Guest Author - Megan Faulkner
As a parent, it is often hard to find the time to take a break. However, it is important that we are able to relax and recharge our batteries if we want to be able to be our best selves with our children. Here are some quick, easy, and low-cost ways to take a break.
A simple way to take a break is to get yourself outside. You can go for a walk or take a bike ride, with or without the kids, depending on your particular situation and needs. You could go to the park or climb a tree, or simply go out and lay in the grass or in a hammock. Watch the clouds, or watch the stars. Flying a kite can also be a relaxing activity, as can fishing, or relaxing near a body of water. Depending on your neighborhood and your personal preferences, it might be a great idea to head to a local farmerís market, wander local shops, or head to the library.
While at the library, you may want to grab a new book that you have never read before, or a beloved classic. Read some poetry. Grab an audio tape of guided relaxation exercises. Instead of reading, you may find it more relaxing to write. You could journal or write poetry. Send a letter to a friend. Draw a picture or make a gift some someone. By focusing your efforts on small act of kindness for another person, it will often take your mind off of whatever had been bothering you. Give thanks, either out loud or inside. Forgive someone or let go of something that has been bothering you. Forgiving doesnít mean that what happened was okay, it simply means you are not going to let it drag you down anymore.
Listen to music, make music, or dance! Music has a tremendous impact on many peopleís feelings and emotions, and movement has been shown to have great benefits as well. Stretch or perform yoga. Wiggle all your stress out or laugh out loud! This will help release the physical tension that may be building up in your body. Another way to release that physical tension is to light a candle and climb into a warm bath.
Many of these ideas can be done in a short amount of time, with or without children present. Many of these suggestions you have likely heard before, but in the hustle and bustle of parenting it can be easy to get bogged down with the feeling that you have no time to relax or that that is a luxury afforded to other people, perhaps with no children or with nannies. Remember, taking care of yourself is an important part of parenting and, with a little creativity, you can take a break without spending a ton of time or money.