80+ Self-Care Ideas for Moms (with FREE Printable Self-Care Checklist!)
These self-care ideas and tips for busy moms will ease your exhaustion, recharge your tank and help you unwind. Don’t miss the free printable self-care checklist! #careofpartner
Remember the days before kids when you had time to read a book, workout 5 days a week, take long baths and drink your coffee while it was still hot?
Now as a busy mom, your to-do list is always a mile-long, and you’re constantly juggling your needs with those of your kids, your partner, your relatives, your friends, your pets, your neighbors, and other loved ones in your life.
And unfortunately, we know all too well that your place on the list is usually alllll the way at the bottom.
It’s funny because most of us know we should be taking better care of ourselves – that a little self-care makes us a better parent – it’s just the HOW and the WHEN that we get tripped up on.
That’s why we’ve partnered with Care/of, the leader in personalized daily vitamin packs, to help you learn how to practice self-care, and provide over 80 self-care ideas that can help reenergize, refuel and reset your mind and body.
Some of the ideas can be done in as little as a few minutes, others require a longer amount of time – but with a little added effort, all of them will help you take better care of yourself, and thereby equip you to take better care of your family as well.
PIN for when you’re ready to fill your self-care bucket:
self care 101
When you think of “Self Care”, what comes to mind?
The common misconception is that it has to include luxurious all-day spa treatments, or lavish child-free vacations. And while it certainly can include those things, self-care is really about maintaining your everyday wellbeing, and making sure your emotional, physical and social cups are being filled.
Doing things like staying hydrated, taking your vitamins, showering, eating nutritious meals and exercising are all part of your self-care. And while these tasks were once taken for granted, throw a newborn or an active toddler into the mix, and suddenly they become major challenges!
It’s all too easy to give-up on your needs and say “I’ll focus on me when ________” (fill-in-the-blank with your common excuse: “…my kids are all in school”, “…we make enough money to hire help”, “…the baby starts sleeping through the night”, etc.). But if you don’t make time now, in the present moment, you risk becoming emotionally exhausted, and soon you’ll start to feel like you’ve lost your sense of self-worth.
We have to reposition our thinking. Self-care is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, or cost a lot of money.
Start by thinking about what makes you happy. What energizes, refuels and feeds your soul? Is it quiet activities like reading before bed, social activities like calling a friend, or perhaps a little bit of pampering?
Take a look at our list below and decide what appeals to you, then use our printable Self-Care Checklist (instructions to download below) to make a goal to complete a certain number of these activities each week, then check them off as you go!
Self-Care Ideas for Moms
First and foremost, make sure your daily needs are being met. These are the core to self-care, and often overlooked. These include:
- Getting 7–8 hours of sleep
- Eating 3 nutritious meals
- Drinking eight 8–10oz glasses of water a day
- Washing face/taking shower/brushing teeth
- Getting fresh air
- Moving your body
- Taking your vitamins/supplements
Many people skip vitamins because they simply don’t know what to take, and what’s best for their bodies.
Care/of takes the guess-work out of the equation, with their 5‑minute online assessment that helps you determine what vitamins and supplements will help you feel your best today, and support you long-term. The assessment asks simple questions about your diet, lifestyle and health goals, then gives you a completely customized recommendation.
It’s like getting a one-on-one consultation with a nutritionist…for free!We love that Care/of’s products are all formulated with good-for-you, clean ingredients. And the super-cute packaging is perfect to sit out on your counter as a daily reminder, with easy-to-reach-for daily packs inside (that include fun quotes, and even self-care recommendations!).
Take the Quiz! and see what vitamins, protein, collagen and more are recommended for you!
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MORE SELF-CARE IDEAS
- Read a chapter of a book
- Read a magazine
- Write in a journal
- Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for
- Write a to-do list or do a brain dump
- Write a letter to a friend/relative
- Write a letter to your kids that they can open when they’re older
- Meditate for 5–10 minutes
- Look in the mirror and say 3 positive things about yourself
- Call an old friend to catch up
- Meet a friend for coffee or lunch
- Take a bath or long(er) shower
- Do an at-home spa treatment like a face mask
- Get a manicure/pedicure (or give one to yourself)
- Try a new make-up technique
- Get a haircut/style
- Blow-dry your hair
- Get dressed up for no reason
- Wear your favorite outfit
- Sip a hot drink with your feet up
- Schedule annual check-ups, including Doctor, dentist, dermatologist, optician, etc.
- Pay it forward – donate to a food bank, help a neighbor or do a good deed
- Plan a vacation
- Schedule a date-night
- Schedule a girls’ night out
- Clean your junk drawer
- Declutter a small space
- Purge your closet
- Donate 3+ things you no longer use
- Water your plants
- Take a walk
- Do Yoga
- Stretch for 5 minutes
- Sit in the sun and soak in the Vitamin D
- Have a dance party!
- Ride a bike
- Weed your garden
- Plant something
- Make a healthy smoothie
- Cook your favorite meal
- Learn to cook a new recipe
- Bake cookies
- Order your favorite take-out
- Eat on paper plates (take the night off washing the dishes!)
