15 Brilliant Ways to Practice Self-Care in 15 Minutes or Less

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Are you looking for some simple ways to practice self-care when mom life gets hectic?

As a busy mom, time may be short. But it’s important to make taking care of yourself a priority, in-between taking care of everyone else.

The good news is you don’t need to have huge chunks of time available in your day (or week) to do some pampering. By taking advantage of the small moments in your day, you can recharge and refresh.

And that’s exactly what every busy mom needs, right?

Because when you make time for yourself, everyone benefits. Introducing self-care practices into your routine can make you calmer, less stressed and more focused.

And that can translate to a calmer, less stressed, more focused household.

So if you’re looking for some simple self-care tips, you’re in the right place. Here are 15 self-care ideas you can work into your everyday mom routine.

Related post: Self Care Gifts for Moms (15 Best Gifts for Busy Moms Who Need a Break)

ways to practice self-care

15 Ways to Practice Self Care (In 15 Minutes Or Less)

1. Meditate

Meditating can be exceptionally relaxing and it’s something you can do even if you only have a few minutes a day.

I learned about the power of meditation after reading this book and at first, I was skeptical. But then I tried it and it made such a difference for my mindset.

Meditating means being mindful while tuning out the white noise of everyday life, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes. It’s one of my favorite ways to practice self-care when time is short.

To get started, find a quiet spot and a comfy pillow to sit on. Then try to empty your mind and focus on your breathing.

If you need help getting started with meditation or you want to try guided meditations, Headspace is an excellent resource to check out.

2. Read

Reading is one of my favorite ways to practice self-care as a busy mom. Getting lost in a book, even for a few minutes is so relaxing.

Here are some ideas for things to read when you have 15 minutes or less to spare:

  • A daily devotional
  • Your horoscope
  • One chapter of a book you’ve been struggling to finish
  • Your favorite comic strip
  • The latest post from one of your favorite mom bloggers
  • One of your kids’ picture books
  • A favorite poem

Stay away from reading anything that’s going to stress you out, like the news.

You can catch up on what’s going on in the world some other time. For now, use this 15 minutes to treat your brain to something a little more relaxing and calming.

3. Moisturize

I can’t think about moisturizing without thinking of Cassandra from Doctor Who. (Bonus tip: make one of your self-care rituals vegging out to this show — it’s the best.)

Think about it though, when was the last time you took really took care of your skin?

If you’re having trouble remembering, splurge a little on some decent moisturizer. Then spend a good 15 minutes moisturizing from head to toe.

You’re essentially giving yourself a mini-massage and your skin will thank you for it.

4. Journal

I’ve always kept a journal in some form or other. Pouring out what’s in my head on the page is a huge help when I’m feeling stressed or anxious.

If you’re not a journaler by nature, consider getting into the habit.

Treat yourself to a pretty notebook or bullet journal and spend a few bucks on some fun pens. Then mark off 15 minutes every day when you can hit the page.

When it comes to what to write, just jot down whatever comes to you. This is not a self-care practice that needs to be perfect.

The goal is to clear your head of whatever’s been building up. It’s a useful tool for finding your focus if you’ve lost it.

5. Call your person

If you’re not a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you might not know what I’m talking about. But I just mean the one person you can always count on to listen to you when you’re stressed.

It might be your mom or sister or best friend. So call them up and chat for just a few minutes about the weather, your kids, whatever’s on your mind.

And if you don’t have a person, then give your cat or dog a cuddle. After all, science says that having pets around can be good for your mental health.

6. Stretch

Sometimes a simple stretch is all you need to feel better when you’re looking for ways to practice self-care.

Stretch your arms, your legs, your hands, every part of you. If you want to make stretching one of your daily self-care rituals, YouTube is a great resource for finding free stretching and yoga routines.

You can also try stretching using a strap to loosen up your muscles even more.

7. Get moving

Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to practice self-care because you can create a workout routine that fits your life.

Taking a walk around the neighborhood can be enough to get your blood pumping. And you can do a walking meditation as you go.

If you can’t get out of the house because of the weather or because it’s just too much work to bundle up your littles, get moving indoors.

March in place, do some jumping jacks, touch your toes, host an impromptu dance party. Even a few minutes of that can make you feel energized and help clear your head.

8. Doodle or color

Doodling is a way to let your mind zone out for a few minutes. Same with coloring.

And thanks to the popularity of adult coloring books, those things aren’t just for kids anymore.

