out some of these suggestions. You might be surprised at how rejuvenated you feel afterwards!