9 essential self-care tips for busy moms

Time is valuable for any busy mom. There never seems to be enough of it. And when you think about your priorities, making time for self-care probably falls near the bottom of your list —below work, kids, home, and family.

But if you don’t take time for yourself, you could be doing more harm than good.  Stress, exhaustion, burnout, and even illness can take more of a toll when you aren’t getting what you need. So whether you carve out a few minutes for yourself, or a whole day, here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Focus on the physical

  • Getting your blood pumping and getting outside is a great way to feel refreshed.  Pick what’s right for your fitness level.

2. Give your brain a boost

  • Write in your journal.
  • Sketch something you love or pick up a coloring book.
  • Meditate.
  • Read a good book.
  • Do a crossword puzzle.

3. Pamper yourself

  • Relax in a hot bath.
  • Plan a spa day.
  • Sneak in a nap.
  • Splurge on your favorite flowers.
  • Give yourself a facial.

4. Find time for your friends

  • Have lunch at a new restaurant.
  • Go to an Art Walk in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Kennewick or Spokane.
  • Make a walking date.
  • Go window shopping.
  • Volunteer with a friend.
  • Join a book club or moms group.

5. Take a leap

Do something big that you’ve never done before, like:

  • Go-cart racing.
  • Visit a local landmark for the first time.
  • Geocaching.
  • Indoor rock climbing.
  • Start writing your memoir.

6. Hone your skills

  • Up your cooking game by trying a new and different recipe.
  • Get back into a sport you love.
  • Take a painting or drawing class.
  • Strum that guitar you’ve neglected.

7. Get silly

  • Sing along to your favorite music.
  • Host a game night.
  • Go see a comedy show.
  • Dance in your living room.

8. Prepare to unwind

  • Fill your pantry with your favorite teas and healthy snacks so they’re there when you want them.
  • Stock up on basic self-care items like sunscreen, lotion, and cough syrup, and fun ones like nail polish, essential oils, and bath products.
  • Find a space in your house that you can prep with comforts, like a favorite blanket or pillow, for a go-to relaxing spot.

9. Have a plan…just in case

Kaiser Permanente’s coordinated care model is designed to fit your busy life and save you time. Make sure you know where your nearest walk-in clinic is. In case you need quick care, CareClinic by Kaiser Permanente at Bartell Drugs has 12 locations in the Puget Sound region. You can drop in to get help for minor illnesses like allergies, UTIs, headaches, and cold/flu symptoms. Kaiser Permanente has also recently opened walk-in clinics at our medical centers in TacomaPuyallup and Port Orchard, with other primary care walk-in clinics at our medical centers in Olympia and Silverdale.

Before you can get started on any kind of regular self-care routine, keep in mind that you’re going to need support. Fellow busy mom, Rosie Martinson, from the blog Tacoma Working Mom, recommends you admit when you need a helping hand. “Ask for help when you need it and tell your spouse what you need,” says Martinson.

Another mom and blogger, Tiffany Huebner, shared how she manages to make time for self-care in her busy day: “I try to get up five to ten minutes early and get ready before the kids wake up. Otherwise it doesn’t always happen.”

The benefits of self-care are twofold: you’ll feel reinvigorated and, and your family gets a healthier, happier mom. Happy Mother’s Day! Take good care of yourself.

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