So, whether you like to color, doodle or you want to try your hand at zentangle, grab a pen or pencil and some paper and dive in. If you’re looking for a tutorial on zentangles, head to Zentangle.com to get started.

9. Drink some water

Drinking water is one of the simplest ways to practice self-care but how often do you really do it?

If you haven’t had your recommended 64 ounces of water today, stop and have a glass or two. Or swap it out for some decaf herbal tea or a cup of coffee if that’s your thing.

The point is, stay hydrated. It’s good for every part of your body (especially your skin) and it’s key to staying healthy.

10. Watch a TED Talk

TED talks are awesome for learning new things, getting some different perspective and taking your mind off what’s stressing you out.

Another plus is that there are just so many to choose from. You can find TED talks on just about any topic you’re interested in.

And a lot of them are short, too so you can fit them into a 15-minutes-or-less self-care routine.

If you need a starting point, take a look at Fatherly’s recommendations for the 10 best TED talks for moms. Or, work your way through some of Brene Brown’s inspiring videos.

11. Enjoy a sweet snack

I love chocolate. It’s one of my favorite things ever.

And on those occasions when I don’t neglect self-care and I remember to be nice to myself I buy some chocolate for a secret stash. (Totally partial to Lindor truffles over here.)

Then, when I feel like I need a pick me up I have one. Just one, mind you, although I could easily eat the whole bag if I wasn’t thinking about it.

So if you want to include treating yourself as one of the ways to practice self-care, pick your favorite sweet snack to have and stock up. Keep it in the cupboard or pantry (or in the closet if your kids won’t leave it alone), and snag a few quiet minutes to savor a piece.

12. Turn off your phone

Cellphones are convenient but they can also be a major nuisance when you’re trying to practice self-care.

It’s so easy to get distracted or stay glued to your phone if you’re a work at home mom running a business.

The best way to cope with your cellphone when life gets crazy? Turn it off.

Or, if you can’t turn it off then put it in another room. I like to stick mine on the charger at the other end of the house.

See how long you can go without checking it. Aim for 15 minutes to start, then work your way up.

It’s one of the simplest but most but helpful ways to practice self-care and wean yourself away from your phone if that’s something you’re struggling with.

13. Listen to music or a podcast

Listening to a favorite song for five minutes can be such a mood-booster. Music does soothe the savage beast sometimes when you’re having a terrible mom day.

If you don’t have any favorite tunes, consider listening to a few minutes of a podcast instead. Elna at Twins Mommy has a great list of podcasts for mompreneurs.

And if you don’t want to hear any other human voices at all for a few minutes, try some ambient music or classical instead.

14. Write yourself a love letter

When was the last time you got a love note?

I don’t necessarily mean a romantic love letter, just a note telling you that you’re pretty dang awesome and someone loves you.

Been a while? Then, maybe try making one of your self-care practices writing yourself a weekly love letter.

It doesn’t have to be long. You could even make it a list if you want.

Write down 5 to 10 things you love about yourself. Or list out all your wins for the week that you’re proud of.

Then, for the rest of the week any time you’re feeling like you need a little encouragement or pick me up, whip out your love note and give it a read. It can be a quick and simple way to boost your mood and find some motivation.

15. Do nothing

This is one of the best ways to practice self-care that you probably aren’t trying.

I don’t mean don’t do self-care here. I mean literally, go and do nothing.

Let the kids (and your spouse) know mommy’s taking a short time out. Head to your bedroom and shut the door. Turn off the light and lie down on the bed.

Close your eyes. And just breathe in and out.

Don’t think about what you have to get up and do 15 minutes from now or tomorrow or next week.

Don’t drive yourself nuts thinking about what kind of mess the kids could be making.

And if you’re worried about falling asleep, set a timer on your phone.

But otherwise, just lie still for a few minutes and breathe. Let the world go on without you for a bit, then jump back in after you’ve had a chance to rest.

What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?

Introducing self-care habits into your routine can make an amazing difference in how you approach your days. And these examples prove that it’s something you can do even when you don’t have a lot of time.

If you’ve developed a favorite self-care practice, head to the comments and tell me about it!

And please pin and share this post if it helped you. 🙂

42 thoughts on “15 Brilliant Ways to Practice Self-Care in 15 Minutes or Less”

  1. I love the idea of writing myself a love note! I have never heard that tip before – and if I did it was not called a love note. I will have to care some time out this weekend to write myself one. I deserve it!

