Mothers have been traditionally known to always put the needs of their families ahead of their own. With that in mind, we have some self care ideas for moms who are stressed and exhausted, so they can break the cycle of neglecting their needs.
If you’re a mom with a habit of letting your needs and desires take a back seat, it’s time to rethink your patterns. September is self care month, so now is the perfect time to consider some self care ideas. Although it’s admirable that you prioritize the family, remember that no one can pour from an empty cup. You cannot keep on serving others if you run dry. You cannot love and care for your family as adequately when you’re feeling drained.
Busy moms, whether working, running a side hustle, or caring full-time for the kids, often run on tight schedules. Taking showers is typically considered their luxurious “me-time” and something as simple as a shower is their break from the daily rigors of life. And although a shower can be invigorating for the body, it is not enough to replenish a weary soul. If you’re in this situation, you may be stuck in a rut and find it overwhelming to focus on yourself, especially when you have little ones running around. Some moms may also not have access to child care, which makes self care even more difficult.
However, carving out time for yourself is essential for your soul. It grounds you and makes you feel more centered. Trying out different self care ideas can make you feel like the old you, before you were a parent with a full plate. It’s so important to find time every day for your passions and try your best not to feel guilty for doing them. If you want to love your family abundantly, it stems from being kind to yourself first. It’s only when you love yourself enough that this love can overflow to other people.
More importantly, you want to model this kind of behavior for your children so they, too, will grow up to be well-adjusted adults who love themselves. Research affirms that self care isn’t selfish because when you take time out for something that genuinely recharges you, you have more energy to face the day and perform your responsibilities without resentment. Check out these affordable and easy-to-do self care ideas for moms that help you live a balanced lifestyle with passion, purpose, and productivity.
1. Meditation is one of the Best Self Care Ideas for Moms
When you’re feeling down and want to recharge, mindful meditation could help tremendously. Meditation frees up your mind, and allows you to let go of your worries instead of holding onto them. Studies show that practicing brief meditation daily could boost your mood and enhance memory. Even just ten minutes a day reduces anxiety, stress, fatigue, and depression.
If you’re a newbie, there are apps and Youtube videos that can help you get started on a meditation practice. It’s simple enough to do even if you have kids because you can leave them in their room with toys and turn on the baby monitor.
2. Find Time for Exercise and Movement
Staying physically fit is one of the best gifts of self-care that you can give yourself. It’s not vanity to work out but rather a health-related necessity that prolongs your life because exercise promotes a healthy heart. When you’re fit, you can spend more time with your family and do more fun activities together. You’ll have the energy to keep up with your rambunctious kids. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderately intense workouts a week. Check out these workout ideas:
- Try a Youtube guided workout for 30 minutes
- Go to the gym for a workout class or for weightlifting
- Take a spin class
- Go for an hour walk after dinner
- Engage in group activities like volleyball, soccer, or Zumba
Movement is one of the best self care ideas for moms since it maintains good physical and emotional health, and helps prevents illness. Moving your body doesn’t just enhance your physique, but it could also be a game changer for your mental health. Furthermore, doing outdoor activities provide a much-needed change of scenery that could promote a reset.
3. New Hobbies Make For Excellent Self Care Ideas for Moms
One of the most creative self care ideas for mom is finding time for a hobby. You can rediscover past interests or start a completely new activity. Learning something is never a bad idea because you hone a skill while having fun. Pursuing passions you love is a great tool for fostering individuality and improving self-esteem. These activities could boost your mental health, with psychologists attesting that hobbies help individuals cope with stress.
Hobbies are also an excellent opportunity for socializing with adults who share the same interests. However, the guilty mom syndrome may rear its ugly head as it tends to make you feel bad when you focus on things other than your kids. Remember, an hour or two a week away from your kids will do wonders for your sanity and teach them independence.
If you have no clue what new hobby you should try, a CircleDNA test can help you discover some hobbies that complement your genetic strengths and weaknesses. Some hobbies may include the following:
- Doing crafts like pottery, embroidering, painting, crocheting
- Playing a musical instrument
- Singing karaoke
- Engaging in sports like golf or badminton
- Baking delicious treats
- Volunteering at the community center
- Exploring photography
4. Make it a Point to Read a Book
Reading could be considered a hobby, but it deserves a spot on its own because it’s an enriching experience that everyone can potentially learn from. If you’ve been putting off reading because you’re just too busy with the kids, chores, and work, make a firm decision to grab a book. Even if you’re not fond of reading, it would help to commit to reading even just a few pages every day of a topic you enjoy. Reading books are excellent self care ideas for moms because books inspire new ideas, increase your knowledge bank, and improve your communication skills.
