8 Self-Care Ideas For Busy Moms That Take Less Than 5 Minutes

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Mom Taking some time for self care, shower, snacks and scrolling

Stay-at-home moms and working moms have plenty on their plates. We are known for giving, giving, and giving until we deplete ourselves. When I talk to other moms about how they care for themselves, most don’t. Many have a look of confusion or a "how do you expect me to have time for that?" expression. They don’t have the time or energy. They don’t see the importance or feel guilty if they try to take care of themselves.

Ladies, stop it! You need to put fuel in your tank. Ideally, you can get in more than 5 minutes, but for those who feel like they cannot do self-care for moms, this is a place to start. I know it feels impossible but stick with me for a few minutes. I’ve done it, and so can you.

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Here are 8 five-minute self-care ideas for the busy mom:

1. Exercise to lift your spirits

Be creative and fun with it if you need to. Have you seen some of those videos on the internet? They can turn anything into exercise, and so can you. You can do a lot in a few five-minute windows throughout the day. Some days, this may involve the children. On other days, you may be able to exercise on your own. I cannot remember the last time I didn't have someone say "mom" during a workout at home. There are plenty of five-minute workouts on the internet that you can do at home, and if you are not sure where to start, try jumping rope or burpees. Don’t have a jump rope? Pretend like you do! Just get moving.

happy mom and two active daughters.

Photo: DisobeyArt via Shutterstock

2. Try cathartic journaling

Do some free-flowing writing for five minutes every day. It can be in the morning or evening. Spend five minutes writing about your thoughts and feelings. There are many benefits to journaling. Such as therapeutic healing and processing, improved cognition and memory, and mindfulness. Don’t have a pen and paper available? Try one of those journaling apps or the notes page on your phone.

3. Meditate on your mom-ness

There are many different types of meditation, so there is probably one that is a good fit for you. Spend time alone with your thoughts. Yes, I know that some days it is hard to go to the bathroom by yourself, but there are little windows of opportunity. Do you find that your mind wanders too quickly? Try meditating while doing a repetitive task like folding laundry.

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4. Color, inside or outside the lines

Yes, I said color. Get out those markers, colored pencils, crayons, and just color. Have you seen the adult coloring books? They are making them just for us now! Be creative. Be silly. There is research that supports coloring for its calming effects and benefits for mental health. If meditation feels hard for you, try coloring instead.

5. Read or listen to audiobooks

Reading may seem like a task that's harder to fit into your schedule. Trust me, I know how hard it can be to read with littles running around and the word "mom" being said every few minutes. Try reading a few minutes before bed or during nap time. Or you can try audiobooks. I listen to them in the car while grocery shopping or doing chores. Keep a book in your purse or download a book on your phone and seize the moment.



6. Have a dance party

Burn those calories. Amp up your mood. Turn up the music and dance around. Music and dance therapy have been shown to improve physical, emotional, and cognitive functioning. Get up and move. Dance with your kids or by yourself. My older one does not want mom to shake her booty, but my baby girl and I love to dance, sing, and spin in circles. Have fun! It is a vital part of self-care.

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7. Talk to a friend

We all know it can be hard to schedule time with our friends. You can have a play date with your kids or schedule a time to chat in the evening after bedtime. Here is the condition. This friend needs to be a positive person. We may love our friends for various reasons, but the ones that drain you should not be part of your self-care. The fun, positive friends are the ones you want to make time for.

Photo: simona pilolla Via Shutterstock

8. Get physical

Hopefully, you can find more than five minutes in your schedule to get physically intimate with your partner, but there is nothing wrong with a quickie now and then. I know finding those moments alone can be a challenge.

Be creative. We have locks on bedroom doors for a reason. Have you ever looked up the health benefits of physical intimacy? There is a long list. Not to mention the ways it can be beneficial for your relationship. We tend to feel more connected to our partner, with a healthy level of intimacy.

When we are busy and overwhelmed, self-care or stress management is often the first thing we cut out of our busy schedule. This is when we need it the most. We need a balance of work and recovery in all aspects of our lives. Find 5-minute opportunities here and there to help care for yourself, and hopefully, you can expand the times when possible.

If you feel guilty, think about your kids. What example do you want to set for them? Hopefully, it is the importance of taking care of yourself physically and mentally.

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Candice Wright works with individuals to improve their interpersonal effectiveness, develop communication, and reach new goals.