Let’s face it: as mums and dads, we are busy.
Like, really busy.
Rarely is there enough time in the day for us to enjoy a cup of coffee before it gets cold, let alone enjoy a hobby, hang out with friends, or (gasp) have some alone time.
Self-care for parents can feel like an afterthought, but it should be a priority.
Even the term “self-care” might seem like a bit of a buzzword.
Every other post you see online is telling you to take care of yourself, but how do you even do that as a busy mum?
With noses to wipe and meals to prep, what mum has time to look after herself?!
While celebrity self-care seems to revolve around glamorous weekends away or trips to day spas, that can leave the mere mortals among us feeling, well, further away than ever from taking care of ourselves.
But self-care ideas for mums don’t have to be overwhelming, and they shouldn’t turn into just one more thing to add to your to-do list!
We know mamas have got the toughest job of all, but it doesn’t mean we can’t afford a bit of me-time now and again.
So even if it is just a five-minute opportunity, it’s time for some mum self-care.
In this article: 📝
- How do I take care of myself as a mother?
- Why do mums need self-care?
- What are the 8 areas of self-care?
- What are self-care activities?
How do I take care of myself as a mother?
If you don’t have family or friends around to help with childcare, fancy trips and date nights might be off the table for now.
But taking care of yourself can be as simple as taking a nap or enjoying a cup of coffee while it’s actually still hot.
Remembering what you used to enjoy before motherhood can help you feel like you again.
Why do mums need self-care?
Mums often put their own needs at the bottom of the pile, after the kids, your partner, chores, work, and other commitments.
But mums need their cups filled too.
After all, you can’t expect to be the best version of yourself if you’re not investing any time in yourself.
You matter, too, mama.
What are the 8 areas of self-care?
While the exact wording might vary depending on where you look, generally the eight areas of self-care are: physical, psychological, emotional, social, professional, environmental, spiritual, and financial.
So before you even start a self-care activity, it can be worth sitting with yourself and thinking about which of the eight areas of self-care you need right now.
Then you can make sure the self-care activity you choose will do its job.
What are self-care activities?
As we said, self-care for mothers doesn’t have to be Insta-worthy.
It just needs to be whatever sounds good to you.
Some special time for you to do something new, rearrange something that annoys you, or ask a friend for help.
There’s no need for mum guilt here.
- Go for a walk around a new neighbourhood with your baby. Even just stepping outside can help.
- Go for a run to get your heart pumping.
- Try a new exercise class.
- Learn a dance routine on YouTube.
- Try yoga to help with a specific ache or pain.
- Get a massage or facial.
- Do some gardening.
- Revisit your favourite sport from pre-pregnancy days, like rock climbing or kayaking.
- Take a nap, if and when you can.
- Set limits on your daily social media use.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Learn a new skill, like knitting.
- Bake a cake or treats for your children.
- Read a book (of your own choice, not your toddler’s insistence).
- Draw a picture or get an adult colouring book or paint-by-numbers, or even try colouring or painting with your kids.
- Do a crossword, Sudoku, or another type of puzzle.
- Listen to your favourite song or playlist. Why not sing and dance along, too?
- See a therapist if you think you could benefit from professional help.
- Outsource a chore you really hate, like cleaning the house.
- Take a nap or go to bed early.
- Spend 15 minutes every day writing whatever you think of in a journal.
- Watch a funny movie that always makes you laugh.
- Make a cup of tea or coffee while the baby is napping, and drink it while it’s hot!
- Try saying “no” to something you really don’t want to do.
- Sing along in the car to a great song.
- Meet a friend for a coffee.
- Organise a babysitter so you can go on a date night with your partner.
- Accept help from someone who offers.
- Smile and say “Hello” to someone you walk past.
- Call a friend for a quick chat.
- Go to a movie.
- Give someone a compliment.
- Email or write to someone you miss that you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- Offer to help a friend out.
- Ask for help from others if you want or need it. If you’re not sure what or how to ask, check out the LET’S LIGHTEN THE LOAD campaign by MALTESERS®, created to “start meaningful conversations and find steps, both big and small, that we can all take to make a difference for the working mums in our lives”. Sure, it’s aimed at working mums, but there are tips for all mums and the people around them, LET’S LIGHTEN THE LOAD!
- Know your worth and remind yourself of it daily.
- Set boundaries around your working hours.
- Take time to have a healthy lunch.
- Spend time outside on your break.
- Book a day off while your child is in daycare.
- Look for ways to develop your career in the direction you want.
- Declutter that kitchen cupboard that annoys you.
- Take clothes you don’t wear to a charity shop.
- Pack away or donate clothes and toys that your baby doesn’t need anymore.
- Organise your pantry with containers and labels.
- Get your car serviced and cleaned.
- Rearrange your furniture.
- Remove screens (like TVs) from your bedroom.
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Meditate either by yourself, with a coach, or using an app. Even just 2-5 minutes can help. It’s better than nothing!
- Visit a quiet place, like a forest or beach.
- Visualise a happy memory for five minutes.
- Go somewhere local you’ve never been before.
- Look back through photo albums.
- Make a list of your core values to refer back to occasionally.
- Cancel any subscriptions or memberships you don’t use.
- Set up and contribute to a savings account for you, your family, or your baby.
- Create a family budget and follow it.
- Arrange for your bills to be automatic payments so you don’t have to remember.
- Listen to a financial podcast for tips and tricks to better manage your money.
- Donate to a charity you are passionate about.
- Create an achievable plan to pay off any debts.
There you have it, mama: 62 self-care ideas.
Hopefully, you found something here that sounds good to you or were inspired to find your own perfect self-care activity.
Good luck, mama, and look after yourself.
You’re worth it.
MALTESERS, in partnership with Comic Relief, is working towards a future where women no longer face injustice. Together, we’re working to lighten the load for working mums and help women thrive.
Find out more about this: www.maltesers.co.uk/lighten-the-load
Comic Relief is working with organisations in the UK and around the world to help women thrive. Organisations like Women’s Lives Leeds, who run the Women Friendly Leeds movement working to empower women to lead safer, healthier, equal and more fulfilled lives. https://womenfriendlyleeds.org
Mars Wrigley is donating £500,000 in 2023 to Comic Relief, operating name of Charity Projects, registered charity in England & Wales (326568) and Scotland (SC039730)