Refresh and De-stress

Angelyn Harrenstein's avatar

by Angelyn Harrenstein

Writing on this topic of taking time for myself to be refreshed and de-stress has been good accountability. 

It has pushed me to do for myself what I have advised other moms and parents of children with special needs to do for themselves.  

There are so many clichés out there like “happy wife, happy life,” and “if mom isn’t happy nobody is happy.” 

While families can look different from one another, there is a sense of truth to those cliché statements if your family unit contains a mother or father who is a caretaker for a special needs child, maintains the household, organizes and tracks everyone’s schedules and activities, schedules and attends doctor’s appointments, and the list goes on. 

These tasks are tiring for parents who are raising healthy, typically developing children. 

These tasks can be downright exhausting for those raising children with special needs due to the extra demands that life brings. 

I am not implying this makes the children any less of a blessing, but it can make daily life more stressful. 

My goal here is to share a few things that have been part of my routine as of late to refresh and de-stress in the hopes that it will inspire you to find an activity or hobby that does the same for you.


I have been participating in a class at the local YMCA that combines yoga, Pilates, and Tai chi.  It has been a great activity for me as it makes me feel calm and centered by the time the hour has passed. 

I’ve never been the type to go out and run five miles to feel like I’d had a good workout, but this class combines strength with relaxation that makes me feel less stressed. 

Whether it’s kickboxing or yoga or spinning class, find a positive outlet for your stress that will bring you into better health, which is good for you and your family!

Friend Time

Moms need time together. Dads need time together. 

There is something about a group of girlfriends indulging in snacks and chatting that can refresh me differently than a date night with my husband. 

My closest friends and I try to make it a priority to get together for girls movie night, or go out for coffee to catch up and spend time being friends and adults. This is a welcome break from being “mom” for a couple of hours on a Friday night once in a while. 

I encourage you to make time to connect with your closest friends - the ones that you can laugh with until you cry, tell old stories with, and leave feeling like you got a bit of yourself back. 


I recently participated in my first craft fair. While I didn’t sell as much as I had hoped at the craft booth shared with a friend, preparing all of the items was so much fun for me. 

I have always enjoyed being artistic and making things, so putting together some home décor items and gifts is a creative outlet for me that there has not always been time for. I didn’t make time for it. 

Having the deadline of the craft fair held me accountable to getting everything ready on time, and that was good for me. It would do all of us mamas and dads good (and our families too) if we scheduled a deadline or set aside time for ourselves to do a hobby we enjoy.  

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