How do overwhelmed moms take care of themselves? Check out these 20 free ideas to make the most of those unscheduled moments and zen out!
Being a parent is both the toughest and most rewarding job out there. And, it feels much tougher and much less rewarding the more stressed you are. We hear all the time that if we don’t take care of ourselves first, we can’t take care of our kids, but how do you take care of yourself on limited time and financial resources?
Here’s a list to get you started – 20 free things you can do (some of which involve your kids) that will help you take better care of yourself.
20 Free Ways for Overwhelmed Moms to Take Care of Themselves
- Go for a walk. Getting outside is a big mood-booster for overwhelmed moms. Try getting up early enough to walk on your own, or incorporate an after dinner walk with the kids.
- Work out/practice yoga. You know exercise is good for your body, but it’s great for your brain. Exercise releases endorphins that give you a positive outlook. Yoga has all the same great benefits of exercise with the added perk of being relaxing.
- Schedule a play date. Snag some quality adult time with a friend while your kids keep each other entertained. ‘Nuff said.
- Read. Sometimes I read quality books, other times I read fluff. But I always escape into the story. And that’s just what I need sometimes.
- Bake or cook. Kneading dough is a great way to release some aggression – just saying…
- Go the park and hop on a swing. I don’t know a single kid who doesn’t love the park. When you go, don’t just sit on the bench and watch. Go over and hop on a swing. Trust me – it is just as much fun as when you were a kid.
- Take a bath. Light a candle, use some lavender bath salts, or find something else that is a little special. Focus on your breathing, and let the warmth release your tension.
- Trade massages with your partner. Back, feet – you choose. Hey, I’ve even been known to massage my own feet in a pinch.
- Color! Adult coloring is all the rage, and the day I discovered that my kids and I could sit and color together quietly for 45 minutes, my mind was blown.
- Go for a drive. When you’re feeling cooped up in the house, hop in the car. It doesn’t have to be a long drive, just take advantage of the change of pace.
- Phone a friend. I’m terrible at calling my friends – we text plenty and communicate on social media, but that’s not enough. After your kids are in bed, call a friend and catch up. The voice-to-voice contact will give you a great boost of energy.
- Laugh! Think about the last good belly laugh you had. Didn’t it feel great? Find something you think is funny, whether it’s a comedian’s routine on YouTube or com, and just laugh!
- Be creative. You don’t have to be good. Grab your camera and snap some artsy pictures. Draw the scene out your front window. Finger paint with your kids. Tapping into your creative side is never a bad thing.
- Help others. Doing something to help other people has a wonderful secondary effect of making you feel fantastic. Pick a favorite cause and spend some time focusing on others.
- Meditate. Sometimes clearing your mind is the only way to achieve calm. There are many great meditation videos online if you need a little help getting started.
- Clean/organize/purge. Getting rid of clutter is cathartic. Set aside 15 minutes each day for a week to get organized and get rid of stuff you don’t need. You’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish in just a few short bursts!
- Join a group. Book club, PTA, a mom’s walking group on Facebook. Find something that you enjoy and be a joiner.
- Cuddle a pet or go to the pet store. Self-explanatory.
- Visit the library. The library has lots of wonderful programs for your kids, and you might even be able to sneak away for a few minutes to find a book or two you’d like to read!
- Take a nap. The ultimate luxury. Just do it.
Taking care of yourself is critical, but it doesn’t have to be done by yourself. Finding ways to incorporate joy into your everyday makes a big difference in how you feel, and hopefully these ideas will get you started.