- Buy your favorite dessert and enjoy it after the kids go to bed
- Watch the sunrise and/or sunset
- Look at the stars
- Watch your favorite TV show or movie
- Watch a documentary
- Watch a comedy show (on YouTube counts!) and LAUGH!
- Listen to your favorite song/musician
- Listen to a podcast
- Get crafty – paint, color or make something with your hands
- Shop for yourself (not your kids!)
- Take a Community Education Class
- Buy flowers for yourself
- Do a puzzle
- Hire someone to finish a project you started but haven’t finished
- Lay on the grass and watch the clouds roll by
- Look back at old photos/videos and relive happy memories
- Give a mindful hug (hold and think about how good it feels)
- Defriend people on social media that don’t bring you joy
- Have a PJ day
- Go for a scenic drive
- Take time for a hobby
- Listen to the birds
- Change your bedding/sheets
- Try something new
- Cuddle your pet (or kids if they’ll let you!)
- Turn off social media for 24 hours (or longer!)
- Have a phone-free day
- Sit by the fire
- Cancel an activity you don’t want to do, and take a rest instead
- Sleep in
- Take a power nap
free printable self-care checklist
Now you may already be doing some of these self-care ideas, but you’re not giving yourself credit for them, and therefore your bucket is not getting filled. A simple switch of mindset can help you realize that you’re actually doing more self-care than you think – and keeping track of these tasks is a great way to do this.
That’s why we’ve created a FREE printable Self-Care checklist so you can to keep track of your daily/weekly progress. Use one of our pre-populated lists, or customize your own using our fill-in-the-blank version and self-care ideas above.
To get the free printable sent directly to your inbox, simply follow the instructions below:
Where should we send your printable Self-Care Checklist?
You’ll get the link to download instantly.
how to fit it all in
We hope our list helps spark some ideas for practicing self-care, but now the tricky part…HOW do we find the time to fit it into our already packed schedule?
Here are 10 ways to help you integrate self-care into your busy life:
- Unplug: Think about how much time you spend every day looking at your phone or mindlessly scrolling through social media. Imagine if you took that time to do something for yourself instead? Set a screen-time limit for yourself (there are plenty of apps that can help with this), or make a decision to go phone-free at a certain time, like putting it away after dinner.
- Shift your bedtime and/or wake-up time: As long as you’re still getting 7–8 hours of sleep, taking a little time from your sleep to practice self-care will only bring positive benefits.
- Schedule it on your calendar: You wouldn’t miss your son’s baseball game or your dentist appointment, right? That’s because these are important things and they’re written down on your calendar so you don’t forget them. Treat your self-care with the same respect, and schedule small chunks of time so that it becomes a “to do” item. You should also schedule larger events like Date Nights (even if it’s a take-out meal after the kids are in bed) or a Girls’ Night Out so that they’ll actually happen!
- Make a deal with your partner: Discuss with your partner how important you feel self-care is to your family, and that you BOTH get the time you need to practice it. Schedule time each week where your partner is “on duty”, and you can disappear to do something from your self-care list. And of course, you’ll then do the same for them.
- For your birthday/Holidays, ask for time, not gifts: As you get older, do you find yourself saying “I don’t need anything for my birthday….really, don’t bother!”. But guess what? You DO need something: TIME. So let your partner and/or close friends/family know that in lieu of physical gifts, what you’d like is a night of babysitting, a carpooling pass, or kids’ sleepover at someone else’s house!
- Use your time in the car: Whether you have your kids in the car, or can get out for a glorious no-passenger drive, take advantage of the “free” moments you have while driving to fit in a little self-care. It can be as small as taking deep breaths at every stop light, or mindfully taking in the scenery. Listen to audiobooks, podcasts or your favorite music…turn it on loud and SING!
- Multitask: As moms we learn how to multi-task pretty quickly, so take these skills and put them to good use. Listen to an audiobook while you get ready in the morning, have a dance session listening to your favorite music while you cook, or make a mental list of things you’re grateful for while packing school lunches.
- Include your kids: Don’t count out some of the self-care ideas just because you can’t get time to yourself. Instead, include your kids! You just might be surprised that it becomes even more gratifying with them involved. For example, do a mini-spa session with your child with face masks and nail painting, or have a coloring session where and can work on your own adult coloring book.
- Re-prioritize: Take a good look at your family’s schedule – is it too full? Think about your priorities and what makes everyone happy. Driving an hour to go to a ballet practice that your daughter doesn’t really love probably isn’t the best use of anyone’s time. Scrap the activities and obligations that don’t fill your (or your kids’) cup, and you’ll free up time for things that do.
- Ask for help: It doesn’t make you any less of a mother to ask for help. Remember, you will be a better mom, daughter, neighbor and friend when you are able to practice self-care!
Thanks again to our partner, Care/of, for providing moms with personalized vitamin recommendations that work to support their minds and bodies. Take Care/of’s quick online quiz to find out what’s recommended for you. And don’t forget to use code: WHATMOMSLOVE50 for 50% off your first order!