Is nap time your time to unwind, catch your breath, reorganize and prioritize? If not, it should be! Raising a small child is a lot of work and whether you think so or not, you need — and deserve — some down-time each and every day.
Take some time for yourself each day
These nap-time sanity savers will help boost your mental and emotional well-being to conquer the rest of your day — with a smile on your face.
Indulge in music
Most women admit that they are able to relax or indulge in a much-needed escape when they turn on their favorite tunes.
“My music selection changes daily,” says Molly, a mother of two. “Some days my brain is on overload and I need some calming classical music… other days I need music that's not exactly kid-appropriate to remind myself that I do like something other than Yo Gabba Gabba.”
Practice yoga or another form of exercise
Tip: Try to keep a small library of exercise DVDs in your home. This makes it easy to grab — and actually do — on the days when you need to sweat it out. A variety of options is best, because like music, your moods and preferences will differ from day to day.
While it’s nice — and often more motivational — to get out of the house to exercise, sometimes you need that release after fighting a restless toddler right before his or her nap time.
“Kickboxing and Zumba are great for at-home exercise routines because you don’t feel like a clown if you’re not able to shake your hips like the instructor — no one is there to watch your every move!” says Monica, a mom of three.
“I prefer yoga or a meditation-type relaxation after I put my rambunctious twins down for their daily nap,” says Julie, a mom of twin toddler boys.
Reading books or blogs
Reading is a great way to de-stress during those precious, quiet hours. Laura Tremaine, blogger and mom of two young children, says, “I read blogs in my Google reader… It relaxes me and inspires me to write or do a project myself.” Ever feel like you have no time to read now that you’re a busy mom? Nap time is the perfect time to start reading that popular book all your friends are raving about. Just don’t expect to finish it in one sitting — remember you only have a few hours each day.
Organize your home and life
Do you feel most balanced when your life is organized? Take this uninterrupted time to organize your finances, dinners for the nights ahead, shopping list or bathroom cabinet… Whatever has been hanging over your head for the past few months. It can be difficult to do these simple tasks with a child — or two or three — trailing your every move, interrupting you for a snack or a diaper change. If you are the organized type, doing these little things each day will actually help save your sanity.
Every once in a while it’s perfectly acceptable to splurge on yourself. Hire an in-home massage therapist, watch mindless TV, paint your nails, dish yourself a bowl of ice cream or have a friend over to catch up over a glass of iced tea — in the silence of your own home.
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