I saw an article in our local paper about the importance of parents taking mini breaks during the day to avoid burnout.  Because our lives can get so busy, the article shared ideas for short 15 to 20 minute breaks a parent can take to rejuvenate and then get back to the tough job of parenting.  I am one who makes sure to take a few breaks during the day just to save my sanity.  I can attest to the value of mini breaks!  

Here are some ideas for mini breaks based on the personalities of our family members.  Though I could share many ideas for each person, I am only sharing what their top choice for a break would be:

Hub – Spend some time in the yard.  Pull a few weeds, plant some flowers, pick up a little litter, or just sit and enjoy the fruits of your labors as your garden matures.

Kweenmama – Read.  Allow yourself to read a chapter in the book you are reading.  Set the timer and spend the time reading the newspaper or a magazine.  Read what your kids are reading in school so that you can talk with them about it later.

Squid – Ride your bike.  Even a quick 15 minute spin around the neighborhood can be rejuvenating.

Huh – Listen to music.  Close your eyes and just listen.

Juju – Call a friend for a quick chat.

Mack – Take a power nap.

Shroom – Spend some time on the computer.  Allow yourself 15 minutes to write a post for a blog, read other blogs, check email or Facebook, or play a game.

Hoob – Do some stretching exercises or yoga.

Yawlin – Jump on the trampoline or get active in some other way.  Jog, walk, put on your favorite music and dance, just get moving!

Max – Chase your tail.  Okay, Max is the dog.  But he is a member of the family and so I include his activity.  The idea here is to act silly.  Give your kids a break too and go crazy together.  Draw funny pictures,  tell jokes, play a video game, spin in circles, spray each other with silly string, eat a disgustingly, unhealthy snack.  Let yourself go and enjoy being with your kids.

Some other ideas that have worked for me:

Soak in the tub; take pictures of the kids; pour a cold drink and relax; Sudoku, crosswords, and word searches; brainstorm ideas for the next family get-a-way; listen to the birds; text a joke to your teenagers; read the comics; pray, meditate, read scriptures or other uplifting material; channel surf for exactly 15 minutes; walk around a local park; chat with your spouse; journal.

Adapt these ideas for your circumstances–get rid of guilt–and take that break!