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Note from Lisa: When you’re a busy work at home parent, you probably have experienced some stress in your life. Especially after 2020. That was a crazy year! Thankfully, stress relief activities can help you stay calm.
Misty is here with four great stress relief activities that you can try. Best of all, they’re all simple and won’t take a ton of time to implement.
Take it away Misty!
When you are home with your little ones and working all day, whether it is on your business or around the home, you will encounter stress. As moms (and stay at home dads), we often put ourselves last.
Society often says to take care of everyone and everything else, first. But not so fast- it’s similar to the airlines saying to put on your mask first, so you can take care of your child or traveling partner.
In 2020, I experienced burnout due to the multiple things and people I was taking care of, and I was not taking care of myself. I was getting up early to make sure people got to where they were going, running errands, taking care of household duties, including taking care of others who were at home and generally not getting to bed, let alone sleep until well after midnight. It was then that I became sick and my doctor mentioned that I needed and deserved to take care of myself first.
Woah. We as parents can take care of ourselves because we deserve it! It’s as if we need permission to do so. I’m giving you permission to take care of yourself, so you can be your best.
Now is the time to relieve stress because you indeed deserve it for your health, both physically and mentally.
To help you relieve stress, here are four easy ways to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of your business and family.
1. Get Some Exercise
Doctors and health gurus have told us all that exercising is good for you. I saw recently, on Instagram, a guy talking about how new things are done because it’s expected of us and once we get used to doing it, it will become something we desire. We may go to the gym everyday for 30 minutes, because it’s expected of us as we’re getting in shape. But, after a couple of weeks, we desire to go to the gym because it makes us feel good and we don’t like missing a day.
Schedule exercise into your daily routine or at least three times a week. If you have older children, take them with you on a walk, or to the park to play while you walk or run.
If you are tired of your children and need a break, put them in a wagon and pull them along while you walk (you’ll be using muscles you didn’t know you had!). If you have younger children, assign an older child to watch them play at the park while you walk or run. It is a good way for everyone to get some much needed sunshine!
2. Take a Bubble Bath
Who doesn’t enjoy relaxing in a tub filled with hot water and bubbles?
There is a lot of bubble soap on the market but why don’t you try something new and make yours with essential oils? Making bubble soap is super fun and easy! Here’s a bubble bath recipe I enjoy.
Note from Lisa: And if you don’t have time to make your own, here’s a natural bubble bath you can try.
If you have trouble coming up with a time to take a relaxing soak, try scheduling it in your calendar- maybe after the children go to bed or while the older ones keep an eye on the younger ones watching a movie?
It doesn’t have to be every night but it just might become your favorite way to relax.
3. Write in a Journal
This is my favorite of the stress relief activities by far. I love to write and there are a lot of pretty and inexpensive journals on the market. It is another way to release stress and if you’re worried that someone might read it, simply hide it in a safe place.
For me, journaling works to release stress and frustrations. I don’t hold anything back. By getting everything out in a journal, it will help you to stop thinking about the things that are stressful or upsetting to you. Medical gurus have known for years that journaling is good for you.
There are multiple journal prompts out there, on the web but one I enjoy is found here. You don’t even need a journal to do it, but a simple and pretty jar!
All it takes is five minutes and you can build it into your quiet time routine. When you write things down and come back to them, you might find out that you have an answer for whatever problem was causing stress.
4. Start Coloring
Coloring is not for kids anymore. It’s a great stress relief activity for adults.
There are a lot of cute coloring books out on the market, and it is one of my favorite ways to relax. There are also places where you can get free wall prints that you color and hang on your wall. A good place to go to get wall prints is either online or my favorite resource, Sarah Titus. These make pretty gifts for others. A bonus!
Doctors agree that coloring is a good way to reduce stress. It is also a good self-care activity that you can also get your kids involved with. Who knows, it might actually relax them, too, which is a plus!
If you cannot seem to remember to color, build it into your quiet time. Do it right after the kids go to bed and before you take a bubble bath- you’ll be super relaxed and stress-free.
5. Head Outside
Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and sit outside to watch the sun rise- it is a great way to start the day focused and not stressed or worried.
If it is too cold, sit with a throw wrapped around you. Once you’re relaxed, it is a good time to start your quiet time and then plan your day.
Also as you reflect, learn to be flexible. Live intentionally by focusing on what matters- your family. Remind yourself of why you chose to work from home. Was it to be flexible so you could spend more time with family and friends? Was it to pay off debt? Travel? Buy a home, instead of renting?
Two Bonus Stress Relief Activities:
Here are two more bonus stress relief activities you can try.
Watch Something You Enjoy
Sometimes a little screen time is a great way to relax. You can throw in a DVD or live stream a TV show or movie if you don’t have cable or satellite.
Live streaming is defined as “any media content – live or recorded – delivered to computers and mobile devices via the Internet and played back in real time. Podcasts, webcasts, movies, TV shows, and music videos are common forms of streaming content.”
Of course, you may feel guilty sitting around doing nothing while watching a movie, but you can use this time to fold laundry.
Another idea is to simply watch the movie/TV show with a notebook in hand. You can glean ideas to use in your business. For example, if you’re a writer, you can glean fresh material ideas to use in whatever you’re working on (blogs, content writing, novels, etc).
Note from Lisa: If you want to be inspired with some business lessons as you watch, check out my list of 5 Movies to Inspire Your Entrepreneurial Side.
Do Something You Love
A few other ways to reduce or relax stress include talking with a friend, playing music, playing with an animal, going for a walk with your dog, cooking or baking. Pick something you love doing, and go for it.
Simple Stress Relief Activities for the Win
While this may not be an extensive list, 2020 was super stressful to a lot of people by having their routines interrupted, children who went to school suddenly home, and maybe a spouse who now works from home.
For those who are staying home with family and children, we have developed a new normal.
These simple stress relief activities can be done throughout the day to help you stay calm even when life seems crazy. So definitely try to incorporate more of them into your daily routines. Be sure to check out this website for more ideas and tips on how to balance your work and life.