If someone were to ask you to list your priorities in order of importance, you might say something like family, work, and home (for example).  You may have noticed that YOU are not on your list of priorities.  If you even remember to add yourself onto the list, you will no doubt find your name pretty far down, somewhere between “taking the kids to soccer practice” and “making spaghetti”.  This is a sad state of affairs that affects most people in the world today.  We simply don’t take care of ourselves the way we should.  And let’s be honest: if you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else is going to.  If you have a hard time reconciling yourself to taking minutes or hours out of a busy schedule for no other reason that pampering, remember that a vibrant, happy, alert version of you is a lot better than one that is tired and depressed, especially when it comes to taking care of the other priorities on your list.  So here are a few ways to relax, de-stress, and rejuvenate yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself.

  1. Spa day.  Nothing is more relaxing than having someone wait on you, literally hand and foot.  Get a massage, a mani-pedi, and a mud wrap.  Then go home feeling like a new woman.
  2. Napping.  Our bodies are prone to circadian rhythms.  That means we get tired at night and in the afternoon.  A short nap can really pep you up just when you need it (say, right before the kids get home from school).  If you have little ones at home, simply take a nap with them.
  3. Reading.  One of the most luxurious ways to spend your time is by escaping to another world.  And you don’t have to spend a lot to do it.  Simply get lost in some Jules Verne, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, or whoever else strikes your fancy.
  4. Exercise.  Whether you’re a hard-core jogger or a beginner at yoga, exercise releases endorphins that make you feel great (and tones your body in ways that make you look great, as well).
  5. Baking.  Sometimes there’s nothing more soothing than the smell of Mom’s chocolate-chip cookies or Grandma’s apple pie wafting out of the oven.  The ritual of baking will not only relax you, it will probably make your family very happy!
  6. Cleaning.  Believe it or not, tidying up a cluttered space can be very therapeutic.  At the very least, it will give you an easy-to-manage workspace.
  7. Singing.  Studies have shown that singing affects brain chemistry and makes up happy.  So go to town in the shower, the car, or any time of day or night to erase your worries and put a smile on your face.
  8. Art class.  Working at home can be a bit isolating, and sometimes you need more stimulation than spreadsheets and tales of your kid’s school day can provide.  Join a class for sketching, painting, or pottery to get the old creative juices flowing.
  9. Gardening.  Getting back to nature is a great way to relax, especially if you’re cooped up in the house all day.  So plant the veggies you love to eat and have fresh, organic produce at your fingertips.
  10. Say no!  The absolute best way to de-stress is to say no to some of the many demands on your time.  So nix babysitting the neighbor’s kids, turn down dinner invitations, and shun the in-laws for awhile.  You’ll appreciate the extra time, people who know you will understand, and you’ll get a lot better at saying the one word that allows you to feel truly in control of your life!

Jennifer Kardish writes for a website that specializes in audiobooks where you can find audio book reviews and read the latest industry news.

Image source:  moms-on-vacation.com

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