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What refreshes you?

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My goal this year is to find something that refreshes me and makes me feel rested. I'm looking to compile a list of ideas and then just try them out for 2-4 weeks at a time and see what leaves me a bit closer to my happy place. What started this thought-train was the realization that, althought I regularly spend time online in the name of "taking a break", poking around online doesn't actually leave me feeling refreshed or rested or like I actually had a break. DH and I were talking, and we both realized that we don't even know WHAT refreshes us anymore... lol.


I have hobbies, sure - I like to read and play the guitar - and I never have time for those anymore, so I could pick those up and see how fun it is. I think it would be hard for me to play guitar much if I only have time to do it 1-2X/week, though, and I also think it'd be hard for me to have large gaps in the middle of reading a book (I'm just the type who really gets into it). I've considered trying to take a 20 minute power nap each day. I know some folks find walking around Target or shopping to be a nice break, but that's so not me. I love being outdoors, but I think most "me-time" I'm going to be able to conjure up is going to be in the evenings when the kids are in bed and it's too dark to spend much time outdoors. I know some women who find going to homeschooling conferences super refreshing and motivating - I've never been to one, but I can't say they look very appealing to me either. Having quiet time alone and exercising are things that I do regularly already.


I realize that what works for you may not work for me. Some of my kids are high-needs, and I'm working on getting some extra help with them. In the meantime, I still think there's value in working on finding my happy place. :)


Mostly I'm just looking to brainstorm some ideas, so that I have a decent pool to choose from!

Edited by 4kookiekids
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A night out (calm, like quiet restaurant) with my homeschool mom pals (important to be able to b!tch and whine without someone saying “just put them in school!â€)


I’ve done power napping and it worked well


Reading, especially books that are not too demanding


Sing along type music when I’m alone in the house


Zen Tangle when I’m in the mood

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Time in nature

Watercolor painting nature- I pick up things or take pictures of things when I walk and then paint them

Reading- I always have five categories (one book picked to fit each category- Theology, Nature/Science, History, Biography, Home/Family) going at once and then I try to read from each category each week

At Home Spa time- bubble bath, mani/pedi, body scrub, lotion, mask, hair mask, whatever I am in the mood for

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Writing. Sometimes my writing group is a refreshing outing. Sometimes not. Writers, you know.

Painting with watercolors and my one day out with fellow artists.

Taking the boys out to kayak while I sit by the river or lake and think or just write.

Reading a good book in bed.

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My MOST favorite is being at home alone with a bottle of wine and a book about the Fae or space robots or some-such. This is *so* rare though. So a distant second is being alone in public. Getting a massage, going for a walk around the city (I love to hike but don't feel super safe alone in the woods), seeing a movie, writing and drinking tea.


Whatever. "Being alone" as in without any family members is the ticket.


It is really nice to get out and have a relaxing day with my family too, as long as everyone stays super low stress that day. If they don't, it's just more work but not at home where all my books and tea and wine and headphones are.

I could have written this. My DH is lovely and always telling me to get out and have a break but what I want and need is for them to leave and me to have the house all to myself for a couple of hours. It makes all the difference in my life. Sweet silence with a glass of wine, a book or movie...heavenly :)

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Late night computer programming!!


Seriously. I am such a nerd! I also love solving math problems or logic puzzles.


I was a software developer back before having kids, and now I am getting back into it (albeit completely different technologies) so I can teach DS. I'm making some cool apps I think will be useful in our homeschool, and having so much fun doing it. It is totally my happy place. :001_tt1:


Probably too crazy to add it to your list of ideas, but it works for me!

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Walking around antique malls.  I especially love it if I can find a wonderful used book section in an antique mall.....that is bliss!! 


Playing board games.  We are a huge gaming family and playing games with our kids is just a lot of fun. We are hugely competitive and we all get into it.




I don't have to be alone to rejuvenate.  I just need to be able to let go of thinking about our daily routine/responsibilities/things that need to be done and just have fun and/or relax instead.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Getting up before the kids and having a few minutes of quiet to myself before the chaos begins.


Long, hot baths.


Reading a book in the evenings. No music, no TV, kids in bed, DH still at work. Just silence and a good book.


Playing the piano or singing.


A few hours out with my sisters. We just did this last night. They are 5 and 16 years younger than me but we’re very close and love our “sister nightsâ€.


