25 Self-Care Ideas for Moms Who Are “Too Busy” For Self-Care

woman reading a book with a cup of coffee

If you have children under the age of five, the idea of self-care probably makes you laugh out loud. If your children are over the age of five, you might have stopped thinking about self-care entirely. The demands of work, kids and their activities, and the mundane tasks of everyday life fill each day, and it seems a true impossibility to make time for anything more.

As moms, we’ve trivialized the importance of self-care. Yet when we take care of ourselves, we’re happier, more satisfied, well-rested, optimistic and at ease, and that provides a huge benefit to everyone around us.

Self-care isn’t just about manicures and alone time. It’s about filling ourselves up so that we feel good, and in turn, we can better show up for the people in our lives. Before you write off self-care as an impossibility or an inconvenience, we’d like to challenge you to do three things.

First, define what self-care means to you at this stage of your life.

This requires that you take a few minutes to think about the things that give you energy, or the things that make you feel relaxed. Depending on where you are in motherhood and in life, you might want to recharge by relaxing, or you might feel more recharged by getting out and doing something or you might long for a mix of both.

Next, think of some activities that will help give you the energy or relaxation you crave.

Do you want more time to relax and read a book? More late night cocktails with your bestie? Long baths that smell like lavender? Time to explore your artistic side?

Now, find time to schedule it in-- for real!

Jot it down in your calendar like you would any other appointment, or stick a Post-It to the bathroom mirror to remind you. Make it realistic for your schedule so you don’t stress over fitting it in. You can fit meaningful self-care into your schedule in 15 minutes or five hours-- use whatever time you have.

To get you going, we’ve compiled a list of 25 self-care ideas that will help you show yourself the love.

  1. Instead of watching TV, pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read. If you’re looking for suggestions, we love The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and The Circle by Dave Eggers.

  2. Get an adult coloring book and some colored pencils. Color for a bit while you listen to your favorite music or a podcast you love. This coloring book makes us laugh out loud, but if you want to go a little more zen, this is also a good find.

  3. Grab all the supplies for an in-home mani/pedi. No need to book an appointment, you can DIY right down the hall from where your kiddos are sleeping, while catching up on your favorite TV show. Follow these tips for professional-looking polish.

  4. Make a meal plan that includes your wants and needs. When you fuel your body well, it’s self-care in one of its purest forms. Moms have a tendency to pack snacks for the kids but forget about themselves, to content themselves with the scraps off their kids’ plates but skip their own dinner. No more, mama. Make it a point to plan meals that nourish your body.

  5. Declare one night each week your early bedtime night. Forget the chores, ignore the to-do list and get in bed right after you tuck the kids in. Sleep makes everything better, mentally, physically and emotionally.

  6. Move your body. All those stats about the endorphins produced by exercise are true, momma. You’ll take care of your body and your mind by going for a walk, hopping on the treadmill or taking a yoga class. Even if you only have 15 minutes, you can make room for movement.

  7. Fill a tub with a drop of lavender essential oil and a cup of epsom salt. Light some candles, play some relaxing music and let the day melt away.

  8. You know all those Pinterest crafts you always wanted to try? Make the time to do one, momma! Getting creative and focusing on a fun, crafty task is good for your mind and your soul. We’re eyeing this DIY book vase, this simple painted heart bag and this bird feeder/planter for the backyard.

  9. Skip watching TV and play a board game or do a puzzle with your partner instead (these escape room games are so much fun!. Rather than just sitting on the couch next to each other spacing out on TV, you can chat and connect.

  10. Start the day with a simple sun salutation yoga flow. It will get your body moving in a gentle, nourishing way.

  11. Take a nap. It might sound outrageous, but it’s okay to ignore the chores once in a while and actually sleep while the baby sleeps. The benefits far outweigh the lost minutes of productivity.

  12. Make a playlist of your favorite songs and listen when you’re feeling stressed. Your kids might prefer their own music, but momma’s priorities matter, too. Listening to the tunes you love can boost your mood.

  13. Drink more water. Water is essential to a healthy body and to increased energy. Grab a kid-proof, indestructible bottle like this one and bring it wherever you go. Add a little lemon to your water for an extra boost, or take along some herbal tea for a hint of relaxation.

  14. Start a gratitude practice. We love this journal, but you can also use any notebook to jot down a handful of things you’re grateful for each day.

  15. Create a self-care vision board. Cut out images that remind you of what self-care means to you, and put the board somewhere you’ll see it every day.

  16. Take time to deep condition your hair. Do a face mask. Soak your feet. Do those little extras that make you feel pampered and beautiful.

  17. Make plans with a friend. Even if you have to plan weeks out to coordinate a date, take the time to make it happen. Friendships are life-giving.

  18. Buy yourself flowers, for no reason except that you are fabulous and you deserve them.

  19. Plan a PJ day. Drink your coffee slowly, while it’s still hot, and then stay in your pajamas all day.

  20. Crank the tunes and have a dance party.

  21. Boost your motivation by listen to the words of inspiring women. We love this TED Talk from Shonda Rhimes, Brene Brown’s talk on vulnerability and Glennon Doyle’s words on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday

  22. Write yourself a manifesto to remind yourself of how amazing you are. (Or, if writing your own doesn’t excite you, hang this one on your wall).

  23. Buy yourself a treat, whether that means an ice cream cone, a new shade of eyeshadow, or a coffee. Savor it.

  24. Add some positivity to your news feed. Follow uplifting pages like Positively Positive, Louise Hay, Joy of Mom, Tiny Buddha, and Project Happiness.

  25. Ignore this whole list and do the one thing that makes you feel amazing. Make it a non-negotiable, no matter what anyone else thinks.

The most important part of self-care is that you do something that makes you happy, momma. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Incorporate what makes you feel good into your days, weeks and months, and you’ll be one happy momma.

What are your favorite self-care tips and activities? Share them with us in the comments below.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

more from our Every Wink Counts

10 simple and inexpensive gift ideas for baby
10 simple and inexpensive gift ideas for baby

These fun, gift ideas are also portable, take-up little space, and are baby and momma approved. 

After having 4 babies, I realize that they really do enjoy simple pleasures.  

Read More

Avoid dry hands due to over-washing + 5 tips on how soothe your dry hands
Avoid dry hands due to over-washing + 5 tips on how soothe your dry hands

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are washing our hands longer and more frequently and this is leading to dry hands and hand dermatitis. Read to learn about "what causes dry hands" and "how to soothe your dry hands."

Read More

Formulating is my super power!
Formulating is my super power!

We all have a superpower (other than being a momma.)  
Founding and formulating products for Kiss Kiss Goodnight is what I was born to do, it’s what I love to do, it’s what I have trained years to do, it’s what I do well.

Read More