Natural stress relief guide for you and your family
With today’s hectic and ‘always on’ lifestyle, it’s more important than ever to take time to unwind and relax. Spending time doing the things you enjoy with friends or family or even on your own can help to recharge your batteries and re-balance your wellbeing.
But the truth is, spending time with family can sometimes be demanding and stressful and it can be hard to stay in control when things start getting hectic! The good news is that we have come up with a number of natural stress relief tips so you can find calm every day and keep the kids in check too.
1. Calming music
Children have an enormous amount of energy which can be difficult to keep up with as an adult. Between managing a household and holding up a job, finding that energy to entertain our kids can seem impossible at times. Though letting children play is important, setting aside time in the day to calm them down can also allow you to take a breath and relax. Try playing a calming playlist every morning at breakfast and every evening as you’re getting the kids ready for bed. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, associate that playlist to quiet time for you and the children. The sound waves produced by classical music or calming tunes can help soothe the mind and slow you all down a little. By making this a household habit, you’ll be able to look forward to those few minutes every day.
2. Me time
If you’re home with the kids, there are a million things you need to do; if you’re home without the kids, there are a million other things you need to do before they get back. However, even if all you have is five minutes before going to bed, try to make those five minutes count. Having a self-care routing in the evenings could be extremely relaxing and might help you wind-down after a hectic day. Treat yourself to a few new skincare products, brew a chamomile tea and spend those five minutes pampering yourself before getting into bed. Once in bed, put the electronics away, diffuse some essential oils, grab a book, or make journal writing a new habit to help relax you before you doze off.
3. Breathing exercises
Though having a nice bedtime routine is a great way to deal with stress and sleep problems, we all know how difficult it can be to get some privacy and time alone as a parent. So, whenever you’re feeling a little overwhelmed but don’t have time for a break, try the following breathing technique to help you focus and relax – it’ll only take 19 seconds. Focus on one spot in the room then soften your gaze and place the tip of the tongue on the tissue behind the top front teeth. Breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, then purse the lips and exhale through the mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat this as many times as needed throughout the day or before you go to sleep!
4. Yoga for all the family
Yoga is an incredible way to practise mindfulness, be present, regulate emotions and relax, all while moving, stretching and exercising your body. And kids can do it too! It can be a tactical way to expend some of your children’s energy, keep them entertained and hopefully give you a few minutes to relax or do a few stretching exercises yourself. There are plenty of kids’ yoga videos on YouTube such as Cosmic Kids Yoga that you can try with your children.
5. Nature walks
Children love to be outside, and that’s great! But being outside in nature can actually have a number of benefits on the whole family’s emotional wellbeing. Outdoor play can help boost children’s activity levels, which is not only great for their health and development, but also means it might be easier to get them to go to sleep later. Nature walks can help improve mood, feel more present and attentive and can help reduce stress overall.
6. Talk to friends/connect with others
There are many benefits of laughing – it’s one of the best and most natural stress remedies as it can actually decrease stress hormones in the body whilst releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormone. And let’s face it, nothing feels better than a good laugh! Whether that’s having a comedy night with the family, telling jokes at the dinner table, or organising a fun night with friends, try to smile more, laugh more and feel that stress drift away.