10 Affordable Self-Care Activities for Moms
Self-care has become one of the most talked about topics in motherhood. As a mom, it’s easy to get wrapped up in caring for kids that it’s challenging to find time for much else, especially the things we love to do on our own. We are tired at the end of the day, child care options may be limited, or maybe our budget doesn’t allow us to do the things that rejuvenate us.
Raising toddlers has taught me to really relish the small moments. Special memories and good times don’t have to come at a high cost. The other day we spent the entire morning trying to keep a balloon off the living room floor. The kids loved it and laughed so hard. They’ve been talking about it ever since. When we go to the park, sometimes just squatting down and watching the ants move around is enough to bring joy to my kiddos.
To make it easier for moms to find the joy and peace in life’s smaller, more affordable moments, I’ve come up with a list of 10 ways to practice self-care that are budget friendly.
Go for a walk
Whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood, a stroll at the park, or a hike in the hills, getting outside is great for our bodies and minds. When I am limited on time, I will take a few strolls around the block after my husband gets home. I still get outside, I am not too far from home, and I don’t have to hire a sitter. Something about fresh air is a natural mood-lifter.
Writing things down and getting them out of our heads can do wonders for our minds. There are so many different types of journals out there these days. I have a little journal where I keep track of the kids’ memories. I also have a little gratitude journal to write down things that I am grateful for. I do this at the beginning of the day because it helps start my day off on the right foot. Starting the day with thankfulness and positivity has made all the difference.
Create or update your budget
When I can see a clear picture of where our money is going, I feel so much better. Spending 15 minutes just looking over our budget gives me peace of mind. I can see if I need to cut back a little bit, if I can splurge, or if I am right on track. Sometimes I will even listen to a few financial podcasts, which usually make me feel better. Two of my favorites are Dave Ramsey and Fiscal Fitness.
Check something off your to-do list
While this may seem so minor, accomplishing something on our to-do list can release dopamine in our brains, responsible for creating feelings of satisfaction and happiness. How good would it feel to just check off that task lingering on your to-do list for a few weeks now? Doesn’t matter how big or small that task is; check it off if you can.
Call a friend
Reconnecting with those who know us best is so good for our souls. Hearing the voice of a friend and chatting candidly in a safe space can be very refreshing. Especially if you are a mom who stays home and doesn’t get to chat with other adults as often as possible. I often have to schedule this out with a friend since our schedules are usually pretty busy, and some live in different time zones. Scheduling it out improves my success rate of connecting with my friends, which always feels good.
Watch the sunset or sunrise
Nothing resets my mood more than sitting and just watching the sunset. I’m thankful we live near the ocean, so I can watch the sun sink over the ocean, but I feel such a release no matter where I watch a sunset. It’s like the day officially says goodbye and welcomes me to let go of whatever stress or worry has bogged me down. If you’re a morning person, which I am not, perhaps getting up to watch the sunrise would be a fantastic way to treat yourself.
Take a hiatus from social media
While scrolling through social media can be a nice break in the day, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of others’ lives. I catch myself comparing my home, parenting style, friendships… you name it. There are a few sites online that I’ve avoided for a few weeks now, and I feel so much better throughout the day. I can focus on my family without the distraction of what others have or are doing.
Organize a space
There is something so refreshing and rejuvenating about seeing a space in order. Whether it’s a drawer, a closet, your car, or a room, taking the time to declutter and reorganize can be a mental game changer. Organized spaces can create more positive energy. Sometimes, an area needs to be rearranged to help utilize the space more effectively. When I do this, I automatically have a rush of dopamine that improves my mood.
Give yourself a massage
Getting a professional massage can get quite pricy, especially if you also have to find child care. So, I often do bodywork at home to help my muscles and joints relax. I regularly use my 36″ foam roller and the iLive portable massage gun (gifted). I lie perpendicular on the foam roller and rest my arms out to the side, putting my body in the shape of a “t.” Then I will rock side to side, stretching out my back and chest. I will loosen up my shoulder and hip muscles using the ball attachment with the massage gun. Occasionally, I will have my husband use the 2-point attachment along my spine if my back is sore.
Start Saying No
I will be the first to admit that I am a “yes” person. I like taking on new tasks, helping others out, and doing things, so it’s easy for me to say yes. But, it’s also easy for me to get overwhelmed. This past year I’ve started prioritizing myself and my family and saying no. I am avoiding over-scheduling, and it feels SO good. By learning to say no, I’ve started saying yes to myself and my family, which has made a difference.
It’s so easy for us moms to put our needs on the back burner. While this might not seem like a big deal in the short term, regularly ignoring our needs for mental or physical resets can lead to more stress and even illness. So, I challenge you to schedule time for yourself this week. Even if it is 15 minutes, put it in your calendar. Pick something you enjoy that makes you feel good. For once, put you first.