There is a certain type of chaos that ensues when everyone in the household is at home. The kids need me, my husband needs me, the dog needs me, and the house…the messes speak for themselves. I understand why stress levels are high right now, so I don’t make these next suggestions flippantly. These are tangible ways I have used to reduce my stress level over the last few weeks. They have worked for me and I hope you’ll give a few of them a try, too!
Magnesium Salts Soak
There are several different types of magnesium, so it’s important to know what kinds provide the best benefit. I enjoy using this brand of magnesium chloride salts in either a foot soak or a bath. Kids can take advantage of this amazing mineral too! Here is a clinical trial about magnesium chloride for reference and here is list of the potential benefits of magnesium.
A Cup of Tea
We’ll take a nod from the Queen of England about the importance of a good cuppa in the afternoons. It’s not just the benefits that tea can give, it’s about having something to look forward to each day. You can offer some biscuits (cookies) or crumpets to your household residents, too. For an elevated tea experience be sure to check out my favorite loose leaf tea company. I’ve enjoyed using this stainless steel tea infuser, it comes in a pack of two! For the more traditional teapot, look here for a quality piece that is stylish to boot.
Color, Paint, or Draw
This activity doesn’t require high levels of skill in order for you to benefit. Grab some supplies, sit down, and go for it! I purchased this watercolor paper, these brushes, and this paint set off amazon for myself to use. There are many tutorials online if you want to dive into technique. I always use this paint for the kid’s projects and this super thick paper for their paintings. The kids have enjoyed drawing with Mo Willems lately. You can participate too!
Foster an Animal
Animals can help ease stress, especially when you’re stuck at home. Currently, Dallas Animal Services has a fostering option and curbside pickup. No volunteers are allowed in the shelter at this time, which means that there are a lot of animals stuck inside with no one to love on them! You’ll have to fill out their foster form to get the ball rolling.
The benefits of working out are well documented. Even a 30 minute walk can help with your overall mood. For me, working out has helped to ease tension, anxiety, reduced feelings of depression, and it helps to boosts my endorphins. I stretch, do some tae bo (there is a kid’s version too), and use my water rower. Your kids can follow along in these cute yoga pose stories, while you workout too. A fellow writer here at CCM leads yoga for adults; check out Sarah’s Yoga 101 for Moms article.
Take your shoes off, walk around on the grass for 15 minutes, and feel the sunshine on your skin. Be sure to take some deep breaths. Start listing off all the things you are thankful for, pray if you want, eat a snack, or just listen to the unique sounds of your neighborhood. A change in pace and scenery, even if it’s for a short time, can do wonders for your mental state.
Coffee Shop Music
I’m a horrible morning person, but this YouTube channel has a wide variety of the kind of happy music you might find if you visited a coffee shop. I turn it on while I’m prepping breakfast and the calm, happy vibes, help all of us with our attitudes. My kids were cranky, so I picked out some beach-side coffee shop jazz and it helped chill them out. Music can soothe the soul.
Make Your Bed
Listen…my husband suggested this one, so I am taking this seriously. Take five minutes after you’re dressed and ready for the day to make the bed! Set a timer if you want to, but those five minutes belong to making the bed and tidying up the room. At the end of the day, you’ll appreciate it being in order before you lay down to rest at night. It’s a like little gift to yourself to see a well-dressed bed. Adding chocolate to the pillows is optional, but highly encouraged.
Plan an Event
Pick any day of the week and schedule something! With everything being cancelled and no plans being made in the immediate future, nerves are high with a cleared out entertainment schedule. Whether it’s a game night, a movie night, or you all make personal sized pizzas for dinner, put SOMETHING on your schedule for everyone at home to look forward to enjoying!
Learn an Instrument
Music is therapeutic and right now might provide some time to learn. The kids can join in on this one as they have some time to fiddle around (see what I did there) with an instrument. A kalimba, ukulele, flute, a jimbe, bongo drums, or a roll-up piano are great options. YouTube has an endless amount of tutorials for any instrument! Pick something you’ve always wanted to learn, but never had the time. You can do it!
May your stress level be low, may your coffee cup be full, and may sanity reign in your household this week!