How to Recharge with Quiet Time
Do you get to the end of the day exhausted – both mentally and physically?
When your children go down for a nap, do you go into hyper speed, trying to get a handle on your never-ending to-do list?
Maybe you need to give yourself a time-out.
An afternoon quiet time will refresh you for the evening ahead, improve your attitude, and recharge your mental batteries.
You might not need a nap, but I do
Continue as long as possible
Afternoon quiet time is a priority at my house – well into the teen years.
Granted, as the kids grew up this morphed from a nap to reading time. But the ritual was consistent.
Even now that they kids are grown, and I’m working at home, I make a point to switch gears and do something restful and refreshing in the late afternoon, even if I only have 10 minutes.
If you have a baby in the house, treat their afternoon nap like the ‘Golden Hour.’
When the baby goes down, everyone takes their time-out.
It’s tempting to use that time to deal with the other kid’s needs, especially if you homeschool. But I found it far more valuable to refill my tank, rather than continue to pour out all day long.
Quiet time is not cleaning time.
Believe me that after 25 years of parenting I never think back fondly to how immaculate I kept my house.
Yes, I love a clean house and find it a necessary aspect of a well-run home.
But, it doesn’t feed my soul. Cleaning doesn’t bring back sweet memories, or give a long-term sense of satisfaction.
What does? Reading a great book, being a calm, patient person, having enough energy in the evening to pay attention to my husband, spending time on a favorite hobby, enjoying a bible study.
Those things add up, they last.
Think: mind, spirit, and body.
Not: mopping, dishes, and laundry.
Quiet time tips for success
Keep it up.
Once children begin to balk at nap time consider allowing them to look at books in bed.
Use a timer, if needed, so they know what to expect.
As they transition from toddlerhood to childhood, they will naturally fall asleep some days and stay awake on others.
By creating the opportunity to rest you allow their little bodies to self-protect with more sleep during challenging weeks or when an illness is coming on.
Consider playing an audio story.
Back in the day, we had an inventory of story time cassette tapes.
Libraries still have some books on CD.
The Indianapolis Public Library provides video storybooks at Ready to Read
Storyline is another video storybook site.
An audible subscription is another option. After the 30-day trial, there is a monthly fee. This would make a fabulous gift. Zero clutter.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
What do people use for children’s audio books now? I would love to know in the comments.
Weekends count too.
If you’re a family on-the-go, you may not have the luxury of an afternoon quiet hour every day.
Quiet time is just as valuable on the weekends. Rested children (and parents) make better evening social companions.
Make wake-up time special.
Post-nap is my favorite time to squeeze in a read-aloud.
Young children enjoy the chance to snuggle for a few minutes as they wake up.
And what a precious season of life this is.
Read-aloud transitions to snack time and then you’re off and running to meet the rest of the day.
Fatigue is the enemy of efficiency
Many people hit a slump between 2-7p.m.
The body sags, the brain is molasses slow, and you’re just plain cranky.
Plan strategically to minimize this by carving out time for a quiet hour.