Self-care is defined as the practice of taking an active role in preserving one’s own well-being and happiness, especially during periods of stress.
It is not selfish to take care of yourself, but moms often neglect this practice in an effort to take care of everyone else.
You have to take care of yourself, however, in order to continue taking care of others effectively. The saying is true that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Living this way is not sustainable. Eventually, you will lose your physical and/or mental health in the process.
If your schedule is packed so tightly that you don’t have time left to care for your health and well-being, it’s time to say no to something.
Simple self-care ideas for busy moms
You really need to schedule some time for self-care. Taking care of yourself not only benefits you but ultimately benefits your family as well.
Self-care does not have to be formal or fancy. There are some simple self-care ideas that moms can easily incorporate day-to-day.
Check out the list I came up with below of 25 self-care ideas for busy moms. Decide what you can implement, so you can take back your time and enjoy your motherhood again.
1 // Drink plenty of water
The majority of the human body is made up of water. It is imperative that you stay hydrated to maintain proper energy levels.
Take care of yourself by making sure that you drink plenty of water. It is recommended that adults drink about 2 liters of water per day.
Dehydration can cause all sorts of symptoms from headaches to fatigue. Start tracking the amount of water you drink during the day to ensure that you are drinking enough.
2 // Move your body
Our bodies were made to move. Make it your goal to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to maintain strength and endurance.
Find something you enjoy and stick with it, whether that’s running or weight training. You do not have to join a gym to stay fit.
There are plenty of ways to workout at home. Fit in exercise first thing in the morning to get it out of the way and extend your energy level throughout the day.
3 // Eat healthy meals
Clean up your diet by incorporating more whole foods. This includes foods that are nature-made, not manmade.
Choose anything from meat and dairy to fruits and vegetables to legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, such as brown rice and oats.
Make it your goal to eat more whole foods and take note of how it makes you feel. Also, be sure to eat plenty of food throughout the day.
As busy moms, we can easily end up eating nothing besides the leftover scraps of our children’s meals. Plan out your own meals as well before you head to the grocery store.
4 // Take your vitamins
I take a daily multivitamin and probiotic to fill any nutritional gaps left from my food and give my immune system a boost.
Taking my vitamins each day helps keep me from getting sick, especially during the winter months.
My vitamins come directly to me in the mail from care/of. You can customize which vitamins you receive, and they have a quiz to help you figure out exactly what you need.
Use this code to get $40 off your first order.
5 // Get outside
Spending time outdoors can change my mood almost instantly, especially if it’s warm outside. Sitting outside on the porch is one of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice.
I have a tendency to feel depressed when I have to spend too much time inside. This happens to me often during the cold winter months.
As soon as it warms up, I am itching to get outside. This is the perfect self-care idea for moms. You can sit outside while you’re kids play. Use this time to take a break and relax.
6 // Wake up early
The morning hours are a perfect time to fit in a little self-care. I like to wake up a couple of hours before my kids each morning.
I use this time to read my Bible, exercise, and get ready for the day. This helps to start my day off right, but you can use the morning hours however you like.
There are seasons when I wake up early to hustle and work on my goals. Other times I wake up early to make time for myself and refuel my soul.
I used to be a night owl, but now I love waking up early. Click here for 10 ways to trick yourself into getting out of bed.
7 // Tend to your goals
Goal setting is important because it provides a roadmap for creating a life you love. Meaningful goals motivate you to work toward the things that are most important to you.
That alone makes goal setting one of the most important self-care ideas for moms. You have a tendency to put everyone else’s needs before your own.
Setting good goals and making time to tend to your goals on a regular basis is an excellent form of self-care.
This practice causes you to pause and think about what you need or want out of life and create a plan of action that will help you get there.
8 // Establish your priorities
You must know your top priorities in order to spend your time in such a way that honors those priorities.
Doing this gives you a sense of purpose as you go throughout your day. When I feel overwhelmed, it is usually because my priorities are out of line.
I know exactly what my priorities are, which helps me tackle my day with purpose and spend my time on the things that truly matter.
9 // Plan your day
Planning ahead is essential for busy moms who desire to live life with purpose. It is easy to go into survival mode when life gets busy.
Don’t live life in survival mode. Do yourself a favor and take the time to plan out your day before it spirals out of control.
Take note of any appointments or activities you have scheduled and map out the things you need or want to accomplish.
You can do this each morning as part of your morning routine, or you can set aside time on Sunday to plan for the entire week ahead.
10 // Grow your faith
God speaks to us through his word, the Bible. You can discover who God is and how He relates to us by reading your Bible daily.
You can supplement this practice by working your way through devotionals and Bible studies, reading faith-based books, or listening to podcasts and sermons.
Communicating with God on a regular basis helps me to stay in line with His will for my life, which reduces anxiety and brings a peace that surpasses all understanding.
11 // Write in a journal
Writing in a journal is a great way to get thoughts out of your head and onto paper, so you can deal with them and move on with your day.
Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write whatever pops into your head. Turn your thoughts into prayers and journal those as well.
This practice will help you release any tension or worry you are harboring and help you let it go.
You can also look back and see how God has answered your prayers over time.
