50 Self-Care Ideas for Busy Mamas

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You can’t pour from an empty cup. As mamas, after that first baby comes along, something changes — all of a sudden your needs (including the most basic, such as feeding yourself!) get put on the back-burner. Who would’ve thought that a tiny baby who just eats, sleeps and poops could wreak such havoc on your entire ability to care for yourself? And then that needy newborn turns into a crawling toddler … Who gets into everything … And that toddler turns into a 3-5 year-old who is sort of self sufficient, but only to a certain degree, so the needs just continue. So, we get it. We know you don’t have a lot of extra time to “fill your cup”. We know that taking any time for yourself feels like an indulgence and sometimes even an inconvenience — there are just so many other, really important, things to do.


We’re here to remind you that taking care of yourself is also really, really important. Mamas, you are strong and resilient and you can handle more than most people can begin to fathom, but in order to sustain all that you do, you need to make time for self-care. We know that time is a hot commodity in your life, so we’ve rounded up fifty ideas that will help you recharge your batteries – many that take as little as 3-5 minutes. 


Pamper {under 25 minutes}

  1. Eat a piece of candy
  2. Go to the bathroom alone
  3. Stretch
  4. Listen to your favorite upbeat song (and dance!)
  5. Drink a cup of hot coffee
  6. Read a magazine
  7. Watch a few funny YouTube videos (this one never gets old — even 10 years later!)
  8. Step outside and take five deep breaths
  9. Take a catnap
  10. Use the Calm app for guided meditation (some as quick as 3 minutes!)
  11. Write down five things that you are grateful for (we also love Turkey on the Table to start a family tradition of gratitude.)
  12. Do a face mask
  13. Drink a cup of tea
  14. Diffuse essential oils
  15. Run a brush and oil through your hair and do a quick scalp massage
  16. Make yourself a fancy juice drink or smoothie
  17. Read your favorite blog (that makes you feel happy and inspired). Some of our favorites are A Cup of Jo, Chris Loves Julia and Sequins and Stripes.
  18. Paint your nails
  19. Put on some makeup (it can take as little as four minutes!)
  20. Do some online shopping
  21. Cuddle your furry friend (if you have one!)
  22. Drink a glass of wine (assuming it’s at least 5PM… Okay, 3PM. 12PM?)


Indulge {1-2 hours}

  1. Take a bubble bath
  2. Take a long shower
  3. Sleep in
  4. Take a workout class or do a workout video
  5. Go for a walk
  6. Lay in bed and read a book
  7. Listen to a podcast (some of our favorites: Out of Line; Dr. And Mrs. Guinea Pig, The Marie Forleo Podcast
  8. Wash and style your hair
  9. Go for a drive — blast your favorite music. And sing.
  10. Learn something new (take a course on Lynda.com or search YouTube)
  11. Go get a blowout
  12. Catch up on your favorite show. We are loving Big Little Lies (come on season 2), Real Housewives (mindless entertainment) and This Is Us (cue the tears!).
  13. Get acupuncture
  14. Bake cookies (or whatever your treat dessert is), then eat them.
  15. Call a friend you haven’t caught up with in a while
  16. Get your eyebrows waxed
  17. Volunteer for an organization, person or place that means something to you
  18. Go out to dinner with your girlfriends
  19. Go on a date night
  20. Grab a Starbucks and wander around Target aimlessly (and make sure to check out the new Itzy Ritzy teething display at Target!)
  21. Go to the mall and get your makeup done at a beauty counter
  22. Cook some comfort food
  23. Do something creative – paint, color, draw, write – whatever makes you tick!


Spoil {half-day}

  1. Get a massage or facial
  2. Go wine tasting
  3. Get a Mani/pedi
  4. Go for a hike
  5. Go see a movie – in a theater!
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