You have been awake since daybreak, wiped snotty noses with your sleeve, are still in the same clothes you wore yesterday, and might scream if you have to sit through another round of Dora the Explorer. Sometimes the only escape is the bathroom — but we all know a closed door doesn't keep the kiddies out. When you feel like crawling in a corner underneath the piles of laundry, you can make it better. Really, you only need 10 minutes to make it happen.
- Park the kids: You have to keep them safe and engaged when sneaking away for a mental health vacay, so pop on a video or provide the kiddies with something fun then set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes. Let your little ones know they need to stay away until the timer goes off — or else. You might be surprised with how well this works, and when you stick with the routine, kids get it the next time you head for that timer and then move into another room.
- Get moving (2 minutes): Whatever you feel like doing, jump in place, throw some air punches, turn into a crazy ninja and go kick crazy, just get your cardio up. Once your heart starts pumping, your body releases endorphins, which tricks you into feeling happy and exhilarated. So get up and jump for joy.
- Write out a daily goal (2 minutes): Start a daily goal journal where you can write out a quick sentence or goal to get you through the day. It can be something as simple as making it through the day without yelling at the kids or actually getting the laundry folded. Write out what your reward will be (chocolate, wine, cake) then stick with it.
- Meditate (2 minutes): This might sound like a crazy far-fetched idea that's insane, but, yes, you can sneak in a few minutes of meditation. Feel silly? Check out guided meditation for a little direction. But you can also simply lie down on your unmade bed and close your eyes for a couple of minutes.
- Savor a snack (2 minutes): This is your chance to fuel up with a fresh cup of coffee and a delicious snack, like a Fiber One Brownie Bar that gives you the perk up you need and the treat you crave. Find a spot where you can sit down and really relax. And we're not talking shoving something back, stop and enjoy your food.
- Laugh really loudly (2 minutes): Laughing is a natural stress buster, which is what you need when you're feeling overwhelmed. Watch a silly pet video on your phone, make a quick call to a friend and commiserate, or check out what guest did what on the late-night talk shows. This way you're walking out of your 10-minute recharge with a smile.
Now you're ready for whatever else happens — bring it, Dora!