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15 Simple Self Care Rituals for Busy Moms Who Need a Break

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Having some go-to self-care rituals can make being a busy mom easier to handle, especially when you work at home.

There’s just one catch: you don’t ever seem to actually have time for self-care.

I know exactly what it’s like.

Between trying to grow my blog, balancing all the demands of my freelancing business and being a single mom, there’s not a lot of room for “me” time.

So yeah, I know how real the self-care struggle can get.

And you might be in the same boat. But what do you do about it?

Here’s a simple solution:

Take advantage of the small moments in your super busy day to introduce some self-care habits. 

Look, I would love to have hours and hours of uninterrupted time to just focus on myself. But…that’s just not happening for me.

So I do what I can, in the time that I have.

And if you’re looking for a way to squeeze in a little pampering while pulling mom duty (and maybe working on your business or side hustle) here are some genius hacks for making self-care rituals part of your day.

15 Self Care Rituals Busy Moms Can Do In 15 Minutes (or Less)

self care rituals1. Meditate

I’ll be honest, once upon a time, I wouldn’t have been caught dead meditating. I just totally didn’t see the point.

But then, I tried it. And I’ve been hooked ever since.

The hardest thing about meditating is simply showing up to do it. But what’s great is 15 minutes (or less if you don’t have a lot of time) is plenty to recenter and breathe.

And for us busy moms, sometimes that’s what we need most.

If you need a little help getting into the meditation habit, there are lots of apps that can help. You can check out a roundup of some of the best meditation apps here.

2. Read

Reading is one of my favorite self-care rituals. Since I started blogging again, I haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like.

It’s a total bummer but I still make sure to work in some reading daily. If you need some suggestions on what to read, try:

  • A daily devotional
  • Your horoscope
  • One chapter of a book you’ve been struggling to finish
  • Your favorite comic strip
  • The latest post from one of your favorite bloggers
  • One of your kids’ picture books
  • A favorite poem

Stay away from reading anything that’s going to stress you out, like the news.

You can catch up on what’s going on the world some other time. For now, use this 15 minutes to treat your brain to something a little more relaxing.

3. Moisturize

I can’t think about moisturizing without thinking of Cassandra from Doctor Who.

 

(Bonus tip: make one of your self-care rituals vegging out to this show — it’s the best.)

Think about it though, when was the last time you took really took care of your skin?

If you’re having trouble remembering, spend a good 15 minutes moisturizing from head to toe. You’re essentially giving yourself a mini-massage and your skin will definitely thank you for it.

4. Journal

I’ve always kept a journal in some form or other. Pouring out what’s in my head on the page is a huge help when I’m feeling stressed or anxious.

If you’re not a journaler by nature, consider getting into the habit.

Treat yourself to a pretty notebook or bullet journal and spend a few bucks on some fun pens. Then mark off 15 minutes every day when you can hit the page.

For example, I like to journal in the mornings before I dive into my work day. But you might choose to do your journaling before bed.

When it comes to what to write, just jot down whatever comes to you. This is not a self-care ritual that needs to be perfect.

The goal is to clear your head of whatever’s been building up. It’s a useful tool for finding your focus if you’ve lost it.

5. Call Your Person

If you’re not a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you might not know what I’m talking about. But I just mean the one person you can always count on to listen to you when you’re stressed.

It might be your mom or sister or best friend. So call them up and chat for just a few minutes about the weather, your kids, whatever’s on your mind.

And if you don’t have a person, then give your cat or dog a cuddle. After all, science says that having pets around can be good for your mental health.

6. Stretch

Sometimes a simple stretch is all you need to feel better.

Stretch your arms, your legs, your hands, every part of you. If you want to make stretching one of your daily self-care rituals, check out this 15-minute morning routine from SarahBethYoga.

 

7. Get Moving

So, yoga may not be your thing. And that’s cool; it’s not really mine either.

What I prefer instead is exercising on my recumbent bike and I like to block off a good hour for that. But when I can’t do the full hour, I settle for taking the dogs around the block for a 15-minute walk instead.

If you can’t get out of the house because of the weather or because it’s just too much work to bundle up your littles, get moving indoors.

March in place, do some jumping jacks, touch your toes, host an impromptu dance party. Anything to get your blood pumping for a few minutes.

8. Doodle

Okay, so I’ll admit that I don’t exactly get those adult coloring books. (But if you’re into them, then totally add coloring for a few minutes to your self-care rituals list.)

I do, however, like to doodle and draw zentangles. Making zentangles is essentially creative doodling with a purpose.

It’s relaxing, artistic and really calming, which is something I can always use in the midst of a busy day.

So, whether you like to color, doodle or you want to try your hand at zentangle, grab a pen or pencil and some paper and dive in. If you’re looking for a tutorial on zentangles, head to Zentangle.com to get started.

9. Drink a Glass of Water

One of the biggest things I used to neglect was drinking water.

I always drank soda, which is bad, bad, bad for you in so many ways. Now, though, water is more or less all I drink all day.

If you haven’t had your recommended 64 ounces of water today, stop and have a glass or two. Or swap it out for some decaf herbal tea or a cup of coffee if that’s your thing.

The point is, stay hydrated. It’s good for every part of your body (especially your skin) and it’s key to staying healthy.

10. Watch a TED Talk

TED talks are awesome for learning new things, getting some different perspective and taking your mind off what’s stressing you out.

Another plus is that there are just so many to choose from. You can find TED talks on just about any topic you’re interested in.

And a lot of them are short, too so you can fit them into a 15-minutes-or-less self-care routine.

