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So Mama, when’s the last time you did something for yourself?
No judging here! I’m asking because I’m terrible at doing things for myself. I know I need to be more mindful about it, but you know how it is–knowing you should do something and actually doing it are sometimes miles and miles apart.
Still, I’m really trying to do better with this whole self-care thing because I know it makes a huge difference in how I feel and function. And, even though it probably sounds super cliché, I really think it makes me a better wife and mom.
That said, it’s not easy to take the time to do something for yourself, is it? Especially when it feels like you’re already being pulled in 2,845 different directions and there are 8,326 other things that need your attention.
But, the thing is, we tend to put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own and it’s so, so easy to get caught up in the daily grind with the cooking, the laundry, the kids, the spouse, the work, the house. We focus on all the things that need tending and forget that we need to take time to rest and recharge. When we don’t, we get exhausted and overwhelmed and that’s when things start to slip through the cracks and when we start to fall apart.
There’s a reason the flight attendants always tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first. You can’t be effective at helping other people if you don’t tend to your own needs. We have to slow down and recharge or we’re going to run ourselves into the ground. This goes for all of us!
Someone I really admire recently suggested making appointments with yourself and treating them just like you would any other appointment-take yourself seriously. I thought that was genius. Granted, we were talking about something totally different at the time but the idea definitely applies to self-care too. Seriously, if you use a planner, make an appointment with yourself. Treat it like you would a meeting with your kid’s teacher or an appointment with your doctor. In other words, don’t blow it off!
We all need to make it a point to do something nice for ourselves on a regular basis, even if we don’t have a lot of time to spare so I came up with a list of 40+ ideas. Some of them take less than 30 seconds, a few can take 1-2 days or are a regular time commitment but the most should take anywhere from 10 minutes-1 hour.
44 Self-Care Ideas For Moms:
1. Play some music. Even better—dance!
2. Diffuse some essential oils
3. Light a scented candle
(I’m a scent person so scented candles are my go-to for a quick pick-me-up.)
4. Drink a glass of water
5. Snuggle up with your husband or kids, even if it’s just for a few minutes
6. Play with the dog
Or in my case, I throw Green Dinosaur for my Maltese, he chases it and then he waits for me to chase him so that I can retrieve Green Dinosaur. Then the game starts again. Obviously, Bear has me well trained!
7. Eat a piece of chocolate. Or a cookie. Both if necessary.
8. Call or text a good friend
9. Daydream. Unplug and spend a few minutes doing absolutely nothing.
10. Fix a cup of your favorite tea or coffee.
11. Try a new sheet mask
I love, love these sheet masks!
12. Read a magazine or blog post
13. Go get a massage
14. Write in a journal. If you don’t have one but are interested in starting one check out bullet journals.
15. Take pictures of something that makes you happy.
16. Buy or pick some flowers for your home and arrange them in your favorite vase.
17. Do a brain dump, make a to-do list and prioritize the tasks-this is especially helpful if you’re overwhelmed!
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19. Paint your nails a bright color
20. Get a pedicure or give yourself one
21. Take a power-nap
23. Take a walk
24. Snuggle up on the sofa with a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of wine and a magazine or a book.
25. Wake up early
(Waking up 30-60 minutes earlier will give you time to start your day with something you enjoy. I promise you’ll get used to it quickly and pretty soon you won’t want to start your day any other way!)
26. Take a bubble bath
(There is something almost magical about a long, hot bubble bath!)
27. Listen to an inspirational podcast
28. Rent a movie you’ve been dying to see
29. Have a date night with your spouse
30. Give yourself permission to fall down the Pinterest hole or get sucked into Facebook
(Just set a timer so you don’t lose your entire day. Or weekend. Not that I have ever done anything like that!)
31. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air
32. Cook your favorite meal
33. Color a page or 2 in a coloring book
34. Draw or paint
(Don’t worry if you can’t draw or paint very well. You don’t have to show anyone!)
35. Laugh (YouTube is great for this!)
36. Declutter or clean ONE thing that’s driving you crazy
(DO NOT do more than one thing at a time- you’ll stress yourself out!)
38. Have a girl’s night
39. Get your hair done
40. Take a drive. Better yet, take a back-road. Turn up the music. Roll down the windows. Take your time. Enjoy the view.
41. Watch something on TV that you don’t usually take time to watch
42. Say yes to that bowl of ice cream
43. Say No without feeling guilty.
(I’m not good at this either but I hear it gets easier after you do it a few times. Let me know if that’s true for you.)
44. Do something nice for someone else, just because.
Hopefully, this list will inspire you to carve out a little more time for yourself. Be intentional about it. Take the time to make a weekly plan so that you can fit in some of the things that take longer or are more involved. Even if it’s just a few times a week, I think you’ll notice a big difference in how you feel. There are 44 activities listed here and some of them can be done in just a few seconds so there is no excuse not to try to get a few of them in each week!
What are your go-to’s when you need a pick-me-up? Let me know in the comments!