Self-Care for Working Moms: 12 Easy Ideas to Try Today

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Last Updated on April 1, 2023 by Erin

Are you a working mom looking for ways to implement self-care into your busy schedule? This post shares a ton of great self-care ideas for working moms including physical self-care, emotional self-care, financial self-care, and more! Be sure to share this post or save it to refer back to later. I’ve included many helpful resources you’ll want to know about.

self-care for working moms can include reading books and drinking coffee
Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

The importance of self-care for working moms

As a working mom myself, I totally get it – juggling work and family responsibilities can be overwhelming, and it can be tough to find time for yourself. But that’s exactly why self-care is so important!

Think of it like this: just like you need to fill up your car’s gas tank to keep it running, you need to take care of yourself to keep yourself running. Self-care isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to take care of everyone and everything else in your life.

Even small acts of self-care, like taking a few minutes to stretch or read a book, can make a big difference in how you feel. So go ahead and give yourself permission to take care of yourself, mama – you deserve it!

The challenges of balancing work and family

Work-life balance can be challenging for anyone, but it can be particularly difficult for working moms.

Working moms are often juggling multiple responsibilities, from work deadlines and meetings to school drop-offs and extracurricular activities. It can be tough to find time for everything. Things are even harder for working moms who don’t have a great support system in place, from a partner or employer.

We also have our own ideas of what it takes to be a “good” mother and a “good” employee. This can create pressure to excel in both areas, even if it’s not always possible.

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The Benefits of Self-Care for Working Moms

Taking time for self-care can have a ton of benefits for working moms. When you prioritize self-care, you’re better able to manage stress and anxiety, which can be incredibly helpful when juggling work and family responsibilities.

Plus, taking care of yourself can give you more energy, focus, and motivation to tackle everything that needs to get done.

It can also improve your relationships with your family and friends, as you’ll be better able to show up as your best self.

And perhaps most importantly, self-care can help you feel more confident, fulfilled, and happy in your life.

Types of Self-Care for Working Moms

Physical self-care

Physical self-care is an important aspect of overall self-care for working moms. Taking care of your body can help you feel more energized and better equipped to handle the demands of work and family life.

This can include things like regular exercise, making time for healthy meals, and prioritizing sleep. And the best part? You don’t have to run a marathon or go to the gym every day to reap the benefits of physical self-care.

Even small things like taking a walk during your lunch break or doing a few minutes of stretching before bed can make a big difference.

1. Take a walk

If you have a lunch break or a few minutes during the day, take a walk outside. This can help clear your mind and boost your energy.

One of the greatest things I did for my physical health was adopting a dog who loves walks. It forced me to take a quick walk outside daily after dinner.

It doesn’t seem like a short walk would make that much of a difference, but getting outside for a breath of fresh air has done wonders for my mood and sleep.

Why not make money while you walk? Give Sweatcoin and Evidation a try. They link up to your existing smartphone or smartwatch apps and give you credit for steps.

2. Do Some Stretches

Whether it’s first thing in the morning, sitting at your desk, or before bed, taking a few minutes to stretch can help reduce tension and increase flexibility.

Here’s a quick stretch routine you can do at your desk:
  1. Sit up tall and gently drop your left ear towards your left shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
  2. Clasp your hands behind your back and gently lift your arms up towards the ceiling. Hold for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Sit up tall and place your right hand on your left knee. Twist to the left and place your left hand on the back of your chair. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
  4. Sit up tall and hinge forward from your hips, reaching towards your toes or ankles. Hold for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Extend your right arm in front of you, palm facing down. Use your left hand to gently press your right hand towards your body. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
3. Make healthy meals a priority

This is an area I have personally struggled with. There for a while, DoorDash was a close friend of mine. I just didn’t have the energy to prepare a meal after a long day.

I’ve had to really prioritize my health, with the knowledge that eating a nutritious diet helps me feel so much better. Coming up with a basic meal blueprint and prepping when I’m able to has helped immensely.

Check out my post where I talk about different life hacks for meal planning. I am a huge fan on Costco’s ready-made meals and ordering groceries online so I can be more intentional about my choices.

Don’t forget to use the ibotta app when grocery shopping! You can earn tons of cash back rewards from doing the shopping you were already planning on doing. Save your offers, shop, then scan your receipt.

4. Find an exercise routine you enjoy

Whether it’s yoga, running, or dancing, find a physical activity that you enjoy and make it a priority. This can help you feel more motivated to exercise and can be a fun way to take care of your body.

I personally discovered the power of a HIIT workout. It takes me 15-20 minutes to do sprint intervals on my treadmill and I’m done for the day. Combined with intermittent fasting, a HIIT workout is a smart, time-efficient way to get in shape.

