15 Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms: Tips for Rejuvenation

Recently, I stumbled upon an online article which contained a message similar to the following:

Stop considering time alone to grocery shop, using spare time to clean, and taking a shower as a “break” for moms. 

Personal hygiene, chores, and errands are not meant to be “self-care” for moms. 

That really resonated with me because I know I am guilty of considering those to be my “me” times, even though they really aren’t helping me to be a better woman or mom. 

That’s where true self-care comes in. I’m not just talking about pedicures and a spa day (although, those are a great way to rejuvenate).

True “self-care” is scheduling time to focus on yourself and do the things that help you maintain your happiness, health, identity, and sanity as a mother.

It is prioritizing and meeting your needs and filling your cup so that you have what you need to fill the cups of those who depend on you. 

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite 15 self-care ideas for busy moms. Let’s take a look! 

1. Say No to Mom Guilt

Okay, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with self-care tips for busy moms.

The first step in taking care of yourself as a mom is to let go of the mom guilt and allow yourself to do things for yourself without feeling like you are not measuring up as a mother or not focusing on your child’s needs enough.

As a mother, you need to remember that you are still a person who needs to be taken care of, especially if you expect yourself to meet the demands of being a mother!

Strive to adopt a more healthy mindset when it comes to taking care of yourself and spending time to meet your own needs.

As you realize that it is okay to focus on YOU at times, you will see that it actually helps you to be a more present mother and have more energy to meet the needs of your child.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking this tip to heart is a great place to start.

2. Lower Your Expectations

As a relatively new mother myself, I have felt the overwhelming pressure from social media to meet a certain standard in motherhood in order to be the “best mom.”

This unrealistic and romanticized “standard” has left me feeling like a failure if I don’t do certain things with my child or teach them in a certain way or if my child doesn’t respond to things or meet milestones in the same way or timeline as another child.

One way to truly take care of yourself as a mother is to lower your expectations of both yourself and your child. You are both learning and growing. 

Focus on one thing at a time, and remember that there is no such thing as a perfect parent or a textbook-perfect way to parent your child. Developing this mindset is good for the soul!

3. Practice Healthy Habits

I am a true advocate for prioritizing your own health and wellness, especially during motherhood.

So many women lose themselves completely in motherhood and put time for self-care on the back burner.

You will be amazed at how refreshed you will feel as a mother if you are practicing healthy habits and prioritizing your nutrition, exercise, and adequate sleep

4. Follow a Routine

We know that babies and toddlers thrive on routine, but you will be surprised to find that a routine could actually benefit you as well!

When you follow a routine, you feel more prepared and more in control of your life, which plays a major role in your energy levels and mood. 

5. Schedule “Me” Time

Whether it’s going for a walk by yourself, browsing the aisles at Target, grabbing an ice cream, or going to your favorite coffee shop to just sit and read or do something that you want to do, time alone for yourself is so important!

I highly recommend communicating with your partner, family member, or friend to ask for help scheduling a time either each day or a few times a week when you can have a little bit of time (even 20 minutes can be a great refresher!) to do something that you enjoy and helps you feel human again.

Remember that self-care isn’t being selfish or about putting yourself first; it’s a way to recharge yourself so you can continue to be a great mom.

A young woman enjoying some quiet time and relaxation at a coffee shop.

6. Unplug

Having the world at our fingertips can be a blessing. However, it can also cause so many unwanted feelings of anxiety, comparison, and overload.

Try unplugging for a few hours a day to focus on just being present in the moment. This is especially important for bust mothers who rarely have a moment to just think.

7. Head Outdoors

It’s amazing what a little bit of vitamin D can do for the body and soul! Consider going for a walk, taking the kids to the park, or just sitting outside on a porch or patio to get a little bit of sunshine to renew your body and mind.

You’ll feel refreshed again in no time.

8. Exercise

While you might not enjoy exercise in the moment, the benefits of moving your body are endless! Not only is it good for your physical health but your mental and emotional health as well.

Releasing endorphins is directly correlated with improving mood and energy levels.

On the days that I find myself the most overstimulated, I try to get in a good workout, and by the end of it, I feel totally rejuvenated and ready to dive head-first into “mommying” again. 

9. Buy Something for Yourself

Surely I’m not the only one who will not hesitate to buy my kids new clothes, yet I am still wearing the same t-shirts from high school.

I’m not sure why we, as mothers, feel so much guilt about spending a little bit of money on ourselves every now and then.

Obviously, keep your budget in mind, but splurging a little bit on yourself can feel so good! Treat yourself to a new lip gloss, your favorite drink, or a new pair of shoes that you’ve been eyeing for a while.

I always feel like a new woman when I purchase something for myself, even if it’s something small. 

10. Pamper Yourself

Who doesn’t love a good manicure, pedicure, facial, or massage? These things can be a great reset for a tired and hard-working mama.

Even a nice and quiet hour-long bubble bath after the kids are in bed can do wonders and should be included as part of your self-care routine.

A woman relaxing in a bubble bath with lots of bubbles.

11. Eat Out

Everyone needs a break sometimes from taking care of everyone else. I’ll be totally honest — sometimes going out to eat gives me the little boost that I need to make it to the end of the day!

Whether it’s a way to just get out of the house or simply because you do not feel like cooking that night, giving yourself that little break can be a very healing and rejuvenating part of self-care. 

12. Develop or Nurture a Skill

As a mom, it is easy to forget about who you are beyond that title. Yes, you are a mom, but you are also a person with talents, skills, and your own personal development to consider.

Spend time nurturing a talent, skill, or hobby that maybe you used to do before you had kids.

Choose a new hobby or skill to learn. Dream up new goals for yourself (This looks different for everyone, and that’s okay!).

Take time to focus on the person you are and what you want to become. 

13. Make the Chores Wait

I know that nap time can become your “power hour” when you can focus on getting all of the chores done while the baby is asleep. That is a great method, and I stand by it!

However, I also know that using nap time to focus on yourself and do something that you want to do can be very refreshing and can elevate your mood tremendously.

Don’t be afraid to let the chores wait for another nap time or for later in the day so that you can use nap time to just focus on you for a while!

14. Declutter

Sometimes cleaning up a space or getting rid of old, unused items can make you feel REALLY good!

In a way, you are decluttering your mind as you declutter your home. I’ll be honest, sometimes decluttering makes everything feel so new and fresh again, including myself!

15. Say “No”

I’m throwing this one in here because sometimes it is healthy and good for you to say “no” to more obligations, responsibilities, or even social events and not feel guilty about doing so.

If you feel like you have too much on your plate and something is going to cause you more stress than enjoyment, it is okay to say no! 

While I have talked a lot about getting away and taking time on your own, sometimes saying no to “me” time could also be the self-care that you need. Let me explain…

Before staying home, I was a teacher. When I returned to work after maternity leave, I remember being so torn between social events and spending time with my babies.

In that season of life, being with my kids was my form of self-care because I didn’t get much time with them.

I said no to numerous Girl’s Nights and social events because I needed (and wanted) to be with my kids.

So, for you working moms who are feeling torn, sometimes being with your kids is the self-care that you need! 

Final Thoughts on Self-Care for Busy Moms

I hope that you found these ideas helpful! Taking care of your family, village, and those who depend on you is important.

But please don’t forget to take care of yourself! You cannot pour from an empty cup!