For Moms

37 Quick and Easy Self-Care Ideas For Moms Short On Time

Do you struggle to find time to do anything for yourself? I hear you mama! You are not alone.

After taking care of your family, laundry, cooking, cleaning, paying bills and running errands, it is easy to see why so many of us believe we don’t have enough time for self-care ideas for ourselves.

Today I wanted to give you a little bit of motivation (or maybe a little kick in the pants) to change that.

Taking care of yourself is not optional. If your family is depending on you, then it is important to make sure that you are in tip-top shape.

The only way to do that is to practice self-care.

I’m not talking about taking luxurious hour-long bubble baths with rose petals and a glass of wine (even though there is nothing wrong with that).

I am talking about making sure that our basic needs are met so that we can continue to do the things we need to do.

All of us are in different seasons of our motherhood journey.

Some of you may be in the crazy newborn stage and getting hardly any sleep and others may have all of their kids in school during the day. One thing I am sure of is that we all want to be intentional with the time that we do have.

That is why I have put together this list of quick self-care ideas.

There is something here for everyone. So take a look through the ideas below and pick something that works for you.

Self-Care Ideas That Take 1 Minute or Less

1. Three Deep Breaths

Deep breathing has a powerful calming effect. The key is to make sure your exhale is longer than your inhale. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 3 and then out through your mouth for a count of five.

Try doing this when you first wake up, before you eat each meal, when you feel anger bubbling and before you sleep.

2. Ten Jumping Jacks

This is a super quick way to get your body moving and your blood flowing. It helps increase your energy and lifts your mood.

3. Recite a Positive Affirmation

Did you know that if you use affirmations regularly, they can rewire your brain?

Consider the limiting beliefs you have about yourself and then flip the script with a positive affirmation. For example, if you believe you are an angry mom, use the affirmation “I am patient and calm.”

Go ahead and write these down and paste them on the book you’re reading, or on the mirror in the bathroom or even on the package of your favorite food.

Learn to have these new affirmations in the front of your brain during the day.

4. Light a Candle

Something about a candle always feels so luxurious and cozy. Make sure it is a non-toxic candle so your not filling your home with dangerous substances.

5. Play Music

Putting on my favorite songs instantly puts me in a better mood. It literally takes less than 1 second to tap the music app on my phone.

6. Love on Your Pet

Take a few seconds, find your pet, snuggle up and pet them. Such a great way to de-stress.

7. Hug Your Kids or Your Husband

Give your oxytocin and serotonin levels a quick boost by giving your spouse a hug. Better yet, give your husband a 15 second kiss!

8. Drink a Glass of Water

Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It increases your energy levels, flushes out toxins and keeps you from gaining excess weight.

9. Send a Text to a Friend

Since phone calls are usually out of the question for me with three loud kids, I usually connect with friends through text. This is an easy way to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

10. Put Your Cell Phone Down

Sometimes you just need to unplug from technology. Put your cell phone down and walk away. I find I am in a much better mood when I stay away from technology for at least the first half of the day.

11. Go Outside

Being in nature reduces anger, anxiety and stress. Plus my kids seem to behave about 1000 times better when they are playing outside than when they are in the house.

12. Smile

Even if you have nothing to smile about, just lift the corners of your mouth a hair. When you are happy you smile naturally. But did you know that the opposite may be true? Faking a smile may actually make you feel happier.

13. Take a Multivitamin

Try as we may, it is almost impossible to get all the nutrients we need from food alone. Taking a few seconds to pop a multivitamin can help correct nutrient deficiencies.

14. Diffuse essential oils

Put a few drops of your favorite essential oils in a diffuser and make your home feel like a spa!

Self- Care Ideas That Take 5 Minutes Or Less

15. Stretch

Not quite enough time to do a full exercise routine? Take a little time to get your blood flowing by stretching.

16. Meditate

Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Anytime a thought creeps into your mind (and it will) come back to your breath. This is a great way to practice being in the present moment.

