During the years that my children were young and I was a stay at home mom, my husband and I were busy.  Very busy, to put it lightly.  We knew that it would be a tough time, but did not anticipate quite how hard it was without any outside help.  If my husband wasn’t working late, he was working on his MBA.  I essentially woke up with the kids and there was no break until they went to bed, often leaving me with just enough time to shower before dropping into bed myself.  It was definitely a tough time, so we found ways to adapt.

We were definitely worn out a lot of the time, and I didn’t do much as far as relaxing or practicing self-care. It was not as easy as hiring a babysitter or having someone watch the kids, due to a tight budget and other constraints.

If you do find yourself a moment to relax, take advantage of it.  This could be while your little one is in preschool, a summer program, or perhaps a family member is helping out.  For myself, this has more realistically happened only after the kids go to bed.

These are some ways to relax when you are short on time and need a quick break.  None of them cost much or take much time!

~ Take a nice shower.  Sometimes, just feeling clean.. taking the time to shave your legs.. or use an amazing-smelling shampoo.. can be therapeutic.

~ Sit back with a cup of tea/coffee.  Not that I ever needed chamomile to sleep, but some chamomile or lavender tea helped me to unwind.

~ Do your nails.  Maybe just enough time to put on a layer of polish, but again, taking a moment to pamper yourself.

~ Tweeze your brows.  I do my own brows, and neatening up my brows and feeling more presentable is a good feeling (especially when I had very little time to keep up with it).

~ Indulge.  Keep a stash of some treats just for yourself.  Sneaking off for a minute and having a some chocolate can be such a treat!

~ Read a magazine.  I’ll admit, I like a good entertainment magazine!  Pair it with something else, like a cup of tea and/or a treat!

~ Watch some TV.  I prefer something light – like a lighthearted show, nothing too heavy.  After a long day, watching the news is usually not the best for relaxing.

~ Craft.  Coloring books for adults have become very popular, or maybe you are into knitting.  It can be so relaxing to do something other than being responsible for others.

~ Do some online shopping.  Not only can you get some of your chores done online, throw a treat in there for yourself as well.  I don’t buy unnecessary items, but let’s say you need to grab some items like diapers on Amazon or Drugstore.com – throw in a box of tea you haven’t tried before or some treats!

~ Listen to some good music.  I don’t always get to listen to music I like with the kids around.  I love slipping on some good headphones and getting lost in a good song.  Goes great with taking a bath or shower!

~ Go for a walk. Sometimes getting outside and getting fresh air is a good way to feel refreshed. I notice that I enjoy soaking in the noticeable silence and having some moments to clear my thoughts.

How do you squeeze in time to relax?