Being a caregiver of a child/children is a rewarding opportunity, but at times can be tiring. This can be especially true now, while many families are spending much more time together. If you are a parent, step-parent, grandparent, family member, or friend, we all need to take time for ourselves so that the time spent with the kids is a positive experience.
Below are some suggestions of ways to take a little “you time.”
Work out virtually with a friend, family member, or yourself: Many fitness instructors are posting workout videos online. You can find anything from yoga to dance fitness to strength training. Choose one that interests you, grab a water (and a virtual friend if you choose), and get yourself moving!
Virtual book club: Set up a time and day to virtually meet with your book club. You may add on a meal or a beverage to enjoy while talking about the latest book you’ve all read.
Virtual coffee/tea hour: Ask a friend or family member to join you virtually for coffee or tea. This could be as short as ten minutes or as long as you both need to rest and catch up.
Try out new recipes: Share your favorites. Create an email or text chain with family or friends that includes the recipe ideas.
Be creative with your hands: Cook, bake, color in an adult coloring book, scrapbook, sketch, throw pottery, build something in the garage, write a story, etc.
Get your hands dirty: Plant a garden of flowers or veggies.
Give yourself time: Take time for yourself in the evening after kids go to bed or in the morning before they get up. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a little treat while reading a book, doing a word puzzle, watching a show, or meditating.
Find a hobby: Pick up a hobby that has been set aside or try a new hobby such as cake decorating, fabric dying, knitting, writing poetry, writing music, BBQ, taking an online cooking class, canning, bird watching, fishing, billiards, photography, or woodworking.
Puzzles: Keep your brain moving by doing a puzzle. Find a table that can be kept undisturbed so you can come back to it each day. After the puzzle is all done it can be framed and hung as art.
Get outside: Take walks around the neighborhood or explore a new trail. If you have a dog, bring him/her along. Listen to some calming music, a podcast, or book on tape while you walk.
Community togetherness: If giving back fills your soul, find out what your community needs. Sew face masks for friends and coworkers, help deliver lunches for children in need, grocery shop for elderly neighbors, etc.
We all need a little break every now and then to relax and recharge. As a caregiver during this time of school closures and disrupted routines, don’t forget to make your “me time” a priority.
Maggie Okponobi has a Bachelor’s degree in Education with a Minor in Early Childhood, Science, and Literacy and a Master’s degree in Business. Maggie holds an Elementary Teaching Certification K-6 for the state of Indiana and has a diverse background of teaching, community service, and serving as a board member to an organization that sponsors student educations. Maggie taught for 2 years before heading overseas. Her love of community service sent her to the West African country of The Gambia where she served for 2.5 years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer working in the Education sector. Following that, she stayed and taught at the American International school for 2 years as a kindergarten/grade one teacher. Once back with family in the U.S., Maggie worked as a grade one teacher at a charter school. From there, she moved into her current role of running School Specialty’s Grant Assist™ program.
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