6 Simple Ways to Get a Break From the Kids
Parenting is more than a full-time job, and while you love your family with all your heart, nobody is equipped to manage anything at peak capacity for long durations of time. Breaks from your kids are not only important, but they’re necessary to maintain your sanity, your relationships and your whole household’s peace of mind.
With dance recitals, science fair projects, nap schedules and sibling fights, it can seem impossible to find time to get a recess from it all. However, even when your to-do list is overflowing with kid-based tasks, there are ways to get the respite you need while still nailing it as a parent.
Read on for helpful tips to help you take a much-need break from your parenting duties so you can come back refreshed and ready to tackle whatever family life throws your way.
1. Turn Inward
Kids are noisy, and that external noise can create a great deal of friction with all the mental noise you already have going on in your head. When things become chaotic, it’s important to give yourself a break in the form of a gentle mental practice. In the heat of the moment, take a minute to slow down & pause.
In many ways, your thoughts create your reality. Think back to a calm, relaxing time in your life, or start to gain some perspective about something you have to look forward to. When you put current stresses into the bigger context of your life, it can feel like a relief from whatever is presently happening. So, get planning that next grown-up vacation or compiling a list of date night ideas.
2. Call Up a Friend
When your brain and body feel overloaded, and signal that it’s time for a break, it could be helpful to switch up your routine by adding in another friendly face to the mix. Even if you can’t get together with a friend, just a chat on the phone or a video call for a few minutes can feel like a breath of fresh air. Bonus: the kids can stay right where they are or join in, too.
3. Get Moving
Exercise is one of the best ways to take care of yourself whether you’re in need of a break or not. When you get your heart rate up, your body releases mood-boosting endorphins that can help to bring a sense of mental clarity and relaxation throughout the rest of the day. Whatever you do to get moving, you can make it work for you and your schedule. A good workout can happen within a single hour, or can be spread out in smaller bursts throughout the day. Even a quick walk around the block can make a difference.
4. Set Up a Regular Time
If you find it hard to carve time for yourself in every day between lunch and carpool, it may be time to make it a prioritized part of your daily routine. Put self care time on your schedule, whether it’s daily or weekly, and consider it an even as immovable as dropping the kids off at soccer practice.
5. Lean On Your Village
Sometimes you really need to get away from your family and enjoy some pure, quiet solitude. Don’t be afraid to call up a friend or family member to take the kids while you do whatever you feel called to do in the moment, whether that’s sit home alone and do nothing or head out for a drive.
6. Start with a Breather
What you want is a fully-funded vacation to a tropical island that leaves immediately, but all you have is five minutes to yourself in the bathroom. When it comes to breaks, it’s less about the quantity and more about the quality. If all you have is a few minutes, use them wisely. Queue up a quick guided meditation in some noise canceling headphones, watch a favorite music video, do a quick face mask or do some quick stretches. Just make the time, however long or short, completely, totally about you.