Wednesday, November 29, 2017

10 Things I Do To Unwind And De-Stress

My daily life as a Work at Home Dog Mom is crazy, busy, and most of the time, unpredictable. My to-do is lengthy. I have work deadlines. Blog columns to write and publish. Biscuits to bake. Meal prep for the kids, Lisa, and myself. DIY Dog Mom Projects to work on and complete. The list goes on. Despite only sleeping for 2-3 hours a day, I still don't feel there are enough hours in the day to get everything done.

I'm not complaining. I love our life and wouldn't change a thing.

Occasionally, someone will ask, "Do you ever take a break?" or "What are some things you do to bring your stress level down a notch or two?"

I don't take days off. We gave up vacations and weekend getaways years ago as our family got bigger. I'm not one for Spa Days. And, I've declined Lisa's offer for her to treat me to a one or two-night luxury hotel stay by myself to rejuvenate and reclaim my sanity.

So, how do I unwind and de-stress?

1. Daily lunch chats with Lisa. This has been a tradition for almost 7 years. During Lisa's lunch break at work, she eats lunch and we chat. Those chats last anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes, but they work like magic. We vent about our day. Share the good stuff. Share the not so good stuff. She listens. I listen. By the time our lunch chat ends, I'm back on track. It's refreshing.

2. Dinner at the table. Most of the time, we eat dinner at the kitchen table. That's our time to sit, exhale, eat, reconnect, and talk about random stuff.

3. Family snuggle time. We do this most nights during the week for an hour or two. More so on the weekends. When we purchased our new sofa in March of 2016, we made sure there was plenty of room for all of us and then some. Even with the newest addition to our family in March, Willa, there is still plenty of room. Lisa sits on one side. I sit on the other. The kids find their comfy spot. We have lots of throw blankets. Throw in a little Netflix or Amazon Prime and we're good to go.

4. Snack time with the kids. The kids look forward to their afternoon snack time. This ritual happens on the bed. The kids sit side by side. I lay on my side. After they gobble up their snacks, the kids stay on the bed. They jump around, wag their tails, slather my face with juicy kisses, snuggle with me, and chew on their chew bones.

5. Extra playtime with the kids. There's no shortage of playtime with the kids throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening. However, when I have days that are overwhelming and stressful beyond the "norm," I take a bit of time, get on the floor, and play with the kids. They love it when I get on the floor with them.

6. Virtual chats with some rather incredible humans. Sporadically, throughout the day I'll receive an email or private message on Facebook. I look forward to these interruptions. As a Work at Home Dog Mom, I don't get out a lot. At times, a week or two will go by where I don't get out. I'm used to it. It doesn't phase me.

7. Girl's nights. Because every other week, getting together for girl's night complete with wine and appetizers and venting about life, and occasionally sticking up the middle finger, is total therapy.

8. Wine. Enough said.

9. Lisa and I escape for a few hours every so often. Once in a while, Lisa and I break free from the house for a few hours. During the warm weather months, we hit up a few yard sales and flea markets. Sometimes, we run errands and do grocery shopping together. It's always a good time. Due to her work schedule and my Work at Home Dog Mom Life, we're not able to leave the house together often. So, when we do, we always have fun.

10. Date nights. There was a time when date nights included dinner out and another fun activity or two. Over the years, date nights are spent at home. They're just as fun. We either order takeout or buy a bunch of our favorite appetizers and sit at the table and play cards. Our favorite is SkipBo. We always end the night with family snuggle time on the sofa with the kids, a special dessert, and a movie.

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