20+ Simple At-Home Stress-Relievers for Parents
COVID-19 has turned life as we knew it on its head. That means parents’ already jam-packed, nonstop days have become even longer, fuller, and tougher to manage. On top of the usual parenting duties, moms and dads are juggling new roles as their kids’ stand-in teachers, the challenges of working from home with little ones vying for attention in the background, and, of course, their own anxieties about these uncertain times.
With others to tend to, the last people parents may think to care for are themselves. But even as stress and the list of to-dos mount, it’s crucial that parents make time for self-care. While a spa escape is out of the question, there are still ways to relieve stress and restore a little bit of normalcy at home…whether it’s boosting endorphins with a workout during naptime, chilling out with a 10-minute meditation before the kids wake up, or simply turning off the news for a few hours.
Self-Care Checklist for Parents
- Create a schedule...for you and your kids and do your best to stick to it.
- Check the news mindfully. Designate a time to catch up. Then, stop checking until tomorrow.
- Cut yourself some slack when things don't go as planned (like every day!). Be flexible and forgiving.
- Connect with friends and family. Talking to loved ones will almost always make you feel more normal—humans are naturally social! Plus, FaceTiming with faraway friends and family is an activity the whole family can participate in!
- Catch up on Zzz's. It's tempting to turn in late when your schedule's already disrupted, but push yourself to get a full 8 hours. Sleep has been proven to boost the immune system—plus, getting enough sleep helps fight stress.
Need to take a deep, cleansing breath (or 10)? These resources make getting into meditation a no-brainer.
- Mindful: Get free access to Mindful’s premium daily mindfulness course, Find Calm and Nourish Resilience. Additionally, you can stream Mindful@Home—live guided meditations every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3pm EST.
- Ten Percent Happier: Ten Percent Happier is offering free coronavirus-related meditations. They’re also offering healthcare workers free access to their app (email firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions!), and each day you can stream a live sanity break at 3pm EST.
- Calm: The meditation app is broadcasting its signature 10-minute meditation Monday through Friday on Facebook and Youtube. Plus, check out Calm’s curated list of free meditation resources.
- Headspace: Restore some peace of mind with Headspace’s collection of free meditations, aptly named Weathering the Storm.
- UCLA’s Free Guided Meditations: UCLA has a permanent collection of free meditations (with some that specifically pertain to those going through health-related challenges).
Gyms may be closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break a sweat from your own abode.
- Amanda Kloots: Enjoy a free 7-day trial to Amanda Kloots’ subscription program, which features access to a variety of workout videos, including the AK! Baby Bump Prenatal series.
- Peloton App: While you may have come to associate Peloton with the sleek home exercise bike, the Peloton app has an array of workouts that can be done at home—sans set of stationary wheels! And they’re currently offering a 90-day free trial.
- Tracy Anderson: Invite the celeb trainer into your home—she’s offering two weeks free at her online studio.
- Plyojam: Get a workout while you release some stress shaking your booty with Plyojam’s high-impact, dance-based program. Try 30 days free!
- The Class by Taryn Toomey: The popular NYC-based studio livestreams classes daily—and your first 14 days are free.
- Barry’s Bootcamp Live Workouts: Stream live living-room workouts via the studio’s Instagram account.
Virtual Yoga Classes
Want your sweat sesh with a side of zen? Whether you have time for a full flow or can only squeeze in a few minutes, there’s an online class for you.
- CorePower Yoga On Demand: Keep up your yoga practice from home with access to a collection of free online classes.
- Yoga With Adriene: Discover why Adriene has become so beloved among at-home yogis! She has a long library of videos to keep you busy while you’re stuck inside.
- Love Yoga Space: The California studio is streaming classes daily at 9:30am and 4pm PST.
- Sky Ting TV: Stream classes from the New York City-based studio—your first 7 days are free!
Pregnancy & Postpartum Resources
We know this is an especially trying time for parents and expecting parents. These resources are just for you.
- Motherly’s Becoming Mama Online Birth Class: Are you an expecting mama? Motherly is making their online birth class free!
- Bebé Physical Therapy: Not your traditional workout, Bebé offers virtual physical therapy sessions so mamas can tackle everything from pregnancy pain to postpartum recovery in the comfort of their own homes.
Online Mental Health Resources
For professional help navigating this time of uncertainty, there are several mental health resources that you can tap virtually (but if you’re already seeing a therapist, you may want to ask them if you can set up a FaceTime or video call with them!):
- LARKR: Track your mood and talk to a therapist via video chat with this app.
- Woebot: This free app, developed by Stanford psychologists, offers cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-based exercises to coach users through anxiety and depression.
- MoodKit: Track your mood and access CBT-based exercises to help boost it.
- Talkspace: Licensed therapists work through video chat, texts, and audio calls—pick what works best for you.
- Brightside: This site offers free evaluations and then pairs users with therapists and psychiatrists. It’s not currently available in all states—so be sure to check to make sure it’s offered to your location.
More COVID-19 Resources for Families
- What Parents Need to Know About COVID-19—According to Dr. Harvey Karp
- 23 Easy Indoor Activities That Don't Require a Craft-Store Run
- 20+ Virtual Resources to Entertain Cooped-Up Kids
Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Submit your questions here.
Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.