Malama Mondays: 5 Ways to De-stress at Home

August 3, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Homemaking, Parenting | Leave a comment
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  1. Do something you enjoyed as a child. I love to color with my kids. My favorite coloring book is Gracie’s Care Bears book. There is something therapeutic about coloring with crayons–the smell of the wax, the sound of the crayon moving across the paper, the way you concentrate on staying in the lines. It’s mindless, thoughtless, effortless fun.
  2. Watch a funny movie. Research has shown health benefits of laughter ranging from strengthening the immune system to reducing food cravings to increasing one’s threshold for pain. There’s even an emerging therapeutic field known as humor therapy to help people heal more quickly, among other things. Humor also has several important stress relieving benefits–it reduces levels of stress hormones and is a cathartic process.
  3. Make yourself a cup of tea. Our friends across the pond have the right idea! Daily cups of tea can help you recover more quickly from the stresses of everyday life, according to a new study by UCL (University College London) researchers. New scientific evidence shows that black tea has an effect on stress hormone levels in the body. Not to mention that it tastes great, is inexpensive, and even the most frazzled momma can do it with a baby on one hip and a preschooler crying on the other!
  4. Sleep. Perhaps the most effective, yet most elusive remedy for stress. Scientists have documented that when we are sleep-deprived our immune system suffers; our thinking and judgments are impaired; and our fuse becomes very, very short. Sleep deprivation impairs our reflexes, judgment and thinking — not unlike what happens with a blood alcohol level approaching intoxication. Not that we need a scientific study to explain this to us… we live it everyday! So, instead of washing the dishes or scrubbing the bathtub when your kids are napping, lay down and nap too! Establishing a regular nighttime routine with a set bedtime is also important. We need to schedule sleep into our lives just as we schedule playdates and dental checkups!
  5. Give yourself a time-out. The baby is screaming. The kids are running wildly through your kitchen. The washing machine is overloaded and suds are leaking onto your not-so-clean floor. Instead of having a meltdown (which is surely just a few seconds away) put the baby in a safe place (exersaucer, crib, big sibling’s lap), pop in a DVD for the kids and isolate yourself for a few minutes. Sometimes the bathroom is the only place to find sanctuary, so go ahead! Lock that door. You deserve a few minutes of peace. Take deep breaths…stretch a little…read a short article from that magazine you’ve been meaning to go through. The kids will survive. And more importantly…you will survive!

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