15 Minute Self-Care: 15 Quick and Effective strategies

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This post was originally published in 2016 with 10 ideas for 15-minute self-care; I’ve revamped for 2017 with 5 more ideas for self-care activities.

We hear so much about “self-care” these days and how important it is to our physical, mental and emotional well-being. It’s easy to become immune to the idea when you hear people talking about it all of the time- it’s almost as if it becomes white noise. You hear people talk about self-care, you probably know that you should practice self-care, but to actually do or practice self-care can feel like quite a task.

Making yourself the priority and taking time out of your day may not feel as easy as it should be for moms. However, now is the time to quiet the white noise and really focus in on the idea that self-care is critical in everyone’s life, especially if you’re a mom.

So, let’s simplify self-care.

Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself. You can take better care of others and the responsibilities you have when you are actively and regularly taking care of yourself. Self-care does not need to be complicated or time consuming. Try these 15 ideas that will take 15 minutes or less. Want the visual guide with 8 amazing ideas sent to you? Check out the form at the bottom of the post. 

  1. Self-care is critical for moms. Visit to download the free list. Self-care doesn't need to be complicated or time-consuming. These ideas are quick and effective to meet your self-care needs.
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    Read. Just about any type of reading will fit the bill- books, magazines, blogs, whatever! As long as it’s not reading that causes you stress, it counts as self-care.

  2. Go outside. If you are able to walk, a short stroll can clear your head, allow you to enjoy nature and get you out into a refreshed place. Take your kids to the park and get in a workout. If you can’t walk, sitting outside and enjoying the day is a great choice.
  3. Call a friend. Texting, emailing, and snapping have become all-too-common. Take the time to call someone in your support network, who helps you feel good and who will brighten your day.
  4. Color. There is a fantastic new trend of adult coloring books. Coloring can act to calm you down and clear your mind as you focus on the task at hand.
  5. Listen to music. Listen to music that you enjoy; it can be music that energizes you, relaxes you, inspires you- it doesn’t matter. Take the time to focus on the music and enjoy the time to yourself.
  6. Practice mindfulness. Sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breathing. When thoughts enter your mind, let them pass through without judgement and refocus on your breathing. When you practice mindfulness on a regular basis you will likely notice feeling more calm in your daily life.
  7. Create a space that is cheerful. Add some flowers to your house; light some candles; use a room spray that you like. Try to create an environment that makes you feel good.
  8. Curl up for a nap. When you’re not getting enough sleep it’s almost impossible to be at your best. Many moms know that getting a good night’s sleep is a challenge so curl up with a blanket and take a nap. Rest is so important.
  9. Think positively. With everything you have going on, it may be hard to be positive. However, by practicing positive thinking and limiting our negative thoughts, we may notice that we begin to feel better and are not as focused on the challenges.
  10. Dance. You don’t even have to be good at it; turn on the music and dance like no one is watching. This is a great activity to do with your kids, as it will keep them busy and everyone can enjoy the endorphin rush and good vibes that a dance party usually creates.
  11. Hydrate and refuel. Though eating and drinking are basic necessities of life, they can also fall into the category of self-care. If we look at eating and hydrating as activities that help us feel better and therefor take better care of others, we might be more likely not to skip out on these important parts of our day.
  12. Paint your nails. While this may not be everyone’s form of self-care, I always feel better when I have painted nails, especially my toes, and even in Winter! When you can’t make a pedicure happen, take a few minutes to soak your feet and then paint your nails a fun color.
  13. Journal. Write down the challenges, struggles, but also the positives. By writing about anything that’s stressful or upsetting, you may find that you can let it go a bit more easily, and by writing down the positives, you’ll see you have a lot to be grateful for.
  14. Take a shower or bath. This is another one of those items that shouldn’t necessarily be self-care, but as a mom, my showers are often fast and not often enough. Set aside 15 minutes to soak in the tub or enjoy your shower. Lock the door (as long as the kids are taken care of) and enjoy!
  15. Your choice. Take the time to think about what makes you happy and feel good. Make the time to do it. Be flexible if you need to. Maybe you can’t travel right now but you could look at your photos from your last trip. Or, if you love to ride horses and haven’t in a while, take a trip to a barn- your kids will probably enjoy it too!

My favorite products for self-care

Remember that self-care is consciously taking care of your own needs and helping yourself to refuel and recharge. Self-care does not need to be long and involved; short but regular acts of self-care can go a long way to helping improve your mental and physical state. Want more ideas? Check out this post.

Share with us your favorite self-care strategies and how you make the time.

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  • I love your post! I couldn’t agree more that as moms we need to spend some more time on self care, even if it is just 15 minutes a day. In my profession self-care is also a big deal to help avoid burnout.
    Here’s hoping to spend some time doing these things today!

    Thanks,

    Sarah

    • Thanks, Sarah! It feels so hard to find even 15 minutes but once you make it a habit, those small bits of time really add up. And like you said, self-care is important for work and life! Thanks for checking in!! Sara

  • Yes! This is my “buzz-word” for the new year ;D I’m finding that lots of little things throughout the day add up to a better sense of well-being, as oppose to big shopping or pampering trips. I love your idea for a cheerful or calming space!