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60 Simple Acts of Self Care for Busy Moms

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Small and simple acts of self care throughout the day compound together for a big impact.  Choose from this list of 60 simple selfcare acts for busy moms who don’t have a lot of extra time, effort, or energy to spare.  

With your laundry list of things that need to get done on a daily basis, dedicating time for self-care practices probably feels impossible most days.  

But simple acts of self care that you naturally weave into your daily rhythm can have a big impact on your mental and physical health and overall well-being.  

If you feel like you can’t fit self care into your busy life, read on to learn how to focus on these small, but mighty, selfcare acts that don’t require a lot of time, energy, or money, and are way less effort than you might think!

60 Simple Acts of Self Care for Busy Moms

What is self care?

Life as a busy mom often leaves little space for indulgences and luxuries. 

I’m going to bet that there is not a lot of wiggle room in your overbooked calendar so it probably feels like self care is one of those luxuries for which you simply don’t have time.

Unfortunately, self care is often misinterpreted and leaves many women feeling as if having to incorporate it into their busy lives is just another task to add to their endless to-do lists.  This leaves mothers feeling even more overwhelmed and like they’re “failing” at self care.  

In turn, many moms abandon their self-care practices altogether, but this is dangerous and often leads to burnout.

But, self care isn’t so much a practice that involves large amounts of time “doing”, as it is a way of “being”.  It’s a way to show yourself love.

True self care is about making space for yourself in your own life and prioritizing your needs on an ongoing basis (and not feeling guilty about it!).

Selfcare acts don’t have to be big, time-consuming, expensive, or difficult in order to be impactful.  They can actually be really small and simple, but still make a big difference in how you feel.

Related:  “How to Put Yourself First Without Feeling Guilty

What are simple acts of self care?

By now you understand that self care is not something cumbersome that we need to spend a lot of time and effort on.  That’s good news, isn’t it?  

In order to make practicing self care even easier, I’d like you to adopt the mindset that the best approach is often the simplest approach.

Because we’re already low on time, energy, and effort, the only thing we really need to do to practice self-care is to learn to naturally weave these small and simple selfcare acts into our day-to-day.

We do this by establishing restorative habits and practices that make us feel good and finding ways to seamlessly thread them throughout our daily routines.

This helps us to gracefully take care of ourselves and move through life with more calm and ease. 

Related:  “Fall in Love with Taking Care of Yourself”

60 Simple Acts of Self Care for Busy Moms:

Below are 60 small and simple acts of self care that don’t require a lot of time and effort.  These self-care activities are meant to be threaded throughout your day in a way that feels natural and easy.

You’re not going to do all of these every day, but the goal is to choose a good number of items that you can easily make a part of your daily routine.  

1.) Move your body in whatever way you enjoy most

Whether it’s walking, dancing, yoga, or biking, choose an activity that will get you moving in a way you enjoy. I wholeheartedly believe that joyful movement is a meaningful selfcare act that you can look forward to as a way to care for your body, mind, and spirit.

2.) Practice deep breathing exercises for a couple of minutes

Deep breathing exercises can reduce stress and anxiety and help you feel more relaxed. Try taking a few breaths deep into your belly as follows:

-Inhale for 4 seconds
-Exhale for 4 seconds
-Repeat 7 times

3.) Eat a nutritious breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start your day off right with a nutritious breakfast and you will likely find that you’re more inclined to make healthy food choices throughout the day.

4.) Read something short that inspires you

Reading a blog post (like this one😉), brief article, or a few pages of a book is a quick and easy way to feel inspired.

5.) Listen to an uplifting podcast

I regularly listen to podcasts and I find that not only do I usually learn something new, but it also lifts my mood when I deeply resonate with the message and feel a connection with the podcast topic.

6.) Take a power nap (and don’t feel guilty about it!)

Personally, I am not one to nap, but I know many people who swear by a 20 min power nap. Try it out and see if it works for you!

7.) Silence your phone for a few hours

Tuning out the outside world through one of our main points of distraction – our phones – is an integral way to better focus on what truly matters to you. Find time each day to unplug and you’ll feel the difference.

