As parents or caregivers, sometimes it seems we spend all of our time taking care of our family's needs, especially now in the Lehigh Valley during COVID when everyone is home more. I don't know about you, but I've found all that "need" eventually makes me burn out if I don't make the effort to take care of myself too.
It's certainly a lot harder to fill your family's emotional needs if your own emotional bank account is on empty.
So here are 7 ideas on how you can find that important time for yourself too in the Lehigh Valley, even during the time of COVID:
1. Spend time outdoors
Nothing is better for the soul than getting outside and taking time to think. A walk around the neighborhood suffices, but why not head out on your own or with a friend to a great hiking or walking spot for an hour or two away?
- Trexler Park, Allentown (https://www.allentownpa.gov/Department-of-Parks-and-Recreation/Parks-Bureau/Park-Inventory/Trexler-Memorial-Park)
- Lehigh Parkway, Allentown (https://www.allentownpa.gov/Department-of-Parks-and-Recreation/Parks-Bureau/Park-Inventory/Lehigh-Parkway)
- Sacony Creek Trail, Kutztown (https://www.kutztownboro.org/departments/parks/trail/)
Tip: If the weather isn't perfect, head out for Trexler Park. This is one of my favorite running spots because the path is pathed and you don't have to worry about getting stuck in mud!
2. Plan a romantic date night in
I have friends whose kids can't wait for nights they get popcorn for dinner and can watch a movie on a laptop in bed. It's the height of childhood luxury! They don't know it's their parents' way of sneaking in a date night during COVID. Want to give it a try? Here are our favorite locally-owned date night places to order food from:
- Grille 3501, Allentown (https://www.grille3501.com)
- The Hamilton, Allentown (https://thehamiltonkitchen.com)
- Savory Grille, Macungie (http://savorygrille.com)
Tip: Ask grandma and grandpa to come over and check out a local restaurant with outdoor dining!
3. Find your "people"
Join a Lehigh Valley parenting group on Facebook or find a local club or organization that matches your interests.
- Lehigh Valley Moms, Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/143251542353952)
- Lehigh Valley Road Runners, Allentown (https://lvrr.org)
- MOMs Club of Allentown West (http://www.momsallentownwest.com)
Tip: Visit https://www.meetup.com and search for groups that fit your specific interests.
4. Schedule a spa day
Relax, lie back, and feel your everyday concerns wash away with a spa day. There are so many great spas to choose from in the Lehigh Valley. Whichever one you choose, your newly energized self will thank you. Here are three spas open and with COVID precautions in place between Allentown and Kutztown:
- Hand and Stone, Trexlertown (https://handandstone.com/locations/allentown-hamilton-crossing)
- Hello Beautiful, Fogelsville (https://www.hellobeautifulsb.com)
- The Spa at Bear Creek, Macungie (https://www.bcmountainresort.com/spa/)
5. Try something new
It's easy to get bogged down with all of life's "busyness." Take a little time away and explore an activity or hobby you've always wanted to try. From individual hobbies like photography or quilting to group activities like paint nights, running, or cycling groups, there's something for everyone. Some great places in the Lehigh Valley to find classes?
- Get in touch with your creative side with Art Fusion in Allentown. You can pop into the studio to try your hand at painting or ceramics, try a zoom workshop, or pick up a curbside to-go package. https://www.artfusionstudio.net
- Virtual Bootcamp! If the past year has given us anything, it's been time! I've actually shocked myself with how much I've enjoyed exercise during the time at home. Check out Soldier Fit for virtual bootcamps, or in-person classes. https://soldierfit.com/soldierfit_location/trexlertown-pennsylvania/
- Interior Design. If you had told me a year ago that I would be scouring Pinterest for laundry room ideas, I would have told you that you were crazy. But here we are, and my laundry room is beautiful. Interior design doesn't have to be expensive! Look on Pinterest for budget-friendly ideas and take on a DIY project!
6. Savor a few minutes of solitude
Spending time alone is good for the soul. Let your partner know you need some alone time and head off to relax -- read a book, take a bath or even just take a walk around the neighborhood. Don't feel like you always have to be doing something "productive."
7. Check the Macaroni Kid Allentown - Kutztown website!
Check our Macaroni Kid Allentown - Kutztown page for the latest ideas on family fun in the Lehigh Valley. You'll find ideas there on how to find your family fun -- even during the pandemic.
Taking care of yourself is so important, and not something to be overlooked -- it will make you a better mom at the end of the day!