As an au pair it is easy to blur the lines between free time and work. It is very important to create a clear distinction between the two but it is often hard as you live and work in the same place.
In the beginning, all of my spare time was spent with the family as I wanted to demonstrate that I was keen on being part of their family. I initially felt guilty for wanting to spend time alone. However, over time, I have realised that wanting to spend time on my own, away from the family, does not make me a bad person. Rather the opposite.
Recently I joined a gym. I was extremely hesitant at first but it has been beneficial in so many ways. Obviously it has great benefits in terms of my physical health, but funnily enough I have found it to be more beneficial to my mental health. The gym has proven to be a great way to reduce stress and clear my mind.
Another thing which has been beneficial for me is meeting new people. In the beginning I was very hesitant to connect with new people no matter whether it was in person or on social media. After spending all my spare time with my cousin, I soon realised I needed to swallow my pride and reach out to new people. There are numerous groups on Facebook which provide a great platform to connect with au pairs in your area. I agreed to meet up with a few au pairs for a quiet drink last Friday night and it turned into one of the most crazy and fun nights I’ve had in a long time. Meeting up with other au pairs was so great as I was connecting with people from countries all around the world, they all understood every aspect/struggle/triumph of being an au pair and of course they are great drinking buddies.
After taking a break from the family – whether it is the gym, catching up with friends or simply watching a movie in my room – I return refreshed, in a better mood and frame of mind. This short break proves to not only being beneficial to my wellbeing but also how I interact with the family.
I would love to hear some things you do to destress and improve your well being.