This week has been insane! School, work, groceries, dry cleaning, haircuts, karate three times already, chess club, youth group, and my son's first junior high dance (cue tears). We still have karate two more times, including a belt test, guitar lessons, farmer's market, a new baby to visit, and a wedding! I now understand the articles that suggest saying "no" to simplify your life.
Since our schedule has been super crazy, I know it is really important to make time to take care of myself. I have been unplugging after work. No screen time, just family time. Lots of conversations, eye contact, and snuggles.
After the kids are in bed, I sit on my bed for a few minutes in silence. I breathe, and focus on relaxing my body. It's surprising how much of a difference just five minutes makes!
Another thing I have been doing is coloring. I have noticed this as a trend on my Facebook, although this type of therapy has been in practice for hundreds of years. And with good reason. Coloring allows us to stimulate our creativity, and use our motor skills to transfer energy from our brain to paper. It allows us to focus on something other than stress and worries, which allows us to feel more at ease. Since coloring is an activity in which children partake, coloring can also bring out our inner child, which is usually a more carefree mentality.
If you are interested in color therapy, it's really simple, and inexpensive (much less expensive than seeing a therapist!). You need something to color with - crayons, pencils, or markers. And you need paper. That's it! Draw to your heart's content. Don't know what to draw? I doodle with pencil in a style called Zentangle. Then I color them with colored pencils or markers.
There are "adult" coloring books available. I have this one, this one, and I just got this one, which I loooooooooooove.
There are also a ton of free printables. You would just need to print these. Here is one resource. Pinterest is another great resource. You can also Google "free coloring therapy printables".
The benefits of this type of self care is that it can be for as much or as little time as you have available. You can color for five minutes or for an hour. The clean up is easy, just close your book and put away your pens. You can do it in your home, and it is inexpensive. You can even do it with your kids! These are all things I think about when considering a self care hobby.
Bonus! The fine motor skills used for coloring taps into the same part of your brain that organizes and problem solves. So coloring could help you become better at organizing!