Looking for some exercise programs and apps you can do at home?

  1. Fitness Blender – This website offers a wide variety of free workout videos, including strength training, cardio, yoga, and Pilates. Search for free workouts.
  2. PopSugar Fitness – PopSugar Fitness offers a wide variety of workout videos that can be accessed for free on its website or YouTube channel. They also offer live workouts on Instagram.
  3. Yoga with Adriene – Adriene offers a wide range of yoga videos for free on her YouTube channel, including videos for beginners and advanced practitioners.
  4. Blogilates – Cassey Ho’s Blogilates offers free Pilates and strength training videos on her YouTube channel.
  5. HASfit – HASfit offers a wide variety of free workout videos, including HIIT, strength training, and yoga.
  6. Darebee – This website offers a wide variety of free workouts that can be done at home, including bodyweight workouts, yoga, and Pilates.

Looking for a way to track all the physical self-care you’re implementing? My Fitness Pal is an app with the ability to track your meals, water intake, and exercise, to help you reach your goals. They also offer an extensive recipe database and workout routines you can do anywhere. Get started for FREE!

self-care for working moms exercise equipment
Photo by Elena Kloppenburg on Unsplash
5. Prioritize sleep

I know, I know. This is easier said than done, particularly if you have little ones. However, we know getting enough sleep is crucial for physical health. We can’t stay on top of our game if we aren’t focused and alert during the day.

Try to establish a bedtime self-care routine that helps you wind down and get the rest you need. A practical bedtime self-care routine for a working mom might look something like this:

  1. Put away electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed to allow your brain to wind down and prepare for sleep.
  2. Take a warm bath or shower to relax your muscles and relieve tension.
  3. Practice some deep breathing or meditation to help calm your mind and reduce stress. You can try simple breathing exercises or guided meditation.
  4. Do some light stretching or gentle yoga to help release any physical tension and promote relaxation.
  5. Read a book or listen to some calming music to help you unwind and get into a sleepy mindset.
  6. Make sure your sleeping environment is cool, dark, and quiet to promote restful sleep. Use blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block out any light and use earplugs or a white noise machine if needed.

Looking for an easy way to wind down and feel more relaxed? I’m a huge believer in the Headspace app, and I’ve been a personal user of the app for over 5 years. You can read my review post here, where I share why I feel it’s a mom “must have.”

Emotional self-care for working moms

6. Meditation

Busy working moms can practice meditation by incorporating short, simple mindfulness exercises into their daily routine. You don’t have to meditate for an hour to experience the benefits.

There are many great meditation apps out there that offer guided meditations and mindfulness exercises that can be done in just a few minutes. Headspace offers very short meditation for busy moms. There are even some meditation exercises you can do with your kids!

Try incorporating mindfulness into everyday tasks, such as washing dishes or folding laundry. Focus on your breath and the physical sensations of the task at hand.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed during the day, take a few minutes to step away from the task and practice some deep breathing.

7. Journaling

Journaling is a great form of self-care for busy working moms because it provides an opportunity to reflect on our thoughts and feelings. We can process any emotions or stress we are experiencing.

Journaling can also be a way to cultivate gratitude and focus on the positive aspects of your life. Writing down things you’re thankful for or moments that brought you joy can help shift your focus away from stress and negativity.

If you’re not super into the thought of journaling and writing things down each day, why not give a 30-day gratitude challenge a try? Complete small tasks of gratitude each day to make it a new habit and create a positive outlook.

8. Therapy

Many moms juggle multiple responsibilities and may experience stress, anxiety, or other mental health concerns as a result. Therapy provides a safe and supportive space to talk about these concerns and work through any challenges or obstacles that may be impacting their well-being.

A therapist can offer guidance, support, and coping strategies to help moms manage stress and balance the demands of work and family life.

Consider asking friends, family members, or your primary care physician for recommendations. You can also check with your insurance provider or use online directories to find therapists in your area.

Social self-care for working moms

9. Spending time with friends

Spending time with friends is a wonderful form of self-care for working moms. Juggling responsibilities can leave little time for socializing, but connecting with friends can help moms recharge and boost their mood.

Whether it’s a coffee date, a phone call, or a girls’ night out, spending time with friends can offer a welcome break from the demands of daily life. Friends can provide a listening ear, a source of support, and a sounding board for ideas and concerns. They can also offer a fresh perspective, a dose of laughter, and a sense of connection and belonging.

For working moms, spending time with friends is a form of self-care that’s good for the mind, body, and soul!

10. Date nights with your partner

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of work and family life, but setting aside time to connect with your partner can be incredibly beneficial.

