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I came up with this list of self-care ideas for busy moms because I know that as a busy mama it can seem like you have no time for “Self-Care”. What does it even mean, anyway? I have been there.
Not too long ago, if you would have asked me what I do for self-care I would probably have told you nothing really, I’m lucky to wash my hair every now and then. Sometimes I take a little longer in the bathroom than I really need to just to have some moments alone to think, or not think, just to clear my head a little but… self-care? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
However, I was getting to the point of feeling so frazzled, so stressed out, and to be honest I just avoiding looking in the mirror unless I absolutely had to. I was a mess. I started realizing I had to make a change.
Sometimes I would see these other moms with their hair styled and their nails done, using makeup and I would wonder, how is it possible that they have time for all of that? I’m lucky to make it out the door with my hair brushed and matching shoes on.
I realized something though, I was sinking lower and lower into a sort of depressed acceptance that my life was no longer mine, and it would never be again. I was losing my identity as an individual person and just feeling like I was nothing more than just “mom” now, and that I was sort of becoming invisible.
That was so unhealthy. I decided I needed to snap out of it, that I can’t just lose myself just because I am busy and I have kids. It’s difficult to be a good mother if I just stop caring for myself and let myself go. I had to make a change.
That’s when I started hearing a lot about the importance of Self-Care for moms. Now, maybe it sounds like just another buzzword, but seriously, this is a very important topic and concept that I think us busy moms need to really consider and implement.
We need to take time for ourselves, to care for ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally, and most importantly, we need to do it without feeling guilty. (if you suffer from mom guilt, read my article here with 8 tips for overcoming mom guilt)
There is no question that we love our kids, but that doesn’t mean that we need to spend every moment that we are not working focused 100% on them. I know I have had to get it out of my mind that taking time for me or putting myself first at any moment is selfish.
The truth is that it’s not selfish at all, it is a necessity. We need time for US as well. We need to take care of ourselves too, because if we don’t care for ourselves mamas, how can we take care of everyone else?
How can you expect yourself to be the best mom you can be if you’re tired, burnt out, frazzled, stressed, depressed, etc.? You can’t. You need to take care of you to be the best version of you, in order to give the best of yourself. Period.
So maybe you are like me and feel like you don’t have any time for self-care but I’m going to give you some quick and easy self-care practices that you can (and should) implement into your life to help you feel a little more YOU again.
1. Move your body
Yes, we all know exercise is important. Maybe you feel you don’t have time to go to the gym or exercise, but even taking 15-30 minutes a day to fit in some activity is important. It can be as simple as taking a walk, going for a run, doing yoga in your living room, or maybe just putting on some music and dancing around for a while (you can even include the kids in this). It is so important to take care of our bodies as much as possible. Not only will it help you feel better physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
2. Nourish your body
Eating healthy is one of the single most important things we can do to take care of ourselves. I know it seems difficult to take time to actually prepare and eat nutritious meals when you are always on the run, but it is so important.
We tend to focus so much on our kids diets, trying to make sure that they are eating well and getting proper nutrition yet we tend to neglect ourselves.
At the very least, you should try to make sure to have nutritious snacks, such as fruit and nuts on hand instead of sugary, fatty options, to give you a little nutrition boost.
3. Get your zzz’s
Ok, I have been sleep deprived for the last 5 years or so (every since my first son was born) but I have been trying my best to regulate that and make sure to get enough sleep.
It is so important, not only for your health but also for your mind and emotions. I don’t know about you but when I have been really sleep deprived before I have felt like a complete basket case.
So, as impossible as it may seem, make sure and get sufficient sleep. you will not only feel better but you will be able to have more patience and be a better mom for it.
This may seem like the most obvious self-care tip on this list but believe me, it is probably the most important.
4. Make time to connect with your significant other
It’s so easy in the hustle and bustle of the everyday to get used to being with your significant other along with the kids, or doing everyday things, without actually taking time to really connect. However, it’s important to take time for just the two of you.
Schedule in a date night or special time with your SO where you can focus on just the two of you, where it’s not all about the kids or the chores or all the things you have pending.
5. Make time to connect with your friends
As we get older and have kids, we get so busy in life that it becomes so easy to lose touch with our friends. We tend to put our friendships on the back burner, not because we want to but because there is just so much to do and it can be hard to find time to get together.
Not to mention that these days, it is so easy to just check up on each other through social media or the occasional text message here and there, that we can forget to take the time to really connect.
We don’t often take the time to sit down, have a cup of coffee or a meal and a real conversation. However, it really is important to take that time, to nurture those relationships, to connect on a deeper level with those friends with whom we can talk about anything and everything.
6. Don’t neglect your health
Make time to get all your check-ups, eyes, dental, gyno, general health, don’t neglect it. I am guilty of this, but I have made a pact with myself to be more vigilant with my health as it’s so important. Not to mention we need to set a good example for our kids to always take care or their health as well.
7. Pursue your hobbies
Maybe you have a hobby that you feel you no longer have time for, or you have an interest in something but have never taken the time to learn or give it a try, whatever it may be, maybe it’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, painting, drawing, singing, playing an instrument, etc. whatever it may be, pursue it! Don’t let it go.
