How to Relax and Unwind as a Parent

Stress and parenting seem to go hand-in-hand. The responsibilities of raising children are hefty, and days when the clutter, tears and duties seem never-ending only add to the already heavy stresses of even routine day-to-day life as a parent. Rest and relaxation often feel incredibly out of reach for caregivers, but it’s especially important for these states of recovery to become a priority. A relaxed parent is a calm, composed and balanced parent, and when you’re adequately taken care of, everyone in the family reaps the benefits.

To become a more relaxed, at-ease parent, read on for helpful tips to better care for all aspects of your own personal health and wellness.

Engage in a Personal Ritual

From a nightly routine of tossing a bath bomb into a tub of warm water after the kids go to bed to a moment in the afternoon refilling the diffuser with a favorite, calming blend of Young Living essential oils, try to find ways to incorporate a few personal habits throughout the day to make your day a little more peaceful.

Clear Your To-Do List

Chores, carpool duties, extracurricular activities, nap time schedules and work responsibilities have the tendency to weigh heavily on your mind, and can even result in lost sleep at night when things really pile up. Make it a point to clear at least a few things off your list each day, especially tasks that have sat unchecked on your agenda for weeks, and enjoy the extra, cleared brain-space as a result.

Ask For Help

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but parents often go at it alone. It is difficult to ask for help, especially when the tasks you need help with seem like they could be too burdensome for others to take on. However, it isn’t likely that you would turn down a chance to help a loved one if they asked, so give the same benefit of the doubt for those in your circle. Call up a trusted friend or family member for help with a few chores, a babysitting request or even just some company while you pick up groceries.

Create a Bedtime Routine

You’ve got your kids’ nighttime routine on lock, but chances are your after-dark rituals aren’t as consistent as your toddler’s. A good, restful night’s sleep can mean the difference between a stressed out, overtired parent and a rejuvenated, clear-headed one. Set a schedule for yourself, including a few just-for-you, grown up things to do after the kids go to bed.

Get Moving

Regular exercise isn’t an indulgence–it’s an important part of self-care. Consider routine sweat sessions a non-negotiable part of your week, as important as eating, sleeping, showering and grooming. Exercise not only helps you to keep your waistline trim, but it also improves your sleep quality, boosts your mental clarity, enhances your mental health and helps your body to function at optimal levels even when you’re at rest. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week for maximum benefits.

Spend Time Alone

Alone time is often elusive for parents, and many will admit that on some days it’s hard to even find time to shower or go to the bathroom by themselves. Rather than wait for windows of time to sneak away for a slice of solitude, consider scheduling some alone time in your daily schedule, even if it’s just a few minutes at a time each day.

Treat Yourself

You’re generally at your kids’ beck and call, but when it comes to doing what you want, your needs can come last more often than not. In everything you do, from grocery shopping to playing music in the car, infuse a little of yourself into it. Pick up a favorite treat at the store, interrupt your kids’ playlist with a favorite jam of yours, upgrade your own wardrobe when it’s time to do some back to school shopping and pile some extra hot sauce on your plate when you eat mac and cheese for the fifth night in a row. The more you’re able to prioritize yourself, the more your kids will start to see and hear your needs as a parent, too.