I am a huge believer that moms need to take time to care of themselves! It took me a long time into motherhood to let go of feeling guilty for taking time to myself and to realize what a huge difference it made when I felt prioritized and cared for.
One thing that often kept me from investing in self-care was cost. When my husband and I were first married he was in the ARMY and making less than 20k a year, so spending money on anything besides rent, food, and diapers was out of the question. But even after we started having a lot more extra money spending it on myself was a challenge. If I had extra money I could easily spend it on my kids but not so much on myself.
My point? Sometimes we hit a block when it comes to self-care because we don’t have the extra income, or we have a block about spending on ourselves.
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A great way to overcome that is to start with some self-care that is 100% FREE! Some of these things seem like small things or obvious things that maybe you do anyway. But here’s the thing, when you do them intentionally with the mindset of taking care of yourself they become bigger things, with results beyond just feeling pretty or relaxed. You feel recharged, and can function as a better mother, wife and self!
So here are some great FREE self-care ideas!
Take a Bubble Bath– Yep, we’re going to start out with a great old stand-by! There is nothing as relaxing as a soak in the tub with some bubbles and maybe even a candle or two! Make sure you time it when you can really relax, like after the kids are in bed. Let yourself relax and forget about your to-do list or any chores waiting outside the comfort of your bathroom!
Meditate- This is a great form of self-care and if you make it a daily habit it is one that will serve you in so many ways! I love to use a meditation app to just help me center myself and relax! Most apps guide you through a 10-15 minute meditation so this is an easy one to sneak in during your day! You can find 10 minutes to get relaxed and feel refreshed!
Give yourself a manicure or pedicure- I don’t know about you but I feel great when I have pretty nails! During the summer I like to keep my toes painted with bright colors, but I usually keep my nails a neutral color because with a busy life chips happen pretty quickly! Whatever your taste in nail polish take some time to make your toes or fingers pretty! Give them a soak, trim your cuticles and file your nails. A couple coats of polish, a little moisturizer and you’ll feel pampered and pretty!
Take a Walk– Getting outside for a breath of fresh air, some light exercise and space to breathe and think can help you feel refreshed and renewed. This one you can do at a local park, around your block, or even in your yard if you don’t have the opportunity to go far! Try and be present throughout your walk, taking in the fresh air, sunshine, and relaxed pace!
Read a Book or Magazine- I love curling up with a good book! To me, it is so relaxing to sit and be transported somewhere else into a story with great characters! A great way to practice self-care is to allow yourself the time to sit and enjoy reading a great book, or a magazine you love. 20-30 minutes of reading while relaxed on your couch, bed or outside can help you feel great! If you have trouble getting time away from the kiddos this is a great one to do while they read their own book or watch a favorite tv show.
Take a Nap- Let’s face it, parenting can be exhausting! We put pressure on ourselves to be productive all day, and get things accomplished while our kids nap. If your kids still take naps, take on with them! If they’re older and self- sufficient let them know you’re closing your eyes for a little while. Even a 20-minute power nap can help you feel rested for the remainder of your day!
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Work on a Craft or Other Hobby- What do you love to do? Is it knitting, writing, gardening? Most moms I know have a hobby they love and don’t take the time to engage in it as often as they’d like. Many have a half finished project laying around somewhere, or supplies in a box in their basement. Take some time to do something you love, work on a project, or start a new one!
Call a Friend- Sometimes connecting with a friend is the best form of self-care there is. We can vent our frustrations, get advice, laugh, and feel connected. I know when I have a long overdue conversation with a friend I feel like I’ve had a mini-vacation!
Exercise– If you need to get energized, release some endorphins, and feel great a little bit of exercise can do that for you! Find a video on youtube and try some yoga or Zumba, hop on that treadmill or exercise bike that is gathering dust in your basement, or even go old school with some jumping jacks, sit-ups and push-ups. Getting your blood flowing and knowing that you are doing something great for your body can make you feel awesome!
Write in a Journal- Whether you are a writer or not a little journaling can help you feel relaxed and centered. I personally love a gratitude journal where you just spend a few minutes writing down 10-20 things that you are thankful for. This form of self -care helps you focus on the positive aspects of your life and all that you have to be thankful for! Or if you love to write use the time journaling to reflect, relax and think deep thoughts!
Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be super time consuming but it is something that is necessary for you to be your best self and the best mom that you can be! So take some time to care for yourself today!