As moms, we always want what’s best for our families. And in this fast paced world we are often on the go, go, go. We can get so wrapped up in schedules, carpools, school practices, dinner, chores, work, etc., that it’s hard to stop and take a few minutes for ourselves. We forget to consider what WE could use or need, because we are so busy worrying about the needs of everyone around us. So I’m here today to share some simple and/or relaxing self care ideas for exhausted moms.
Go ahead, show yourself some love and take a few minutes to read them.
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”– Eleanor Brownn
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What is Self-Care?
Self care is caring for yourself physically, mentally and/or emotionally. It’s taking the time to do something for yourself even if it’s in short increments of time. It can be something small like taking a short nap, doing a meditation, or getting together with a friend.
In addition, self care helps set you up for more peaceful, better days and it also helps you unwind from the stressful busy ones. Self care should help you feel more restored—both mind and body.
Why is Self Care important for moms?
As wonderful as motherhood can be, it is a LOT of hard work and can be downright exhausting! Children often test our patience. And as we spend day in and day out caring for our children and families, we take on many tasks and wear lots of hats. In the everyday chaos we can easily forget to care for ourselves.
Self care is not selfish. It’s quite the opposite. It’s necessary and it’s good for you. I workout most days of the week because I want to be healthy physically, but I also know that working out makes me feel stronger mentally as well. I am less stressed and feel like I’m a better mom when I can take that time for myself.
You are more able to help others if you help yourself first. Our families deserve to have the best version of ourselves and you deserve to feel your best, instead of feeling frazzled and worn out.
A Few Ways Self Care Can Help Exhausted Moms:
- Less stress: gain a better mindset to face the day and handle anything that comes our way
- More energy: higher energy levels will allow you to play with the kids and be more productive in your daily tasks and chores
- Rest and replenish: your spirit will renewed and you will be able to enjoy your family and your life better
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Self Care Ideas For Exhausted Moms:
Here’s a great list of self care ideas that you can start today! Many are free or don’t cost much. And they will go a long way in making your days happier and full of joy.
Pamper Yourself at Home
If you can’t get to the salon, pampering yourself at home can be fun too. A few things you can do during naptime or when the kids go to bed:
- Paint your nails (bonus if you pick out a new color!)
- Use that new Face mask you’ve been wanting to try when you had some alone time
- Foot soak: you run around all day mama! Soak your feet in a relaxing foot bath and then rub on some energizing foot cream.
Take a walk outside
Getting outside for a walk can help clear your mind, be relaxing and just give you a few minutes to yourself. Listening to the sounds of nature, or feeling the warmth of the sun shining on you can even lift your mood if you’re having a bad day.
Soak in the bathtub
Even a quick 20 minute soak in the tub at the end of the day can relax the mind and calm the body. I love using LUSH bubble bars and Bath Bombs in the tub–they smell SO good, and are gentle on my skin. They feel luxurious and leave me feeling pampered at the end of a long day.
Spend 10-15 minutes stretching or doing yoga before bed
There are many health benefits associated with yoga and/or stretching. Just taking a few minutes to help ease the tension or sore muscles in your body can help you get a better nights sleep. Stretching for me is also relaxing and helps calm my mind (another useful reason for practicing these things before going to sleep.) You can find stretching and yoga exercises on tv, on video or even on apps on your phone.
This past year when I was doing a March Madness Pure Barre challenge, I also challenged myself to get up earlier thanks to a book I had recently read called “The Miracle Morning.” In the book, the author shares many wonderful (and realistic) ways to start your mornings off great so you set yourself up for a better day.
And one of the ways to set yourself up for a better day is to devote a small amount of time journaling. I used this time to write down three things I was grateful for, or I’d write down some funny things the kids said so that I didn’t forget. I’d also write down the tasks of the day or some goals for the week so that I could be mindful of them and not play catch up at the end of the week.
Journaling left me feeling thankful, organized and with a clear mind. I felt in charge of my days instead of my days leaving me feeling behind or overwhelmed.
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Make your coffee and enjoy it before anyone else is up
As busy moms, once the kids are up, our days are like a whirlwind and nonstop action until they go to bed. So try getting up before the rest of your family, or at least your kids.
Sitting in the quiet of the morning (sometimes I sit outside if the weather is nice) to gather your thoughts for the day while sipping your coffee can go a long way. Starting your days peacefully helps your frame of mind and usually sets the tone for the rest of your day.
Binge watch a new show on Netflix
I go back and forth with wanting to go to bed early because I’m tired and could use more sleep, but wanting to stay up late because it’s the only time to myself.
And I’m sure most of you can relate to this: You put things off during the day thinking you can take care of it ‘when the kids go to bed.’ And then they finally go to bed and you are beyond exhausted to even think of getting anything else done.
