Simple Ways to Relax as a Busy Parent

Being a parent is wonderful but there’s no denying that it can be challenging, and not just when your kids are babies. Each age has its own challenges and so as a parent you’re constantly having to adapt and find a new normal so that you’re happy within yourself, as well as the best parent you can be. With all the responsibilities, as moms and dads we need some time to relax and find a bit of inner calm so that we’re ready each day to face whatever challenges come our way. Here are a few ideas.   

Enjoy Some Quiet Time

Being alone might sound impossible for parents, but if you can take a few minutes for yourself it can really help. Maybe before everyone wakes up or after they go to bed. Sip a cup of tea or take a short walk. These moments of quiet can help you feel better and be a better parent- maybe you wake up a bit earlier than the household. If mornings are too hectic, consider taking a moment in the evening, like after the bedtime routine is over, take a stroll in your garden or around the block. These moments of solitude can help to to reset a little and then allow you to face the challenges of the day with a clearer mind.

Connect with Nature

Nature is a healer, there’s no doubt about that. Spending time outside, even if it’s just a short walk in the park, can bring calmness to your mind and benefit your body too with some light exercise. It’s a simple way to recharge and be ready for whatever comes your way. When was the last time you took a moment to step outside and just breathe? Nature has a unique way of soothing the soul. Find a nearby park or simply sit in your backyard. Listen to the birds, feel the breeze on your face, and let the greenery around you work its magic. It doesn’t have to be a grand outdoor adventure; even a few minutes in nature can make a significant difference in how you feel.

Appreciate the Little Moments

Life is full of small, happy moments. Take the time to notice them. It could be your child’s laughter, a warm hug, or even a sunny day. These little moments can be a source of joy and can make the tough times feel easier. Amidst the chaos of parenting, it’s easy to overlook the small, beautiful moments that happen every day. Maybe it’s the way your child looks at you when they’re excited or the warmth of a shared family meal. Take a mental snapshot of these moments. Reflecting on the positives, no matter how small, can shift your focus and bring a sense of gratitude. When you take time to appreciate these moments, you’ll find that they outweigh the challenges.

Unplug from Technology

We’re always connected to technology and thats not always a good thing. Take a break from screens when you can, put away your phone, turn off the TV. This break allows you to focus on what’s happening around you and lets your mind relax. Technology has become an important part of all of our lives, but it’s crucial to set boundaries with it as it’s designed to be addictive . Designate specific times to unplug, especially during family time and before bedtime. Put your phone on silent and resist the urge to check emails or social media. Instead, engage in activities that don’t involve screens. Play a board game with your family, read a physical book, or simply have a quiet conversation. By disconnecting from technology you’re able to create space for genuine connections and relaxation.

Express Yourself

Parenthood is a journey filled with all kinds of emotions. There are moments of immense joy, but there are also challenges that can be overwhelming. Don’t keep everything inside. Talk to someone you trust about your day, your worries, or your joys. It could be a friend, a family member, or even a journal. Expressing your feelings can make you feel lighter and less stressed. Share your experiences, your frustrations, and your triumphs, it can help you feel less alone and overwhelmed and remind you that actually, you’re doing the best you can and you’re better than you think!

Find Simple Hobbies

It’s important for all of us to activities that bring us happiness, but as parents with less time, availability and often money it can be a bit more challenging. But dont overlook the simple stuff, it could be reading a book, drawing, gardening, or even listening to music. A game like Merge Fruits or Angry Birds on your phone can be a way to relax your mind for a few minutes. These simple hobbies give your mind a break and let you enjoy the present moment. Hobbies are like little escapes from reality. Maybe you used to enjoy painting or playing a musical instrument. Rediscover those hobbies, even if it’s just for a short time each week. If you don’t have a specific hobby, explore different activities until you find something that brings you joy. It could be as simple as taking a leisurely walk, trying out a new recipe, or having a pampering bath.

Prioritise Sleep

Parenting often comes with sleepless nights. However, try to get enough sleep when you can. It makes a big difference in how you feel and your ability to handle challenges.

Sleep is a precious commodity for parents, often in short supply. While it’s understandable that parenting responsibilities can interfere with a good night’s sleep, prioritise rest when you can. Establish a bedtime routine for yourself that signals the end of the day. Create a calm and comfortable sleep environment, free from distractions. Adequate sleep not only rejuvenates your body but also enhances your ability to handle the demands of parenthood. It’s a simple yet powerful way to ensure you wake up ready to face the day ahead.

Parenting is a journey with ups and downs. Taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s necessary. 

Abby & Alex Halloween ABC’s Children’s Book

Abby and Alex’s first Halloween themed ABC book is now available in print and digital. We priced it as low as Amazon would allow us. Great for those little ones just learning their ABC’s or for us old folks that have already forgotten them and need a refresher.

It is a fun and cute little Halloween themed book. The St. Louis Dad kids wanted to do something to try and make some extra money and this is the idea they came up with. They have a few more ideas that hopefully will come to life but for now we have this fun project.

Know, Understand, Strengthen: Handling a Midlife Crisis

Pixabay – CC0 License

If you are at the point in life where there is very limited fun at play, there can be a number of reasons for this. Changes can occur every few years that seem to throw us off course, especially when we start to think about how much time is left on the old odometer. A midlife crisis, whatever it might be for you or someone you know, is about navigating the unknown and is full of introspection, desires for change, and a yearning for something that you may not fully grasp. As daunting as a midlife crisis can be, this is the ideal opportunity for growth and self-discovery. But what are the best ways to explore and, indeed, to understand the concept of a midlife crisis?

Knowing the Clichés

The way it used to be, midlife crises were typified in popular culture with a sports car or some form of monster truck with some massive tires, and while there’s something that men of a certain age may get out of the right on or off-road vehicle, we’ve got to look at if we’re making these purchases to compensate for something else. Understanding those typical midlife clichés can help you to get to the root cause of what your particular problem is. It’s about asking yourself the right questions and looking at what is necessary to get over this hump. There could very well be the fact that just starting to see people all around you make massive changes, perhaps it’s divorce or death or a job change, and all of these things can spur some form of knee-jerk reaction that is putting abandon over this emotional wound.

Knowing if a Change is Needed

They say “a change is as good as a rest,” and if we think that we’ve been stagnating for so long, a change may be exactly what the doctor ordered. Change is something we can all fear, but in relation to the concept of the midlife crisis, we have to understand that this is a natural part of the human experience, and as intimidating as it could be, it can lead to so much more personal growth, especially if you’ve been on autopilot for so long. We should all learn to embrace change, but it’s never as easy as just jumping off the edge but about making sure that we recognize that sometimes a little alteration to our existence can be just what we need to shake things up and renew some form of enthusiasm for this thing they call life.

Understanding Your Mental Health

If you are losing enthusiasm for something, you also need to get to grips with your mental health. There is now the phenomenon of the male menopause, and symptoms can vary such as depression, erectile dysfunction, or a combination of other physical and emotional symptoms. There can be a number of underlying symptoms that fall under this umbrella of male menopause but are typically associated with a decrease in testosterone levels. If you are feeling in a funk and have been for some time, it’s certainly worth getting your T-levels checked. Even if you don’t believe it’s the male menopause, you still need to get to grips with your overall mental health. It’s at the age of the late 30s and early 40s where suicide rates are very high amongst men, and this can be for a number of reasons. Some struggle with the burden of parenthood and life, but it can also be a feeling of inadequacy stemming from what an “atypical” man is meant to do. Therefore, getting to grips with your mental health is a slow but steady progression that is all too essential.

Understanding Your Goals (and if They’ve Changed)

When we make changes in life, we have to see if the goalposts have moved. When we understand what our goals are now or if we have not actually changed any goals since our early twenties, it’s now time to have a long period of self-reflection and figure out if the goals you’ve set for yourself have gone unfulfilled. Short and long-term goals are an essential part of the life we live, and if you’ve now started to recognize that so many aspects of your life have gone by the wayside, you should take this period of self-reflection to ponder your life’s journey. Cliché? Yes. Grandiose? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.

Strengthen Your Bonds

Now might be the ideal opportunity to strengthen relationships and reestablish your communication channels. You may have spent so long on the treadmill of life that you’ve been on autopilot for what seems like years. Family ties can bind, and recognizing that if you’ve been trapped by your career responsibilities or if there’s been so much that you’ve unwittingly ignored, now is the perfect time to reinvigorate purpose and fulfillment through the right channels.

Strengthen Yourself

Our physical health plays a vital role in how we perceive ourselves, and as we get older, we can succumb to the misconception that we just get weaker. Now is the right time to look at how you can enhance your clarity and overall mood. A healthy lifestyle is one of those solutions for a whole matter of ailments, but if you don’t give yourself the things you need, either in terms of your nutrients or your emotional well-being, you will invariably get weaker over time.

Handling a midlife crisis involves practical steps, but it also means making the necessary changes to ensure that as you step into the next phase of your life, what you are doing is lining up with your goals and your lifestyle. This is undoubtedly an incredibly challenging phase of life that you are not alone. There are many practical ways to navigate all of this effectively, and as a parent, learning to take hold of the things that have been hurting you will help you to look after yourself but also make this the perfect opportunity to become the version of yourself that you’ve always wanted to be.

Mischief Night – A 24 Hour Comic Book

The town of Pumpkinville loves Halloween, but Tim and Lucy love Mischief Night even more. When the magical mischief becomes too much for Tim and Lucy to contain, they must find a way to return Pumpkinville back to it’s original state!

Every year the first Saturday in October has an event called 24 Hour Comic Book Day, where participants spend 24 hours, writing and creating a full comic book. I have done a few versions of this in the past with various results. This year I asked my son if he wanted to participate with me and he was very excited to join in. This past Saturday was the event and I must say, we knocked it out of the park!

Written and illustrated by me and my son Alex during a 24 hour period, Mischief Night is a great story for all ages and a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit! Check it out on Amazon today!