Finding ways to relax when you have children at home can be difficult, but it is important to find quiet time for yourself. That’s why we are listing 40 fast (and easy) ways to relax. I don’t know about you, but we don’t have the time or money for an island getaway or an hour long massage. Try these tips for your every day relaxation needs.
1. Yoga (of course)
You can’t mention relaxing without talking about yoga. Yoga is one of the easiest ways to bring it down a notch. These days you don’t have to take a class at the local recreation center. Grab your laptop or mobile device and you’ll find many yoga positions via a website or an app. Memorize some of your favorite yoga poses and take 5 minutes to knock them out before facing your day.
2. Brush your hair
What? Yep. Run a brush through your hair. 5 minutes of repetitive hair brushing can help you feel more relaxed. Even better…have one of your children gently brush your hair for a few minutes. You might want to leave this job to the older children. If your toddler is anything like mine, you’ll end up with scratches and bruises from the brush.
3. Put on lotion or oil
I know, sounds simple and you may have done it after you got dressed this morning. Do it again! But this time, do it slowly. Massage your arms, hands, feet and legs deeply.
4. Sip tea
5. Take 10 deep breaths
Breathing. It’s so natural, that we often don’t think about it. Sometimes we hold our breath without even realizing it. Focus on your breathing and take 10 deep breaths, pausing briefly between inhaling and exhaling.
6. Sneak a bathroom break
Easier said than done sometimes, but if you can, take a 5 minute trip to the bathroom. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Hopefully, there aren’t any kids or pets banging on the door.
7. Write in a journal
Journaling doesn’t have to be well-thought out paragraphs describing your day. Take a few minutes at the beginning of the day to write down what you hope to accomplish or what you’re thankful for. At the end of the day you can write a few lines about what you did.
8. Get some sun
Sunshine makes me happy. If you can, find a few minutes on a sunny day to step out. Bright lights can help lift spirits, and what light is brighter than the sun? Don’t forget your sunscreen.
9. Snuggle your children or read to them
Your children are likely your favorite people in the world. Take some down time (with no distractions from the phone or the tv) and snuggle up with them on the couch. You can also read them one of their favorite books. Seeing them happy will definitely relax you.
10. Run your diffuser
I think every home should have at least one diffuser. Put in your favorite essential oils and take a few minutes to unwind. The smells will put you in a more relaxed mood.
11. Stare at the ceiling and count down from 60
Counting will clear your mind of distractions. Looking upward stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers blood pressure and slows the pace of the breath. So look up, but try not to stress over the fact that the ceiling needs a good painting.
12. Listen to music
Listening to music can help relax you. Make sure you choose the right sounds for you (some music makes me crazy!). Music can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Sometimes we listen to classical music during our class time. Maybe you’ll even drift off into a short nap.
13. Go for a walk
A walk can get you away from things and into fresh air. Sometimes all I need is a quick walk to my mailbox. You may need a walk around the block. Whatever you choose, keep it brief and enjoy the scenery.
A good stretch can make you feel great. Stretch your body and roll your head from shoulder to shoulder. This will help to loosen those tight muscles and make you feel more relaxed.
15. Turn off your phone
We are always connected with our mobile phones. Turning it off for 20 minutes can give you a relief from phone calls, text messages and the constant barrage of notifications.
16. Eat a banana
Having a banana will replenish your potassium needs. Potassium helps normalize the heart rate, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. Plus, bananas taste great!
17. Take the kids to look at clouds
You have a busy day, I know, but just take 10 minutes to lie in the grass with the kids gazing at the clouds. See if they can make out any shapes.
18. Get your dance on
Dancing can help you to loosen up and unwind. And it’s great exercise. Just one song. Please?
19. Play with your stress toy
Stress balls can alleviate tension and anxiety. Take a few minutes to squeeze and roll the ball through your hands. You can also roll them under your feet.
