When you only have 15 minutes to give yourself some mom self care, you still can make it work!
Although moms are consistently juggling many scenarios and situations, it’s important that we have lots of quick and easy opportunities to take care of ourselves.
With our non-stop schedules, self care can’t always take the shape of a full-day at the spa. But it can have spa-like qualities in a much smaller time-frame. You just have to decide on the best use of YOUR TIME.
What makes you tick? What will make you feel the most refreshed? Self care comes in many shapes and sizes: which one is right for you right now?
These are our favorite options for mom self care in 15 minutes (or less)!
Reading is one of the BEST ways to separate yourself from your daily life. You can escape from reality and dive into a whole different realm. Want to feel like a princess? Grab a fantasy! Need someone else’s drama? Realistic fiction is your jam. There are so many great choices. ….and you can almost definitely get through a full chapter in around 15 minutes!
Boom! Mom self care at its finest!
Move that body, lady! Nice and easy; slow and steady – just get moving. Walk around the block or pace your house (although, in my book, nature definitely wins!) An average-paced mile should take around 20 minutes, so get it going and release those endorphins! You will feel so good, especially to just take a break while you move, move, move!
Mm hmm, you heard it here first: this standard in every day care is sometimes all we need! The heat of a hot shower can get everything pumping. And there is something to be said for feeling fresh and READY to kickstart the next part of your day.
Oh my GOSH, a nap is one of my favorite ways to relax and refresh. The trick is finding the sweet spot in the amount of time you actually nap. Sometimes, if you push it too long, you do not come out rejuvenated on the other side. On the other hand, a quick rest allows your brain to take a break and your body gets just enough time to let go of whatever tension its holding.
Although I usually keep this treat for my evening rituals, you can switch it up and enjoy a beverage any time of day. (I’m thinking ice cold lemonade for mid-afternoon? Or really savoring that first cup of coffee in the morning? The choices are endless!) Just make the conscious decision to focus on each sip and to relax into your drink. TAKE YOUR TIME (as much as you can – I feel you, moms). Try to have your brief moment, before jumping off and starting that daily to-do list.
You can absolutely sneak in a really quick (and effective!) workout within a 15-20 minute timeframe. Exercise can have an incredible effect on your energy levels – especially if you’ve sitting around for most of the day (stuck behind a desk, maybe?). Pump some iron. Go for a run. Get up and get moving.
Fresh air is a mama’s best friend! You can take your work to the backyard or take a walk with your babe. But no matter what, get yourself where the wind is blowing and enjoy that breeze.
Sometimes, the very best thing you can do for yourself is talk to someone else. Hearing another voice (or another opinion) can open up new doors and give you a new insight to what’s going on in your life. Or, it can also help you forget whatever is happening around you right now. Talk to someone you love. See what’s happening in their world. Give yourself a break. Touch base and reconnect with someone who is important to you!
Coloring is such a great way to destress. You can focus on the simple beauty of adding color to paper in a way that makes you happy. Make that cloud purple – or that sunshine whatever shade you’d like.
OR, my personal favorite, is color-by-number. Follow the directions and use the colors as prescribed. Before you know it, you’ll have a gorgeous masterpiece waiting for you.
The power of music cannot be overlooked. Music brings out the best in us – and it has the ability to change our mood. If you have Spotify (or Pandora or anything similar), make yourself a playlist! Take the time to add a bunch of your favorite jams and just LET GO. Enjoy some time with that music and then you’ll be ready to move forward!
JUST DANCE! Move, move, move. Put on that playlist mentioned above (or, heck, make a different one) and let your body move the way it wants to. You have 15 minutes to destress with this favorite in mom self care. Swing those arms; shake your booty; run around the house. Do whatever you have to and DANCE your heart out to make that body work to your power jams!
Especially when facing a tricky situation or emotion, journaling can be the perfect solution for 15 minutes of self-care. When I feel off but can’t quite pinpoint WHY, I like to sit with my journal to brainstorm what’s going on in my life and where my feelings might be coming from.
Also, it’s a great chance for a brain dump. Sometimes, we can get overwhelmed with facts and figures or dates and schedules bouncing around our minds. Just take the 15 minutes to write everything down and let it go. You’ll feel so much better and ready to move forward.
You might also want to take a few minutes to think about everything that’s going right for you. Count those blessings, mama. Celebrate the little things. (Because, you know, the little things are the big things, right?)
Girl, turn the phone off (or, at least put it to the side). Got a smartwatch? Take that baby off, too! Then, just freaking RELAX. I don’t care if you lay on your bed or stare at a wall. But for goodness sake, whatever you do, do NOT look at your phone.
In a perfect world, I’d recommend full hours (or days!) of unplugging – but that can be almost impossible with our tech-heavy lifestyle. So, at least take your 15 minutes! Let your brain and heart decompress for a touch.
Ooo! There are so many fun face masks nowadays. Go grab yourself a special one (maybe something seasonal? Or silly?) and splash it on during your quick self-care session. There are some with bubbles or even little pieces of gold. Get creative and find the one that’s speaking to your happiness level.
I know, I know – I can hear you through the computer, but trust me on this. That room that’s causing you all the stress? That stack of mail just staring you in the face? Take the 15 minutes you have right now and tackle the mess. Set a timer and do a power cleaning session. You will feel so much better when your house is just a little bit cleaner than it was!
Get down on the ground and stretch. Use all of your favorite ways to extend your body from years past in gym class, dance lessons, or other group exercise routines. Listen to where your body is aching and spend some time stretching out the muscles that need it most. Pro-tip: Grab a foam roller! These beasts can be intense, but are SO GREAT to work through some of those deep muscle pains.
One of the best ways to change your mood or to lighten up the day is to schedule something exciting! Look at your planner and the week ahead. Where can you squeeze in a date night with your significant other? Maybe a quick pedicure? A fun trip with the girls? Write your plans down, so you have something to look forward to all week!
An absolute must as a Christian mama! When I’m feeling lost or unsure of what I need to do first, I know that I need to spend some time in God’s word. Without fail, He will always lead me back to Truth. A lot of my mama friends like to start their mornings in the Bible before doing anything else. That way, they get to ground themselves in their faith and then focus on their daily stressors in a new light.
Self care doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. In fact, most of us don’t have giant blocks of time to devote to ourselves. So, we have to get creative!
Figure out what would be the most refreshing option for you and get to it!
Katie Johansen is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with her M.A.Ed in Children’s Literature. She spent 6 years as an elementary school teacher in South Florida before transitioning to stay-at-home #momlife. Now, it’s all things PB&J – with an extra large cup of coffee on the side.