When it comes to parenting, there are many trials and tribulations along the road to producing a happy and healthy adult. However, I think we can all agree that it’s worth it. After all, we love our children, and even after all the stress we endure, we’ll miss them when they head off to college and when they rent their first apartment. That said, while they’re with us, there’s undeniably a ton of stress involved with making sure everything is taken care of and nothing goes wrong, and stress can ravage the human body like you wouldn’t believe. That’s why it helps to step out of your parenting role for a little while from time to time. Using what quiet time you can to recover from the stresses of everyday parenting is an important part of presenting your child with your best self, which then informs their best self. In short, treat yourself from time to time. Here’s how.
First and foremost, consider the blowing off steam approach. This approach entails, essentially, expending energy to unwind. This is what people mean when they say “live a little.” One way to do this is to mount up on your snowmobile and go (safely) shred some powder for awhile. This also applies to the similar, but simultaneously vastly different, jet ski. ATVs and motorcycles are in this same camp. Any recreational vehicle that gets the blood pumping, basically, although motorcycles are the most restricted and the most hazardous. Sports are also a great way to accomplish this blowing off steam methodology. Pretty much anything that gets your heart rate up and the sweat pouring, including the more boring exercise can be relieve stress to an insane degree.
Another way to reduce stress is to relax. Relaxation (of “Rest and Relaxation fame) is one of the most highly recommended ways to relieve stress. For starters, consider a nice long hot bath from time to time. The hot water will relax your tight, stress addled muscles, while the quiet solitude will clear your mind. It does wonders for both body and soul. Another way to relax is to take a power nap. However, you’ll want to have an alarm handy and armed, because poor napping can actually make you feel worse. Try to time out your nap to either half an hour or less or around the 1 hour and 45 minute mark. This way, you can avoid REM sleep, the deepest part of sleep wherein dreaming occurs. Disrupting REM sleep will leave you feeling more tired than before, as well disoriented, and possibly a bit sick. Therefore, you want to be careful with awful power of the nap. Lastly, consider the power of a creative hobby. Creative hobbies, such as drawing, painting, or writing, are times of quiet reflection, and that break from the chaos of your regular life is refreshing. Meanwhile, creating things can help you process your emotions in a healthy way to clear your mind for more important matters. Plus, you’ll have something to show for it later!