7 Ways To De-Stress This Half Term

Half term is just around the corner and you know half-term can be stressful. Trying to find activities for the kids to do as well as dealing with bickering, or snack requests, you're on edge for the entire week (or two if you're in Nottingham!) as they slowly drive you crazy. Instead, why not spend a little time looking after yourself this half-term - here's 7 ways you can de-stress.

1. Play Centres

Back when your little ones were crawling around on the carpet, or toddling about the house getting into everything, you dreaded the play centre trips didn't you? Climbing up those uncomfortable stairs - on your knees. Crawling over the wobbly bridge with your little one as you tried to teach them to not be afraid, despite your own fear. Play centres were where you spent an hour that zapped your energy and sent you running to the bathroom for a cry whenever the kids made the request. 

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

Eileen Caddy

Now, with older kids, things are different. Play centres are wonderful places where your child can "go off and play" and they're excited. When my two boys were 10 and 15 years old I loved play centres. Even at 15 years old my eldest would play football with his brother or climb the highest place he could. It's a good opportunity to drink a hot coffee and chill out while they use up all their energy.

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!

When your kids are old enough to play on their own these centres are amazing. It's a great way to let your kids run riot for an hour while you have a coffee and catch up with friends. By the time you leave your kids have no energy left and you're refreshed after sitting for an hour with a hot coffee. Play centres are great for helping you de-stress this half-term. 

2. Local Activities

Libraries, leisure centres, and local village halls tend to run activities for the kids during half term. They're there to help keep your kids entertained and they tend to have refreshments (think tea, coffee, and biscuits). Visiting local places is a quick and easy way to get your kids out of the house and doesn't take much effort on your part. Let's face it, if you can have the kids entertained without you going to extra effort it's a win, right? Check Facebook for local pages, your local supermarket's "what's on" advertising space, or ask around at school - people are sure to let you know where to find the best activities.

Movie day at home

Movie days are a brilliant way to keep your kids entertained and yourself de-stressed this half-term. Stock up on popcorn (and other snacks) and plan an easy lunch or dinner. Choose your favourite movies and settle down for a lazy movie day. You can all stay in your pyjamas all day. Eat junk. Chill out. What's not to love about movie days at home?

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

Play outside

Let - or make - the kids play outside. Half-term is the best time to encourage them outdoors rather than playing video games all day.

Fresh air does them good, even if they claim to hate it. I have made my eldest play football with his brother to ensure he gets at least some exercise. It's bad for their health to be indoors all the time, they need vitamin D - especially during the colder months - so being Evil Mum helps them. 


I'm about to contradict myself here... 

I know I just said you can't let them play video games all day but giving them time to play is not a bad thing, as long as it's regulated. Consoles and video games are called out as the cause of anti-social behaviour but 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 video games a lot; after school, at weekends, and especially during holidays and half term. Back in the day, when we played games (you know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth!) it was always a solo venture as you took your miniature character over platforms or fought monsters in the dark. These days gaming is more social and your kids can chat with their friends while they play their games together. 
The kids work together towards a common goal and it teaches them to cooperate gives them something to celebrate when they accomplish a goal. 

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

Benjamin Franklin

Of course while they're playing video games you can sit down (ignore the housework for now) and enjoy a hot coffee while you de-stress.

Days out

Leave your house and visit theme parks, castles, or walk through the woods. You can teach your kids about the world around them, about the history of a castle or how roller-coasters work while being outdoors breathing fresh air and getting some exercise. 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.

While on walks we've discussed everything from how trees grow to complicated science and maths questions. It gives your kids a chance to "get bored" and wonder about the world. Once they start the questions might never stop, but getting them thinking about the world around them can never be a bad thing, and chatting together will help your stress levels.

If all else fails

If you tried the play centre and the kids didn't like it; the kids thought the local activities were "boring"; movie day failed because they argued over which movie to choose; playing outside was a non-starter; you confiscated their consoles because they couldn't stop bickering; it's raining so days out become days in; there's only one thing left for you to do... 

Lock yourself in the bathroom!

Let the kids run riot. Forget about the chores. Hide. Take a coffee and your Kindle or a book, and hope they can keep themselves busy long enough for you to de-stress and read a chapter!

Being a stay-at-home mum during half-term is taxing. The kids struggle with boredom and it's your job to given them enough activities to keep them busy. Hopefully my list will help you de-stress this half-term so you can return to normal routine without the need for a week off!

Further reading

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

As for mums - it's all about surviving the holidays. That's why I love this 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?