Single Mom Relaxation 101

by mssinglemama on September 28, 2008

I’m trying to do it all and it’s catching up with me.

Something has to give.

Can’t be Benjamin.

Can’t be my job.

Can’t be my home.

Actually, I can’t drop anything.

So it seems I need to add something to make everything else easier. Like yoga class for example, or maybe Pilates. But as you know from my spa experience in Denmark, I am a foreigner to all things related to relaxation of any kind.

I need advice.

How do you relax yourself? What really works? Give me some ideas because I have to do something. Whatever it is, it can only be two or three nights a week (if I’m lucky) and it has to be relatively cheap.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

littlemansmom September 28, 2008 at 7:34 pm

When I need to really relax, I have a vigorous workout (at home) then slip into a bubble bath with a good book….the workout releases the frustrations and the bath calms the soul…. :)

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Cheryl September 28, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Yes, yes, yes to YOGA.

I also do meditation, hypnotherapy (w/ my shrink when I get the time to go see her), walking, cuddling the baby (yes, it calms me down the same way petting dogs or cats works for others), reading a good book, BREATHING (this brings me back to Yoga).

Just remember, you may not be able to let any of the above mentioned things go 100% but what you CAN do is let them go when their time is done for the day, i.e. when work is over – it’s over. Leave it at the office, or on the desk. When it’s time for Ben Time, the other stuff has to be on the back burner. Being present, in the moment, in the NOW… the more you can strive to attain that, the less stressed or over-extended you’ll feel. I promise!

Hugs mama!

Now… where are those Single Mama for Obama tees you told me about like a zillion years ago? I’m ready to buy one, even if I’m not the biggest fan of his. You can bet your sweet bippy that McCain doesn’t give a crap about Single Moms. LOL.

Love you!
C ~

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Jonathan September 28, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Salsa!

It’s cheap.
It’s healthy.
It’s fun.
And if you go to the right places, they’re not meat markets.

Ole.

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Laura September 29, 2008 at 1:10 am

I gym! And do a pilates class! I used to do yoga until our instructor left and they couldnt replace him but I am thinking of finding another class!

I need my gym like I need to breathe! Its the one time when I can leave my phone in my bag and just totally switch off!!

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Savored Life September 29, 2008 at 2:07 am

Music. Classical music has ALWAYS calmed me…Beethoven, Pachebel, Bach, etc. send me to Relaxation Heaven….
Also love Michelle Featherstone, Nora Jones, Sophie Milman or the “Ultra Chilled or Ultimate Lounge Collections…

Exercise “charges” me, even Yoga & Pilates. Sometimes I workout to redirect tension, which is a great motivator…but to truly RELAX?…Music.

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julie September 29, 2008 at 3:50 am

Run! Or walk. Get a jogging stroller (can buy one very cheap on craigs list ( do you have a craigs list there?)). Grab ben and take a walk, work to a brisk walk, then jog, walk when you need to. Listen to your body and you’ll enjoy it more and will stick with it. Invest in good sneakers. Waer whatever workout clothes you have. So other than the stroller and sneakers it is a free sport and you don’t have to be tied to gym hours or workout class schedules. Breaking a sweat helps the mood and balaces things out!

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Angie September 29, 2008 at 5:20 am

Why not relax WITH Ben? My kids and I did “Yoga Kids” when they were young (I am not a yogi, this was my intro into yoga too!). The kids really enjoyed it – and it was a way to teach them how to relax and calm down as well. Not only that, but it really helped with their other activities too (rock climbing, dance and gymnastics).

For myself, I have to find little things here and there as I need them. As Anna Nalick says – just breathe! At work I may step outside or take a few minutes in the bathroom. At home I might sit outside, or go in my room and shut the door for ten minutes – lights off – with my lavender filled pillow. I take the rejuvenation time when I need it, trying to schedule it makes it feel like one more thing I have to get done, making it a chore more than any thing else.

One last tip, smells! Find what smell makes you feel what you are looking to feel. For me, Lavender calms me while “blue Oil” from Aveeda wakes me. I carry blue oil with me everywhere to massage into my soft spot between my thumb and pointer finger or my temples. I have lavender all over my bedroom. It works for me, but you need to find yours.

If you find little things that calm and relax you throughout your day, it may be more helpful than scheduling yet one more thing. Starting this now will help immensely for when Ben gets older and you have to juggle his after school activities on top of everything else!!

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Katherine (SOLO dot MOM) September 29, 2008 at 5:40 am

I enjoy the yoga family DVD by Rodney Yee. I do this 40 minute routine with Kass and she loves it and its great for both of us. (She is more flexible than her mom, but we won’t go there.)

