In these uncertain and scary times, it is important to keep a check on our mental health as parents. Check on your friends but don’t forget to check in on yourself. Put down your phones and step away from social media for a moment if all the news is too much.
Here are a few ideas to help you destress and keep you busy:
Color by numbers
- Coloring isn’t just for the kids. Grab your Ooly glitter gel pens (or any you have laying around) and a color by number book and get to coloring. Your kids will be jealous of your artwork and might work harder on staying inside the lines. There are also paint by diamond or paint by sticker books if that’s your jam.
Find something to read that isn’t on social media
- Author Colleen Hoover is offering 4 of her NY Times Bestsellers for free on kindle right now. If those don’t fit your fancy, check out the library app Libby. With your library card, you can check out ebooks and audiobooks.
Stroll down memory lane
- Pull out your scrapbooks, picture albums, or make a slide show to stream on your TV. My kids love looking at pictures and guessing which baby was them. The other day they found a Shutterfly book at my mom’s house of my wedding pictures that they love to look through.
- If you don’t have any albums made, now would be a great time to get started. Have your kids help by sorting pictures of themselves.
- Go for a nature walk. Find leaves, flowers, rocks, bugs, and animals. Let your littles ride their bikes to get some extra energy out so they will be ready for nap time.
- Speaking of nap time… If they are fighting nap time, buckle them into the stroller and go for a long walk. The fresh air can help them relax and fall asleep.
- Do some stretching or yoga in the grass on a beach towel.
- Turn on some dance music and knock out some of those chores you’ve been putting off. (I’m looking at you, windows and baseboards.)
Don’t move at all
- Meditation is a great tool to reduce stress. YouTube has a plethora of videos with varying durations. I like 5-minute videos because my mind wanders a lot.
- Take a much-needed nap. Follow the oldest rule, take a nap when the kids nap.
Think about what you’re putting into your body
- Giving up caffeine is not in the cards for most in a time like this, but maybe try switching up your cup of coffee for some tea with honey (which is rich in antioxidants). Don’t forget to drink plenty of water – this helps curb your stress eating and flush out toxins.
- Try prepping and chopping the vegetables that you need for tonight’s dinner. Some people find it therapeutic.
- It is okay to have a treat but don’t let your stress cause you to binge eat in the kitchen after you’ve put the kids to bed.
You could also talk to a friend who listens and is empathetic to your situation. That always helps me the most.
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