Daily (and Quick) Self-Care Ideas for Parents
Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Photo Courtesy of Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash
Everyone knows that once you have a child, your life is rarely about you anymore. But just because you have another life to take care of doesn't mean that you should stop taking care of your own.
Self-care is frankly one of the best things you can do for your child. Children are mirrors of us and learn their behaviors from how we act, so teach them the importance of self-love and self-care first hand and create a precedent for your child that life doesn't have to be self-sacrificing.
Treating one's self like you would a loved one is an integral daily habit. Plus, taking care of yourself physically and mentally will ensure that you are as fit as possible to mold the next generation.
I've made a list of some quick n' easy daily self-care acts that will keep you fresh and ready for whatever your little one has in store for you that day!
1. 3-Step Skin Care Routine: Morning + Night (5 minutes)
All you truly need is a face cleanser, toner, and daily fragrance-free lotion. You should also put on sunscreen in the mornings to protect your skin for the day. Pro-tip: you can find a moisturizer and sunscreen combo and kill two birds with one stone.
2. Set Aside Time for a Quick Daily Journal (10-15 minutes)
It’s important to keep track of and adequately express your emotions, whether they're happy ones or not. Even if it’s only a stream of consciousness, there is no need for perfection.
You could also follow the latest trend of bullet journaling (we have some ideas for you in this blog post and on Jill’s social media) which is even faster and helps you keep track of the more physical aspects of your day, like food & water intake, sleep logs, daily mood meters. With those, you can notice trends in your behavior, and get in the habit of tracking everything.
3. Morning Meditation/Yoga (10 minutes)
The best part about this one is you don't even need to get out of bed! There are a lot of YouTube creators out there who offer yoga classes and guided meditations but my personal favorite is Tara Stiles. The video is under 10 minutes and is a wonderful way to kick off your day with some me-time.
4. Take a Hot Bath/Shower (15-20 minutes)
Longest on the list but, hey, you needed to clean yourself anyway, why not make it a moment of bliss? Invest in some bath bombs/salts, soak in some steamy water, and let the stress melt away for a few minutes. You know, before you can hear a thump outside of the door and mommy-mode activates once again.
5. Wear/Prep a Cute Outfit! (10 minutes)
All girls know the power of a cute outfit to completely change your mood and fill you with confidence and joy. Spend the last 10 minutes before you go to bed picking out a cute outfit to mentally excite you for tomorrow and save you time so you can hit that snooze button at least once…maybe twice. I do this one every night and trust me, it has made feeling confident so much easier and quicker!
6. Take a Stroll (20 minutes)
While kind of a lengthier way of taking care of yourself, it's important to partake in a little fresh air every day. You can even take the kids with you and make it a family outing! Spending all day inside, especially with a young one, can feel constraining and stuffy. Remember how big the world is and breathe freely.
7. Time for a Dance Break! (5 minutes)
Like Newton says, objects in motion tend to stay in motion while objects at rest stay at rest. It's always a good idea to keep your body moving and energized so put on your favorite song, grab your dancing shoes (or slide around in your socks Risky Business style) and jam out!
Nothing pumps me more for the day than pretending I'm a star at a sold out concert. Have your child dance with you too! I don't know what they put in those kids' songs, but they truly lift your spirits (Have you heard "Gonna Be My Day'' from the My Little Pony movie???)
8. Call a Friend/Family (5-15 minutes)
Being a parent sometimes feels like a one-man army. It's important to remember that is not true. Be sure to keep in contact with others so you remember you have a support system and friends to keep you company. You are not alone.
9. Color a Picture (10 minutes)
You can do this with your child as well, but studies have shown that taking some time to color a picture reduces stress and being a parent is very stressful. The act of coloring, not having to create but just somewhat mindlessly filling something in can settle your nerves and recenter/ground you.
10. Read Short Stories -- 15 minutes
You probably don't have time to read a whole novel and even if you did, you might not have enough energy left in your tank to do it. Reading short stories allows for a temporary suspension of belief and break from reality for just a short while and leaves you with a brief and satisfying ending.
Always remember that self-care isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. Your child looks at you as though you're the most important person in the world, why shouldn't you treat yourself the same way?
Morgan Galvez is a freelance writer and editor with a BA in English (with a concentration in writing, rhetoric, and publication) from the College of Charleston. She is currently building her freelancing career through positions at Brainfuse and Fiverr.