As much as we love our children, being a parent isn’t always easy. As a stressed dad, your time mostly revolves around your kids. From planning family meals and taking them to extracurricular activities, to chasing them around the house trying to get them to put their shoes on every time you need to leave… it’s easy to feel stressed and frazzled.
Ways a Stressed Dad Can Relax
Sometimes, we need to take time to ourselves to de-stress and unwind. This is especially important for parents with so many responsibilities. Having some “me” time and treating yourself isn’t just good for you, it also helps you to be a happier, healthier father to your children the rest of the time.
With that in mind, here are five ways that a stressed dad can relax at home — that aren’t just “Netflix and chill”:
1. Play online games
Whether you win or lose, there is something incredibly satisfying about playing online games cards or otherwise), which is why they’re so good for unwinding in the evening if you’re stressed.
There are all sorts of entertaining games out there (video games, card games, or simulations) you can get into that will help you to relieve stress and relax. In fact, games can boost your happiness too, as well as helping to improve memory, concentration, and analytical skills.
The rise in popularity of online casinos, in particular, has made it easier than ever to relax and have fun in the comfort of your own living room, without even leaving the house. You simply log on on your computer or cellphone, and you can play instantly.
The diversity is exciting too; you can aim for casino classics that you already know — blackjack and poker, for example — or try mastering a new game like craps. This chance-based dice game can be very intimidating for a beginner, but a lot of fun once you get into the swing of things.
2. Cook up a storm
Cooking is an amazing way to unwind and have fun at home — with the added bonus of having something tasty to eat at the end!
For many parents, cooking can feel like a chore — feeding your family is just a necessary part of life that isn’t particularly enjoyable. And if you’ve got a big or growing family, being strapped for time and working to a budget means that you don’t get to experiment with fun flavors and new dishes as you would like to.
This is your opportunity to reclaim the kitchen and embrace your inner chef. Once you’ve put the little ones to bed, pour yourself a large glass of red wine and crack out those recipe books!
Allow yourself to indulge in the special, or pick something exciting that you’ve never tried making before — something you’ve always wanted to try, or a complex, elaborate dish that you wouldn’t normally serve up at the family table. There’s a whole culinary world out there, from fragrant Thai curries to spicy Spanish paella, to comforting homemade pasta…
It’s also a chance to schmooze your other half and treat your kid-free evening as a date night. Host a romantic dinner date (we’re talking candles, wine, and flowers on the table), whip up a nostalgic favorite dish, and let your foodie adventure take you away…
3. Get gardening
Manual work might not seem like the best way to relax at home, but hear us out.
Surrounding yourself in nature and being outside is a great way to reconnect with yourself and recharge while the kids are at school. Research shows that being outside in green spaces is amazing for your mental health — improving your wellbeing and boosting your mind.
Gardening is the perfect way to do this while you’re at home. You don’t have to plan a big trip out — you can simply find peace in your own backyard.
If you’ve got a big yard that needs a lot of work, then all the better: you can set yourself ongoing tasks and challenges to make your yard child-friendly. Enjoy the satisfaction of completing garden tasks like weeding, and the soothing repetition of your labors. Get creative with your yard design, build something for the kids like a sandpit or a treehouse if you’re feeling adventurous!
And even if you’ve only got a small space to work with, you can still get creative. Tend to your flowerbeds, nurture the plants you have, enjoy the chatter of the birds around you, and have some fun outside.
4. Pamper yourself
Pampering yourself is no longer something that is seen as reserved only for moms/women. Dads can enjoy a relaxation session too, and trust us — once you do, you won’t look back.
Run yourself a hot bath (borrowing some of your wife’s bath salts or bubble bath, of course), and slip in that steaming tub. As the hot water warms up your body, you’ll be able to feel the tension and stress being held in your muscles melt away. If you want to increase the relaxation levels, you can light some candles, get an essential oil+diffuser kit from Kumi for aromatherapy or play calming music.
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Massages are also a great way to de-stress — for both of you. Treat yourselves to a mutual massage; close that bedroom door and get the massage oils out for a sensual and soothing experience.
You can even use restful essential oils like lavender to boost the zen vibes in the room; lavender is a herbal hero known to calm anxiety and promote good sleep.
5. Listen to audiobooks
When was the last time you picked up a book, let alone had enough time to read more than a couple of pages before one of the kids needed you for something?
Books are a fantastic way to relax and de-stress at home, but as busy parents, we often don’t find the time to read in the way that we used to pre-children.
And although it can be hard to pick up a book (especially if you’re not super into reading or you’ve fallen out of the habit), there’s a new option in town: audiobooks.
Audiobooks are perfect for switching off when you’re feeling frazzled, but struggling to concentrate on the words on the page. Simply pop the kids to bed and get comfy; whether it’s on the sofa or in bed is up to you. Now, dim those lights, close the door to any distractions, and get lost in a faraway world.