CAPTION: Most mums have their hands full most of the time
When you’re a mum, you’ll have noticed that your free time to do what you want gets drastically reduced. The fact that you don’t have hours of free time to yourself at the weekend like you used to takes a while to sink in but at some point you come to the realisation (unless you’re very lucky to have a lot of help with the kids) that most of the time, you’re running around trying to get everything necessary done, let alone having any time simply to relax.
However, as the old saying goes, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is equally applicable to the Jills of this world – even when they’re mummies. If a mum doesn’t make time to have a few minutes’ downtime during the day, they can keep going but they will do so on a shorter fuse and be less patient than if they take a break now and then.
Taking a break doesn’t mean you have to abandon your maternal duties and book yourself in for a massage or a weekend away with the girls (although there’s nothing wrong with either of those ideas every once in a while). Even if you only down tools for five minutes, you’ll give yourself a boost and then feel much more like being a super-mum for the rest of the day.
It’s easy to find five minutes of distraction or entertainment, especially if you have a few handy apps that will encourage you to relax already installed on your phone.
Busy mums can play too
CAPTION: Who ever said playing games is just for the kids?
Thanks to the constant online connection that most of us have these days, when you just want to switch off and relax, playing games on a smartphone is an easy way to do just that. The choice is huge – from puzzler games like Candy Crush through to real money games like the ones you’ll find on casino sites such as bgo, Gala and Get Lucky. Some of the most interesting casino games from bgo are the hundreds of different slots, which each have their own theme. Choose from TV tie-ins like the X-Factor, to classic favourites like Fluffy Favourites, where all the symbols are cute cuddly toys. There’s no strategy to worry about – just press spin and see what happens. You’re instantly absorbed in watching the reels and this will help you unwind, unless, of course, you land a win, and then you’ll get a positive adrenalin rush!
Adopt a yoga pose
CAPTION: Doing a few minutes of yoga can be very relaxing
There’s a huge selection of different yoga apps that you can download to your phone. The best are those that talk you through a pose and give you different levels to achieve, depending on your strength and flexibility. Start off with something simple like the cobra, or the cat and cow pose. When you get more familiar with different yoga positions, move towards something that requires a lot of balance, such as the crane. Doing yoga is an instantly calming pastime, as you need to focus on your breathing and following the instructions to achieve the different poses. It allows you to forget about stresses and worries and focus on the moment. Check out these top ten yoga apps and see which you like the most.
Keep a journal
CAPTION: Avoid a journal of empty pages and download a journal app instead
Many of us think about writing a journal and would normally note down our thoughts at the end of day. But if you’re shattered from a day of work and/or looking after the kids, it’s easy to skip the journal writing. Instead, think about using a journal app such as Day One, Penzu or Diaro where you can use prompts to record your thoughts in just a couple of minutes. There’s also the advantage of being able to add in photos.
— Natasha Deonarain MD (@natashamddotcom) January 31, 2016
Of course, these are just a few ideas of how apps can help you take a few minutes to unwind. You’re bound to discover more once you start looking. What you do with your five-minute break isn’t really that important. It’s more important that you have a break that will do you the most good. Don’t be a slave to motherhood – there’s always time to catch up on what needs to be done later in the day. You’ll benefit from an energy boost with even the shortest of rests.