20. Visualize a relaxing place
We may not be able to go to Hawaii, but we can picture it, right? Close your eyes in a quiet room (if possible) and visualize a place that relaxes you. Imagine the sights and scents of your relaxing place. It almost feels like you’re there.
21. Listen to white noise
The gentle hum of a fan or trickling water, can help relieve your stress. You can download apps, listen to sounds on YouTube or get some white noise going in your home. Sit back in a comfortable chair and let the sounds soothe you for a few minutes.
22. Relax the tension in your body
Focus on each of your body parts, one at a time. Concentrate on tightening and then relaxing the muscles in each area. Take a few minutes starting with your toes and feet all the way up to your face. You may realize you are tensing muscles all over your body. Deliberately relax them all.
23. Chew some gum
Chewing a fruity stick of gum can reduce cortisol levels, relieve tension and reduce anxiety.
24. Nibble some chocolate
Just a small amount can regulate the stress hormone, cortisol. And who doesn’t love chocolate?
25. Take a cat nap
Taking a 20 minute nap in the middle of the day may not be possible, but if you can, it can help relieve some of your stress. If you have no time, find a comfy pillow and lie down for just a few minutes. Just relaxing for a few minutes will help you to feel more calm.
26. Count to 30
Slowly count up to 30. Then take a deep breath and count down backwards from 30. Focusing on this task can help to take your mind off of other matters and relax you at the same time.
27. Laugh a little (or a lot)
As the old saying goes, laughter is the best medicine! Kids can also offer tons of quality laughs. Peek in on their playtime, or ask them a few questions (interview style) and I guarantee you will get a kick out of their answers. You can also check out YouTube or Vine videos for a quick laugh.
28. Play a relaxing game on your mobile device
I don’t know about you, but I often fall asleep while trying to play Farm Heroes on my iPhone. Find a relaxing game on your mobile device and it can help to relieve some of your tension.
29. Work a puzzle
A jigsaw puzzle or crossword puzzle can be a great way to relax. Unless you’re the type to get frustrated when you can’t figure it out! You know yourself the best.
30. Cuddle with your favorite pet
Pets are great! They are always willing (okay, most of the time) to give you a quick snuggle. They may not be ready to part when you have to get back to work though.
31. Drip cold water on your wrists
What?! Yes, drip cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes. There are major arteries under the skin in these areas and dripping cold water on them can relax the whole body.
32. Smell fresh flowers
Keep fresh flowers in the house as much as you can. Keeping them in your workspace can help you feel happy throughout your day.
33. Turn off the computer
Excessive computer time has been linked to depression, stress and loss of sleep. Turn off your computer for at least an hour while you get other things done. Without the distraction, you may find that you get more things checked off your to-do list. We’ll be here when you get back!
34. Run in place
Sure, you may not like running or exercise in general, but the endorphins can relieve stress. Just a few minutes (if you can stand it) should work. If nothing else, you’ll be super excited when it’s time to stop.
35. Open windows and let in fresh air
Serotonin is affected by the amount of oxygen you breathe in. It can make you feel happier, so breathe in that fresh air and start feeling more relaxed!
36. Read a book
Losing yourself in a new book will help you to feel less stressed. Reading will slow down your heart rate and ease tension.
37. Eat some citrus fruit
Vitamin C has been shown to reduce stress levels. Oranges or grapefruit would make a great mid-day snack.
38. Do something crafty
Crafts, like knitting or painting, will ease your stress and increase happiness. Plus, you’ll make something cute that you can show off.
39. Take a hot shower or warm bubble bath
A warm bath or shower can relieve stress and relax your body. Lighting lavender scented candles around your tub can also help to relax you.
40. Color in an adult coloring book
Coloring isn’t just for children! It’s relaxing and has been proven that it reduces our stress levels. Try an adult coloring book with a good set of colored pencils.
If you have any relaxation tips, please share them with us.Last updated: August 13, 2015
Photo Credit: Adrian Pimpam