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D.I.Y relaxation for parents: A Loving Journey

I wanted to take a minute and applaud all the parents of special needs children out there. You know who you are…take a bow, because you rock!

We all do the impossible and improbable at times and hang in there like a champ. Doing everything that is asked of us and more and trying to juggle many things at any given time. We do it all for our kids.

But what do we actually do for ourselves? Do we even have the time?

I know time can be hard to find, but when you do find even a few minutes, you need to make the most of it. That’s why I wanted to share some easy and simple ways to D.I.Y relaxation at home – or no matter where you are. Yes, even in your car!

So here are some steps for a nice, comfy and relaxing D.I.Y space.


Scent. Find a scent you find relaxing and find ways to bring it with you throughout the day. Essential oils, room spray, or those hanging car fresheners – it’s surprising what a relaxing scent can really do.

Salt lamp or mood lighting. Having a calm, soft light in your favorite space can be all the more relaxing. If you are in your car, try parking under a shady tree or even in a parking garage to limit the amount of light in your space when you need a relaxing moment.

A good book. Whether you are in-between appointments or curled up in your favorite chair, a good book is always key to relaxing. Taking time away from your day and yes, your phone, and unplug for even a few minutes.

A good seat. Find a favorite and comfortable chair and make it your go-to spot to unwind. At home you can take a refurbished seat you found at a rummage sale and add some details of your own for comfort – a throw pillow to a favorite soft throw blanket. If you are in your car as much as I am, spend a few bucks and get a massaging car seat cover.

A good cup of tea or coffee. It’s amazing what a hot cup of tea or your favorite coffee can do for a relaxing pick-me-up no matter what time of day. I love pumpkin coffee. Makes me think of fall and my favorite sweater.

Foot soak. There’s nothing like a few minutes of a foot soak to help you relax and it’s great for your tired toes.

Add a plant or two. Adding something green to your relaxation spot is not only relaxing but also good for the environment and air quality. It could be a plant in the house or even a small flower or plant in your car or a picture of one. Use some imagination.

A change of scenery. Try to find a relaxing spot to park the car for a few minutes or even a nice place to sit and take in the sights and sounds. I love to sit out on my back porch and listen to the stream and the cows mooing on the distant farm. Reminds me of when I was back working on the farm, seeing the fall leaves change colors and hearing the frogs at night. Sometimes I like to roll down the windows in the car on a nice day and take in all the sights, sounds and smells of my old home town.

So there you have it. A little list of ways to add some relaxation to your hectic day.

Try one, try them all, and melt away the stress. Easy…simple…and relaxing.

Because we all need to charge our batteries at the end of the day and remember we are important to.

Trish Schaeffer is a mom of three boys—two with special needs—and a blogger for Central Penn Parent. Follow her at You can follow Trish on Twitter @Alovingjourney and on her Facebook group A Loving Journey-Parents of special needs kids.

Sign up for Central Penn Parent's Capabilities Newsletter! The Capabilities Newsletter is a monthly compilation of the top stories for parents of children with special needs.

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