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10 Amazing Ways to Treat Yourself When the Kids are at School

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

School’s open! And for many at-home parents, that bittersweet time means missing your kids (I love summer vacation time with my kids!) … and discovering that you have more time for yourself. But after a summer of focusing on kids’ activities, it can be hard to think of what to do with that time.

Of course, you could use it to deep clean that front hall closet or detail the car. Good ideas, but I was thinking about what you could do just for yourself. A treat, a way to celebrate, a small luxury. If you’re wondering what to do for yourself between the first bell of the day and the moment they get off the bus, here are some simple ways to treat yourself when the kids are at school.

10. Start on that fitness plan

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women in yoga gear from Chakras by Didi
Yes, you’ve been running around after kids all summer. But is that the kind of fitness program you really want? Take some of that extra time and explore fitness goals and options that aren’t centered around seven year olds. Buy a cute yoga outfit and try out a yoga class (or start with that yoga DVD you wanted to try.) Check out local gyms.

Discount sites like Groupon often have specials on fitness classes, so you can sample different teachers and locations without spending a fortune or signing a contract.

9. Drink that coffee (or cocoa) hot

white cup and saucer
Remember that cup of cocoa you poured for yourself? Or that coffee you picked up at the drive-through? Yeah, the one congealing in the cup. Toss it. And get yourself a new one. A hot, fresh one. The laundry, the dishwasher and even the dog’s walk can wait. Sit down, open a book or magazine and savour your steaming cup.

If you don’t have what you need to make that perfect cup, now is the time to treat yourself to fine cocoa, a new variety of herbal tea or a shiny new coffee maker.

8. Get creative

painting cups and brush
For at least a few hours a day, those paints you get out won’t end up on the wall. The drawing pen won’t be used to pry a really cool bug out of the driveway crack. And the paper will all be there when you’re ready to start on your masterpiece. Enjoy it!

Pull out the art supplies, or treat yourself to some new grown-up art tools and let your creativity take over. When school is over for the day, you and your kids can both share masterpieces.

7. Rethink your space

city living room
When the kids are off at school, it’s easier to see what’s working with your rooms and decor…and what’s not. Take a walk through your rooms. Snap pictures if you want (it’s amazing how much better we see a room in a picture!) Imagine what you would like to see in the spaces. Spend some time pouring over home decor catalogs and magazines, and see what catches your eye.

Taking the first step towards creating the rooms you want is a wonderful way to treat yourself…after all, it’s your home!

6. Have a heart-to-heart

couple talking
It could be a middle-of-the-week date with your partner. A long lunch with your brother or sister. An afternoon with a best friend. With no kids around, it’s easier to really connect and catch up. Not only is it fun, researchers have found that this kind of deeper connection is good for our health. That’s perfect for when the kids start bringing home those classroom germs!

5. Get pampered

womans hands
What says pampering to you? Is it a manicure with a pretty new polish? A haircut somewhere other than the strip mall chain shop? A massage? Whatever it is, treat yourself to truly wonderful experience to remind yourself that you matter, too. You’ve earned it!

4. Enjoy nature

people walking in woods
Getting out in nature with kids is fun. But heading out for a walk on the beach all alone, or a stroll in the woods with a good friend are rejuvenating. Take a couple of hours, or take a whole day. Try to work some time in nature into your schedule throughout the school year. You (and your family) will benefit.

3. Treat yourself to a (TV) binge

woman watching television
Okay, not every day. Or even every week. But if there’s a show you just love but never get to watch without a dozen interuptions, now is the time to gather up some yummy, healthy snacks like fruit or fresh nuts (you could even order yourself one of those fancy gift baskets!) and watch a few episodes…or a couple of seasons!

2. Read a grown-up book

people in bookstore
Grab your keys and head out to a real brick-and-mortar bookstore (yes, a few still exist!) and find a just-for-you book. Forget the “I should read this” or “this will be useful” books. This is just about reading for the sheer joy of diving into another world, another time or another person’s life.

1. Become a tourist in your city

San Antonio River Walk
So many of us only see our hometowns from the window of our car as we drive to the market or the kids’ school. Break that pattern by heading out to see your city as though you were a tourist. Hop on a tour bus or boat, or just wander around and see what you find. You may be surprised by what’s right there in your back yard.

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