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6 Ways to De-Stress When You Can't Get Away from Your Family

Summer vacation is still going strong isn't it? (GULP)

Most parents have long gotten over the newness of having their kids at home for break-
and many are counting down the days until their little darlings return to school.

It's only the end of July though… and some are definitely freaking about another whole month of this!

What will we do? What will we say? Where will we go? How can I get away?

Whether you are a SAHM or SAHD, or just don't get enough silent time away from your family when you are actually out of the house, I understand.

With this issue at hand, maintaining a level of calm (or inner peace like Panda needs : see 1:14-1:53 of this funny video) seems nearly impossible.

With everything we do, everything going on and everything needing our attention, we're working and parenting in a society where we're trying our best but it simply cannot happen unless we check out.

It's vital.

My kids made a joke a few weeks ago… 
I was helping them with a craft (THINK: teenager making jewelry, using small tools, small parts and numerous uncooperative pieces). I said I was 'done', because really, I was. I had finished the part they needed my help with and declared I was leaving the room to continue on with my own project. (Besides, very small pieces drive me nuts!)

My younger daughter said, "Mommy! You can't QUIT! Mommy's can't quit." 

She's right, in a way. Good parents can't resign. Or at least they shouldn't. We don't even want to get to that point, that's why we need to take a break now and again. Even if we think we don't have time, or can't get away, there are still ways.

To continually give your children what they need-
Love, patience, understanding and time
'Check-out' these six ways to destress 
(even when you can't escape the house)

1. Put on headphones- listen to some quiet music: (think rainstorm, spa, classical, easy jazz) Do this while you make dinner, while you sweep the floor or even while the kids are doing their homework. You are still available, but they might not bug you for every little thing if they see someone with earbuds in (key words: "might").  

2. Take a bubble bath (no science on this one, just fill the tub, shut the door and enjoy). No bubble bath solution? Use a little dab of shampoo. Leave the lights off or on low. Light a candle if you're into that. And if you are a person who likes to keep busy (maybe a teacher or home office type who brings work home) DO NOT WORK DURING THIS TIME correcting papers or going over other work related items-just sit there with your eyes closed. You could even try to catch up on a magazine or book. Oh, a sign on the outside of the bathroom door works well (sometimes) Obviously, make sure you are available, your kids are safe and/or not too young that they can't be left alone. 

3. Journal: Proven therapeutic for any race, sex or age when stressed. Writing down our thoughts is a way to get it out safely and personally. This is alone time with yourself and even time invested in your health and self.

4. Go into your room and shut the door. Change into pj's if your schedule allows-or at least tell you're family you plan on changing. Sometimes this works as a deterrent for kids because they know you are not decent. Keep the lights low here too, sit on your bed or even on the floor… don't read, don't talk, don't think. Breathe.

5. TELL everyone you are taking a 15 minute break to read a book. READ IT IN FRONT OF THEM (unless it's something like 50 Shades of Grey). If you have a favorite author keep a couple of these on hand and 'check-out' for about 15 minutes to a half hour. You might keep special things for the kids to do or play with during this time.

6. STAY AWAY FROM ANY COMPUTER GAMES, ACTIVITIES. NO surfing the net, no Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or emails. No online news, no calling a friend, or your mom, to chat or gripe.  Read why media is a bad way to destress. NONE OF THIS ACTUALLY HELPS YOU TO GET TO A CALM PLACE.

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