These easy self care ideas for moms can be done in just a few minutes, and take minimal effort.
Let’s face it: moms are busy people. Taking care of children, whether they’re newborns, toddlers, preteens, or even teenagers or older takes time and effort. Taking care of others also exerts and emotional and spiritual toll on moms (and dads too, of course!).
Sure there are so, so many wonderful experiences raising kids, but it is most definitely a tough gig. If we’re not careful, raising kids can leave us feeling rundown, unappreciated, and burned out.
While taking chunks of time for our self care is necessary, sometimes it isn’t practical. Sometimes we can’t arrange alternate care, or a child is sick, or well, a thousand other reasons can mean that us moms don’t get a real self care break for a while.
As a mom, it often feels like you don’t have time to pee alone, much less go for a long spa treatment. If self care is so important, how can you take care of yourself if you don’t have time for a long meditation or self care regimen?
I wrote this list of quick, low effort self care ideas for moms to fill that gap. These self care action items are for those times that you just can’t take a nice long break. They’re designed for every day self care mini-breaks, or for those times that you need to just tide yourself through until you can take a real, longer break.
Easy Self Care Ideas for Moms
Some of these self care ideas are easier than others.
Pick what works for you, and discard the rest, because being a Mom can be stressful. There’s so much responsibility, and so much to worry about, with everything from deathly serious worries like SIDs or lawsuits centered on NEC from formula to worrying about what to eat for supper.
So these self care ideas are designed to ease that pressure and stress, just a little bit.
Do the hard thing
We’re used to hearing about self care as lovely bubble baths, meditation, and yoga. I’m going to talk a lot about those simple, easy kinds of self care below, because they definitely have value.
But self care can sometimes be a lot harder than easy bubble baths and scented candles.
Self care can look like cutting out toxic people from your life.
It can look like making an appointment with a mental health professional.
Self care can be scheduling a breast exam, or Pap smear.
Self care can even involve getting brutally honest with yourself about what is, and isn’t, working in your life.
So, if you need to, do the hard thing. Do the thing that makes your life better. Do the thing that moves the needle, just a little bit.
Now, let’s talk about the easy, simple forms of self care that can give you a few quick moments of peace, or enjoyment, in a busy day.
Enjoy your favorite treat
I’m strongly food motivated, so this one works wonders for me.
Take a moment to savor a favorite treat of yours, whether it’s a delicious beverage, a piece of dark chocolate, or a calming cup of herbal tea. I try to keep my indulgences somewhat healthy, like this fresh canned salsa, but I have occasionally been known to get elbow deep in a bowl of hot asiago artichoke dip.
Do a five minute meditation
Honestly, I’m not a huge meditation fan. For now, at this stage in my life, I really prefer walking meditation or meditating as I lay down to sleep. That said, there’s something to be said for taking five minutes in the middle of a stressful day to reset.
There are plenty of apps that can help, but I use the free Insight Timer app, and search for a five minute meditation.
As a Mom, we’re so focused on the needs of our kids, and other family members, that it’s easy to forget even our most basic self care, like the fact that we need water to sustain ourselves.
If you can’t stomach water, then try a healthy and hydrating smoothie, like this kale smoothie.
Do whatever you need to in order to simplify your life, whether that’s making sandwiches instead of complicated meals, getting a cleaner to help out, or asking family members to carry some of the load.
Take a social media break
I think we all know by now that social media can be poison. If you’re finding yourself comparing yourself to others, and feeling inadequate and like you’re not measuring up, consider a break from social media.
Sure, those posts on your Instagram feed with smiling children and perfect looking families give the impression that other moms have it all together. I can tell you this without hesitation: they do not. No one does.
Take a break from social media to ease the pressure, if you need to.
Find simple things that make you happy
For me, cute pictures and videos of dogs and cats just makes me happy.
Similarly, I find that watching a comedy movie is great for my mood. I love Monty Python, Road Trip (don’t judge me for that one), and Rat Race. They don’t need to be critically acclaimed – they just need to make you laugh or feel good.
Sometimes, just sitting in the garden staring at the bees makes me happier. I’m a simple person; what can I say?
Find what gives you a moment of happiness and gratitude, and take a second to enjoy.
Find a calm space
Having a calming space to retire to can do wonders, even if you can only spend a few minutes there at a time.
Like so many moms before me, I retire to the bathroom for some peace. When the kids were smaller, they’d sneak away from their dad’s care, and pounding on the bathroom door, but it was lovely while it lasted.
Whether it’s in a bedroom, in the bathroom, or hidden away in the kitchen pantry, find a peaceful and calm area. No judgement here!
Create a beautiful scent
Scents can have a powerful impact on our mood. Many moms love essential oils, or flowers, but I’m partial to the fresh scent of a cut lemon or lime. Find a scent you love, and take a second to enjoy.
Put on the music you love
Music is deeply personal, and a wonderful way to reduce stress and shift your mood.
You may crave soothing music, or blasting Rage Against the Machine in your headphones. Do what works for you.
Move your body every day
As a new mom, it’s especially hard to make time to exercise. Even if you don’t have time to go to the yoga studio, or take a long bike ride, try to squeeze in some time to move your body, even if it’s only five minutes.
This is one of my biggest regrets from when my babies were tiny. I managed to eat reasonably well, but I felt so exhausted that I really didn’t want to exercise, and I didn’t make exercise a habit. Over time, not exercising led to me felling worn out, making me feel like I wanted to exercise less. I finally got out of that rut, but it wasn’t until my kids were toddlers, and I’d become quite unfit in the meantime.
Grab a nap
I know, I know, everyone says naps are great. Now, I resist naps the way a toddler does, I swear. That said, I’ve found that even taking a five minute nap while sitting down in a chair does help reduce my stress and overwhelm, just a little bit.
Reading is one of those quiet pleasures that feeds the soul. If you struggle to find time to read a book uninterrupted (don’t we all), try reading something you can enjoy in bit size pieces, like poetry, or a graphic novel.
Write in a journal
I honestly don’t journal a lot. I know, for a writer that probably sounds a bit odd. But, I do tend to sit down and journal if I’m feeling especially frustrated or angry, and it helps a lot.
That said, a lot of people say that a daily journal is essential for their self care, even if it’s only jotting down a few minutes of notes.
Give yourself some grace
A few years ago, I read somewhere to be as kind to yourself as you would to anyone else.
I wish I could remember who said it, as I’d love to give them a big hug.
It really stuck with me. Why was I being harder on myself that I was on anyone else in my life? As soon as I eased up a little, and started treating myself as kindly as I would anyone else, life got easier.
Get some sunshine
I live in a mountain town with a lot of heavy cloud and drizzle in the winter.
Around mid-winter, I find that I generally feel a bit down and sluggish. That’s always a sign that I’m not getting enough sunshine, so I bundle myself up and go for a morning walk outdoors, even if it’s rainy. It helps, at least a little bit, every time.
Do you have an easy self care list? What does yours include?