Editor’s note: The following article is written by a Skinny Mom Resident Mom. The Resident Mom program gives a voice to our readers, allowing moms across the world to contribute content to Skinny Mom. If you’re interested in becoming a Resident Mom, click here to apply.
De-stressing and relaxing is not the easiest thing a parent can do but it is really important. Without the time to re-center, I have found that my stress bleeds over to my family. These are the five quick fixes I use on a semi-weekly basis to keep my cool when the circus of school, dance and soccer practices, work, spouse, dinner, and pets begins to get out of hand.
1. Make a cup of tea. Seriously — putting everyone outside the kitchen and methodically making a proper cup of hot tea then slowly drinking it can be huge. Boiling water, letting the teabag steep in a pretty cup, adding a bit of honey and milk; the whole methodical process before letting it cool just enough to slowly drink gives me just enough quiet time to recharge for the next go ’round.
2. Ground and center. I usually lock myself in the bathroom if I can’t get a moment away, then I sit or lay down (depending on whether I think the floor is clean), close my eyes and pretend I am a plant whose roots are digging deep into the earth, that I am so heavy I am sinking, my bones melting into the tile. Once I have fully rooted to the floor, I pretend I am a cloud floating weightlessly away until I feel just on the verge of needing a nap.
>> Read more: 15 Ways to Combat Stress in Under a Minute
3. Hit my heavy bag. Hanging in our garage is a punching bag and when days get excruciatingly stressful, grabbing my gloves and taking a few swings can be just the answer. Before I picked one up secondhand on the cheap, I used an old duffle bag filled with sand. It was just as effective but not as sturdy.
4. Play Nemo’s Reef. This is a free game I downloaded on my phone that doesn’t require precision, mental agility or competitively engaging the senses. It is simply a digital reef that I can garden, collect brightly colored fish and listen to soothing music while giving my brain a break. Download it here!
5. Take to the streets or, on rainy days, the thrift store. Putting in earbuds and going for a walk gives me time to breathe and step away from everything else. Sometimes not turning on music allows me to enjoy the sounds of birds, chattering squirrels or creek water rushing over rocks. People see headphones and just assume you can’t hear them which can add a comical aspect to any outing. When the weather is bad I head for a local thrift store; slowly poring through the trash to find treasure is a personal favorite pastime. Looking at each piece, weighing the possibilities of what a can of Krylon or some hot glue could do satisfies both my shopaholic and crafty urges.