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We know that if you're at home with the kids 24/7 then the idea of having nothing to do or enough time to start a new hobby can feel quite alien. Don't worry though, we've come up with a few simple ways to carve out time for yourself during lockdown so you can relax and reset. There are some quick and easy ideas you can incorporate throughout the day, because we know it's important to make time for yourself so you can stay sane and be on top form.
It's a really simple idea, but finding ten minutes of the day to sit with a cup of tea or coffee can make a big difference. It's a chance to be on your own and have a bit of a breather, if the weather is nice and you have some outdoor space, it's a great time to get some fresh air too. We recommend leaving your phone inside so you can really have a moment of quiet. If you can do it first thing in the morning then this is a great way to start the day but whenever you can find a little time will work.
We know it's a classic suggestion but you really can't beat a good bubble bath. Once the kids are in bed, treat yourself to an evening pamper and run yourself a luxurious bubble bath. Light some candles, grab a book, put on your favourite music and just unwind. If you have a facemask or body scrub then why not incorporate those and create a little at-home spa.
Whether you're a beginner or a bit of a seasoned yogi, yoga is a great way to unwind, reset and get a bit of movement in. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube but Yoga With Adriene has a whole range of classes from quick twenty-minute beginners sessions to more calming forty-minute long lessons. Whether you find time before the kids wake up, after they've gone to bed or in a moment's quiet during the day, it's a great way to take time for you and do something a bit different.
Baking may not seem like a way to take time for yourself but it can actually be very therapeutic. While the kids are watching a film or busy doing something else, have a look through some recipe books or browse some ideas online and get cracking. Put on some music to dance around to and enjoy the process, you'll have some tasty treats to tuck into after too!
Listen To An Audio Book
If you can't quite find enough free time to sit down and read a good book then listening to an audiobook is a great alternative. Audible has thousands of books you can listen to as you go about your day, you can put them on in the background or just sit down and listen quietly. It's a way to do something for you without putting the whole day on pause.
Similarly, podcasts are a great option if you're after a bit of a distraction. Listening to a conversation between others is a great way to feel a bit more connected to the rest of the world. Whether you want to learn something new, find out about some pop culture, discover a true crime story, listen to an interview or just have a laugh, there is a podcast out there for you to enjoy.
We know it might be slightly harder to organise at the moment but if your children can get their daily fresh air with your partner then being alone with nature is a great option for some me-time. Going for a walk alone is such a peaceful experience, especially when the weather is like this and the birds are singing. Don't worry about trying to rush through it or using it as exercise, try and really savour the time alone and use it as a chance to relax.
Like all of us, you're probably missing your friends so why not schedule in a few FaceTimes. One on one or group calls are a great way to make you feel a bit more normal and remind you there is life outside your house! Putting some calls in the diary will also give you something to look forward to. It's not quite the same as meeting up, but a good chat with friends is one of the easiest ways to lift your spirits.
It might sound simple but sometimes a bit of colouring can be very calming and in recent years, it's become a pretty popular adult activity. It's up to you whether you want to spend the time alone or do it alongside the kids. Dig out a colouring book or print off a picture online, sharpen some pencils and get started. It's a very therapeutic and almost addictive activity that might leave you feeling a bit nostalgic.
Once the kids are in bed, treating yourself to a movie night is a simple way to unwind. With the busyness of everyday life, just sitting down to watch a film or binge a box set can feel like a real luxury. You could even set up the TV room like a cinema by dimming the lights. Grab some snacks, settle down with a blanket and watch something you've been meaning to see for ages. This is something that's a great option for a Friday night treat or a mid-week pick me up.
If you've got some outdoor space then setting aside some time for gardening is a great way to relax and really feel rooted. Whether it's just doing a bit of weeding, mowing the lawn or planting something new, gardening is a practical and productive way to spend your free time with lots of benefits. The fresh air is calming and doing something physical is a great way to use your energy.
During this strange time, we're finding that looking to the future is a nice thing to dedicate a bit of thought to. Why not sit down in a quiet space with a hot drink and write out a list of all the things you're looking forward to when all this is over. It's a simple activity but if you can find time to do it, putting pen to paper is an easy way to help you clear your head. We've even made lists of things we're grateful for and what we want to have sorted before lockdown is lifted.
Lots of people are talking about learning a new skill at the moment, but lots of us don't have time to learn a whole new language or how to play an instrument. However, finding half an hour to do something new can be quite rewarding and calming. Painting is really simple and if you're doing it for yourself, it doesn't matter how good you are. There are plenty of easy art lessons and tutorials online for you to follow, this is a great beginner's watercolour lesson to help you get started.
Go old school and stay in touch with loved ones by writing some letters. Setting aside some time to do this has similar benefits to writing lists, you can focus on the activity and use it as some downtime whilst connecting with someone outside of your house. Hopefully whoever you write to will respond so that's a small thing to look forward to. It's a great way to connect in a more personal way whilst the actual time it takes to write the letter can be used as a quiet moment for you.
Manicure And Pedicure
Whether you're in the nail salon every week, do it yourself or always keep things natural, painting your nails is a brilliant way to feel a bit more put together and like you've done something completely for yourself. If you can, incorporate your manicure and pedicure with a bubble bath and indulge, you might even manage to convince the kids to give you a foot rub if you're lucky!
Go To The Theatre
If you like to indulge in a bit of theatre, you'll be pleased to know that doesn't have to stop just because of lockdown. Lots of companies are putting their productions online for us to enjoy from the comfort of our own homes. Whether you love an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical or a National Theatre performance, there are plenty of options for you to set aside some time and enjoy. Make sure you have some ice cream for the interval!
Carving out time for yourself doesn't have to be something you do completely on your own! Why not schedule in a date night with your partner and make it into a proper occasion. Set up the kitchen like a restaurant, cook a meal or order a takeaway and get dressed up for the evening. This is a great way to feel like you're going out whilst staying in and feel like you're getting a bit of special attention in.
India is a recent graduate who loves to explore, laugh and eat! Growing up as the eldest of 5, her family were always filling their weekends and holidays with activities to try and keep everyone entertained. Her favourite childhood memories involve running around big open spaces, summer camping trips and special visits to the theatre. She loves going to indoor sensory play areas with her two young cousins and teaching them to bake, although things can often get quite messy!