Friday, August 23, 2013

5 Ways to Take a Break Every Day (Even on the Busiest Days!)

Recently, I was asked what I do in my downtime to relax. I met the question with unintentional laughter. "What downtime?!" Juggling Junior's therapy appointments almost daily along with the typical household duties didn't leave me much time for any kind of break. But, later I thought about it. Everyone needs a break. Recognizing that even if that break is only for five minutes, I then set out to try and steal moments from every day to recharge. Here are a few ideas for carving out little breaks, even on the busiest of days.

1. Start the Day off Right
-I'm not a morning person. At all. In fact, Stinker is usually the one who wakes me up in the mornings. Despite not waking up before my kids every day, I start every morning reading a short devotional and praying for wisdom and guidance through the day. It starts the day off right, and reminds me that God is with me no matter what we encounter throughout the day.

2. In the Car
-We're often going somewhere. Appointments, soccer practice, the grocery store...somewhere. I often talk to the kids, or listen to a kid's music CD, but there are times when I ask Stinker to be quiet for 5 minutes and let her color, and I'll turn on a sermon or my favorite encouraging CD. I turn the volume way up, and pretend I'm alone. Somehow, these quiet few moments give me a little boost to get through the rest of the day.

3. Outside
-One of my favorite places to take a mini-break during the day is outside. There's something so relaxing about the warm sun, the birds calling, and the fresh air. Sometimes while the kids are safely inside playing, I'll step outside for a moment, take some deep breaths, say a quick prayer, notice the beauty of the nature around me, and head back in. When we have more time, I love taking the kids for a walk. Exercise seems to help perspective, and give me more energy to tackle the rest of the day.

4. Deep Breaths
-Several times during the day, I make it an effort to stretch and take deep breaths (in through your nose, hold for 5 seconds, out slowly through your mouth). This mini-break helps me to re-focus.

5. Hobby Time 
-Having young children is exhausting, and doesn't leave you for much time to pursue other hobbies. I really used to enjoy reading, but have found that the opportunities to read have been few and far between. But, through a conscious effort, I've been trying to carve out time every day to read. Sometimes I turn on a show for the children and head into the next room to read. These 10 or 15 minutes do so much for my attitude, and as a result I'm more patient as a mom and more efficient as a homemaker.

What is your favorite way to take a "little break" during a busy day? I'd love to hear your suggestions as well!

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1 comment:

  1. Reading is one of my favorites. Like you said even just ten or fifteen minutes really makes a difference. When reading it's like you can go some place else for a bit without having to leave your house. Exercise is beginning to be a big one for me and starting the day off right is so key for me to. Sometimes I just put a video on for my son and nap for a few minutes when I'm absolutely exhausted. I think it's really important to be very intentional about taking breaks even little ones throughout the day with all that goes on when raising a child who requires a bit extra. You are so right, everyone needs a break and sometimes you just have to take it.


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