If you have kids then you have probably been navigating the madness that is half term this past week, having the kids at home all day every day can be pretty hard going and since we have opted to HomeSchool Mr A for the foreseeable future it has meant neither John or I really get a break but honestly we wouldn't change that. I have learnt though that you occasionally need a little bit more than just deep breaths to get through a trying situation such as if the baby has been up all night or you feel rundown or the house is a mess and the lego boxes have been tipped out for the 10th time that day.
So I thought I would share what has been helping me de-stress on a daily basis as I feel these can apply to anyone, even if you don't have children and just find your having juggle numerous things in this crazy fast paced world.
1. Start the day with a decent breakfast and be kind to your body, drink lots of water and try to get your 5 a day going from your first meal. Food should never be under-estimated and has so much to do with your moods, being busy it's so easy to let a healthy diet go by the wayside - I know as recently I have done exactly that but i'm starting to prepare things the night before to ensure a good start to each day.
2. In the morning I also boil a big teapot of 2-3 bag of Camomile tea which is naturally caffeine free and very calming and soothing. My eldest loves to drink Camomile with a touch of apple juice and tastes great hot or cold, we sip this throughout the day and if your feeling especially rushed off your feet or struggling to regain balance then a few drops of Rescue remedy in the tea works wonders and again is also suitable for the whole family.
3. Tidy up on the go - this is my ethos anyway and I find if I have a spare minute I do what I can, for example if Mr A is eating his toast and the baby is happy in the highchair I make sure to pack away dishes or sort out a kitchen cupboard, but doing what I can when I can it means that there is less to do when the kids finally go to sleep.
4. Sleep - I'm not getting much at the moment with the baby teething but I do know one thing for sure is that my patience and stress levels are massively improved when I have a decent amount of sleep and I honestly think that a consistence is key and no matter how much you need to get done don't force your body to go over it's limit, get rest and you will truly be more productive.
1. Stress-Free Parenting in 12 steps by Christiane Kutik, Floris books - this is a fantastic gentle parenting book which is broken down in to 12 useful steps that cover all aspects of the family home. I picked this up for a bargain on Amazon and I have referred back to it a few times as it's not age specific. It's not a big book and gets straight to the point with short, easy to absorb and implement steps.
2. Kids don't come with a Manual by Carole & Nadim Sadd - this is a far more comprehensive book, one would say almost like a manual, I have not made my way through the whole thing yet but it offers up a variety of ways to approach tricky situations with kids of different ages, such as whining (something we are dealing with Mr A at the moment). The whole book focussing on how important team work is within the family and again gives you easy tasks and tools to use and take forward to create a happier and calmer home. Like I said I have not finished this book yet but I would recommend it .
3. Mindfulness for Creativity by Dr Danny Penman - I have only just started reading this book and I am very excited about it as not only does it aim to help reduce stress but also enhance creativity, problem-solving and finding moments of calm in this sometimes chaotic world. The book comes with a wonderful meditation CD and its aimed to be read for about 10-20 mins a day over four weeks which is completely doable. At the base of it it encourages a more creative and productive life which is exactly what I am going for.
Bonus tip - always enjoy the little moments as they are really what make the day special. Why not treat yourself to a big cup of hot chocolate, a nice book, some blankets and get cozy in front of fire and take comfort in the colder nights. If your house does not have an original fireplace you can always check out these amazing fireplace suites as its always a warming feature to any home and really brings in the comfort factor and a place to relax and unwind.
At the end don't sweat the small stuff it's really not worth it, although its easier said than done when you have kids but I always wake up feeling grateful and with a smile on my face no matter how tired I am. What are your best stress-busting tips?