Do you ever feel like self-care for moms is impossible? You’re busy. You’re exhausted. You have ZERO time to add anything new to your plate… even if you know you need it.
Well, I have news for you… self-care expert Jody Agard disagrees with you.
We recently spoke with Jody, who shared with us that, in the interest of ‘being there’ for their kids and spouses, many moms are burning out and losing themselves entirely.
What they don’t realize, she explained, is that by taking just a bit of time for yourself, mom, you’ll actually be more present and focused when you ARE with your family.
That said, Jody fully gets that self-care is something that seems impossible with an already full schedule. Which is why she tells moms they they HAVE to make time for it. There will never be enough time to self-care. You just make time.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a major time commitment or even something you do every day. Here are 10 self-care ideas you’ll love.
10 Simple Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms
Get Outside Alone
This doesn’t have to be a walk where you go miles or are gone for an hour. Even a five-minute walk can have a major impact on your state of mind. Jody shared with us a story of when her son was sick and suffering from major headaches. She said she couldn’t give and give and give with no break… that the experience was stressful and painful for her as well and she had to take breaks in order to be there for him 100%. So even though he wanted her presence nonstop, she dug in her heels and would take short walks by herself… to pray or cry or just clear her mind.
Maybe make a habit of going on a 10-minute walk by yourself outside when you get home from school with the kids, before the craziness of homework and dinner begins.
I’m far from perfect about my gym routine, but I try to be consistent because I honestly love the feeling I get from a hard workout session. And that one hour block is my time to clear my head. It helps me clear my head, vent my frustrations and feel refreshed. (And sometimes it just helps me to sleep a whole lot better!)
Exercise is another thing that you’ll probably feel like you never have time for, but it’s so critical that you make time…for your own mental health and well-being.
Find whatever form of exercise you enjoy, that feeds you. For me it’s weightlifting and running, for you it may be yoga or Zumba. Do what you love.
Take a Bath
With some essential oils or bath salt and a glass of wine or cup of tea (and maybe even throw in a good book), this can feel like a true indulgence. Try making a bath a weekly ritual and something you even make an event out of. Go all out, Mom, you deserve it.
Listen to Your Favorite Music
What music makes you feel pumped up and alive? (P.S. It doesn’t have to be kid-friendly.)
Maybe make a routine of taking five or ten minutes to yourself every day to listen to some of your favorite pump-you-up songs and dance shamelessly around the room. You’ll be amazed at how rejuvenated and happy you feel after those few minutes.
Read for Pleasure
Do you love reading? What’s your favorite genre? Is there a book on your nightstand that you’ve been WANTING to read but haven’t found time for? Maybe try carving out 30 minute every day (or even a few times a week) for reading. If you find yourself falling asleep at the end of the night while reading, maybe try getting up just 30 minutes earlier than the rest of the family, enjoying your cup of coffee (and the quiet house), and spending a few minutes reading that book you’ve been dying to finish.
Take Time Alone
So you could argue that all of the suggestions I’ve been making are “alone time,” but by this, I mean taking just a few minutes to yourself to sit quietly and meditate and/or recharge before the craziness of the witching hour strikes. (You know, that time when everyone is demanding your attention as you’re trying to prepare dinner around 5PM.)
Not only will you be mentally preparing yourself to be more calm during the craziness to come, you’ll also be showing your KIDS the value of self-care. Remember, your kids ARE watching and when they see you taking that time to yourself every day to recharge, they’ll be more likely to follow your example when they’re overwhelmed, themselves.
This is so hard, sometimes. We feel so pulled to meet everyone else’s needs. But sometimes the greatest act of self-care or self-love is just saying “no” to the things we know we really don’t want to do or don’t have time for.
Stop saying “yes” by default, out of obligation. Learn to be okay saying, “no.”
It’s not selfish to say no when saying yes could be harmful to your own life.
Next time you’re asked commit to something, ask yourself whether it’s something you REALLY want or if it’s in your own best interest to say yes.
Admittedly, this isn’t something I currently do. However, Jody and many others swear by the transformative abilities of a meditation practice.
I think for so many of us, it’s hard to slow our minds down for the time that we meditate. But like all things, meditation takes practice.
Meditation also doesn’t have to require enormous amounts of time. Most people suggest starting small, with just five minutes per day.
If you’re interested in starting a meditation practice, you might want to check out this podcast by Chalene Johnson, on Meditation for People Who Don’t Get It But Really Need It.
Enjoy a Night Out
We all need a night out with friends or date nights with our significant others. This should really be ON TOP of your self-care time alone. I included it, though, because a night out, away from our kids for a couple of hours, can do wonders for our state of mind.
Put Yourself in Time Out
Sometimes you just need a few minutes to relax and take a few deep breathes. If life starts to feel chaotic, don’t hesitate to step away for just a few minutes and do a little deep breathing.
Final Thoughts on Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms
It’s really important to remember, Mom, you will never (I repeat, NEVER) “have time” for self-care. Like exercise, you MAKE TIME. You figure it out.
Fortunately, self care isn’t something you have to do for long periods of time, or even daily. And the benefits you’ll see are ten-fold.
You’ll find that you’re more focused and present when you spend time with your family. You’ll find that you’re more giving with your significant other, and just overall HAPPIER. Those feelings of resentment you may be feeling? With the right amount of self care? Gone. With the help of self-care, you’ll find that you enjoy all aspects of your life more.
And you’ll be leading by example.
So get ready, Mom, because you’re about to achieve your happiest, healthiest self.