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Parents: Reduce Stress with ‘Me Time’

As parents, we have so many things on our minds—“Why isn’t my baby sleeping though the night anymore?” “Does my toddler eat a well-balanced diet?” “Will my preschooler be well liked by her classmates?” “Have I provided my kindergartener with the tools to succeed in school?”—the list goes on and on. It can be exhausting to plan and prepare for our young children’s day, week, life… You may think that enjoying a little “me time” takes away from your child—but it’s really quite the opposite! Relieving stress is an important part of staying healthy. To maintain sanity, make it a priority to schedule some “me time” in the busy to-do list that is the modern parent’s day-to-day life. Whether it is just a few minutes to yourself or a weekend getaway, “me time” can help us to “re-center” ourselves.

Feeling the time crunch? Try these quick (but still refreshing) tips:

  • Exercise. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and manage your energy levels. A little goes a long way! Have your spouse watch the kiddies and go for a quick solo walk around the block.
  • Meditation. Close your eyes and breathe deep. Focus on how each breath flows in and out of your abdomen for one minute, or until you feel more relaxed.
  • Phone a friend. Take a few minutes to call that friend whose emails you haven’t had time to reply to. A brief conversation with another grown-up can help regain perspective. Plan in advance to focus on any “non-child-related” topic.

How do you fit a little “me time” into your hectic schedule? How do you enjoy spending this time?