I know. “Decompress with Your Kids,” sounds a bit like an oxymoron. The kids are generally the reason I need to decompress in the first place.
But sometimes, we don’t have a chance for “mama time” in the near future, so we must suck it up, and make do.
There is a reason those adult coloring books are so popular. Art therapy is a real thing, and it can be effective! But if the intricate geometrical shapes give you hives, just grab a page or two from your kiddos coloring books and go to town with a good old fashioned crayola.
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I understand. This one is not for everyone. In fact, if peeling crayons isn’t for you, it will have the opposite effect of what we’re going for. But I’ve got to be honest, of this list, it’s my favorite. There is something so relaxing about allowing yourself to shut off your mind and just peel.
Build with blocks, large or small
As long as you can accept the fact that your little ones will most likely destroy what you create, building with blocks can be a lot of fun. I appreciate Lego’s more than I ever have because it forces a flow of creativity I never knew existed.
Bonus if the kiddos don’t actually get to it first, YOU get to take your creation apart. And need I mention how much of a therapeutic effect destroying things can have?
Depending on the size of the beads, this one can take some concentration. But concentration from you in your world, and concentration from your kiddo in their world. They won’t bug you, but you can still count it as quality time spent with your little. And you’ll both have a lovely gift to give each other when you’re done.
Watch them play
I know, I know, that’s all you do day in and day out. But do it with intention.
If you focus on the innocent simplicity, you may get a feeling of calm. At least I do. That and an enormous sense of pride watching this little being grow and develop into the incredible person they are.
Play in their sensory bin
Sensory bins are such a fun thing for kids to play with and explore their senses. Same goes for you. It engages your senses in a way you can’t experience on your phone. Give it a try, run your fingers through that rice or make a castle with some moon sand, I promise, you will feel more relaxed.
(Yep. I made that ‘castle’ in the pic, and I enjoyed it immensely.)
Nap with them
Any task that needs to be done, does not have to be done at this very moment. If you are in a position where you need a post like this to offer ways to decompress, then a nap will do you wonders.
Either nap with your kiddo, which can be as much of a comfort for you as it is for them. Or once they’re asleep, relax, nap, or doze in your cozy happy place. For me, it’s my king size bed.
It’s implied, but I feel the need to mention it anyway. While joining your kiddos in any of these activities, leave the phone behind. The whole point is to disconnect from electronics and to fully connect with your child. And you also want to get in their frame of mind, in an effort to calm your stressed and busy mind.
So why can these activities be so soothing? Is it because it tunes us into our childhood when life was much simpler? Or is it because the actual act of each of these things are just naturally soothing?
I’m convinced it’s both. Take the time for yourself and your child to not only spend quality time with them, but to help decompress your life.
What do you like to do with your kiddos to decompress?