Self-care ideas such as lighting a favorite candle or even putting on makeup seem so frivolous when your house is an explosion of dirty laundry and diapers… and everything in between. 🙄
You just don’t feel right about it; you feel guilty.
But know this: you’re more than enough to deserve to take care of yourself first.
Being a mom is literally a 30-hour/day job and 1 minute of alone-time in the bathroom is impossible.
I won’t be talking about “frivolous” things in this blog post.
Instead, I’m sharing with you fast and easy ways to take care of yourself when you’re short on time.
And I hope that these 11 quick self-care ideas can help make your mom-life just a bit happier.PS. I included a free printable Self-Care Tracker so that you can start making yourself a priority today!
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11 Fast and Easy Self Care Ideas When You’re Short on Time
The most burnt out season in my life was when I had 2 kids under 2 years old.
I was so exhausted I fell asleep anywhere ie. on bare floor.
It wasn’t my norm because I was the type who could only sleep on the bed after I’ve changed and showered.
You see, I made the mistake of following what I’ve learned and experienced by putting myself LAST on my priority list.
Because apparently that’s what moms do (or so I thought).
These are the best self-care ideas that I’ve found to have worked for me.
And bonus, they are free or inexpensive.
So, whether you’re a stay at home mom, a primary caregiver, or just someone who’s overwhelmed and exhausted with life, I hope that you take these ideas into consideration and try them yourself.
Self Care Idea No. 1: Take a shower
It’s obvious but not so obvious if you’re sleep-deprived and constantly relying on adrenaline to care for your babies and survive the day.
I know because I’ve been there! My sister used to call to remind me to shower.
Why is showering important?
Depending on whether you take it cold or hot, showering can help relax muscles, lower blood pressure, increase oxygen intake and alertness, and relieve respiratory symptoms.
Here are some ideas on how to find the time to shower:
- Shower before bed, when your babies are napping, or (if you’re lucky) have someone to watch your babies.
- Simplify your shower routine. I’ve created a routine where I can be out of the shower in 5 minutes! Wash your hair, face, body, and moisturize in the shower. Here’s a video by a dermatologist where she goes over her simple shower routine.
- Keep shower products minimal. I don’t use a loofah or scrubber because those are unnecessary and can cause problems in the long run. I use this shampoo and focus on my scalp and apply the conditioner on the ends of my hair. I use this cleanser for my face and body. I use this baby soap to wash private parts. And finally, this lotion to moisturize my skin.
Self Care Idea No. 2: Nourish and Hydrate
Staying well-nourished and hydrated is important especially when breastfeeding and taking care of little ones.
Hydration helps maintain every system in your body. According to this article, a healthy person needs at least 30-50 ounces of fluid per day.
I know it’s sometimes difficult to eat well when you’re busy because it’s easier to grab the packaged and ready-made food.
So, here are some ideas to stay hydrated and well-nourished:
- Use a water bottle and keep it nearby throughout the day. This way it’s easier to keep track of your water intake without having to keep refilling.
- Order your grocery for delivery or pick up. It helps prevent you from filling up the cart with junk food and saves a lot of time.
- Prep your fruits and veggies for snacks. Put them in jars or containers. You’re more likely to grab these when they’re at the ready than having to wash and prep them every.single.time.
- If you must have packaged foods, opt for the ones with better ingredients. I love these Larabars instead of bakery goods. I eat these instead of chips; get them at your local Trader Joe’s!
Self Care Idea No. 3: Brain Dump
And apparently, our brain is constantly classifying and deleting unnecessary memories to hold more future memories.
David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done, believes that we should empty our minds by capturing everything in a reliable place, and then start doing the tasks that matter most to us, instead of just thinking about them.
As a true introvert, this brain dumping practice helps me relax.
So, grab a notebook or plain piece of paper and write everything down that’s been lingering in your head such as:
- list items like grocery things
- projects you’ve been meaning to start
- things to note
- cute things your baby does or says you want to remember
I highly recommend using a notebook or digital app to keep your brain dumps.
You’ll feel lighter, refreshed, and in turn become more productive and less stressed out!
If you want to take your brain dumps to the next level, have a look at How to Start a Bullet Journal post here.
Self Care Idea No. 4: Be Unproductive Unapologetically
What do I mean by this?
