We’ve all be there. There are times when time is not your friend. Summer comes with a mixed bag of blessings. More time with the family, but also more planning needed to get to all the things you need to do to keep your brood happy and engaged in healthy activities.
During such times it can be easy to neglect taking care of yourself, but we shouldn’t. Being a great parent has a lot to do with coming from a positive place. And you can’t do that if you are pouring from an empty cup. So this post is a reminder to take that time to relax, even when the only time you have is after the kids are down for the night.
Need some ideas for things that you can do that will help you relax in 10 minutes or less?
1. Give yourself a shoulder rub.
Let’s be honest, who isn’t game for a shoulder rub that comes with an endorphin rush and an enhanced immune system? But sometimes it can be hard to ask for one. Or difficult to find the time to book a professional one at a massage parlor. But that doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of the benefits that a shoulder massage can bring. These days, there are portable hand-held massagers that will melt away tension spots within minutes.
2. Read a comic and laugh a little.
Forget that huge stack of books that you are always promising yourself you’ll finish reading. You don’t need that kind of guilt. Instead, try something that will have you chuckling. As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine, and now we have studies to back that up. Brush up on your Calvin and Hobbes, Dilbert, or Garfield. It will put you in a nostalgic mood and help your mind drift away from present concerns.
3. Watch 10 minutes of your favorite movie.
Do you have a go-to movie that you queue up when you’re feeling angry? Depressed? Moody? Alone? Did you know that the right movie for the right occasion will help release negative emotions and get you in a better frame of mind? You do not even need to watch the whole thing if it is a movie you have seen before many times. Your mind will know what’s going on and trigger remembered emotions. Try it the next time you are feeling blue and you need a quick pick-me-up.
4. Clean out one drawer.
Only certain people will understand the high that this one gives. So if this isn’t for you, just ignore it and move on to the next in this list. But if you are that perpetual cleaner who gets a rush from ticking something off a to-do list, then this is for you. Find one nook to declutter and purge. Make sure it is small enough to complete within 10 minutes. Then enjoy the rush that comes with one more corner of your kingdom under your firm control. Play some music, chug some wine, and do a happy dance as you clean. And for the friendly obsessive among us, try some other cleaning tasks that take no longer than 10 minutes.
5. Queue up the cute animal videos.
YouTube is full of these cute animal videos for a reason. We love them. In fact, what is going on in our brains is the same thing that happens when we eat sugar. We are getting a rush of dopamine to our system, which triggers feelings of pleasure. So go ahead and indulge in your cute animal fixation. There’s no shame in it. The world is doing it too.
Remember that even when the demands of family life climb, you will have the self-control to not lose your chill only if you are coming from a good place. You have the ideas, now go find your 10 minutes.
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