Thursday, 21 August 2014

Tips to beat school holiday stress

Much as we love our kids, six weeks (or thereabouts) with the family can end up being an intense time. Often we are balancing work and children, breaking from normal routines and watching siblings develop their relationship - teetering between best-ever friends and worst enemies. You could be trying to entertain your offspring without breaking the bank and trying to avoid the summer 'brain drain' all the while wanting to make memories that you and your children can treasure for years to come. Plus the house is awash with junk modelling, beach combing finds and rediscovered toys - the less charitable might even say it resembles a pigsty...
Get some me time
Photo credit: Marin at
So, hands up who has had enough? Not just me then! But if a mum doesn't take care of their own well-being, how can they find the energy to care for others? In your bid to be the best parent you can be, never loose sight of the simple fact that if mummy isn't happy, nobody is happy! Here are some top tips to help you relax, repair and revive yourself (the three 'r's that count - am I right?) once the kids are in bed. And better still, they work before, during and after school holidays!

Set the mood

Clutter and responsibilities can be a drain at the end of the day, so before you pack the kids off upstairs cut them a deal. They can spend the next ten minutes clearing away their toys - or go to bed early. Put like that, most kids will choose a bit of a tidy up - and you can spend the time making sure your essential chores are done too, freeing up your evening later on. Once they are asleep (or at least in their rooms pretending to be) make a 'things-to-do' list for (just) that night - it might include planning meals, setting out clothes or checking train or opening times - and get those things out of the way. Once these are crossed off the evening is yours to enjoy - you might want to use the time to work out, read a book or call a friend. Turn your home into a haven of relaxation by burning essential oils, lighting a relaxing candle or turning on your favourite music.
A healthy habit for your home
Photo credit: Marin at

Have a bath

Taking a bath is a great way to relax - it can ease sore muscles, stimulate circulation and help to detox your body. A water temperature of 32-35℃ will open the pores and encourage sweating, great if you have a cold coming on. Up the ante with a bath oil that can soothe everyday aches and pains or one that will restore you - or scatter in some herbs. There's no better time to exfoliate the body or indulge in a face mask either. And an added bonus of a lovely warm bath is that it will help you sleep better. As your body cools after you step out of the tub, it releases the hormone melatonin, which signals that it's bedtime to your body.

Sleep well
Sleep well Mummy!
Photo credit: FrameAngel at

From nursing newborns at all hours and convincing young 'uns that it's just their bed they sleep in, to homework demands of older children and the trials and tribulations of the teenage years, sleep is in short supply among parents. But lack of sleep can make you fat, forgetful and far less likely to want to get jiggy with it, and in extreme cases sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure and heart disease. Experts recommend you steer clear of caffeine for as much as six hours before you slumber, instead try a drink designed to help you relax - like Dr Stuart's Tranquility or Pukka Night Time blend. For a little extra help nodding off, consider Rescue Night Liquid Melts capsules, using Bach Flower Essences, or the herbal supplement capsules Night Time by Pukka with Valerian and Ashwagandha (great for restless legs syndrome).

Do you have any tips for winding down during the school holidays - or on any day when you need to switch off from being a parent? I'd love to hear them in the comment box below.

Thanks for reading

Disclosure: Recognising that mummies need some pampering G Baldwin & Co sent out de-stress kits to several bloggers. Obviously that's lovely, but my opinions are always my own (nobody else wants them!). 


  1. I think the school is the answer. The summer holidays always remind me that it is good to spend some time apart from you children occasionally! We all need our individual space to grow. That said, I will miss them desperately when they go back at the beginning of the term.

    1. It's a double-edged sword. I do miss my girls when they are at school but I think it's the intense nature of the enforced together time that 6 weeks brings. I'd be all for spreading the hols out throughout the year personally.

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