I know what your thinking? And this week's blog isn't about time out for our children when they have misbehaved. It’s all about time out for us parents!
We are so busy worrying, planning, rushing to hospital appointments, trying to get our children to eat something, anything, when do we stop and take time out for ourselves?
I hear you ask "But I haven’t got time for me?" Well in this blog I will show you 5 simple ways you can relax and take time out for you, as well as running your hectic life with our special needs children in tow.
1. Breathing exercise
Bringing yourself back into the present means you can focus on the now and temporarily leave your worries behind you.
Deep breathe in and blow the air out
Deep breathe in and hold it.
See how long you can hold it then breathe out.
Ask yourself what were you thinking while you held your breath?
Where you thinking about what you have to do tomorrow? Your worries? Or were you thinking about your breath?
If you can try to remember this exercise at times of stress, it only takes a few minutes – it really helps to bring you back into the moment.
2. Stress reducing exercise
Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
When you have the children in tow, it can be difficult to fit time in for the gym or a run. Simple exercises such as Yoga can be a great tool for relaxation.
One tip you can do at home is to lie on the floor with your bum an inch or two from a wall and your legs extended straight up, heels resting on wall. Place arms alongside torso, palms up or on floor above head with elbows bent. Hold for 1 minute or up to 5.
This can be (almost) as refreshing as a nap, so you'll have more energy. Getting your feet above your head gives your heart a rest from having to work to circulate blood from your feet and relieves lower back tension.
3. Blowing Bubbles
Most relaxation techniques focus on breathing exercises, because slower and deeper breathing is proven to have a calming effect. Bubbles are considered so relaxing that many hospitals even advocate bubble blowing for children when they are stressed.
Bubbles not only fit the relaxation bill but this is something you and your kids can do to chill out together.
3. Fresh Air
When your body absorbs sunlight, mood stabilising chemicals like serotonin work better. In fact, recent research shows that some sunlight, or even just daylight, can boost your mood better than antidepressants.
Head to your local park, woods or beach with the children, taking deep breathes as you walk around, noting the surroundings and relaxing into nature.
4. Listening to music
Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.
As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering.
5. Having a hobby
Having a hobby that you can do at home while the kids are playing helps take you away from your worries and the household chores.
Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you enjoy, examples could be: