Fall Back: What to Do with that Extra Hour of Sleep

Author: one tough job

Just kidding! If only that extra hour that other folks get could be true for us. We know there’s no extra hour of sleep involved for parents. Those bright-eyed beings will be awake at 6 am instead of 7 am, and so the journey of Sunday morning, November 1st, begins.

However, that earlier wake-up can mean kids ready for bed an hour earlier than they would normally be (time to hide the clocks). After you’ve gotten through tooth brushing, negotiated how many bedtime stories are reasonable, tucked in their blankets, and turned on the nightlights, it’s time to enjoy that “extra hour” that Daylight Savings Time gives us.

If you need to catch up on household chores, that’s totally understandable – try one of these too while you’re at it.

Short ‘Meditation’

Meditation doesn’t have to be long to be helpful. A mom and writer for Yoga Journal describes putting her kids in their car seats and walking very slowly around to the driver’s seat for 2-3 minutes of calm by herself. She writes, “And this is how I’ve come to bridge the sacred world of meditation with the profane reality of motherhood; by carving out short moments of ‘big mind,’ I can better handle life’s ‘small mind’ moments.” How can you enjoy a quiet couple of minutes sitting, walking slowly around your house, or looking out the window? Alternatively, here’s a free 5-minute guided meditation you can listen to on a computer or phone.

Go for an evening walk

Not all of us thrive on morning walks or morning exercise. Sometimes the best time to take a walk is in the evening after you’ve gotten the kiddos to tuck in for bed. A quick walk around the block, or to the end of your street and back, in the evening quiet can clear your head before bed. Make sure there’s a responsible adult is staying in the house in case your child needs anything. Safety first, even for the shortest of walks.

Reconnect with a friend or loved one

Connecting with loved ones is always important, and especially with winter and uncertain health outcomes on the horizon, it’s become even more critical to our well-being. Could you spend a little time with your child’s co-parent or other caretakers, focusing on your relationship instead of on childcare? Many of us also get great joy from our friendships, even if we get busy between catch-ups. This would be a great opportunity to speak with a friend you haven’t chatted with in a while. If you’re getting tired of screen time, try a regular old phone call. Or take the time to send a card/short letter – who doesn’t love getting fun mail that isn’t a bill?

And let’s not forget the easiest (and our personal favorite) option: sleep. You too can get that ‘extra hour of sleep’ by winding down earlier than you normally would. Resting as a parent is always a good idea when you can; it makes you brighter, fresher, happier, and more equipped to be the parent you want to be.

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