7 Ways To De-Stress This Half Term

Half term is just around the corner and we all know how stressful half term can be. With trying to find activities for them to do as well as dealing with their constant requests we are put on edge and they slowly drive us crazy. For this time half term why not spend a little time thinking about yourself too - here's 7 ways to de-stress.

Play Centres

Back when your little ones were stumbling around, toddling about the house and getting into everything, you dreaded going to the play centre didn't you? Having to spend time climbing up those uncomfortable stairs with your little one, trying to show them not to be afraid walking over the wobbly bridge despite being terrified yourself. It was an hour that zapped your energy and sent you crying to the bathroom whenever the request came. 

Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it. 

Eileen Caddy

Now though things are different. Play centres are wonderful places when your child can be told to "go off and play" and they're happy to. With boys at 10 and 15 I'm at this stage and have been for a while and I love play centres. Sometimes at 15 BP doesn't want to "play" but he still goes off to mess around with his brother, which is great. 

7 Ways To De-Stress This Half Term | Head to the local play centre to wear your kids out - you may even chat with friends!
The play centre. Once a dreaded trip, now a welcome break!

Once your kids are old enough to go off on their own play centres are amazing, and it's a great way you can de-stress during the half term. You can arrange to meet up with your friends' so you can sit and have a chat while your kids play together. It's a great way to let your kids run riot for an hour while you have a coffee and catch up with friends. It also wears out your kids so by the time you leave they're ready for a rest and you can go home and chill out. 

Local activities

Libraries, leisure centres, even local village halls tend to run activities during half term. They're there to help you keep your kids entertained and usually there's refreshments on hand for you too. It's a quick and easy way to get your kids out of the house doing something and doesn't take much effort on your part, apart from getting them there. Check Facebook, your local supermarket's "what's on" advertising space, or ask around at school - people are sure to let you know.

Movie day at home

Plan a movie day. Stock up on popcorn and other snacks, plan an easy lunch or dinner and select a few of your favourite movies - you could even choose some movies you haven't seen yet. Then settle down for a lazy movie day. It's not often you get to stay in your pyjamas and watch TV all day but if it helps you de-stress this half term then why not?

7 Ways To De-Stress This Half Term | Pick movies, grab the popcorn, and wear your pjs!
My boys love a good movie day.

We have a few movies on our must-see list currently and I've been checking out the movies so I can organise our own movie day this coming half term. What movies would you watch?

Play outside

Let - or make - the kids play outside. Even if it's drizzling or snowing getting them to go outside encourages them to be kids. It's easy, particularly during half term, to let them sit and play video games all day so that you can get some peace but making them go outside for a while will get them doing something, maybe even getting a bit a of exercise.

Being outdoors is good for them, even if they claim to hate it. I have often made BP go outside to kick a football around with his brother because if I didn't he would never get any exercise. It's not good for them to be indoors the whole time so being Evil Mum occasionally helps them. And if you go outside with them you get to breathe the fresh air and watch them smile and laugh while they play - what better way to get rid of your stress?


I know I just said you can't let them play games all day but allowing them time to play is not a bad thing. Consoles and video games are constantly called out as the cause for a lot of anti-social behaviour but I do think they have a place in our society, particularly now.

7 Ways To De-Stress This Half Term | Let them play - it's okay occasionally.
I don't know what my boys would do without their consoles!

My boys play games a lot. After school, at weekends, and especially during holidays and half term. Sometimes I wonder if they play too much, and I reduce the amount they're allowed to play - but usually I don't mind them going on their games. Back when we played games (you know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth!) it was always a solo venture. You sat in front of the TV on your own and made your character tackle monsters or jump over gaps in the landscape, but these days it's more of a  social thing. My boys are always talking to their friends and work together coming up with strategies and tackle obstacles together

Talking to each other is something that doesn't often happen these days as kids are constantly on their phones, but as they are concentrating on the game at hand it encourages them to talk to people. Working together towards a common goal teaches them about cooperation and they feel a sense of accomplishment when they reach the goal. And coming up with strategies to tackle problems can never be bad thing can it? They also get to learn which strategies work and which don't - helping their mental capacity to solve problems.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. 

Benjamin Franklin

Allowing them to play their games also means you get to have a little peace while they do! Grab that coffee while you can and de-stress! 

Days out

Theme parks, Castles, even a walk through the woods will get you outside with your kids, teaching them about the world around them, about the history of a castle or how roller-coasters work. I've always found that we talk about the world a lot more when we go out for the day. 

7 Ways To De-Stress This Half Term | Visit a local castle and learn about its history...
We love visiting our local area and learning the history of it.

Walking around your local area is a great way to get out and about and talk to your kids. We've discussed everything from how trees grow to complicated science and maths questions. It gives your kids a chance to "get bored" and start wondering about the world. Once they do the questions might never stop, but getting them thinking about the world around them can never be a bad thing.

If all else fails

If you tried the play centre and the kids didn't like it, the local activities were "boring", movie day failed because they argued about which movie to watch, playing outside was a non-starter, their consoles were confiscated because they couldn't stop bickering, and days out are just not going to happen right now there's only one thing left for you to do... 

Lock yourself in the bathroom!

Let the kids run riot. Forget about doing the chores or cleaning up after them. Just hide. Take a coffee with you, and your Kindle or a book, and just hope they can keep themselves busy long enough for you to de-stress and finish your coffee!

Being a stay-at-home mum during half term is taxing, the kids are always struggling with boredom and it's your job to make sure there are enough activities to keep them busy. But hopefully these things will help you de-stress during the upcoming half term.

Further reading

Over on the Huffington Post there's another great article that lists some ways you can de-stress and they're scientifically backed! Check out 20 Scientifically Back Ways to De-Stress Right Now.

As for us mums - it's all about surviving the holidays isn't it? That's why I love the post over on Nanny & Butler filled with tips on how to survive the school holidays stress-free.

How will you de-stress this half term?