If you’re feeling stretched and pulled in a million directions, you’re not alone. Here are some of my favorite realistic self care ideas for busy parents… that aren’t a freaking bubble bath.
When you’re a mom, whether you work inside the home or out, it’s not always easy to find time for YOU.
I’ve struggled with this forever.
Because sometimes, trying to relax when I know there is a mountain of laundry to fold or bills to pay or dishes to wash and my daughter needs permission slips signed and my son needs new socks but Amazon is a black hole of scrolling and, and, and… it makes it really difficult to actually chill out.
And honestly? Sitting in a bubble bath doesn’t do it for me. Neither does a mani-pedi (I literally get antsy waiting for the polish to dry).
I’m too wound up for relaxing, I used to tell my husband.
Side note, he is REALLY GOOD at relaxing and not doing anything. And nope, that’s not a dig. He just knows how to turn his brain off and it makes me jealous.
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But I’ve been on the hunt lately for ideas that work, that don’t require me needing to scrub the bathtub out beforehand or hold hands with a stranger for 20 minutes while she tuts at my lack of cuticle care.
Here are my 7 favorite non-cheesy realistic self care ideas for a busy mom with many balls in the air:
1 Journal I’ve gotten into bullet journaling lately, and while the activity of journaling my thoughts is not always a soothing activity for me, mindless doodling and coloring makes my brain calm down like no other.
2. Podcasts and Walk Yep, the hot mom walk. It wouldn’t be listed here if it didn’t work!
I rush around a lot in a typical day, but sometimes my favorite way to unwind is a walk/hike in aimless directions with a good book or podcast in my ears. Preferably also with a decent coffee in hand.
3. Video Chat with Old Friends My husband and I have moved a lot in our 16 years together, and I feel like some of my closest friends are flung to the far reaches of the planet.
Decompressing with an old friend is just as good as having wine together, and a bonus if we are drinking together on Skype/Whatsapp. It’s a Zoom Happy Hour but without the forced fun!
4. Solo Lunch Date In the middle of a busy day, sometimes it’s nice to go grab lunch by yo’self and people watch for a bit. Bonus points if you can go the whole lunch without scrolling social media.
5. Meditate I’ll be the first to hold up my hand and say I am not a woo-woo kinda person, and meditation never seemed my thing.
But a friend recommended Headspace to me a while back, and it has been amazing for keeping my head clear! Headspace, Insight Timer, and a number of other similar apps host both short and long meditations (you choose the length) and they are perfect to use in those pockets of time on the train or commute, waiting at school pickup, trying to fall asleep but your mind is racing with your to-do list, etc. Grab it here on Google Play or in the App Store.
6. Solo Evening Class Interested in pottery? Animation? History? there’s probably an evening class for that! Whether it’s online or in person, find a class teaching something you’re interested in and book it to attend solo, or in person.
7. Listen To a Talk Similar to an evening class but a little less participatory, I love checking out talks on things I don’t know much about, like history, cooking, anything. Got a favorite author? Celebrity chef? Find out if they’re visiting your area and go check it out!
Here’s the thing: finding a realistic self care idea is for those one-off times when you’re feeling stressed to the max. It has to be a regular thing if it’s going to work at all.
Sending self-care vibes to you, busy mama bird. You deserve the break!