6 Easy (and Cheap) Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms
If a year ago you would have asked me what my self-care routine was, I would have laughed. As a mom on the go, I tend to put nearly everything before myself, especially anything that seems like “bonus” things and non-essentials.
It wasn’t until I quit my job last August that I realized that unless I prioritized my health and sanity, I would never succeed. While I now realize that self-care is crucial to my overall health and productivity, I’m also very conscious about how much time and money I spend doing it.
Below are my top six self-care ideas that won’t overwhelm your schedule or your bank account.
It’s been proven time and time again that regular exercise has a correlation with your mood, health, and productivity. While I’ve never made fitness a priority, I recently discovered that I really do see an incredible difference in my mood, energy, and confidence when I do work out.
If a gym membership isn’t in your budget, there are countless ways to do it for free at home. Go for a run around your block, do yoga in your living room using YouTube, or check out the hundreds of workout apps to follow directly from your smartphone.
Although chips and candy don’t satisfy me as much as they did when I was 10, I still wouldn’t consider myself a conscious eater. In the last year, I’ve completely eliminated soda from my diet. Actually, I’ve eliminated almost everything but coffee and water from my daily intake. It was tricky starting out, but now, I get no soda cravings whatsoever.
Stocking the fridge and pantry with healthy, nutritious, and colorful foods has been a game-changer. I’ve recently switched my milk from whole milk to soy, cream cheese to vegan spread, and coffee creamer to a dairy-free option.
For me, the key was making the switch only a few items at a time. Not only was it easier on my body, but on my wallet as well. Shopping healthier options are usually more expensive but keeping the benefits in mind is helpful in making the switch.
If someone told you that giving up ten minutes per day you would have a clearer mind, brighter energy, and lighter mood, would you do it. I meditate (or at least try to) ten minutes per day. By making time to clear my mind, acknowledge my feelings, and let go, I’ve noticed my mood improve tremendously.
While there are memberships you can purchase through Headspace and Calm, there are also free ones that won’t cost you a dime. I’m currently hooked on Insight Timer. The free app offers thousands of meditations. They even go as far as breaking it down to time frames, guided options, and so much more.
Read a Book
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a terrible reader. While fellow fifth graders were reading the Harry Potter saga, I couldn’t seem to finish a tiny chapter book a fraction of the length. To say I’m a slow reader is an understatement. However, I’ve found reading to be a nice way to improve my mood, increase my energy, and get me out of creative funks.
I created a 2018 reading list to keep me accountable, and so far, it’s been great. Remember to give yourself grace and try not to set goals that are too out of reach. Setting goals that are attainable help build confidence and self-esteem when you accomplish them.
Like many of my other practices, journaling is something that I started doing at the start of 2018. I knew the year would be a great one if only I acted, and I have. Journaling my wins and gratitude moments of the day have allowed me to acknowledge all that I do on a daily basis. It also reminds me of how blessed I am and all that I already have.
I use a lined journal, but you always have the option of investing a little more by purchasing items like the Five-Minute Journal. It all depends on how comfortable you feel doing it yourself.
Have At-Home Spa Days
While the five practices referenced above are things I do on a daily basis, at-home spa days are usually scheduled for once a week. I like to schedule my face, hair, and feet masks for Sunday evenings. At that point, my household is winding down and I can actually relax.
DIY at-home spa day tricks are my favorite. Making a turmeric face masks can cost less than 10 cents per use if you use what you have handy. Whatever you do, just remember to relax and give yourself some love and grace.