8.) Watch an episode of your favorite show

There is nothing wrong with a little Netflix and chill every now and then. Sometimes mama just needs to sit on the couch and zone out to reruns of “Sex and the City”, ya know?

9.) Take a yoga class

I’ve recently started doing yoga and find that the core message of focusing on your breath and body in order to center yourself deeply resonates with me. I also love the great stretching it provides.

If you’ve never tried yoga, I highly suggest it as simple act of self care you can do a few times a week. The best part is that you will still feel the effects of just 15-20 minutes of yoga!

10.) Go for a walk outside

Walking is a great way to get in some physical activity and something about the combination of walking and fresh air instantly boosts my mood. Go for a quick walk, either solo or use the time to catch up with a friend.

11.) Practice mindfulness

Throughout the day, take a few moments to pause and notice your surroundings, take them in, and absorb what’s around you without judgment. This is the simplest way to practice mindfulness.

12.) Chat with a close friend or family member on the phone

Making time for those you care about makes you feel good. Take a few minutes to catch up with a close friend or family member on the phone (or even in person if it fits your schedule).

13.) Snuggle your kids at bedtime

By the time your kids’ bedtime rolls around, you are probably beyond done for the day, but taking just a few extra minutes to snuggle with them as you tuck them in will bring you a deep sense of gratitude and love.

14.) Light some candles and/or diffuse essential oils to relax

Aromatherapy can help improve mood and a general sense of well-being. Try it out with some scented candles or essential oils.

15.) Sit in the sunshine for a few minutes

The best known benefit of sunlight is its ability to boost the body’s vitamin D supply, which is important for your bones, blood cells, and immune system. Sunlight also helps boost a chemical in your brain called serotonin, which can give you more energy and help keep you calm, positive, and focused. (Source WebMD)

Sitting in the sunshine for a few minutes, perhaps during lunch or an afternoon break, is a small act of self care that can go a long way.

16.) Free write in your journal to clear your mind

Journaling is my go-to self care activity when I need to clear my mind of worries or dig a little deeper into my feelings. There are many types of journaling you can explore, from stream-of-consciousness writing, to using journal prompts, to bullet journaling.

I have a free journaling guide with 50 journal prompts if you need help getting started. With this guide and a pretty new journal, you’ll be ready to dive in and will quickly see the benefits of a journaling practice.

17.) Practice positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are brief positive statements that you repeat to yourself in order to foster a positive attitude and positive outcomes in your life.  Think of it like giving yourself a little pep talk each day. Who couldn’t benefit from that?

18.) Listen to music that suits your mood

There is a time and place for every playlist. Sometimes you need those sad songs that make you feel seen and understood. Other times, those upbeat tracks that lift your spirits and make you want to dance around your living room are just what the doctor ordered.

19.) Order in your favorite meal for dinner

You’ve gotta eat dinner so why not enjoy it as much as possible? Of course, you can’t order in every night, but every so often, order in your favorite meal for dinner…just because you can. 😁

20.) Take a bath at night instead of a quick shower

I usually take a quick shower every night. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy cranking up the hot water and letting the steam relax me, but sometimes a few extra minutes spent on a bath can be an easy act of self care.

21.) Go to bed early

There is something to be said for going to bed early, even before you’re tired. It allows you to enjoy some time to wind down and you’ll wake up extra rejuvenated the next morning.

22.) Start the day by thinking of 5 things for which you are grateful

Starting your day with gratitude is an impactful way to set the tone for a positive day ahead. Think of 5 things for which you’re grateful in the morning. It’s even better if you take the time to write them down. I promise, it only takes a couple of minutes!

23.) Prepare for your day the night before to avoid stress in the morning

Simple tasks like laying out your clothes, setting the coffee maker, and getting all the backpacks ready for school can make a big difference in how rushed (and stressful) your morning will be. Set yourself up for a calm morning by preparing what you can the night before.

