DIY Indulgences for Busy Moms
I’m so glad you’re here, momma! You deserve to carve out a little time for some simple self-pampering!
When my son (my first child) was a nursing infant, just the ability to sleep for more than 2 hours straight at one time was a rare treat! On the few occasions that my husband would take him for more than 10 minutes at a time, I’d feel guilty dedicating those moments to myself.
As my son grew from infancy into toddlerhood, I gradually learned to overcome this. At this age, it also became more fun for my husband to take him on little backyard adventures or visits with the neighbors’ pets.
I vividly remember calculating my time when they’d leave on one of these last-minute excursions. What could I get done in an hour alone?! Oh, the things I’d love to do – paint a canvas, write a poem or journal, soak in a bubble bath, take a nap, lie on the couch and watch mindless TV, call my sister or a friend, paint my toes, just sit in the quiet and look out the window!
Of course, those thoughts were immediately drowned out by the realistic me as I glanced around and noticed all the things I needed to do…
finish work for the day, do the dishes, fold laundry, clean the bathrooms, vacuum….
My mind would race a mile a minute. I’d feel guilty at first for thinking of ‘lazy’ or ‘selfish’ things to do with my time – then I’d feel anxious about all the things I really did need to get done – then I’d finally, reluctantly, decide to go ahead and just do something for me, since I rarely ever did even when I had the chance.
And then POOF, there I’d be, half my time already gone, wasted arguing with myself about how I should spend it! I remember feeling SO frustrated with myself and my situation!
Now that my kiddos are a bit older (I have two now! 8 and 3 years old)… I’ve learned my lessons the hard way about taking time for myself. I wish I’d applied them sooner, but such is life!
>Lesson #1: I deserve it! I work hard, and I give of myself every day for others. I have earned some time to myself, FOR myself!
>Lesson #2: When I don’t take care of myself, or set some time aside to do something just for me, I feel drained, sometimes snappy and resentful, and usually overwhelmed with all I have to do and not very efficient in accomplishing any of it! I have come to realize that the better I take care of MYSELF, the better wife, mother, friend, mentor, teammate, leader, lover, comforter, supporter, etc. I am capable of being, and doing it WELL.
Having all of these roles to fill, and more, our time can get away from us so very easily, and the next thing you know, weeks, maybe months have gone by since we last went out and treated ourselves to a massage, a haircut or pedicure, made it to the gym or our favorite yoga class, or heck, even SAT DOWN to eat a real meal!
Often, once we factor in drive time to and from, plus the time we are there, we have to arrange for an entire 2-3 hour block, and that can feel (or literally BE) impossible! For me, going out to treat myself usually involves the need for a babysitter as well, and that can make it even more difficult to get to these things at times.
Today, I’m sharing some of my own all-time favorite quick, DIY at home self-pampering tips.
Anytime you can schedule in a small block of time (or find yourself happily surprised with one) pick one of these simple ideas that fits the amount of time you have, and get to indulging yourself!
It doesn’t need to be a half-day, super expensive event. These are easy to squeeze into your hectic schedule and save you some money too.
- Light an aromatherapy candle or add essential oils to a diffuser for aromatherapy benefits. Here are some of my faves:
Relaxation: lavender, sage, sandalwood
Energy / mood-boosting: citrus (lemon, grapefruit, orange),
peppermint, cinnamon, basil, lemongrass
- Play a favorite calming or uplifting song
- Make a pitcher of iced spa water to enjoy as a refreshing treat throughout the day.
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- Sip a cup of steamy green or spiced chai tea.
- Take a ‘time out’ – find a quiet spot (lock yourself in the bathroom if need be, with earbuds), close your eyes, and just sit calmly to focus on happy or relaxing thoughts
- Give yourself a mini mani or pedi – clean, file, clip, scrub, and add a special cream or lotion to finish off feeling soft and pampered.
- DIY facial – cleanse with witch hazel on a cotton ball; apply a mask treatment (mashed avocado or combine 2 tbsp plain yogurt with 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice), sit back and relax while it does its thing; then rinse and feel refreshed!
- Sit outside in the grass, or on your deck or porch, with a good book and soak up some sunlight
(or if it’s cold/raining, sit inside next to a window)
- Grab a plush towel or yoga mat, lay it out, and relax with a nice stretch session, gently focusing on your neck, low back, arms/shoulders, and legs.
- Soak your feet in a foot spa or bathtub filled with warm water and aromatherapy oil, then dry off and polish toes.
- Place a warmed flax pillow or heating pack around your neck, and lie or sit back, allowing the heat to relax the tension in your neck and shoulders.
- Sit back with cool cucumber slices or a chilled gel-pack over your eyes to relax and refresh at the same time!
- Indulge in a healthy snack made with foods that boost energy and reduce the effects of stress.
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- Take a walk around the block for some fresh air and vitamin D therapy. Go alone if you can, or pack the kiddos in the stroller or wagon and GO. Focus on the openness of the sky, the colors of the trees and plants – enjoy the beauty of nature.
Cool tip: Looking upward is an instant mood booster!
- Fully dry and style your hair. If you’re like me, you’re used to cramming it all into a bun almost ALL the time! It feels good to let our hair down sometimes!
- Do a home workout or yoga session. My favorites: PiYo (faster-paced yoga-style workout that combines cardio, strength, and flexibility) and P90X3 (just 30 minutes per each of the 16 different workouts, including yoga and pilates.) I use Beachbody On-Demand for these workouts and some gentle/restorative yoga. I also love The Yoga Collective for restorative as well as more challenging yoga sessions.
- Cover your eyes with a satiny eye mask and take a power nap, snuggled under your favorite blanket.
- Take a candlelit bath with bubbles or a detoxifying mix of Epsom salts, calming essential oils, and baking soda (2 parts Epsom salt, 1 part baking soda + a few drops oils).
Set up everything you need before your ‘time’ actually starts, or ask hubby or a friend to get your candles, matches, plush towel, robe, slippers, music, and bath bubbles or salts together for you ahead of time for a truly indulgent home spa experience.
I have created a simple CHEAT SHEET of 5-Minute Energy Boosters / Relaxation Tips so you can choose a quick pick-me-up anytime without decision fatigue or overwhelm!
Do you have a favorite quick, at-home tip to unwind or spoil yourself? Please tell us about it in the comments!