“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde
Self care is an important part of taking care of you — the mama, the one who takes care of everyone else. Things like massages, pedicures, and extravagant vacations may “seem” like the best way for self care to happen. But how often do those things really happen? They can be expensive and difficult to fit into your regular schedule. Self care should be part of your routine, not something that comes around in once in a blue moon.
Self care shouldn’t just be relegated to things you book and budget for way in advance, but rather, something you can do on a nearly daily basis to benefit your mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, or social health. Whether you have five minutes or five hours, no money or a little bit of cash to spend, these simple self care ideas are just a start for the many ways YOU can take care of you.
30 Simple Self Care Ideas for Busy Mamas
- Get outside. Go for a walk or run or hike, or even just some time lounging in the sun.
- Read a good book — hit up your local library for a new book to read!
- Paint your nails and rest your eyes while they dry.
- Go to bed early. Or sleep in late. Coordinate with your spouse or a loved one to make this happen! If you can arrange for a sleepover for your children or a night away for you, even better.
- Clean an area of your house that stresses you out – a drawer, a cabinet, a closet… just choose a project of a manageable size so you don’t stress yourself out more by leaving a bigger mess. Maybe try a new organizational system to make a tricky area of your home more manageable?
- Bake something YOU love to eat, just for fun.
- Cook a meal YOU enjoy. Your kids can eat pb&j if they aren’t interested.
- Schedule something fun to look forward to – a race to run, a salon appointment, a haircut, coffee with a friend, a phone call with a loved one.
- Make an appointment to take care of your own health.
- Listen to a favorite song – something fun to remind you of your high school/college days, a worship song, or maybe the song you danced to at your wedding.
- Play with your pet.
- Pick out your outfits for the week.
- Spontaneously call a friend for a chat. Even if you don’t connect right then, your voicemail could cheer her up!
- Start a gratitude journal and write down three things you are grateful for. You could purchase a pretty journal or this or just use the notes app in your phone. Then revisit this on the regular, when the going gets tough.
- Take a shower – most days you probably do have time, but on those days when it feels harder… just do it and you’ll feel a little refreshed in the midst of the chaos!
- Make yourself a fresh cup of coffee, tea, or another favorite beverage… and then sit down to drink it right away.
- Take a hot bubble bath – maybe with some DIY bath bombs?
- Go workout.
- Prep your lunches or snacks or breakfast for the week, so you have your healthy/delicious/preferred foods waiting for you… don’t just eat kid leftovers, mama!
- Take a nap.
- Revisit an old hobby, or research something you want to try.
- Buy yourself flowers. Grocery store clearance flowers, or the inexpensive bouquets at Aldi or Trader Joe’s are well worth the $3-5 investment!
- Watch your favorite movie.
- Plan a date or getaway with your spouse or significant other.
- Declutter your closet. If you need to hang on to clothes for other seasons of life (maternity, postpartum, etc.), put them in a bag or tote with a label so they’re easily accessible for later, but not staring you in the face each morning.
- Turn on a new podcast.
- Print some photos to display.
- Compliment someone around you.
- Visit a coffee shop, order your favorite drink and maybe a snack, and unplug while you enjoy it. People watch, read, do a crossword puzzle, color, or just zone out and enjoy the atmosphere.