24.) Wake up 10-15 minutes early to drink your tea or coffee in peace

I can’t emphasize enough how much of a game-changer giving myself this extra time in the morning has been. I wake up a full hour before my kids do for my morning routine, but even giving yourself just 10-15 minutes of extra time to drink your tea or coffee in peace before the rush of your day starts will have a huge impact on how you feel the rest of the day.

25.) Listen to an audiobook on your commute or while doing household chores

Making the mundane tasks of your day better by listening to an audiobook is a simple way to add some joy to your day. You’re spending the time commuting or doing chores around the house regardless, so why not give yourself a little escape with a great audiobook coming through your headphones or car speakers?

26.) Eat a healthy lunch

Eating nutritious foods at lunch will help you avoid that 3 pm slump that makes you want to reach for high-sugar snacks like cookies and candy.

27.) Take a 1-2 minute break in between tasks and just breathe

When shifting gears between tasks, try giving yourself a 1-2 minute break to just breathe. It’s the perfect opportunity to practice those deep breathing exercises that I mentioned in #2 above.

28.) Clean or declutter a small area of your home

Take a couple of minutes to clean or declutter one small area in your home. I’ve found that a clean physical space usually helps clear the clutter from your mental space as well.

29.) Make the most out of your lunch or coffee break

Back when I used to work the 9-5 grind, I found that going for a walk, reading a book, listening to music or a podcast, or even cramming in a short workout during my lunch break really lifted my mood and gave me more energy for the rest of the day.

30.) Spend time in your favorite place

Sometimes the act of simply spending time in your favorite place, like your beloved coffee shop, park, or even just a favorite spot in your home, can help you feel happier and bring you peace.

60 Simple Acts of Self Care
Pin for later!☝🏻

31.) Periodically check in with yourself throughout the day

Take a few moments throughout the day to pause and ask yourself how you’re doing. How are you feeling?  Are you accomplishing what you want?  What do you need to feel good or get back on track?

This is probably the simplest act of self care I can think of and most of the time, we don’t remember to do it!

32.) Meditate — even if it is just for 5 minutes

Meditation is about being present wherever you are right now and just 5 minutes to meditate is all you need to feel the effects. If you don’t know how to do it, start with a guided meditation. Calm or Headspace are 2 apps that offer simple guided meditations.

33.) Spend some time alone

It doesn’t even matter what you do, just enjoy your own company and be with yourself. The benefits of spending time alone are huge.

34.) Say “NO” to one thing you don’t want to do

We say yes to things too easily most of the time for fear of disappointing other people and instead often disappoint ourselves. Say “no” to one thing you don’t want to do today and see how you feel.

35.) Take a long hot shower

If you’re a mom to littles, sometimes the 5-10 minutes you spend in the shower is your only alone time each day. Try taking a few extra minutes for a long hot shower. Turn down the lights and/or play some relaxing music for added effects.

36.) Have an afternoon cup of coffee or tea

Sometimes that added jolt of caffeine is what you need to make it through the afternoon.

37.) Cook your favorite meal for dinner

As moms, we’re usually aiming to please and that means cooking meals that our families will enjoy, or at least meals that our picky little eaters won’t turn their noses up at. But how about cooking your favorite meal every now and then?

38.) Spend 10-15 minutes doing something that makes you happy 

A big part of self care is doing things that make you happy. I have a blog post called How to Create a ‘What Makes You Happy List’, in which I explain the importance of having a happy list, how to come up with this list of things that make you happy, and how to incorporate items from your list into your day-to-day.

If you haven’t done so yet, make your “happy list” and then pick something from it and spend 10-15 minutes doing it. It’s that simple!

39.) Watch the sunrise or sunset

This can bring you immense peace and gratitude.

40.) Read with your children at bedtime

Reading together for a few minutes at bedtime is a meaningful way to connect with your children and make sure they feel your love and attention. It often sparks conversations about all kinds of things in my house!

41.) Hug your partner for an extra few moments

An extra moment spent in an embrace will make both of you feel more connected, supported, and loved.

42.) Do stretching exercises when you wake up or before you go to bed

Gentle stretching to loosen up your muscles will make you feel great.

