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Self-care seems to be a hot topic. Moms like myself are constantly talking about how we don’t have enough time. And it’s true. We don’t. But I also think we don’t make ourselves enough of a priority.
When you, as a mom, are not taking care of yourself and aren’t making yourself and your needs a priority, what happens?
I don’t know about you, but I get grumpy, short-tempered, and feel unhappy.
What about the opposite? When you make yourself and your self-care a priority, what happens?
I always feel more settled, rested, happy, and have the ability to be more calm and present with my family when I am taking care of myself.
Excuses get in the way of self-care
It seems that a lot of people (myself included) make excuses that there isn’t enough time, but there is, and there can be, especially if you plan. The list below includes activities that don’t take much time or money and also has activities that are more involved in terms of your time, planning, and cost. Make the choice to fit in the activities that are right for you.
Remember that what is considered one person’s self-care will not be another’s. For example, if you’re very social but don’t have much time, then self-care might be planning a night out with your friends. If you crave alone time and rarely get it, then alone time is likely the self-care to prioritize.
Make sure your self-care meets your many types of needs
Also, when it comes to self care activities, there are different needs that we can work to meet
Physical self-care, which might include activities like exercise or eating well.
Emotional self-care, which includes taking time for your emotions, or doing pleasurable activities.
Spiritual self-care, which will be different depending on your spiritual beliefs but might include mediation, going to church, or praying.
Mental self-care can be activities that are mentally stimulating such as playing a game, or ones that allow you to take care of your mental state such as journaling or practicing kindness to yourself.
Practical self-care is typically about your life and what you need to do in a more logistical or practical sense, such as working on decluttering or tackling something on your to-do list. Yes, this can be self-care also.
Social self-care is using friends and others to help take care of yourself. This would be engaging in activities that include others or allow you to be social.
You can look at self-care and making sure that you take care of body, mind, and spirit. All of these aspects of ourselves need care. As you look at the list, some of the ideas might not be realistic because of where you live (for example, you might not be able to walk on the beach because you don’t live near one), but perhaps you can walk in the forest. Or, the activity might not be practical because of the time of year: you can’t always jump in puddles, or a hike may be unrealistic for you if it’s Winter and snowing.
When you look at this list, take note of the ones that you would like to incorporate in your life. I’d encourage you to take a look at this calendar that you can print out and fill in with your own activities, or use the ones that I’ve included for the month. This list of self-care activities will give you many ideas but will hopefully help to spark your own.
101 Self-care activities
- Eat something healthy
- Go for a bike ride
- Try yoga or Pilates
- Play a game
- Draw (you don’t have to be good)
- Wrap up in a blanket
- Call a friend
- Drink tea (or your favorite warm drink)
- Go swimming
- Paint your nails
- Breathe deeply
- Create a morning or evening routine
- Go to church
- Jump in puddles
- Eat a meal you enjoy
- Sleep in
- Walk on the beach
- Plan your daily self-care for the month
- Watch a movie
- Call someone you care about and say “I love you”
- Go for a hike
- Delete items from your to-do list
- Do a random act of kindness
- Have a picnic
- Take a walk
- Look at the clouds
- Go to bed early
- Be alone
- Take a shower and enjoy it
- Attend a counseling session or support group
- Call someone who makes you feel good
- Go away for the night
- Look at the stars
- Read a blog on self-care activities
- Try guided imagery (YouTube has great options)
- Go for a drive
- Girl’s Night Out
- Make a doctor’s appointment
- Cook a meal
- Be kind to someone else
- Declutter something
- Light a candle
- Read a magazine
- Go out with friends
- Smile (and hold it for 30 seconds)
- Turn your phone off
- Be crafty
- Get some pampering done: a manicure or massage
- Create a mission statement
- Go to the park
- Find an inspiring quote and repeat it daily
- Indulge in a treat
- Paint (try a painting class)
- Look at old photos
- Take a bath
- Think positively
- Listen to an audio book
- Pet an animal
- Go out on a date
- Write a letter
- Visit a dog park and watch the dogs play
- Listen to rain
- Start a gratitude journal
- Organize your day
- Go to the zoo
- Sit outside
- Snuggle with someone
- Listen to music
- Watch home movies
- Take some photos of things that make you smile
- Watch TV
- Write down your negative thoughts and throw them away or burn them
- Sit quietly at home
- Watch baby animal videos
- Write down 3 things you’re thankful for
- Meet a friend for coffee
- Watch a show on Netflix
- Read a book
- Stop what you’re doing and simply breathe
- Sit and listen to the sounds of nature
- Talk about your feelings with someone who will listen
- Plant something
- Have dinner with your friends
- Stay off of social media for an hour (or more!)
- Visit an animal shelter
- Watch the sunset (or sunrise)
- Wear something that makes you feel good
- Visit the library: check the self-improvement books
With all of these activities, there is no room for excuses. You can find plenty of ideas and hopefully be inspired to come up with your own. Take the time to plan out how you can fit in self-care. I’d suggest doing one self-care activity daily. Remember that some of these can be done in as little as 30 seconds. The others that are more involved, like a night out will likely take planning to make happen. So, I’d suggest getting into a routine of planning out your self-care for at least one week at a time.
Check out the self-care calendar to help you get organized and prioritize your self-care.
What would you add to the list?