Whenever you watch your favorite show, do you feel guilty because the dirty dishes are staring at you?
Or you start thinking about the list of things you still need to do?
If you have those nagging feelings and thoughts while you’re supposedly taking a break then you’re not fully getting a break.
So, if you’re re-watching Friends for the 99th time, just enjoy it! Or completely immerse yourself in the Animal Crossing land without any thought about the outside world.
Self Care Idea No. 5: Meditate
There are many benefits to meditation but surprisingly not a lot of people are doing it.
This is probably because many believe that meditation is difficult; thinking about nothing is hard.
However, meditation isn’t about not thinking. It’s awareness – of your breath, movements, and everything that your physical senses pick up both inside and out of your body.
Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting still – it could be while sipping your coffee in the morning, cuddling with your babies, or walking, just as long as you are fully in the present moment.
The simplest meditation is to sit in a comfortable position and bring your awareness to your breath going in and out of your nose.
If you’ve never meditated before you can start for just 1 or 2 minutes. Eventually, you’ll be able to meditate for a longer period of time.
Or you can use apps such as Headspace and Calm.
Self Care Idea No. 6: Move Your Body
Your body releases a chemical called endorphins which helps ease anxiety, improves mood, and helps fight depression when you exercise. Overall, it will make you feel better.
I know you don’t have time to go to the gym.
So, you can start by taking walks, a simple yoga, or just playing tag with your kids in the backyard.
There are plenty of ways to sneak in body movements while taking care of babies.
Self Care Idea No. 7: Do Something You Love
Ever since you became a mom, everything you’ve done is mostly for other people, and often times you feel like you’ve lost yourself.
It’s time to start doing the things you love again.
Bring your hobbies back or pick up a new one. Whatever it is, it should something you want to do for yourself.
Give some love to the things you enjoy doing even if it’s just for 5 minutes a day.
Self Care Idea No. 8: Spend Time Alone
This one makes a huge difference if you’re an introvert but I think everyone can benefit from spending time alone doing something without any interruption.
It doesn’t matter how you spend your time as long as you’re alone.
Not hearing anyone call for me is a really nice break.
This doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids.
In fact, it’s the opposite. You want to recharge so that you can be fully present and take care of them.
Self Care Idea No. 9: Get Away & Good Quality Sleep
There’s something restorative about being able to “log off” from your usual mom-life even for a little while.
Being a mom is so demanding, I feel like I’m always in mom mode when I’m at home.
I found that going away for a night (or more) allows me to turn off mom mode and I sleep better.
Doing this doesn’t have to be extravagant. If possible, you can stay with friends and family or book a hotel using deal sites such as Groupon.
My sister and I usually take a 2-day trip to visit our mom. I get to spend time with them and take a break from being a mom.
I always come back recharged and ready!
Self Care Idea No. 10: Declutter and Purge
You’re probably wondering why the heck is this self-care when this is obviously a chore!
It’s a snowball effect. Clutter creates disorganization which then creates even more chaos and stress in your life.
It becomes a hurdle to most of your daily chores and activities.
Have you ever tried to look for something but end up with a big pile of mess and you become overwhelmed with the mess that you end up doing absolutely nothing.
I know, I’ve been there.
Getting rid of clutter has an inherent value that will add to your overall well-being.
Your home should be a sanctuary not the cause of stress.
Self Care Idea No. 11: Call Someone on the Phone
I don’t like talking on the phone because introvert status but when I was struggling it was actually nice to talk to someone other than my husband or kids.
I called my sister often even if it was a 10 minutes conversation.
Sometimes a different perspective can completely turn your day around when nothing seems to be working.
So, call someone who can cheer you up.
Self Care Ideas When You Have No Time – Final Notes
Exhaustion is a symptom.
Your body is telling you to slow down, take a moment…and breathe.
Self-care is taking care of yourself first so that you can take care of your loved ones.
If you’re ready to start a self-care routine, I created a free printable self-care tracker just for you. Because sometimes the days become a blur and we forget that we haven’t done anything to take care of ourselves.
And as a bonus, I’ve also included 28 more self-care ideas in different categories.
These are the most basic self-care ideas I found that have worked for me.
And I hope you try them yourself.