Karate class. I go with my family two days a week and another day by myself. It’s something completely different from the rest of my life and I love it.


A walk around our rural, 3 mile, “blockâ€. Beautiful scenery, no traffic, just fresh air and the sounds of nature.

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Exercise in general.

Nature in general.

Being alone. Absolutely alone. (This almost never happens, but it’s the best refresher ever).

Quiet (also almost never...I’m way too introverted/sensory for the kids I’ve been given :-).

A neat, tidy home.

Talking with a friend who pushes me to be the best person I can be/problem solved with me.

Organizing, though less do now that I have children as it’s hard to find time to fully finish.


Things that do not refresh me: ;-)

Surfing the Internet.






Audiobooks are a tricky one for me. I love that I can fit more books into my life (refreshing), but the noise easily overwhelms me (not refreshing).

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Being alone at home refreshes me, but my alone at home tank is so empty that it would take a weekend to get it about 1/4 of the way full and then about 5 hours each week for a few months to get it to full. Then, maybe two hours a week would be enough to maintain it. But where will the family go for all that time? It’s never going to happen until the kids move out. And then I’ll be sad that they’re gone.


Lots of sleep. If I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t get anything done for the next few days (she types at 11:50 at night because she stayed up too late watching the Olympics.)


Being with friends that don’t make me feel stressed. I have some friends that are fun to hang out with, but we’re just different enough that I feel a little bit stressed. I have a few others that I click with better and time with them is extra refreshing.


I’m not sure that my other hobbies refresh me. I enjoy my time doing them (photography, reading, writing, movies), but I wouldn’t say I’m refreshed after doing them. I’m satisfied, but not necessarily refreshed.


So...sleep, being completely alone, or being with friends.

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I think playing an instrument and reading are great ones if you are already getting exercise and quiet time to yourself!


One of the things I've found is that I just have to adjust my attitude about what it means to do any of these things-- yes, I'm trying to learn to play the piano, but it might mean having a toddler come and bang on the keys. I find yoga and meditation relaxing, but they might happen with kids climbing on me. What makes the activity stressful or refreshing is less about the kids and more about my attitude toward their desire to participate. And I love sunshine and nature, but some days I'm so in my head with thoughts and worries that even being alone and surrounded by beauty and moving doesn't bring me to a happy place. But the activities (like playing an instrument or rock climbing) that require intense focus and concentration often help me achieve a greater state of contentment.

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Audiobooks while I work with my hands (folding laundry, crochet, cooking, etc)


Hiking - this is something that does take a bigger chunk of time, but the payoff in "refreshedness" is big and worth it (exercise, envigorated the senses, novelty of nature, being removed from the daily life things, etc). If it's too long between hikes I take walks through town.


Dr Pepper - I don't do coffee, or many sweets, but this is my indulgence for a hit of sugar and caffeine


Music - listen, play, singing aloud in the car... I play piano and guitar but I for some reason it is harder for me to squeeze those in. But I do have another new instrument whose novelty and fullness have so intrigued me that I make it a point to "squeeze" it in - accordion! 🤡 I came by an old worn out one, free, a couple months ago, and was so taken I bought a new one for myself - my husband's off the hook for Christmas/birthday/valentines/anniversary for the next couple years ;-)


Meditation/Contemplation - I do not follow a particular form of meditation. I just carve out the moment (wherever I am) to practice mindfulness, or think upon a big thought, or recite a memorized selection in my mind, or offer prayer.


Call my sister - you know the game show where you can phone a friend or have some other life line, mine is called my sister. A 10 minute conversation with her usually does so much for me.

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Painting. I got some watercolor pencils and watercolor brush-pens, and have newly discovered the joy of watercolor. I don't consider myself a good artist, but it's fun trying to copy some nature painting I find in google image search  :D


Hand embroidery, crochet, etc. are other things I've recently discovered. I didn't expect to be very good at them, but find the process relaxing, and usually the result (surprisingly) isn't too shabby either!


I like to watch shows I've already watched a thousand times while I paint or sew on the sewing machine or embroider or crochet, etc. 


I've also recently discovered that making canvas cut-out art isn't too hard. I made a piece the other day when DH had the kids out for a few hours. I'll be trying it again soon hopefully!

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