This content was updated for accuracy and relevance on October 14, 2020.
Saying mothers are busy women is an understatement. As a mom, you wear many hats and probably find yourself running short on time, especially now. Waggle your fingers if you’ve got some home school woes going on! The thought of self care may be at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to your list of priorities.
After all, when you’ve got work, family, and home to worry about, who has time for fitness classes, daily skincare, or a massage? Besides, given half the nation is on lockdown, finding someone to do your hair and nails requires more bravery than mama’s got to spare right now.
Unfortunately, if you don’t take time for you, exhaustion, stress, and burnout may be your future, which is why self care for moms and self care for women in general is so important. Not only does skipping self care interfere with your own health and well-being, but it also hinders your ability to be fully present with your kids and give them the best version of their mom you can be. Keep reading for some of our favorite types of self care activities for busy moms.
Skip the Mom Guilt
First of all, don’t feel guilty for wanting to take time for yourself when you're feeling like an overwhelmed mom. Loving yourself and making your mental health and physical self care a priority isn’t self-indulgence; it’s wisdom. You can’t be the mom, wife, friend, daughter, or sister that you are called to be without rest, relaxation, and good health. Ever heard the old cliché “Health is Wealth”? It’s true, and that doesn’t just cover physical health. It covers mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health, too—all of which self care activities can help you keep in tiptop shape.
Schedule Alone Time
Yes, as in you need to detach the tiny child from your limb and spend time ALONE. It sounds crazy to have to schedule alone time, but when you’re a busy mom who is short on time, energy, and sanity, it’s what you have to do! Setting specific blocks on your calendar can help make alone time feel like more of an appointment that you have to keep.
As a parent, alone time has now become a myth similar to Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. There are no sick days or vacation days in parenting or motherhood, so if you need to binge-watch HGTV, and drink a glass of wine (or three) on the couch, do it! It’s time for you to give yourself a time out for being such a good mom. Your physical and emotional well-being deserve it. Practice mindfulness and make this time non-negotiable.
Sneak in Exercise
Do you spend 99% of your day running after everyone else? It’s hard to even think about fitting a workout into your day when you can barely find 15 minutes of free time before the day has ended, and you’re already burnt out and ready to crash.
Many moms will skip out on their workout routine for that reason. But your physical health should always be a high priority. There are many ways to stay fit and active without sacrificing a lot of time to do it. Try incorporating a little extra physical activity into daily activities, such as:
- Squatting your child while watching TV
- Holding a plank during playtime with your kids
- Treading water or do laps during pool time
- Walking around the track or field while your kids are playing sports
- Wearing ankle weights while you’re doing things around the house
Or you can plan fun activities for the whole family that also serve double duty in getting everyone moving, such as:
- Going on a family hike
- Going on a family bike ride
- Playing a game of “tag”
- Challenging everyone to a family living room dance-off
There are lots of ways to slip movement and activity into your day, so don’t believe the lie that says you can’t. Just move, when and where you can. Your health and wellness depend on it!.
Go for Micro Self Care Moments
There’s nothing wrong with practicing small moments of self care in intervals. There’s no rule that says self care requires an hour-long soak in the bathtub or a 30-minute massage. You can reap the benefits of self care even in small windows of time, such as listening to a great podcast while you’re washing dishes or engaging in a 5-minute nightly journaling routine to reflect on your blessings before bed.
You can wake up 10 minutes early each morning and engage in meditation through deep breathing techniques and spend just a few minutes each morning and night pampering your skin with a regular skincare routine. After your children go to sleep, spend 10 minutes each night reading something that encourages you or take 15 minutes during nap time to sit outside. You can practice sensory self care outside by sitting in silence listening to nature while soaking up some vitamin D. If silence isn't your thing, then listen to some music you love. There are so many ways to incorporate self care into your day; it just takes a little forethought and planning.
Simplify Your Skincare and Beauty Routine
While it can be tempting to skip your beauty and skincare morning routine altogether when life feels crazy, we encourage you to take a few minutes each day to put yourself first! Your skin is important and deserves a little pampering, and as women, when we look good, we feel good. Thankfully, looking and feeling good doesn’t require more than a couple of minutes out of your day, especially with so many DIY self care products you can use that perform double duty, saving you time and money.