Sometimes the dishes and laundry just have to wait. If you’ve had a stressful, rough day, or are just exhausted, don’t stress yourself out even more. You can’t do it all, so spend a few minutes tidying up if you have to, and then sit down and relax a little while before heading to bed.
Have a friend over for lunch or for a drink to catch up
When you can’t get out of the house or get a babysitter, invite a good friend over for a lunch date or happy hour. Laughing and sharing what’s going on in each others’ lives is so good for your soul. Friends can help put troubles in perspective and lend support when needed. Connecting with friends is a great way to show yourself some self care.
Go out for a girls’ night
Some fun Girls’ night out ideas:
- Get together for a Book Club
- Go out to dinner
- Attend a Paint night
Download a new book on the kindle app and have fun reading something new
I hadn’t read in years until I joined a Book Club a few years ago. I figured it was a great way to be social and would give me an excuse to start reading again.
In doing so, I have discovered so many wonderful books out there. And I’ve found reading to be relaxing and I even look forward to it! I like reading paperback books but find reading through the Kindle app on my phone to be the most useful for busy mom life.
Using the Kindle app came in handy so many late night nursing sessions with my daughter. I’m also able to hop on and read while waiting for doctor appointments or on my phone before bed.
Try a new workout class
I think working out needs to be fun and not a chore, or it is hard to stick with it. When my son was a newborn I started working out at home and found a few programs I really liked.
So I was hesitant to try a new workout when my good friend introduced me to Pure barre. But I’m so glad I listened to her because I just LOVE Pure barre workouts and the added benefit now is that my friend and I get to spend time together and catch up while attending class!
There are so many different kinds of workouts out there. Grab a friend and try a new one out–you might just LOVE it!
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Keep up with your doctor/dental apts.
This one isn’t nearly as fun as the others, but it’s a simple yet necessary one. Keeping up with doctor appointments is an important part of self care.
Important self care doctor appointments for moms:
- See your primary care doctor for yearly physicals and blood work
- Schedule that mammogram (per doctor recommendations)
- Keep a yearly Gynecologist appointment
- Get regular dental cleanings
- Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor and return accordingly
- Schedule a skin check by a dermatologist
Listen to a fun podcast while cleaning or doing chores around the house
This is one I love to do but sometimes forget while rushing around my house. I’m always getting great recommendations from my barre bestie (friend who I go to barre class with) who’s always finding interesting Podcasts.
The great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them while you drive, or do chores around the house. Just recently I listened to a podcast while cooking dinner. You can learn new things, be entertained all while multitasking.
Make a Target run . . . alone.
I think making a Target run is a popular form of self care for a lot of moms these days. Because, ya know, Target is always a great idea, right?!
And if not Target, get out somewhere alone that you enjoy. For me, going out to Target alone is a treat because going with kids is completely different. They don’t have the patience to browse for hours or try on clothes. So I feel like a new woman just making that Target run . . . alone.
Get a babysitter and enjoy a night out with your spouse
My husband and I don’t get out much for date nights since we live far away from family. But we did find a babysitter we love and trust and have recently started getting out once in a while. When you become parents you focus so much of your time and attention on your kids. Going out on a date night allows you to focus just on each other and remember where it all started.
And even when we don’t get a sitter we try to have date nights at home when the kids are in bed. We’ve had pizza picnics on the floor with a glass of wine and a movie. Or my husband likes to cook a fancy dinner and we just spend time talking, catching up and just connecting like we can’t do on those busy days among the hustle and bustle.
I never understood the point of meditation until I started understanding more about self care. I started exploring meditation after reading the book I mentioned previously, “The Miracle Morning’, and also after listening to the ‘10% Happier’ podcast with Dan Harris, where he talks about his journey with meditation.
And in discovering the many meditation apps on my phone that offer numerous types of meditations, I realized how accessible and convenient it can be to meditate. It’s often part of my morning routine, and I enjoy meditating even if just for a few minutes before bed.
If you want to try meditation, here are some great apps to download on your phone:
- Insight Timer: Meditation for Sleep and Anxiety
- Calm: Meditation and Sleep Stories
- 10% Happier: Meditation
On occasion I’m too tired and drained to even think about dinner. Maybe you have an infant at home and you got zero sleep last night. Or your child is home sick from school. Or you are just having a really crappy “I need a timeout” kind of day.
Then skip cooking!
I don’t make a habit of this and reserve it for nights where I really, really need a break. And it’s great and feels like a lifesaver. If I skip cooking I sometimes order a pizza, make a sandwich for dinner or get takeout and we have a family picnic on the living room floor.
