I don’t know if it speaks more to my exhaustion or just to the general lack of adult conversations in my life lately, that when my husband asked me recently what I did with a whopping 20 minutes of free time, I responded, “I write-ed.”
I, a woman who holds an actual college degree in writing, said those words.
Clearly I have been spending too much time in the presence toddlers who have not grasped the concept of verb conjugation.
Also, clearly I am in need of some sleep and relaxation STAT.
When you are taking care of three young children full-time, however, this can get dicey. So, both in the interest of helping others and helping myself, I am revisiting some very basic ways to relax, in your own home, with any amount of free time you may have.
May these super simple tips be the antidote to my bad grammar, and the beginning of your relaxing days.
5 Simple Keep-Sane Strategies
The Early Start
Admittedly, this one is tough for me to pull off these days. (It’s hard to wake up before 5:45, when my 2-year-old has been getting up lately, and I’m also up with the baby several times at night). But if you can, getting up before the kids rise—even if it’s just for 10 minutes—makes a world of a difference in my mental state for the day. Use the time to mindlessly browse the web, read a newspaper, or just stare at the wall with a steaming cup of coffee. But this small amount of time will change the way the rest of the day goes, trust me.
The Special Drink
No, not that kind of special drink… although I like where your head is going there, my friend… 😉
Speaking of coffee (see above), having “my own” breakfast drink makes me feel–this is gonna sounds kinda stupid, but why start caring now–special.
Whether it’s a certain kind of creamer you like to use in your coffee, your favorite brew of tea or, in my case, hot lemon water, starting off the day with my beverage of choice allows me to live in the much-needed bubble of delusion that I am in control of things.
Please don’t remind me otherwise.
The Quick Meditation
Don’t give me side-eye; you can do this! I promise, it doesn’t mean you have to sit in lotus for 45 minutes and chant while burning incense. It can be so much simpler than that.
The bottom line is, meditation really does help with re-centering you, and giving you a calm base from which to jump off for the day.
I read this book right before I got pregnant with our first baby, and it pretty much changed my life. The lessons and real-life evidence about the importance of mindfulness inspired me to get back on track with my mini meditation practice. Even if you can only tune out for five minutes a day–which is often all I can spare–it helps.
Read this book; I promise you won’t be sorry.
The Sensory Rituals
I can’t be the only person out there who is obsessed with scented candles, right? My dream night involves three peacefully sleeping children, a clean kitchen, a comfy couch, Netflix set to House of Cards, and a delightfully-scented candle burning in the background.
I’ve been burning this one nightly in our house, and it makes our kitchen smell divine.
I highly recommend tapping into the power of the sense of smell to relax. If candles aren’t your thing, maybe essential oils dabbed on your temples and wrists, or even a bubble bath with a relaxing eucalyptus or lavender scent.
…which brings me to my final suggestion. I’m not saying it’s easy to carve out time for a healing bath, but if you can, I have found an Epsom salt bath (maybe with a few drops of the above-mentioned oils) can give you peace in just a few moments. We buy this one in a giant jug and use it nightly.
You don’t have to spend a half hour soaking, but even ten minutes of a good bath is enough to help you reset your mind and relax before bedtime.
Well, those are the ways I try to escape for a few moments of sanity in my house. (I also have been known to lock myself in my closet with a tub of edible cookie dough, but that’s for a different time).
What ways do you relax? Let me know in Comments below!