    • Yes, definitely give it a try! We can all use encouragement and sometimes we can be our own best source for it, so take time to cheer yourself on for sure. 🙂

  2. I really appreciate all of these ideas, especially the one about letting the world go by as you breathe and jump right back into it! Thanks for taking the time to share these tips for self care rituals for busy mamas.

    • You’re welcome! I don’t know who came up with the idea of self care but I think it’s something moms (and everyone else) should prioritize. We can’t do it all but for some reason, we all keep trying anyway! And having some self care rituals, even if they’re just quick ones, can be a nice escape.

    • Definitely, it’s hard to make time for yourself when you’re busy momming and trying to grow your blog or a side hustle. The good thing is that self care doesn’t have to be an all-day event — you can make time for it even if you only have a few minutes.

  3. Even though I’m not a mom, these were great self care tips. Sometimes I forget how simple it can be just to take care of myself and how good it makes me feel!

    • Self care is important for anyone for sure, especially if you’re trying to grow a blog or business while managing every other thing in life. That alone can be a huge drain on your time! But having kids definitely takes it up a notch — very overwhelming at times and sometimes you just need a break.

  4. Journaling is my favorite. Sometimes journaling helps me in creating new content for your blog. I love taking a nap too and that translates into doing nothing. It is a great article because sometimes we moms know all these things but we need to hear it from someone else to actually follow through.

    • You’re right Nadia, I think moms often know they need to be carving out time for themselves, even if it’s just a few minutes. And journaling is a good way to just let out some of the clutter in your head so you can get clarity and refocus. Doing nothing is really hard for me but sometimes I have to force myself to, otherwise I’d never get a break!

  5. This past Monday, I had really screwed up our family schedule (it was Dec 2 and in my mind it was Dec 9). I had so many things planned out for the wrong day and I was so stressed out that morning! Once I got my family to the right place, I called my sister. Talking to her was a great outlet!

    I recently picked up reading and now making time for it every day. Highly recommended self care tip 🙂

    • I’ve so been there Minda! Sometimes talking to someone is the best self-care ritual you can do, especially if you’re a busy mom who spends most of her day talking to kiddos rather than adults. Reading is also my favorite, I feel lost when I don’t have time for it!

  6. These are all such great ideas! Some I hadn’t even thought of as self care before, like moisturizing, but of course it is. One of my favorite forms of self care is getting out into nature. It’s so good for me on every level… physical, mental, and spiritual.

  7. Rebecca! I love your tips for self-care from one mom to another! I never really put much thought into watching Ted Talks, I used to watch them at work when i worked for Wells Fargo, so it was easy to find inspiration from them. But that is something I would like to try for Self-Care purposes

    • Thanks, Christen! Ted Talks may not be the first thing you think of for self-care rituals but they can be really inspiring and helpful for self-reflection.

  8. This article looks like you wrote for me!!! Many time l don’t give priority to my self -care, and l feel so stressful about this. It is good have your suggestions every day in my mind!

    • Thanks, Francesca! I feel the same about self-care so making time for it in just a few minutes a day is great and it takes the pressure off!

  9. I absolutely love all 15 of these!!! I am loving podcasts and audiobooks currently. I have justed started getting into Ted talks too

  10. It’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself especially during this time – definitely using some of these tips!

  11. I think these are wonderful tips for reminding us how valuable and important we are!

    Thank you for this awesome post. I will be using these ideas daily.

  12. Thanks for these tips. My favourite way to practise self-care at the moment is to try and get some sleep! Not doing so can wreak havoc on my body. I love this list!

  13. Love this post! With everything going on surrounding covid-19, times are super hectic! You are right that we need to focus on self care more than ever. Personally, I take 15-30 mins each day to meditate and journal. It makes a world of difference! Great post! Thanks for the tips:)

    • Thanks, Sierra, glad you could use these tips! I agree, right now it’s more important than ever to make time to take care of yourself.

  14. This is a fantastic list. I especially love the TED talks point! I love learning while also watching something that doesn’t necessarily feel like learning!

  15. I appreciate these ideas for self-care when you’re short on time, because that’s definitely me! Right now, I think stretching and turning off my phone would be most beneficial. Putting them on my list for this weekend.

    • Turning the phone off can be huge! It’s amazing how much time we spend on our phones and shutting it off once in a while is a great form of self care.

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