Moreover, reading has many health benefits like boosting memory, attention, focus, empathy, and critical thinking. Making friends with a book transports you into other worlds, provides tons of information, and helps you learn new things that could help you succeed in life. Reading could improve mental health because you focus your mind on other things than your usual worries. In addition, if you have older kids, you model good behavior and inspire them to pick up their own books for self-cultivation.
5. Pamper Yourself and Get a Reboot
There’s only one you, so you must advocate for yourself. Treat yourself how you would your best friend. This means giving yourself breaks, calming yourself down when you feel too stressed, and not being too hard on yourself when you make mistakes. Most of all, this means doing activities that make you feel comfortable. You can try the following:
- Wear a sheet mask while watching your fave TV show
- Do mani-pedi at your favorite salon for a treat
- Book a relaxing massage session at the local spa
- Take time every day for your skincare routine
These activities all focus on you, so make sure you put your phone on mute and stay off the grid. Disable all notifications, except the one from your babysitter. Taking a social media break while you pamper yourself can do so much for your mental health and give you a much-needed life reboot. Shower yourself with attention, put yourself first, and let everyone wait for a little while. You owe it to yourself!
6. Schedule a Phone Call with Your Best Friend
One of the best and cheapest self care ideas for moms is phoning your best friend. While your baby is taking a nap or while you’re having a coffee break at work, make a phone date with your best friend to catch up on each other’s lives.
Talking to your best friend connects you to a part of your youth before you were a mom. Although motherhood is now an important part of your identity, you shouldn’t lose sight of your passions. And your best friend is the perfect person for this job. You will feel so much lighter after catching up with each other.
7. Give Yourself 15 ‘Distraction-Free’ Minutes per Day
If you’re a morning person, wake up 15 minutes ahead of everyone else, for a peaceful cup of coffee you can enjoy in solitude. Set your alarm clock ahead of everyone else in the house so you can bask in a slow and peaceful morning. A cup of coffee soaking up the early morning sun is what you need to set the tone for your whole day. This is one of the easiest self care ideas for moms so there’s no excuse to miss out on it.
However, if you’re a night owl with a late chronotype, consider taking 15 minutes at the end of the day to wind down with a glass of wine. If you shy away from alcohol, calming tea like chamomile or lavender is a good alternative. Enjoy a steaming cup as you reflect on what transpired in the day and see what you can do better.
Heck, if you’re feeling extra, do both. You deserve it, mom!
8. Be Very Vocal About Your Needs
Many moms have the potential to suffer their grievances in silence, bottle their resentments, and try to do it all alone without complaints. If you’re in this situation, you do yourself a disservice because your emotions could spiral out of control. Voice out your concerns to your partner, relatives, and friends when you need help or space. Don’t assume that they know what you’re thinking. Instead, ask them to step in to assist with childcare so you can take a break. Even just an hour to yourself will do wonders for your peace of mind.
Parenthood also comes with a lot of changes and challenges that could make you feel anxious. Whether it’s new parenthood or transitioning to parenting teens, you may find yourself overwhelmed. One of the best self care ideas for moms is going to counseling. In fact, you don’t need to feel bad or encounter issues to benefit from therapy. Individual counseling or group therapy is now readily available, even virtually.
Speaking to a professional will arm you with coping tools that could help you manage stress and deal with past trauma so it won’t affect your present life. With therapy, you could develop a stronger sense of self, negating negative self-talk and promoting a more positive mind frame. You can cheer yourself on and affirm you’re a great mother and person who’s doing her best to be a winner in life.
- Why Self Love is Important and How to Cultivate It (Medical News Today) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321309
- Brief, daily meditation enhances attention, memory, mood, and emotional regulation in non-experienced meditators (Julia Basso et.al.) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30153464/
- How Much Physical Activity (Center for Disease Control) https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
- Six Reasons to Get a Hobby (Psychology Today) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/happy-trails/201509/six-reasons-get-hobby