I have always loved crafting, making jewelry and hair accessories, using a mixture of textiles, stones, beads and pearls, however since having kids I have not pursued it any more but now I am determined to get back to my crafty self, as it’s one of the things that just brings me pure joy, to be creative and to make something with my hands. So whatever you passion may be, take time to pursue it.
8. Get in touch with your artistic self
We always encourage our kids to draw or color or do creative things, but for many of us, we don’t take the time to do those things ourselves. Why not sit down with the kids and pick up the pencils, paint brushes, etc. and draw, color or paint? There are more and more adult coloring books out there now for a reason, coloring is good for our mental health – So take some time and get creative!
9. Take up Journaling
I have been seeing so many awesome journals out there such as this gratitude journal that I have been inspired to take it up. I never used to journal but sometimes whenever I was feeling either overwhelmed or inspired, I would pick up a notebook and just start writing out my thoughts and feelings and it always felt very therapeutic and relieving.
When my son was born I started to write out special moments and note down milestones because I was afraid I would forget them.
So I was journaling in a sense without realizing it. Since then I have decided to start journaling for real and with purpose. It is not only therapeutic but it helps me organize my thoughts, ideas and goals and to be able to take a moment to really appreciate the good moments.
10. Take a moment to enjoy the sunrise or the sunset
Sometimes you need to just take a moment to enjoy the beauty of nature. To just slow down and appreciate the beauty we have every day and feel grateful for just being.
Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. I try to squeeze in a little reading every day, even if it’s only 15 minutes or so before going to bed, I try to always get in a little reading time. For me it is the best way to relax and get out of my head a little bit and to de-stress.
12. Cook your favorite meal, or favorite treat
Yes I know, being a busy mom means cooking is a chore, sometimes a loathsome one, however, if you have a little extra time and you can take your time to make something you really enjoy, it can be a very rewarding. So put on your favorite tunes, sing along and make your favorite meal / food / treat.
13. Listen to your favorite music
This one you can incorporate into other tasks or you can just take a moment to put on your favorite music, maybe sing along or dance, just let go and be in the moment, this is a great stress reliever and a way to just have a moment of joy just for you.
14. Do nothing
Yes, sometimes you need to just be alone to do… nothing. Just take a moment to breathe, to still your mind, and just be. When life is hectic, sometimes we need just a few moments to just still the craziness of the day and just breathe.
15. Take bath (or an extra-long shower) with a little pampering
I don’t know about you, but I miss the days before kids when I could go take a bath or even a shower and take as long as I want, shaving, exfoliating, conditioning, singing, relaxing, whatever, bath time was me time.
Now however, it’s almost always just jump in and shower as quickly as possible and jump out and “do I have a moment to wash my hair today? Awesome! Oh, how long has it been since I shaved? Oops! I’ll just I’ll wear jeans….
Don’t tell me you don’t know what that’s like, I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point… but sometimes we need to just make ourselves take the time to pamper us, maybe put the kids to bed so there are no distractions and fill up that tub and get to pampering!
16. Shop for yourself, by yourself
I do this sometimes, I find is to be stress relieving and it helps me relax my mind after work and prepare me to shift my focus. Most of the time it’s just browsing / window shopping, but I will allow myself half an hour to 45 minutes after work some days to just browse a couple shops and just sort of distress.
17. Get a manicure / pedicure, get your hair done
Is there anything better than a professional wash and blow out, or maybe a beauty treatment (eye brows, facial, waxing etc.).
Or, if it’s not in your budget, do it yourself. Set up your home spa and give yourself a manicure / pedicure, facial, maybe a nice hair treatment, blow out, etc.
I try to take time every now and then to do my own little home spa, it really helps me feel good again and more feminine.
18. Take a moment to enjoy a favorite beverage and / or a favorite snack on your own
Sometimes for me there is nothing like just sitting down and enjoying a favorite beverage, it could be a glass of wine, a cup of tea or coffee, or whatever you fancy.
Combine it with a favorite snack and just take a moment to really savor and enjoy the moment, or combine it with another activity such as reading, enjoying the sunset or the sunrise, and you can have a really special me moment to help relax your mind and body.
So those are my top 18 self-care ideas for you busy mamas. I hope you will try to implement some (or all) of these self-care ideas into your days. Remember, it’s important to take care of ourselves in order to be the best version of ourselves for our kids.
If we neglect ourselves, if we let the feelings of stress and overwhelm take over, then we will constantly be feeling burnt out, we will tend to snap easier, lash out, and our stress will rub off on our kids as well. In order to be the best mom possible, we need to be our best selves.
Not to mention we need to set an example for our kids, and they need to see the importance of taking care of ourselves as well. We are not robots. We cannot just give and give without getting burnt out.
Now, if you are thinking, “that all sounds great but how do I find time for me?” Then I check out 15 time management tips for busy moms to help you find some you time so can implement these self-care ideas in your life.
So mamas, take care of yourselves and love yourselves so you can be the best mom for your kiddos! Now, over to you, what are some of your own self-care practices you like to implement in your day? Comment below!