It’s very rare to actually get a night off so when you do you need to grab it with both hands and really make the most of it! Obviously, parenting is a full-time job but you also need to make sure that you make some time for yourself, relaxing and having some fun along the way so that you can switch off (even just a little bit) - you might even find that you wake up the next day revitalised and ready for everything that your working and home life has to throw at you.
So how do you go about doing that? All parents will tell you that you can never truly switch off, and to some extent they’re right, but finding that little bit of ‘me’ time is important for your own health (and sanity!)
One way I like to unwind after a tough day other than watching TV or going on the laptop is to lose myself in a good book. It’s a pretty standard line, but it is genuinely possible to forget about everything going on around you no matter how stressful that may be, and to almost become one of the characters in the book - or at least feel as though you’re looking in on the story. It’s a way of keeping the mind active even if your body is worn down and when you team it with a glass of wine or a relaxing bath it can be just the tonic you need. I might start reading a few of Terry Pratchett’s books actually after the sad news of his death last week. Such a shame.
Alternatively I find that playing games on my tablet or phone is really good (I rarely put it down anyway!) I’ve got three favourites that I play quite regularly - maybe too much - at the moment.
The first is Minion Rush...it’s so addictive! You have to make your little yellow minion run around collecting bananas and doing challenges and I can lose hours doing that if I’m not careful!
The second one is prompted by all of the television adverts and that’s playing online bingo. I went on one of the online bingo review sites and looked at some of the offers and settle on a couple that I flick between. I’ve only won around £20 so far but considering I got £50 to play with just by signing up I’m still in the money!
Finally, I like playing Words with Friends. Essentially, it’s Scrabble but you can have a chat with people while you play, it even syncs with your Facebook page too so you can play on your laptop or desktop computer. I really like the whole user experience, it’s really clean and you get an online dictionary to check whether your word is actually a word which is really useful!
Not everybody likes just sitting down and reading or playing games when they get a night off though, you might want to go out. Here, I have two options. The first is to go to the gym and get some much-needed exercise. I really like classes like body pump at the moment which involves getting really hot and sweaty, using a few barbells and doing exercises in time with music - it’s a great way of working the whole body and while you might ache a bit afterwards you’ll feel much better having given it a try.
Then there’s the obvious option - going for a drink or a meal. It’s really nice to catch up with friends and chat about everything and anything over a glass of wine or something really nice to eat that isn’t based around chicken nuggets!
What do you enjoying doing when you have a night off from everything?
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