You know what it’s like. After a hard day (and night) of changing nappies, feeding, burping, cleaning up sick and more changing nappies, you finally sit down on the couch to unwind. The baby is sound asleep, for once. The kids are in bed. Even the dog is curled up on the floor and twitching in his sleep. But try as you might, you just can’t seem to unwind. You have that natural parental instinct to stay vigilant for crying, ready to spring to your feet at the slightest sound. The reality is, that feeling of being constantly on edge is not a good thing to get used to. When those rare moments of peace arrive, you need to learn to take advantage of them and unwind. Otherwise, you will burn yourself out. Here are some suggestions for ways to relax when the rest of the family is fast asleep.
Release the tension
One of the best ways to relax when you’ve been run off your feet is simply to notice the tension in your body and release it, one body part at a time. When your body feels relaxed, your mind will, too, and you should notice all sorts of benefits like deeper sleep and lower blood pressure. Taking a class in deep tissue massage can be a great way for both you and your partner to relieve each other’s tension at the end of a hard day.
Make time for exercise
OK, so exercising is probably the last thing you feel like doing when you want to unwind, but did you know that it’s also one of the best ways to relax? Exercise releases mood-boosting endorphins into the bloodstream boost your energy levels and reduce anxiety. One way for busy parents to get valuable exercise time is to have an exercise bike or treadmill at home. This means you get all the benefits of the gym without having to leave the house.
Absorb yourself in something fun
If you can’t take time out away from the house, try giving your mind a little holiday instead. Getting really absorbed in that game or quiz you’ve been meaning to try out is a great escape and can take you away from the stress of parenthood for an hour or two. Not to mention that fizzle of excitement that comes from winning! Bonus points for anything that can earn you a few extra bob, like online Bingo, or something where you can win yourself some prizes.
Do something passive
Listening to music or watching a few episodes of that series you’re hooked on is a great way to just let go and unwind. Sure, it’s indulgent, but you’ve earned it! Bonus points for anything that makes you laugh, whether it’s watching a DVD of your favourite comedian or listening to that radio programme you love – laughter is a wonderful stress reliever.
Those are just some of the ways you can relax and unwind once the little ones are asleep. What are your favourite ways to relax?