I also went to a painting class (Bob Ross style oils – wet on wet) all day Saturday as a treat for my sister’s birthday… but I reaped from it as well as I realized how relaxing that activity is… It requires focus – and is fun… so you are not thinking about the stresses of life.

Good luck with what you do… and enjoy some me-time!

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debra September 29, 2008 at 6:02 am

I’m with Julie…run! You’ll accomplish several things; time with Ben that ends up being your stress relief time too, but when you’re done, you have so much extra energy to get everything done that needs to be taken care of. Julie gives great advice; work into it gradually, and before long you and Ben will both be hooked on your runs together.

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solo mama September 29, 2008 at 9:17 am

Dido on the Blue Oil from Aveda. I guess I have a strong advantage, I work for Aveda and as part of my wellness I am encouraged to participate in yoga classes and free massages! I also, enjoy bubble baths and “cuggling” with my little lady!

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pisceshanna September 29, 2008 at 12:06 pm

A woman came up to me after my speech and gave me a pass for 4 free yoga classes. I’ve never been, but I’m hoping it will help de-stress. You can do Yoga on the Wii fit too.

Right now I do Hula aerobics and watch Planet Earth to decompress.

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LTP September 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm

How to relax? You mean besides Xanax and white wine? I kid, I kid. I do yoga once a week if not twice plus work out on the alternate days. But yoga is great but if you have to find the “right” teacher….you should enjoy it and truly feel relaxed during it–not grimacing in pain. At home, candles relax me…I light them all over the house and they make me feel better. When I had a boyfriend, a good foot rub….but he is a you-know-what and so I guess I’ll have to learn to rub my own feet, LOL. (p.s. He had really GROSS feet….so I hope the new gf enjoys that)

Speaking of yoga, I’m off…..ooohhhhhmmmm.

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single mom with tiny tot September 29, 2008 at 7:57 pm

I found it daunting too, the thought of “adding” something to my life just so I could relax. But once I got into the swing of things, it was really really really really beneficial. If I had more energy I’d keep typing “really”s up there.

I also do yoga. I try to go to a class once a week, but I also bought a DVD so I do it at home a couple of times a week too. My daughter often does it with me.

I also like ballroom dance. It’s fun. You can suck and still enjoy it. You get to relax but also hang out with grown-ups. And you usually end up dancing with old men who are completely non-threatening so you can flirt without fear. It’s awesome.

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PT-LawMom September 29, 2008 at 8:15 pm

I dance in the rain with my son. Or listen to music LOUD and sing at the top of my lungs. I get massage when I’m about to lose my mind.

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spatulahandle September 29, 2008 at 10:32 pm

I put a relaxing CD in my stereo, sit down at my desk and make hand made cards. I also like to do embroidery, needle point, and look at old photo albums. Walking relaxes me too.

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jonb September 30, 2008 at 6:04 am

jonb relaxes by:

working out, the mental discipline to force physical growth is relaxing and focuses the mind

yoga, the breathing expels stress, and the proper movements help clear toxins from your body

reading, nothing like a little escapism, and not romance novels! somehting that takes you to another culture or time

journal on the beach, sounds of the ocean to calm you, the sun to give you warmth, and a medium to inload your thoughts

driving, jamming to classic rock or funk, and breaking the rules. you feel alive when you do the things that society deems naughty. just dont get arrested. lol. i personally enjoy driving through my parking garage going to work with all the business men and women milling around blasting Prince: Pussy Control or vanilla Ice, something highly inappropriate for the corporate environment.

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mssinglemama September 30, 2008 at 8:07 am

These are all such fantastic ideas.

THANK YOU! Seriously.

Went out and bought aromatherapy stuff for my sheets last night and a mental clarity stick from Bath and Body Works, that really helped. And I didn’t write a post last night- decided to sleep instead!

I LOVE the ballroom dancing idea.

Checked out Yoga classes for mommy and toddler but they’re all during the day – must be exclusive to stay at home moms. Sheesh.

Loving the exercise routine with Benjamin or home videos.

Thanks again everyone.

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stepping over the junk September 30, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Relax? What? What’s that?

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April October 3, 2008 at 12:28 pm

knit, bubble baths, blogging, reading, and I DVR the All-Star Workout (a dance workout show). Mind you, I don’t actually DO the All-Star Workout yet. But it’s there on my list. Ready to go whenever I am.

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Clara October 3, 2008 at 11:15 pm

I usually kick off my relaxation response by having a massage. I have a favorite person who basically beats me up for an hour. I follow it up with some extreme stretching or visit to the chiropractor. I’ll also pay close attention to my nutrition when I’m stressed. I find I’ll get sick if I don’t.

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