It’s getting late. You put the little ones to bed. After reading them bedtime stories for a half an hour, they’ve finally drifted off to dreamland.
The night is now yours! What remains of it, at least. After a stressful day at work and a hectic evening at home, all you want to do is relax.
There’s just one problem: you’re still wound up. It’s time to unwind. But how? Since every parent is different, we figured an array of suggestions would suffice.
Let’s take a look at six ways to unwind when the kids are asleep:
Take a hot bath
Anyone who’s ever taken a hot bath knows it’s a great way to relax. It reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and alleviates stress. As a result, parents should consider making it a part of their unwinding ritual at the end of a stressful day. Throw in some bubbles, light some candles, and play some music for maximum impact. You’ll come out cleaner, calmer, and more relaxed.
Have a nightcap
Not everyone drinks. Those who do should limit it to one or two drinks per day. With this in mind, make one of those drinks an evening nightcap to help you destress and unwind. Whether it’s a bottle of your favorite beer, a glass of your favorite wine, or one of those frozen alcoholic popsicles your sister-in-law gave as a gift over the holidays, a nightcap is a simple yet effective way to achieve relaxation after a stressful day. Just remember to drink responsibly and avoid dependency.
What’s your idea of comfort? Is it cozy clothes, comfy slippers, calming aromas, or soothing music? What about all of the above? Whatever your recipe for comfort calls for, make a point to have everything ready to go by the time your kids are in bed. That way, you can make the jump from parenting to relaxing in a matter of minutes. If you currently lack a collection of comfortable sleepwear and other essentials, schedule some shopping in the days ahead to have what you need to reach relaxation mode.
We’re willing to bet there’s at least one show on television you love but can’t ever find the time to watch. Even if the living room TV was available, would you be able to pay attention with all the ruckus happening around you? Probably not, which is why waiting until the kids are asleep to catch up on your favorite shows is the right move to make. What’s more, reclining on the sofa and watching a few hours of quality programming is a great way for stressed-out parents to relax and unwind.
Play video games
Today’s parents enjoy playing video games nearly as much as their kids. In fact, some parents may even enjoy gaming more than their kids! If this is you, then it’s fair to assume you have a hard time squeezing in-game time during the day. The best opportunity you have is towards the end of the night, once your little ones are fast asleep. Not only does it give you the chance to play, but it also opens up the opportunity to play the sorts of games that are too scary and violent for kids to see, let alone play. An hour or so of game time will be enough to help most gamer-parents unwind at the end of a difficult day.
Read a book
When was the last time you read a good book? If the answer involves the last time you were in school, then it’s safe to say you’re overdue. The good news is you don’t have to read what you don’t want to; you’re an adult now, so you can choose what you read. With this in mind, consider visiting your nearest bookstore and stocking up on a few good reads. You can also tap into your tablet to find e-books you’ve been meaning to devour. Reading is one of the best ways to unwind after a long day, so even if you don’t enjoy reading, consider giving it a try as a means to relax.
The kids are asleep. The house is yours now! But it’s late, so your practical options are limited. The best thing to do is to take steps to unwind and relax. There are many ways to make it happen, so give them a try. Good luck!
Vivien Bell is a freelance writer from Maryland. She enjoys writing about education, family, home living, and pet care.