I am a go-go-go type person and I tend to fill all my time with productive activities. I like to check things off my list and relaxing just isn’t in my vocabulary. If I were to be honest with myself, I think I associate relaxation with indulgence and I feel guilty for indulging myself especially when there are things that need to be done.
Luckily, I married a guy that pushes me to do the things he knows is good for me like relaxing. When I worked the morning shift at Starbucks a long time ago, I didn’t want to nap in the afternoons even though I probably needed the rest. So my husband would pull the sheets down on the bed, put on music, and instruct me to go lie down. Ha! It was like forced relaxation, but it worked.
These days, now that I have a very active 14-month-old son, relaxation seems necessary but definitely a luxury. If only my pre-kid self knew, then perhaps I would have been more apt to relaxing more back then. Little did I know I should have taken advantage of downtime and soaked in those extra naps on lazy days. Now it seems I live in a constant state of exhaustion chasing him around.
But there are moments that you can grab to relax – during your baby’s nap time is always a good one. Or, if your significant other is around and can keep an eye on the kid. Sometimes getting out of the house isn’t easy, so I came up with some ideas on how to relax at home when you come upon a moment to relax.
1. Read a Magazine or Book – Admittedly a magazine may be more realistic, but you can always read a chapter of a book. I often just read a few pages and slowly make it through my books. I am currently reading The Rook, and it’s quite enjoyable. I generally don’t read sci-fi type things, but I’m really liking the book so far. As for magazines, my favorites are Sunset or Food & Wine magazine.
2. Sip Coffee or Tea – We were gifted a Nespresso from my in-laws for our anniversary in September, and we certainly get great use out of it. I really love the ease of making a quick latte to savor in the afternoon while my little guy naps. But if you don’t have one, pour over is quick or even the Starbucks VIA packets can be pretty darn good.
If you’re not a coffee drinker, tea is another favorite. I love the teas from Teavana, especially rooibos teas since they are low to no caffeine. During the holidays, the white chocolate mint tea is so delicious but my go-to is chai rooibos.
3. Enjoy a Snack – I’ve realized that it’s really tough to eat when you have a kid. Your attention is usually on the kid, so you don’t have the pleasure to really soak in what you’re eating and enjoy it. Sometimes I eat and then think, “did I just eat?” So, try to take a moment to yourself and enjoy something yummy. My choice is always frozen yogurt or ice cream, but a sniggle of chocolate would be totally great as well. Plus I hear it can also be good for you. Treat yo-self!
4. Take a Nap – I dread the day when my little guy drops to one nap. I love to use the first nap time as a mom nap time as well. The second nap is reserved for all. the. things. A nap can really reenergize you especially if your night’s sleep wasn’t stellar. Or, in the words of my dad, “just rest your eyes.” (note: that’s code for I closed my eyes and fell asleep).
5. Sleep in – OMG, this is my favorite. I love to sleep in – even if you aren’t actually sleeping. This one may require some help from your significant other or family member. When I’m home with my parents (the grandparents), they are so sweet and will take and watch the little guy when he wakes up and let me sleep in. It’s heavenly and I hope you find a way to do it, too.
6. Watch TV or a Movie – My husband and I enjoy watching shows together, but sometimes you just need a chick flick for yourself. Lately, I’ve been watching This is Us and it’s quite good – a bit dramatic but also so real (in a good way).
7. Yoga or Stretch – I haven’t done yoga in ages, not since my little guy was just a few months old. Life just keeps on moving and I just haven’t done it. But, by golly, I ought to do it; it feels so good to stretch and focus on your body for a few minutes. Here are a few poses to check out. I enjoy the pigeon pose and putting my legs up the wall. You could do it with the baby awake, but he or she may crawl all over you…but you can just try to keep you zen going.
8. Soak your Feet – Awww man, pedicures. Aren’t they the best? Well, we don’t always have time to go out for one, so a nice foot soak at home is great. Perhaps you can persuade your significant other to give you a foot rub afterward, too. I enjoy the Johnsons Dissolving Powder, which my mother-in-law introduced to me. They make your feet so soft and fresh. But I saw these DIY foot scrubs and soaks if you’re feeling more ambitious.
9. Listen to Music – I swear music has a way of snapping you out of a bad mood or helps you destress. Just turn up the song and dance it out. Happy, pop songs tend to work best for me like Uptown Funk or This Too Shall Pass. In fact, I read that this song apparently can reduce your anxiety – read about it here. The power of music is real!
10. Look out the Window – Sometimes I just enjoy a peaceful moment just zoning out and looking out the window in our front room. Just enjoy a moment – hopefully with some sun shining in. It’s nice to just collect your thoughts and “just be” for a second.
Bonus: Of course, if you can get out of the house a massage or manicure/pedicure is always so wonderful.
How do you relax at home?