12 // Practice gratitude
Do you struggle with contentment? A negative mindset impacts your life in ways you don’t realize.
Flip the script by practicing gratitude daily. Start by taking note of at least three things you are grateful for each night before bed.
Over time you will begin to seek out the positive things instead of the negative and your thought patterns will change.
13 // Read a book
I always have a book on hand, so I can read whenever time allows. I used to read a TON of fiction, but my tastes have changed.
Now, I spend a lot of time reading books geared more toward personal development or spiritual growth.
My book list is constantly growing. I have several blog posts filled with book recommendations:
- Five Books that Changed the Way I Live My Life
- Ten Books for People Who Want to Make the Most of Life
- Eight Books to Read if You Want to Live Your Best Life
- Fifteen Books for Women Who Want to Grow Their Faith
14 // Listen to a podcast
I love listening to podcasts when I am getting ready for the day, cleaning my house, or folding laundry.
This is such an easy way to fill your mind with positive thoughts and encouragement while you are going through your daily routine.
15 // Take a hot shower or bath
For some reason, bathing is the first thing moms give up when life gets chaotic. Make time for basic personal hygiene – you will feel so much better.
Not only is this a great self-care idea for moms, but it is also a necessary one. This works even if you decide to cut down on time by not washing your hair each time you bathe.
You can take 15 minutes a day to step into the shower or soak in a hot bathtub. Designate one or two days a week to spend extra time washing your hair or shaving your legs.
Self-care doesn’t have to be super formal. You can turn an everyday event, like taking a shower, into self-care.
16 // Take care of your skin
Something as simple as a daily skincare routine counts as self-care in my world. As a busy mom of three, I cherish that time in the morning and before bed.
I wasn’t always diligent about taking care of my skin, but now that I’m in my 30’s I make time for it every single day.
My morning skincare routine is quick and easy. At night, I go through my full skincare routine, and I never sleep in my makeup.
17 // Get ready for the day
Get dressed in something that makes you feel great and put on a little makeup each day. This will work wonders for your self-esteem.
I always feel more productive on the days that I get dressed and ready for the day – even if it’s something comfortable.
When I get dressed and put makeup on, I approach my day differently. I am often more productive and confident, which improves my outlook and my output.
18 // Take a break from social media
Social media is great for keeping up with family and friends, but there is also a dark side to social media.
Scrolling through social media can cause you to check out from your real life. It also leads to comparison and seeking validation from others online.
These things can turn social media into a negative space very quickly.
If you feel like you waste too much time on social media, I challenge you to take a break from it altogether.
19 // Schedule a coffee date
Motherhood is incredibly fulfilling, but it is easy to feel isolated and alone when adjusting to motherhood.
There are other moms out there who feel the same way. We were not made to spend all of our time alone. As people, we need community.
Make room in your schedule for a coffee date with a friend. If you can’t find the time to get away, do this at home. Let the kids play while you chat.
Do this once a week or once a month. It is just what your weary soul needs.
20 // Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is critical to your mood and your well-being. Sleep deprivation will turn you into a completely different person.
Even if you have a child who still wakes through the night, you need to make rest a priority. Take a quick nap while your children are resting during the day.
If your children already sleep through the night, make an effort to get to bed on time so you can get plenty of sleep.
21 // Clear the clutter
Physical clutter leads to mental clutter. Studies have actually shown that clutter depresses people! Plus, the more stuff you have in your home, the more stuff you have to clean up.
It is so easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re surrounded by stuff you don’t need. Clearing the clutter will reduce stress, which is the ultimate goal of self-care.
22 // Plan a date night
Connecting with your husband is super important and is often the first thing to get neglected when you feel overwhelmed by motherhood.
Foster a connecting with your husband by planning a night out for the two of you.
Spending quality time with the man you fell in love with will make such a positive impact on your soul and your marriage.
23 // Pamper yourself
Sometimes you just need some time away, and that is perfectly fine for you to do sometimes. Make an appointment for a massage or mani/pedi and go enjoy yourself!
I love this self-care idea for moms because we rarely take time out for ourselves. Once in a while, it feels good to pamper yourself with something extra special.
Getting my nails done is one of my favorite ways to pamper myself. It makes me feel feminine and that short time away to relax is the perfect pick-me-up.
24 // Watch a movie
You can do this alone or schedule a family movie night. Either way, curl up on the couch with a blanket, turn the lights off, and get lost in the story for a couple of hours.
My kids love snuggling up with me to watch a movie, and I love it too. It’s a nice way to relax and spend time with the family at the same time.
25 // Ask for help
Oftentimes moms get overwhelmed because we try to do it all. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re having trouble keeping up with everything on your to-do list.
Delegate certain tasks to your husband or, better yet, your kids. Kids are capable of helping out around the house.
It builds character and teaches them the necessary skills to function outside of your home once they are adults.
Tell your family you need help and explain how much their help means to you and integral their role is in keeping the household functioning properly.
Now, it’s your turn
As you can see, it is super easy to incorporate some form of self-care into your day – even when you’re a busy mom.
These self-care ideas are not complicated, and most of them don’t take much time. I hope this shows you that you can take care of yourself and your family at the same time.