Call a friend
Is there a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with? Then call them! I have some friends that are long distance but we always keep in touch. It’s not as often as we’d like since we both are busy with kids. But whenever we do chat, even if it’s quick, I always have a better day.
I don’t know about you, but without fail my kids’ finest behaviour (insert sarcasm) comes out when I’m on the phone. So wait until your spouse is home, the kids are napping or in school, or it’s bedtime, and give your friend a call! It will make her day better too:)
Get dressed/do your hair and makeup
Get dressed and do your hair (maybe even put makeup on) even if you’re not going anywhere. While I don’t do all of this everyday, I have found this to be a useful tip.
When my son was an infant and I was recovering from my c-section, I often wore my nightgown all day because it was comfortable. I was about to move to Texas and my mom said, “Make sure you get dressed each day. Don’t stay around the house in your nightgown. ”
At first I thought it was an odd thing to say. But when I tried her advice I surprisingly found myself more energized and productive.
I think if you look more pulled together, you’ll feel more pulled together. So remember to get dressed each day (even if it’s in your favorite leggings). . . or at least wash your face and throw your hair into the fiercest top knot.
Take a nap
Sometimes the simplest form of self care as a busy mom can come in the form of a nap. Even a short cat nap. Set your alarm for 20 mins and just close your eyes even if you don’t fall asleep. Heck, that’s the advice I give my kids when it’s their nap time.
Setting aside some time to unplug is good for our well being. Putting our phones down and taking a break from checking social media or surfing the internet gives our minds time to rest from the news, ads, and other info bombarding us all day long. You also have more time to give your full attention to those around you and what you’re doing.
Add a trendy new piece to your wardrobe
It’s always fun to add something new and fun to your wardrobe. If you’re able to create a capsule wardrobe, you’ll save time getting dressed and you’ll save money from not having to buy new clothes all the time.
Instead, you can seasonally add a new trendy piece or two to spice up your wardrobe from time to time.
Trendy items to add to your capsule wardrobe:
- new pair of shoes or heels
- clutch or trendy purse
- hair accessory like hair clips or headbands
- trendy scarf
Get your hair done
There’s something about getting your hair done that makes you feel so good and refreshed. Whether it’s a new haircut, color, or just a shampoo and blowout, schedule that appointment today! Getting your hair done is another great way to show yourself some love and pampering.
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Eat something healthy
Whenever I eat something healthy I always feel good and energized. Do something good for your body today and eat or drink something healthy.
Need some healthy ideas?
- Blend up a healthy smoothie
- Roast some veggies
- Have a salad for lunch with some tuna, chicken or hard boiled eggs
- Drink water
Hold your own dance party
Listening to some fun music can really elevate your mood. And music that makes you want to jump up and dance is the best! When you get a couple minutes to yourself in the bathroom, in your room or even when you’re parked in the carline at school, crank up your favorite jams and have your own dance party!
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Get a good night sleep
If you find yourself beyond exhausted, the best thing to do is to go to bed early. Getting enough sleep is so good for your health both physically and mentally.
While it’s nice to stay up after the kids are in bed so you can have some alone time (aka binge watch Netflix), it’s also important to realize when you need some extra Zzzzs. Put yourself to bed after you get the kids in for the night. You’ll thank yourself in the morning when you feel refreshed and energized and better able to tackle the week.
Simplify your schedule
Don’t overbook yourself or spend all your time always running on the go. It’s good to have some down time with nothing to do. Look at your schedule and see where you can simplify or even say “no” to some things. It will do wonders for your peace of mind.
Put some fresh flowers in a vase
Flowers are so simple, yet they can really brightens your day. They say ‘it’s the little things’ and I think flowers are one of them. Pick some flowers from your garden and put them in a vase. If you don’t have a garden (or a green thumb), then pick some inexpensive flowers up at your local grocery store.
Having fresh flowers on the counter to look at all week is a treat for me. I also like to bring them to friends ‘just because’ and have them in the house whenever we have guests over to entertain. They are something small that makes people feel special.
I hate the feeling of scrambling around at the last minute or trying to play catch up. When you’re not organized you can forget appointments, playdates, and other important details. And that can leave a mom feeling frazzled.
Decrease your stress and get organized by planning out your week. Take a small amount of time at the beginning of the week to write down any important dates or events that you have coming up in the week ahead.
My husband and I do this together so that schedules don’t conflict and we have a clear expectation of what our week ahead looks like.
Take a trip to the spa
Getting out to the spa is the most relaxing form of self care, in my opinion. I know I feel the most relaxed and rejuvenated after getting a massage, facial or getting my nails done. If you are able to once in a while, slip out to the spa and get pampered. Spa gift certificates are a great gift to request for your birthday or special occasion.
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Which of these self care ideas are you going to try first?
Do you practice self care or have a self care routine? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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