Let’s face it. If you’re a mom, you live a busy life. Keeping up with family or professional commitments can be exhausting, and many moms feel like they have little time to spend on themselves.
However, sneaking in the chance to treat yourself during your daily routine is both easy and important to do, because it can have a strong impact on your overall happiness and health. Check out these fun little ways to pamper yourself, whether you have five minutes to spare or 20.
With five minutes to spare…
If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, change up your usual beverage. Making it a habit to stop by the coffee shop day after day can be a serious drain on your budget. Pamper yourself at home and save those few hundred dollars (we’re serious, Money Saving Mom did the math), and make your own concoction before leaving the house.
Put it into practice: Test out Mother Would Know’s handy “Coffee on the Cheap” recipe.
Looking through family photos is a proven secret to happiness! A 2006 study showed that participants who spent time viewing their favorite photos felt their spirits lift by 11%, whereas those “who tried to eat, listen, watch, or drink their way to happiness” reported only a marginal increase in their mood. So, crack open those old yearbooks, or sift through your Facebook photos from last year’s vacation. You’ll be happier once you do!
Put it into practice: Check out Lisa Moorefield’s list of 12 useful iPad or iPhone apps to touch up your digital photos.
Regularly incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet is a great way to keep yourself healthy and happy. In fact, a recent study shows that focus groups that regularly ate their fruits and veggies reported a higher level of happiness.
Put it into practice: Not everyone has time to make a big salad before they head out for the day, and grabbing something on the go can be expensive. So if you’re curious about how to pamper yourself on a budget, try making a nutritious, filling smoothie you can sip on during your commute. Little Family Adventure compiled a great list of five easy green smoothie recipes you can make at home. The HappyGal also has some fun ideas for yummy recipes with raspberries.
With 10 minutes to spare…
Find a craft you enjoy that you can take on the go. Not only do handmade crafts make great gifts for loved ones, crafty habits have positive health effects, too! For example, knitting can actually improve your long-term health by helping to prevent arthritis and tendinitis. If knitting isn’t your thing, search around for another type of craft that suits your fancy.
Put it into practice: If you’re a beginner knitter, LoveKnitting has some great suggestions for quick and simple projects that can help get you on your way!
According to YES! Magazine, a study by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky proved that “participants who took time to ‘savor’ ordinary events that they normally hurried through” were generally happier. So, be sure to take a moment out of your day to truly enjoy your surroundings and the little moments that make up your day.
Put it into practice: To add this habit to your daily life, check out Claire Charters’s blog Simple Luxe Living. She has a lot of great e-courses that are fun and easy to follow along.
We all know that a good chat with friends or family members can have a positive impact on our day. The Mayo Clinic reports that maintaining a strong social support system is a crucial way to build self-confidence and get through times of stress. Even a quick phone call or coffee run with a loved one is as beneficial as formal or lengthy meetings.
Put it into practice: For more ideas on how to keep up with your family, check out this Huffington Post article, which walks you through how to keep up long-distance friendships.
Pamper yourself by adding a bit of lavender to your life! Lavender has many healing and calming effects, including its ability to soothe skin, ease sleep, and ward off stress.
Put it into practice: Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your temples to derail a headache. When you have extra time at home, get sore muscle relief by adding it to a bath.
With 20 minutes to spare…
When you’re in the middle of a crazy day, it can be tough to squeeze in the time to make yourself a priority. But remembering to look after yourself is important, and according to Psychology Today, even simple acts of personal care can boost your mood and self-esteem.
Put it into practice: Nothing says “pamper me” quite like a fresh coat of polish! For a quick, inexpensive way to treat yourself well, experiment with a new manicure technique!
Even during the busiest moments of your day, it’s always a good idea to take some time to repeat a quote or mantra to yourself. Sometimes, taking a deep breath and repeating an inspirational line several times over can be the key to having a more enjoyable, productive day.
Put it into practice: Check out HighExistence’s “15 Mind-Expanding Mantras” to find a source of inspiration.
Pampering yourself takes many forms, and lifting weights isn’t just about improving your physical strength. A regular weightlifting exercise routine can help your emotional health, too. Keep a couple of five pound weights at home and in the office to get in a few reps during moments of downtime.
Put it into practice: You can also use your own body as weights, says celebrity fitness trainer Brett Hoebel. He put together a video and slideshow of step-by-step instructions for exercise routines you can do in between your daily commitments.
Bonus! When you have an hour to spare…
Having an extra hour in your schedule can be rare, but when you do, take advantage of the free time! Here are some pampering ideas to try when you have at least an hour to spare during your day…
Keep yourself healthy with some yoga poses…even while on the go! Yoga has many incredible health benefits, from improving your posture to helping you get a better night’s rest.
Put it into practice: If you’re new to yoga, check out Skinny Mom’s guide to beginner yoga poses.
Participating in a book club is a great way to motivate and pamper yourself to take time out of your day to read a book and relax. Even if you’re on the go, get the audio version and listen to it in your car. Here are some popular book suggestions that you can recommend to your own club.
Put it into practice: Check out Meetup.com to find book-clubbers near you!
Taking lessons isn’t just for kids. If you regularly have an extra hour available during your week, why not fill that time by learning a new skill? For example, learning the piano – or any other instrument for that matter – has many unexpected benefits, including learning how to handle stress and face constructive criticism from others. So, whether you want to play the guitar, cook French cuisine, or brush up on Japanese, go ahead and take that leap!
Put it into practice: Pamper yourself at home by taking lessons online! With smartphone or tablet in hand, taking lessons is as easy as logging on to your preferred video platform to meet with your TakeLessons.com teacher.
Feeling inspired? We hope so! Remember that pampering yourself isn’t a guilty pleasure, it’s a necessary one. Even during your family’s busy schedule, finding the time to spend some attention on yourself is an important way to keep healthy, happy, and motivated. It will help you continue to be the superhero that you are.