Busy moms have a tendency to put everyone else’s needs before their own. Although it’s good for us to take care of our families, we also need to take care of ourselves. We need to make self-care a priority. That doesn’t mean that we need to spend big bucks on weekly professional massages and pedicures. Rather, self-care can become a regular part of our at-home routine. Use these self-care tips for busy and frugal moms to treat yourself to little moments of relaxation throughout the day.
Pamper Your Hands
A mom’s hands are often busy; diaper changes, yard work, dishwashing and more can really take their toll on your skin and nails. Treat yourself to a DIY mini manicure. First, file your nails so they are smooth. If you like color on your nails, apply a few coats of polish. You can get about 147 coats out of a single bottle of nail polish, and that bottle will probably cost less than just one professional manicure. Once your nails are dry, massage lotion into your skin. If it the lotion has a pleasant scent, that’s all the better.
Drink Plenty of Water
Keeping your body hydrated throughout the day helps you look better and feel better. It increases your memory and concentration. Getting plenty of water can help your joints move more easily and power your muscles to do all those jobs that a mom must do in a day. It can also help reduce skin breakouts. If you need help drinking enough, install a hydration app on your phone. Spending a few dollars on an attractive cup that you enjoy using can also help keep you motivated.
Play Upbeat Music
Listening to a cheerful song can instantly perk up your mood because music can increase the level of dopamine in your brain. And because people form emotional connections to music, playing a song with which you associate happy memories can be even more effective. While you’re at it, sing along! Research has confirmed that singing releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps with bonding, trust, pain relief, stress alleviation and anxiety reduction.
Make an Eye Pillow
A good night’s sleep–or a midday nap–will help you be the best you can be. Settle in for sleep with a comforting eye pillow. This DIY craft involves a fabric sleeve that you fill with flax seed and dried lavender. The pillow blocks out light and also helps calm your body and mind. If you use all-cotton fabric and thread to sew your pillow, you can warm it slightly in the microwave for even more comforting benefits.
Take a Short Walk
Exercise in any form can reduce endorphins to boost your mood. Of course, physical activity also builds strength and endurance and plays a role in weight management. Walking can be done almost anywhere, and it requires no special equipment. You can even bring your kids along; they’ll benefit from the fresh air and exercise, and you won’t have to pay a babysitter. Aim to walk 30 minutes a day.
Take a Break from Social Media
Like many people, you may turn to social media when you want to relax. Studies show, however, that social media use can actually increase your stress level. To top it off, many people then worry about the effects of social media on their stress and anxiety, which only exacerbates the problem. Practice self-care by taking breaks from social media now and then. Make it a short, one-day break, or step away for a whole month. You can even deactivate your account during this period to reduce the temptation to log back on before you’re really ready.
Get Artistic with Adult Coloring Books
Filling in a design with color is soothing to the mind. In one study, test participants who colored in a plaid design or a mandala shape felt calmer at the end of the activity than participants who colored a blank page did. You might not have time to color a whole picture in one day, but that’s okay. Take a little time each day to add to your picture, and you’ll eventually have a finished work of art. Find low-cost adult coloring books at your local discount store, or download free printable pages.
Put Your Thoughts Down in a Bullet Journal
Journaling is often encouraged as a self-care tactic, but busy moms don’t always have time to devote to this practice. A Bullet Journal is the answer to this struggle. It’s a flexible journaling system that allows you to collect your thoughts, reflections, and plans in one place. One of the key components of a Bullet Journal is Rapid-logging, in which you use a short-form notation to quickly record information. Grab a notebook and pen, and you can have your Bullet Journal set up in just five minutes–ready to pull out whenever you have a moment here or there for self-care.
Which self-care practice will you try today? I need all the help with energy and focus that I can get, so I am focusing my efforts on drinking plenty of water. Please leave a comment with your suggestions for self-care. Your friends need to love themselves, too, so be sure to share this article with them.