If you need a starting point, take a look at Fatherly’s recommendations for the 10 best TED talks for moms. Or, work your way through some of Brene Brown’s inspiring videos.

self care rituals

11. Enjoy a Sweet Snack

I love chocolate. It’s one of my favorite things ever.

And on those occasions when I don’t neglect self-care and I remember to be nice to myself I buy some chocolate for a secret stash. (Totally partial to Lindor truffles over here.)

Then, when I feel like I need a pick me up I have one. Just one, mind you, although I could easily eat the whole bag if I wasn’t thinking about it.

So pick your favorite sweet snack to have and stock up. Keep it in the cupboard or pantry (or in the closet if your kids won’t leave it alone), and snag a few quiet minutes to savor a piece.

12. Turn Off Your Phone

I love my phone because I can do everything I need to from it for my business, my money, my life — you name it.

But I also hate how connected I feel to it some days. Like when my email notification dings for the 100th time and it’s not even noon.

I just want to chuck that sucker into the next zip code.

And if you feel the same way sometimes, then do what I do: turn it off.

Or, if you can’t turn it off then put it in another room. I like to stick mine on the charger at the other end of the house.

See how long you can go without checking it. Aim for 15 minutes to start, then work your way up.

It’s a simple but helpful way to practice self-care and wean yourself away from your phone if that’s something you’re struggling with.

13. Listen to Music

My kids will tell you I have terrible taste in music.

For example, any time they hear me playing some Rufus Wainwright or Damien Rice or Coldplay, they’re always like, why do you like this, it’s depressing. 

But sometimes listening to a favorite song gives me the break I need from the day to day stress.

If you don’t have any favorite tunes, consider listening to a few minutes of a podcast instead. Elna at Twins Mommy has a great list of podcasts for mompreneurs.

And if you don’t want to hear any other human voices at all for a few minutes, try some ambient music or classical instead.

14. Write Yourself a Love Note

When was the last time you got a love note?

I don’t necessarily mean a romantic love letter, just a note telling you that you’re pretty dang awesome and someone loves you.

Been a while? Then, maybe try making one of your self-care rituals writing yourself a weekly love letter.

It doesn’t have to be long. You could even make it a list if you want.

Write down 5 to 10 things you love about yourself. Or list out all your wins for the week that you’re proud of.

Then, for the rest of the week any time you’re feeling like you need a little encouragement or pick me up, whip out your love note and give it a read. It can be a quick and simple way to boost your mood and find some motivation.

15. Do Nothing

I don’t mean don’t do self-care here. I mean literally, go and do nothing.

Let the kids (and your spouse) know mommy’s taking a short time out. Head to your bedroom and shut the door. Turn off the light and lie down on the bed.

Close your eyes. And just breathe in and out.

Don’t think about what you have to get up and do 15 minutes from now or tomorrow or next week.

Don’t drive yourself nuts thinking about what kind of mess the kids could be making.

And if you’re worried about falling asleep, set a timer on your phone.

But otherwise, just lie still for a few minutes and breathe. Let the world go on without you for a bit, then jump back in after you’ve had a chance to rest.

Do You Have a Favorite Self Care Ritual as a Busy Mom?

Introducing self-care rituals into your routine can make an amazing difference in how you approach your days. And these examples prove that it’s something you can do even when you don’t have a lot of time.

If you’ve developed a favorite self-care habit, head to the comments and tell me about it!

And please pin and share this post if it helped you. 🙂

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Hi there, I'm Rebecca, homeschooling single mom of two. I built a six-figure freelance writing business from home and now I teach busy moms how to save money, make money and master their time! Follow me on Pinterest and Twitter and don't forget to check out the Resource Library--it's packed with tons of free tools to help make the busy mom life easier!

Comments

  1. I love the idea of writing myself a love note! I have never heard that tip before – and if I did it was not called a love note. I will have to care some time out this weekend to write myself one. I deserve it!

    • Yes, definitely give it a try! We can all use encouragement and sometimes we can be our own best source for it, so take time to cheer yourself on for sure. 🙂

  2. I really appreciate all of these ideas, especially the one about letting the world go by as you breathe and jump right back into it! Thanks for taking the time to share these tips for self care rituals for busy mamas.

    • You’re welcome! I don’t know who came up with the idea of self care but I think it’s something moms (and everyone else) should prioritize. We can’t do it all but for some reason, we all keep trying anyway! And having some self care rituals, even if they’re just quick ones, can be a nice escape.

    • Definitely, it’s hard to make time for yourself when you’re busy momming and trying to grow your blog or a side hustle. The good thing is that self care doesn’t have to be an all-day event — you can make time for it even if you only have a few minutes.

  3. Even though I’m not a mom, these were great self care tips. Sometimes I forget how simple it can be just to take care of myself and how good it makes me feel!

    • Self care is important for anyone for sure, especially if you’re trying to grow a blog or business while managing every other thing in life. That alone can be a huge drain on your time! But having kids definitely takes it up a notch — very overwhelming at times and sometimes you just need a break.

  4. Journaling is my favorite. Sometimes journaling helps me in creating new content for your blog. I love taking a nap too and that translates into doing nothing. It is a great article because sometimes we moms know all these things but we need to hear it from someone else to actually follow through.

    • You’re right Nadia, I think moms often know they need to be carving out time for themselves, even if it’s just a few minutes. And journaling is a good way to just let out some of the clutter in your head so you can get clarity and refocus. Doing nothing is really hard for me but sometimes I have to force myself to, otherwise I’d never get a break!

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