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How to Take Practical (Affordable) Ways to Help You Relax

Need to take a break?

Let’s be honest. As a homeschooling parent, finding practical ways to help you relax can be challenging. And as a single parent, finding affordable ways to relax can be downright difficult.

If you also work at home, the daily management of the home, business, and homeschool makes finding time to relax seems improbable.

I thought about it as I dropped my girls off at co-op one day. That’s my time to focus and accelerate my productivity.

Or to convince myself that that’s what I’m doing.

After I dropped them off, I looked around and noticed ALL the massage parlors and spas. (Their co-op happens to be in a very touristy location of the country.)

I remember thinking to myself how nice it would be to take some time and get a relaxing massage while the girls were in co-op.

But, I needed it to be quick because I reserve this time for focused work. Still, a massage would do me a lot of good.

Or would it?

Time is money…practically

Unfortunately, some ways to relax aren’t that affordable. At least, not the popular, touristy forms of relaxation.

And if you’re a single homeschooling parent wanting to remain faithful to your budget, it’s even further out of reach.

Plus, it takes time to enjoy a hot rocks massage or go on a booze cruise or take a yoga class.

Not always practical when you have a business to run and a house to clean.

Yet, we know that it’s important to take care of ourselves so we can be available and present for our kids. And our business.

But stressing out while trying to relax kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

So, I looked around and found some practical, affordable – homeschool friendly – ways a single parent can relax without consuming hours at a time.

Of course, there will be times when you’re at home with the kids and taking time to get out and relax does not always present itself. However, you can still reduce stress by doing one of these activities.

At home:

  1. Take 20 Minutes to Clean and Declutter I’m sure the last thing you want is more work. And while things have a knack of being out of place with people bustling around, you can still take time to chip away at a decluttering project. Taking some time (15 minutes or so) to declutter your space can help you feel accomplished and release anxiety.
  2. DIY spa day at home After you’ve dropped the kids at homeschool group/co-op, or even after bed, you can open your own DIY mani/pedi spa. A little grooming and self-care at the same time to take a quick breath.
  3. Set a timer and play with the kids (or pets), without looking at the clock It’s not always feasible to get time away from the kids as a work at home single parent. But, you can still indulge your own inner child by taking time to play and connect. Even better if you play without time constraints.
  4. Aromatherapy with a pleasing scent (my favorites: vanilla, jasmine, coconut, lavender) There are so many essential oil distributors right now. It may seem like I’m jumping on the bandwagon. But, it’s no secret that pleasant smells help relax mind and body. Even pleasant smells coming from the kitchen.
  5. Bake cookies from scratch and smell the pleasant aroma while you work Speaking of pleasant smells coming from the kitchen…
  6. Get physical with a workout (or yoga) DVD One of my favorite lines from Legally Blonde: The Musical, “Exercise builds endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill.” You can even stream your workout or find one on YouTube.

If you’re like me and need to hang out while the kids are in co-op, here are some ways for on the go relaxing:

  1. Eat clean food (not processed or fast food) For that lunchtime when it would be easier to buy a quick burger, opt for a healthier choice. Or bring your own lunch to save your wallet, your health, and your outlook.
  2. Get out of the car and go for a walk (here is one of my favorite places) If finding time to exercise is eluding you, find a safe place to walk while you wait for the kids to finish at the co-op.practical affordable way to relax
  3. (I loved this one) sing along with the music at the top of your lungs Who doesn’t feel better after belting out one of their favorite songs?
  4. Draw or paint pictures I used to bring small glass art to paint when I was a theatre manager. When I painted the tiny glass, I could feel my constricted chest relax. Many have caught on to the relaxing qualities of drawing or painting. With the emergence of coloring books for adults, we can get lost in our art too.practical ways to help you relax
  5. Sit still and listen to yourself breathe for 10 minutes (turn off phone and message notifications first) The key here is to listen to yourself breathe. As you inhale and exhale. Focus on the breath, how you are breathing and the sound your breath makes. Otherwise, your mind can wander. If it does, though, just bring it back to the sound and feel of the breath.

These ‘exercises’ will work anywhere whenever you need it:

  1. Eat a good piece of dark chocolate Knowing that it has more antioxidants than an Acai or blueberry just might put your mind at ease.
  2. Watch fish swim in an aquarium There’s just something tranquilizing about watching fish swim in an aquarium. Maybe it’s the water and the bubbles. Although, you don’t see very many aquariums anymore…maybe in a doctor’s office.
  3. Write (gratitude journal and stressors) This is like a brain dump. On one side of a sheet of paper write down three things that you are grateful for. Then, on the other side, write down all the things that are currently stressing you out. The idea is not to dwell on the stressors but to release them.

Relaxing for a single homeschooling parent does not have to break the bank. It doesn’t need to be extravagant or cause more stress trying to figure out where to find the time. There’s nothing relaxing about going over budget with your money or your time.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where you need a quick, practical and affordable “count to ten,” try one of these strategies. Who knows? Afterward, you may decide to go to a spa or enjoy a dinner cruise with the money and time you eventually save.

There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither. – Alan Cohen

Need more ways to help you relax?

If you need more ways to unwind, check out these articles on frugal, time-saving relaxation:

Eight Frugal Ways to Unwind

52 Super Easy (& Totally Inexpensive) Ways to De-Stress in a Hurry

How do you relax as a stay-at-home/work-at-home parent? As a single parent? As a homeschool parent? Do you use any of the methods listed above? Are there any you would add? If so, give us your “zen list” in the comments.


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2 comments on “How to Take Practical (Affordable) Ways to Help You Relax

  • Teresa says:

    I really do commend you for your tenacity in running a home, a business and home-schooling your kids and as a single parent.
    These are some very useful tips and I’m sure to pass them on to those I know that homeschool.

    I wish you well in your quest for finding relaxation in your busy life.

    • Indasa says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Teresa. Your comments are very encouraging. And thanks for sharing!

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