During the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders, most people’s social lives have been greatly disrupted. While for lots of people this means they’re feeling pretty bored, there’s one group of people that probably don’t have the chance to get bored: parents of young children.
For parents of young kids who are now at home 100% of the time, the day is likely a never-ending parade of games and meal-making and mess-cleaning and entertaining.
And the evenings are likely a mad dash to return emails, complete work that got pushed to the side during the day, and get the house in some semblance of shape before the next day of mess making begins.
For these parents there is no time for new hobbies or social Zoom calls or the learning of new skills.
It’s constant parenting, working and upkeep.
If you’re a parent who has been feeling overwhelmed by the overwhelming amount of life being thrown your way, check out these ways to relax, even when you don’t have much down time.
1. Download a good book
There’s nothing better than a good book but, if you’ve got little ones by day and loads of work by night, there’s a pretty good chance you don’t have the time to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.
Instead of trying to jam some reading time into your day, download a good book and plug in your headphones as you complete the evening chores you know you need to get done for tomorrow to happen smoothly.
Immerse yourself in a different world as you do the dishes, fold laundry or meal prep and you’ll be amazed at how you suddenly relax.
2. Try a new recipe
While cooking with the kids isn’t always the most relaxing activity, trying a new recipe is a good way to stretch your brain and feel good about how you’ve spent an afternoon.
Instead of a kitchen free-for-all, pre-measure and prepare all the ingredients in advance so that cooking with the kids actually is relaxing.
Whether you relax as you cook or as you enjoy your new recipe, you’ll certainly feel better than you would if you had opted for spaghetti for the fourth time this week!
3. Indulge during self-care time
Self-care at home probably looks a little different than your ideal self-care activities but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of yourself.
While you can’t get a babysitter for some alone time with your partner or head in for a massage or pedicure, consider what you can do at home and then do it.
Use your favorite bath products, give yourself a pedicure or paint your own fingernails if it makes you feel better!
4. Claim some downtime
If you have a partner, now is the time to negotiate with them to make sure you each get just a little bit of “off” time during your time at home.
Even if it means leaving the house a little messy or not meal prepping for the next day, do your best to trade off responsibilities so that each of you get at least one night “off” during the week. That can mean skipping out on bath time and bedtime in favor of a long, solo walk, heading to bed early yourself or simply parking it on the couch to watch a WHOLE movie while your partner deals with the kids after bedtime antics.
A little “off” time can make a world of difference!
Being at home with young kids while juggling work and other responsibilities is simply overwhelming. While this will pass eventually and you will get to have a babysitter one day, for now, focusing on what you can do to relax is a great way to feel calmer throughout the day!