Date nights allow you to step away from the stresses and distractions of daily life and focus on each other. Whether it’s a fancy dinner out or a cozy night in, spending time with your partner can help deepen your connection and strengthen your relationship.

Date nights can also be a chance to relax and have fun! Don’t we all want that?!

If you want to make date nights a priority, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, here are some great FREE date night ideas:

  1. Take a walk: Going for a walk is a simple and free way to spend quality time together. It can be a chance to catch up on your day, enjoy the outdoors, and get some exercise.
  2. Cook a meal together: Making a meal together can be a fun and romantic way to spend time together. You can try a new recipe or cook an old favorite, and have a cozy dinner at home.
  3. Have a game night: Playing games together after the kids are asleep can be a fun way to unwind and connect. You can play board games, card games, or even video games, and enjoy some friendly competition and laughter. Maybe it could be a “spicy” version of your favorite game.
  4. Watch a movie: Watching a movie together after the kids go to bed can be a simple and relaxing date night idea. You can pick a new release or an old favorite, snuggle up on the couch, and enjoy some quality time together.

Financial Self-Care for Working Moms

Financial self-care is an important aspect of overall self-care, especially for working moms making income. You work hard for your money. So, make sure your money is working for you as well!

11. Create a Budget

Creating a budget is an important part of financial self-care. It helps you stay on track with your spending, avoid overspending, and save money for your financial goals. Budgeting also allows you to save adequately for those well-deserved vacations you want to take. If you’d be interested in free printable budget and savings trackers, you should check out this resource.

12. Plan for Retirement

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. Consider contributing to a retirement account, such as a 401(k) or IRA, to ensure that you’re prepared for the future. Studies have shown that women tend to invest in their retirement less than men, even though we tend to outlive them. We need to take care of ourselves financially!

One of the best decisions I made financially, was connecting my accounts in Empower. Empower is a free financial resource to see ALL of your financial information in one place. You can track your spending, find a recommended budget, check your investments, and see your net worth.

Tips for Incorporating Self-Care into a Busy Schedule

Schedule self-care time

Incorporating self-care into a busy schedule can seem daunting, but it’s actually easier than you might think! The key is to start small and find simple ways to take care of yourself throughout the day.

A great way to incorporate self-care into your busy schedule is to set aside dedicated time for it. This could be as little as 10 minutes a day for meditation, journaling, or doing something you love. Let your family know you are to be unbothered during this time.

Learn to say no

Before you say yes to any request or commitment, take a moment to reflect on your priorities. What’s most important to you? What do you want to spend your time and energy on? Knowing your priorities can help you make more intentional decisions and feel more confident in saying no.

When saying no, it’s important to be clear and direct. You don’t have to make excuses or justify your decision – a simple “no, thank you” is enough. If you need to explain your decision, you can do so briefly and respectfully.

Don’t overcommit or take on more than you can handle. Be honest about your limitations and communicate your boundaries clearly.

Need some examples?
  1. Thank you for considering me, but I won’t be able to participate/attend.
  2. I appreciate the opportunity, but I’m currently unavailable.
  3. I’m sorry, but I’m not able to take on any more commitments at the moment.
  4. Thank you for thinking of me, but I’m afraid I have to decline.
  5. I wish I could, but I have other priorities at this time.
  6. No, thank you.

Delegate tasks

Take a look at your to-do list and identify tasks that can be delegated to others. This could be anything from household chores to work-related tasks.

This could mean hiring someone to clean the house or walk the dog. It could also mean making sure your partner is sharing the workload evenly with you.

I love the Fair Play deck as a tool for having collaborative conversations with your partner about household tasks. If you don’t have these conversations, it could lead to resentment and exhaustion. That’s not good for anyone!

Simplify your life

Real talk- your schedule does not need to be filled to the brim. Your kids do not need to be involved in a million after-school activities. Maybe it’s time to have some conversations about which single activity your child wants to commit to.

Your meals do not need to be fancy, Pinterest-worthy recipes. As long as you’ve got the basic food groups involved, you’re good! Once I recognized I only needed to focus on meat, veggie, fruit, and grain, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Even the kids can get in on meal planning when it’s that simple.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve decided to adopt a minimalist lifestyle and it has made all the difference. When you have less, you appreciate what you have. You are mindful of the things you bring into your life. It’s a beautiful thing!

Final thoughts on self-care for working moms

Being a working mom can be overwhelming, but prioritizing self-care is crucial for maintaining physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

By making self-care a priority, working moms can show up as their best selves for their families, careers, and themselves.

Over to you- what is your favorite way to practice self-care as a working mom? Is there anything I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to save this post if you want to refer back to it later.


12 self-care ideas for working moms

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