Are you exhausted? Maybe the holidays have taken what little bit you had left right out of you. Perhaps spending time with extended family was simply too much. Or maybe your children’s behavior over the holidays simply drained your last drop of strength.
If you are experiencing parenting challenges, it is easy to fall into the mindset of “I just need to get through today.” You wake up the next day with the same thought on your mind. I have been there. Sometimes I still struggle to think that way.
How can you get off the hamster wheel of exhaustion? Purposefulness.
There really is no other way to do it than to be purposeful. We often tell our kids to make good choices even when it is hard. Yet, we often forget that sometimes we also need to make the hard choice to get rest despite the many demands on us.
What are some ways that you can purposefully rest without spending several thousand dollars on a vacation? Here are a few ideas you could implement today!
Have “Must-Go” dinner night. What is that, you ask? Whatever-is-in-the-fridge-that-must-go is for dinner! When I was growing up, every Sunday night was must-go. You could also serve cereal (if your family will go for that, but mine won’t). Pick up a ready-made meal that could easily be cooked in the oven. Make it a night with little work or preparation for you.
Leave the mess. Let go of the need to have your house looking perfect. The toys can be picked up tomorrow morning (with your kids help!). The messy kitchen and dirty dishes can be washed tomorrow. Just leave it and go to bed early. There will be more dirty dishes tomorrow and maybe you can garner help to wash them.
Is that hard? YES! Who wants to wake up to a messy house? But, getting more sleep will help change your outlook on your circumstances so you can face the mess.
Call for an “early” night. If you have older kids, give them the option to read, listen to soft music, or work on a quiet activity in their room until lights out. Then you do the same. Avoid blue light (light from electronics). Instead chose to participate in relaxing activities such as taking a bath or hot shower, reading a fun book, listening to calming music, or practicing mindfulness activities. If you enjoy essential oils, select a calming one (like lavender, a relaxing blend, or a grounding blend) and put it in a diffuser or place a small amount in your palms and breathe in deeply. You may also want to safely apply it to your neck and shoulders or to the bottoms of your feet.
Maybe you want to do all of these on the same night or maybe you want to pick just one. Perhaps consider working on your personal bedtime routine to incorporate more relaxing activities that promote restful sleep.
It is easy to keep pushing when you are exhausted. However, being exhausted can diminish your immune system and lead to illness. Be purposeful in finding ways to rest even when it is hard.