17. Body scan

Lay down, close your eyes and start bringing your attention to the different parts of your body. Start with your toes and work your way up. Notice the sensations in each area and release any tension you come across.

18. Write Your To-Do List

Feeling overwhelmed? Take five minutes to brain dump and make a list of everything you need to do. This gets it out of your head and onto paper.

19. Put on Clothes That Make You Feel Great

This isn’t something I do every day. But when I do take 5 minutes to pick out a cute outfit and get dressed, I feel much more confident and ready to take on the day.

20. Clean Something

When my house is a mess, I feel like a mess. Taking 5 minutes to load the dishwasher or wipe the bathroom sink can help and it makes me feel like I accomplished something.

You can even include your toddler in your chores!

21. Read an Inspiring Blog Post

Read something that teaches you something, motivates you or makes you laugh.

22. Write Out Your Goals for the Week

Creating goals gives you a sense of purpose, motivates you and gives you a clearer sense of what is important.

23. Start a Dance Party

When tensions start to flare, I like to put on some music and start dancing around with my kids. It lightens the mood and gets everyone smiling.

24. Check One Thing Off Your To-Do List

Remember that to-do list you made? Now pick one thing and check it off. Crossing things off a list can be very cathartic and it makes you feel like you accomplished something.

25. Sing

Have your kids asked you the same question 100 times? Sing the answer! Trying to get the kids to do something? Sing the instructions. It actually gets them listening and smiling and it’s a better alternative than yelling.

26. Do Your Make-Up

I hardly ever put on make-up, but when I do take 5 minutes to put on some eyeliner and mascara I feel much more put together.

Self-Care Ideas That Take 10 Minutes Or Less

27. Take a Quick Shower

Is there any problem that a shower can’t solve? The shower is my happy place and taking a 10 minute shower can make a huge difference in your attitude.

28. Write in a Journal

Writing in your bullet journal can give you a deeper understanding of your thoughts and feelings and help you to process them.

29. Make Yourself a Healthy Meal

Making sure you are eating nourishing foods at regular intervals can ward off irritability and low energy levels. Take a few minutes to scramble some eggs or throw together a quick salad. Your body will thank you.

30. Drink a Cup of Herbal Tea

There is something really calming about sitting down and sipping a hot cup of tea. Chamomile and peppermint are my personal favorite for relaxing.

31. Unfollow People on Social Media

About a year ago, I unfollowed everyone on Facebook and it has done wonders for my mental health. It will also help you cut down your time mindlessly scrolling social media.

Self-Care Ideas That Take 20 Minutes Or Less

32. Exercise

20 minutes of exercise can do wonders for your mood! I love using exercise videos on Youtube. They are free and there are so many different kinds. You’re sure to find something you love.

33. Take a Power Nap

Chronically sleep deprived? Take a 20 minute power nap to start getting caught up on your sleep debt. I truly believe that prioritizing sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your well being.

34. Read a Book

Curl up in your favorite nook with a good book. You will feel so refreshed after.

35. Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts are an awesome way to learn something new or to be inspired. whatever your interest is, I am sure you can find a podcast related to it. I recently started incorporating podcasts into my morning routine.

36. Put on a Face Mask

This is a great way to pamper yourself! I like to mix bentonite clay with raw apple cider vinegar to give my face a deep clean and detox my skin.

37. Detox Bath

This is such a great way to relax and to get some serious health benefits at the same time. Just add either bentonite clay, epsom salt, baking soda or apple cider vinegar to your bath water and soak for 20 minutes.

Find Time for Yourself Easily During the Day

There are so many ways to take care of yourself, even if you think you have no time.

Remember, you cannot be at your best if you are not taking care of yourself. Once you start to prioritize your self-care, you will be amazed with how much better you feel and your family will thank you for it.

Bethany is the blogger behind After recovering from postpartum depression, she created her blog as a way to help moms in a similar situation find more joy and create a life they love. Sound like something you want more of? Get her Free Workbook: The Overwhelmed Mom's Ultimate Guide to Beginning Self Care.

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