It was after nine, and the kids were FINALLY asleep. After a crazy day at work, two kids that refused to stay in bed, all I wanted to do was get some sleep. But there was no way I was going to sleep now - my mind was still racing from the stress of the day.
Life is stressful!
When was the last time you had a little bit of time to yourself? (More than 5 minutes)
That crazy day I described could have been any of the days in the past week ... or even in the past month. Every day seems to be another day of hustle and bustle.
The hours leading up to sleeping kids is almost always chaos.
After I get off of work, I have to pick up two (cranky + hungry) kids from daycare. By the time we walk in the door at home, they want dinner NOW!
I scramble up some leftover pasta for everyone and sit down to eat.
No sooner than I sit down, my four-year old daughter announces that she needs a drink. I forgot to get her a drink. After arguing over which color cup she wants (I want the blue one, not the red one. No, not that blue one. The other blue one.)
While I am pouring her milk, my little guy (18 months) decides to throw his plate on the floor. Pasta and all. Even though pasta is one of his favorite foods, tonight he wants nothing to do with it.
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother making my plate. It will be cold before I get to it.
Baths, cuddles, and bedtime come after dinner. Bedtime does not go any smoother than dinner.
No matter how much I try to think of everything my daughter might need before bed, she is still out of bed a half dozen times. A drink of water. A potty break. Socks for cold feet (nevermind that it was 90 degrees out). Her comforter wasn't on the bed right.
By the time she is finally asleep, her brother has been asleep over an hour. And I'm exhausted. But too stressed out to even think about going to sleep.
Do you have days like this too?
I know it's a rare occasion in my house when everyone cooperates through dinner and bedtime!
Even after a long stressful day, I've found a few easy ways to unwind and relax.
Five Ways For Busy Moms To De-Stress
Take a bath
Fill up the tub with some nice hot water and relax. Add some bubble bath or bath salts with a scent you enjoy for a full relaxation experience.
Don't want to fill up the bath? (I sure miss my garden tub ... my current bathtub is not very comfortable!) Take a long steamy shower and let the hot water loosen up your back and neck muscles. It's amazing how refreshing a hot shower or bath can be!
Enjoy some music
Put on your favorite songs and get into the music. Sing out loud or even just in your head. Focusing on the words of the songs is a great way to take your mind off the stress of the day.
If I'm having a particularly stressful day at work, I'll put some music on and my earbuds in. Before I know it, the grumpiness has faded away.
Go for a walk
Get out and enjoy some fresh air. Take a few minutes to yourself to clear your mind. Plus, exercise is a great natural way to relax!
When I was a kid, one of my favorite activities was coloring. There's just something peaceful about creating a design or picture. Maybe it's because you're focused on your picture and not everything else.
I am excited to see that coloring for adults is becoming a thing! You can find everything from relaxation themed coloring books, pattern coloring books, and animal themed coloring books.
Get out some colored pencils or markers, pick a page, and color for 30 minutes. I promise you'll feel better when you're done!
Look at your to-do list
Do you have a bunch of things on your to-do list (or mental to-do list)? I feel overwhelmed and stressed when I have too many things on my mental to-do list.
I know you're probably thinking, "Hey, I wanted to de-stress!"
Hear me out.
Think of one or two nagging items that need to be taken care of and won't take too much time to complete. Get them done - you'll feel less stress once you've marked them off your task list.
Take Time For Yourself
Life can be busy and stressful, but don't forget to take care of yourself too! Find a way to relax that works for you, whether that listening to your favorite songs or taking a bubble bath.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Cents + Order. It has been republished here with permission.