Let’s be honest, dad’s have a tough time. Maybe not quite as tough as mum, but it’s definitely up there. Long hours at the office, bosses that suck out your soul, and kids that have more energy than you thought possible. Obviously, you wouldn’t change the kids for the world, but you still need some downtime to relax. It’s not easy for parents to find a little peace and quiet these days, but it’s essential if you’re hoping to make it through the week. Just a little bit of time for yourself goes a long way.
In this post, we’ll talk you through an extensive list of ideas for chilling out, and regaining some sanity. It’s all about finding that work-life balance. Trust me, if you don’t, you’ll feel a huge burden building up on your shoulders. Find a way to unwind and de-stress at least once a week. It’s best to speak to your partner about this, and find a way to manage the schedule between you. Right, let’s take a look at some ideas, shall we?
1. Take A Night Off
I firmly believe that if you want to regain some sense of normality, you need a night to yourself. My wife and I give ourselves a night off each during the week. It’s a simple, easy way for each of us to clear our heads. Using this night off, you can do whatever it is that you love. Perhaps it’s catching up with the guys for a poker night or just hitting the pub. Maybe it’s finding a quiet place to watch the game or read a book. Whatever you do, break away from the daily routine, and give yourself some time. Then buckle up, because you’ve got the kids to yourself when mum takes her night off!
Every parent knows that blissful feeling when the kids finally go to bed. It’s finally the moment where you can enjoy the peace and quiet. Better yet, you can enjoy some time with your partner. I love to put a film on after the children have gone to bed, and unwind before falling asleep. I’m lucky if I can make it through an entire film! But still, it’s a little pleasure you can enjoy for yourself. Get a stack of films, (or a subscription to Netflix), and make your way through them.
Sometimes, after a long day, you simply want to shut off the entire world. We all know how it feels to deal with endless amount of noise all day. The kids are loud, the office is noisy, it’s time to just enjoy some silence. For an hour or so before falling asleep, you could get stuck into a good book. Enjoy the chance for some quiet, and get lost in the world of literature.
4. Play Games With The Kids
Although we all need a break from the noise and energy of kids, I love nothing more than playing games with them. Hooking up the video games is pretty relaxing. Studies have even shown that gaming gives you a hit of endorphins. Your brain gets a little kick, and then starts to relax. It’s a great way to bond with your children, and relax at the same time. Unfortunately, the kids still kick my ass every time.
5. A Weekend Of Golf
I know from experience that golf is a touchy subject with some dads! Whether you believe it’s a real sport or not isn’t really the question. Spending a Sunday morning on the green is one of the most relaxing ways to wake up. It’s quiet, peaceful, and gets you out in the open air. Just remember, the USGA are shaking up the rule book this year. If you’re heading to the course, check out this 2016 USGA rules infographic. Make sure you’re not making any faux pas on the golf course, or it might ruin your happy place.
6. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
The key to feeling relaxed is getting a good, solid, eight hours… Yeah, right! As most dads will tell you, you’re lucky if you get six. However, trying to get an early night will always give you a little kick of energy the next day. It might be tricky during the week, but try to boost your sleeping hours during the weekend. It’s a small treat that goes a long way. Put a morning curfew on the weekends so the children can’t make any noise until a certain time. See if they can make it all the way to 8am!
7. Get A Massage
Spa weekends aren’t just for the girls, I guarantee you’ll love a thorough massage. We tend to carry a lot of stress in our shoulders and neck. Without a good release, that pressure builds up, and slowly gets worse. Eventually, it will cause health problems, and leads to us feeling incredibly tense. Book yourself in for a proper massage, and feel your stress float away.
8. Get To The Gym
Working out is another way to wring out those muscles, and relieve some stress. It’s not always easy to find the time, but try and work it into your schedule once or twice a week. Push yourself hard on the running machine, and load up some weights. It gives you a big endorphin rush, clears your head, and unwinds your muscles. All that tense stress will disappear. Take your frustrations out on the gym equipment, then come home feeling invigorated.
There’s something satisfying and relaxing about grilling a steak. It’s why you always see men huddled around the barbecue in the summer. After a long day, cooking can actually prove a super relaxing activity. The smells are enough to help you unwind, while the careful art of grilling will help soothe your mind. Trust me, it’s very therapeutic. Plus, you get to eat a tasty steak when you take charge of the grill.
Dads owe it to themselves to find a way to relax. We all need to take our minds off work, and work out our stresses. How do you relax, guys? Let me know in the comments.
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