Our 3-Minute Out the Door DIY Self Care and Beauty Routine for Busy Moms
- Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser
- Apply a skin cream to areas like eyes, face, and neck
- Top with a tinted sunscreen that hydrates and protects, while giving you some color
- Apply your favorite mascara and a touch of lip gloss
Make Sleep a Priority
Most moms dream wistfully of the days they got enough sleep. Before kids, of course. However, if you make getting enough sleep a high priority, it does become easier to obtain. The benefit to a good night's sleep is that not only will you feel better, but you’ll do better at the whole mom thing too. Mood improves, health improves, your overall sense of well-being improves.
Sometimes it seems as though there’s truly nothing that good sleep can’t cure!
Declutter Something Small
Maybe the life you’ve always wanted is buried under everything you own? Kidding, but there’s something freeing about decluttering, even if it’s just a small space or area. It’s even been shown to lower stress and cortisol levels, along with fighting depression and increasing focus. Who can concentrate surrounded by junk?
But, start small to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Maybe it’s the kids’ sock drawer; perhaps it’s the kitchen junk drawer. When you’re ready, invest a little more time and declutter the pantry or your closet.
Besides, when you’re cooped up “quarantining,” it’s a great way to practice self care and still be “productive.” Let’s be honest; everyone has something they can purge. Just be careful, once you start, you might find it hard to stop! Draw a hard line at throwing out things you actually use. No throwing out the kids either, sorry. Once that declutter project is done, you’ll feel lighter, and that’s a big win for your emotional health and well-being; and perhaps your children’s safety.
Cook Something Delicious
Don’t hate! Some moms do enjoy cooking! In fact, some find the entire process of cooking a good meal soothing and satisfying. If that’s you, make a plan to cook your favorite meal one night.
This again is one of those self care ideas that allow you to do something you enjoy while still feeling as though you’re doing something productive that benefits the rest of the family, too.
However, if you’re a mom that does not enjoy the process of cooking—no judgment here—why not try one of the pre-prepped food services that deliver fresh ingredients right to your door? All you have to do is cook, assemble, and serve. Sadly, they probably won’t deliver wine, but we know you’ve got a hidden stash. There might not be a one-size-fits-all when learning how to self care, but whether you order a meal for your family to eat or you cook it, I think all moms can relate to this:
Is treating yourself still a thing once you become a mom? The answer is, YES! Treating yourself can mean something as simple as going to the bathroom with the door shut and without the kids, soaking in a bubble bath or getting a facial (no, your child throwing up on your face does not count as getting a facial). Treating yourself can also mean getting dolled up.
There’s no shame in splurging a bit sometimes. Buy yourself something nice online (or in store once those reopen). It can be a new shirt, a fancy dress, maybe some lingerie😉. Take the time to do your hair and makeup again, or maybe even shave your legs. Little things go such a long way as a mom. Not only will getting all dolled help boost your confidence, but it may even spice things up in the bedroom.
Your splurge can also be something else entirely, like a membership for online yoga classes you can do early in the morning or buying your favorite snack at the grocery store. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to things that you know will bring you joy, a sense of peace, and an improved state of well-being.
For moms that just want to have a little break for fun in the day while being cooped up at home, why not get a bunch of friends together for a Zoom happy hour? Everyone can mix their favorite cocktail and hop online for some chit chat and social connection. Have enough drinks, and some of you might even get brave enough for a living room dance-off.
If you have a bunch of kiddos in your friend group with birthdays coming up, you could even get together and organize a drive-by party to celebrate. You’d still be respecting the rules for social distancing, but giving yourself and your family permission to continue to enjoy life, despite grim circumstances.
Self care as a busy working mom is vital, and not something that should be skipped or shunned as self-indulgent. It’s necessary and contributes to your life in a positive way. As a woman, as part of humanity as a whole, and as a mom. Doesn’t that make practicing self care more valuable than you first thought? At Alastin, we want to make self care easy and relaxing for women even when they have a busy schedule. That’s why we offer different skincare products with every woman's beauty goals in mind. Our daily skincare line was created to help restore and renew your skin while at home or on the go!