43.) Take a social media break for a day

We all know the harmful effects of too much social media. It can trigger negative feelings about ourselves when we fall into comparison traps and can also make us lonely when we see “friends” on social media hanging out and doing activities together that we were not invited to. Take a break from it all and focus on yourself!

44.) Make sure to get enough sleep

A good night’s sleep will do your body and mind good. 7-9 hours per night is what’s recommended.

45.) Start the day off right by making your bed first thing in the morning

Making your bed as soon as your wake up may seem like a no-brainer, but not everyone does this. It takes less than 2 minutes, but this simple act of self care allows you to start your day off with a win. Keep stacking those small wins throughout the day and they will add up in your mind and help you to feel more confident and accomplished.

46.) Dress for how you want to feel

Whether you want to feel put together, relaxed, cozy, or confident, wear clothes on the outside that convey how you want to feel on the inside.

47.) Drink plenty of water

At least six to eight 8oz glasses a day of water are recommended! If you find it difficult to remember to drink water, try keeping a refillable water bottle with you throughout the day. When something is constantly in your line of sight, there is a greater chance that you will remember it and more quickly form the habit you want.

48.) Indulge in dessert or your favorite snack

Sometimes you just want a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Go for it…why not?

49.) Do nothing for 5 minutes

Seriously, just sit still and breathe!

50.) Cross off a small task from your to-do list

Who doesn’t get satisfaction from accomplishing a task from their to-do list? Cross off a small task that you’ve been putting off. Make that doctor’s appointment, return the books to the library, schedule the overdue dinner date with your friend, and then soak in that feeling of accomplishment.

51.) Organize your workspace or personal spaces

A clear physical space leads to a clear mental space.

52.) Cancel a non-essential item from your calendar

Pick something that’s making you feel overextended like an appointment, commitment, or subscription you probably shouldn’t have agreed to in the first place, and simply cancel it (or reschedule it if it actually has to happen at some point!).

53.) Do something cozy

Have you ever heard of hygge? Hygge is a Nordic tradition that celebrates all things cozy. It is about warmth, kinship, and appreciation for the simple things in life. The Nordic people are some of the happiest people in the world according to the World Happiness Report.

Give it a try – sit by the fire, drink hot cocoa with your kids, snuggle under a soft blanket!

54.) Compliment yourself on something positive

What do you love about yourself?  What is something you’ve accomplished?  No win is too small to celebrate.

55.) Meal-prep for the week ahead

Meal-prepping is a great way to save yourself time during the busy work and school week and also increases the likelihood of eating nutritiously. I love to do some meal-prepping for the week as part of my Sunday routine.

56.) Set a daily intention

A daily intention is a guidepost for how you want to show up each day. When you decide from the get-go how you want to be and feel throughout your day, you’re actually more likely to get what you want out of each day. It’s a small but mighty act of self care that takes less than a minute to do!

57.) Make a vitamin-packed smoothie for an afternoon snack

It will help you fight late afternoon cravings and mitigate overeating at dinner time. Plus the extra dose of vitamins will do your body good!

58.) Carefully massage your skin care products into your skin

Instead of mindlessly applying your face and skin care products like you normally do, try focusing on carefully massaging them into your skin. It’s a simple way to show yourself some love.

59.) Read before bed

There is no better way to unwind and quiet your mind for sleep. I usually fall right asleep mid-sentence!

60.) Find something funny and laugh about it

Laughter is medicine for the soul!

What small and simple selfcare act feels most supportive to you? 

These simple acts of self care don’t require a lot of time or effort and they don’t cost a pretty penny either.

Even if an act of self care seems insignificant on its own, when added together, these small acts compound and make a big positive impact on your overall well-being.  

I hope you’ll give some of these a try today!  Let me know in the comments which you’ll try first.

For more on self care, check out these posts below:

50 Super Simple Ideas for Self Care Saturdays

5 Ways to Kickstart Your Self Love Journey Today

7 Essential Winter Self Care Ideas to Beat the Blues

Does Being Selfless Make You a Good Mom?

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