The endless pressures and demands of parenthood can take up most of your time; it’s natural to feel like your children consume all of your attention. While that may be reality, but it’s not healthy for them– or you.

Carving out some time just for you is important and there’s no need to feel guilty about it. Here are some ways to help you find some time to recharge and reenergize. (And you don’t have to break the bank either.)

Go Solo

Grown-ups need some time to themselves just to catch their breath and regroup from their hectic schedules. Consider waking up early before the daily chaos begins and enjoy the sunrise. Too early for you? Then sit on your porch wrapped up in a blanket and sip your favorite hot beverage until the kids wake up. Craving to use your mind more? Read a chapter in the latest best-selling book or do a Sudoku puzzle.

Get Moving

The holidays are creeping up on our calendars– Thanksgiving will be here in a blink of an eye. It’s a great time to start moving your body and burning off a few extra calories. Start off slow and build up over time. Start your day with low-intensity stretching to build upon your flexibility. Go for a power walk in your neighborhood. Unwind from your day by sitting in a simple cross-legged pose and practice breathing exercises.

Reconnect with Friends, Old and New

Parenthood can put you into an all-consuming family mode making it easy to forget being social with your friends. Call an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Connect with other parents and host a potluck lunch. Need to get out of the house? Plan a date with a few friends and have a night out.

New Interests

Yes, there is still time in a parent’s day to discover something new. Try a new genre of music by browsing YouTube for new sounds. Learn a few words of a new language via YouTube. Take a trial class of an activity you have wanted to try. Research a dream vacation online and start planning today.

Refresh Yourself

We could all use a pick-me-up and ways to feel renewed. Relax over a cup of herbal tea. Head to your local nail salon and treat yourself to a pedicure. Take a short drive blasting your favorite tunes. Browse local housewares stores to add a pop of color to a room in your home. Drive over to a local department store and get a makeover from a luxurious cosmetic line. Check out a new boutique and browse the season’s latest designs. At the end of your day, draw a bath, throw in bath salts, light candles and turn off the lights.

Finding a 15-minute hiatus from your hectic schedule each day can give you exactly what you need. Start small with a 5-minute break and build up to having a few hours dedicated to you. Make it happen, you deserve it!

Photo Credit: Twenty20/Sasha Pritchard

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.

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Sara Kendall writes about travel, parenting and lifestyle. She is just as passionate about photography as she is about writing, so you will find her writing paired with her beautifully captured images. Sara’s work has appeared in numerous print and online publications including the following CLT ones – Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Parent and Epicurean Charlotte. Need travel inspiration? Check out Sara’s travels at latitudecrossing.com.

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