Here are my favorite tools and ways to stay calm and happy when I need to de-stress, as well as make my life a whole lot easier:
1. Kindle - is my new best friend
Every kind of book from cheesey romance novels, vampire fantasy, epic love stories, or parenting books are right there at my finger tips. This super portable device has saved me from having to just sit and stare while my toddler eats lunch or I'm out somewhere and my kids fall asleep in the stroller. Those precious free moments are now a blissful escape to some adventure. I especially love Kindle Unlimited which allows me to read as many books as I want for $10 a month.
Laughter, smiling and giggles is a magic balm that is a guaranteed mood lifter. Find something you know will make you laugh. Save a funny cat video on YouTube, put a tutu on your dog, put a tutu on one of your kids. The idea is just keep something in mind that's really, really funny that you can pull out and anytime to look at or listen to when you need to smile.
3. Schedule a date night or Girls Night Out
You don't need to plan anything elaborate or expensive. It could be something as simple as a walk, going to a movie, or just a quick dinner at your favorite Taco stand. It’s just about getting time alone with your significant other or your pals.
Planning a girls night out - even if it's only once in a blue moon - it gives you something to look forward to, and helps keep your stress levels down.
As moms, we are notorious for putting our own needs last, and after a while it can take its toll. You will be a more patient parent, and better equipped to deal with those toddler emergencies if you have some fun for yourself every now and then. A happy mom means happy kids.
And, if you would rather just be alone while you're out, schedule a pedicure and ask hubby to watch the kids for an hour in the evening, or weekend, or whenever it's possible.
4. iPad / iphone Apps
Okay - I know you think this one is silly, but honestly having a few apps on you phone which is very portable can help you focus on something other than the crying fit going on when you put your toddler in time-out. Now it's time for mommy time-out (in a good way). I could sift through Pinterst for hours looking at crafty projects, shoes, and hair cuts that I want (if I ever get time to go to the salon).
- Pinterest - Hours of fun pinning things you love and getting ideas
- Pandora - Music soothes the soul as they say
- Amazon - Online shopping is every moms ultimate helper
- YouTube - Cute cat videos to make you laugh, or makeup tutorials are just a click away - you could show a funny video to your toddler when you need to distract them from whatever dangerous maneuver they were trying to pull before you distracted them.
- Snapfish - Order prints of your favorite kid photos from the millions of pics you been snapping directly from your phone - So easy!
- PvZ2 - Killing Zombies has never been so fun - mindless escape is sometimes necessary
- Etsy - Oh the cute stuff you can find! You could even start your own little shop and manage it from your phone!
- Instagram - Looking at photos is endless entertainment, and calming.
6. Make a List
Your besties are the perfect people to call when you need to just vent for a minute, or twenty. They are especially great to talk to if they have kids the same age as yours - they know how it is girl!