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Being a mom is one of life’s greatest joys, but it can also be extremely demanding. With so much time and energy spent taking care of little ones, it’s easy for moms to neglect their own needs. This is where “me time” comes in. Me time is any time set aside exclusively for yourself, to recharge your own batteries and nurture your mind, body and spirit. It is vital for every mom to make “me time” a priority. 

Self-care improves mood, reduces stress, and gives moms the fuel they need to be patient, engaged and happy with their kids. When you’re operating on empty, you cannot give your best self to your family. By taking deliberate time for activities that relax and rejuvenate you, you will have more energy, joy, and presence to bring to your role as a mom. You will model self-care for your kids and show them by example to value their own needs too. 

This article provides tips to help busy moms like you carve out me time and put your own care back on the priority list. Keep reading for advice on scheduling time for yourself, finding support, pursuing hobbies, practicing mindfulness, nourishing your body through food and rest, and more. With a little creativity and commitment to yourself, you can find that precious time for self-care as a mom. 

Understand Your Needs 

As a busy mom, it’s easy to put yourself and your needs on the backburner. You take care of your kids, spouse, home and work obligations before you take care of yourself. But you can’t pour from an empty cup. To make self-care a consistent reality, you first need to get clear on exactly what you need. 

Take some time to reflect deeply on what energizes you and what drains you. How do you want to feel – relaxed, creative, connected, joyful? What activities help you feel most like yourself? Make a list of the self-care practices that could help fill your cup back up. Also reflect on any activities, people or situations that zap your energy or trigger stress. Identify ways to limit your exposure to these energy drains. 

Getting clear on your unique self-care needs will make it much easier to prioritize meeting them. Don’t ignore what your mind, body and soul need to thrive. You deserve to feel replenished and recharged! 

Prioritize Yourself 

As a busy mom, it’s easy to put everyone else’s needs before your own. You take care of your kids, partner, home and work obligations, often leaving little time left for yourself. But self-care shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury – it’s a necessity. When you’re operating on empty, it’s difficult to be fully present and patient with your family. Taking time to recharge allows you to be the best version of yourself. 

Putting yourself first doesn’t make you selfish – it makes you a better caregiver. Here are some tips: 

Making yourself a priority will likely take some practice at first. But being intentional about your needs will lead to greater health, happiness, and balance as a parent. You can’t pour from an empty cup – so fill yours up first through regular self-care. 

Schedule Time for Yourself 

As a busy mom, it can be challenging to find time for yourself in your packed schedule. But carving out even small pockets of “me time” can make a big difference for your mental and physical health. 

One of the most effective ways to ensure you actually take time for self-care is to schedule it on your calendar, just like any other important commitment. 

Block off time on your calendar dedicated just for you. This could be an hour or two a few times a week, a half day on the weekends, or even 15 minutes here and there when you can fit it in. Treat this time as non-negotiable. 

If your schedule is very tight, start small with manageable blocks of time that fit within your routine. Even just 15 minutes to take a relaxing bath, read or enjoy a cup of tea can help recharge you. You can also get creative and find little pockets of time, like when the kids are at a sports practice or while they do homework. 

The key is being intentional about putting yourself on the calendar too. Don’t wait for the perfect two hour block – schedule whatever bits of time you can for self-care activities. Protecting this time will ensure you don’t neglect your own needs while caring for your family. 

Find Support 

As a parent, it can be challenging to find time for yourself when you have young children who depend on you. But building a support system is crucial to being able to regularly carve out “me time.” Don’t try to do it all yourself – delegate tasks to your partner, family members or friends when possible. 

Relying on others ensures you don’t have to choose between being a good parent and taking care of yourself. Prioritize self-care by building a network of family, friends or sitters who can give you a break. You’ll be a happier, more energized parent as a result. 

Pursue Your Passions 

As a busy mom, it can be easy to let your own interests and passions fall by the wayside. But making time for hobbies, creative outlets, and pursuits outside of motherhood is crucial for your self-care. When you engage in activities that you’re passionate about, you give your mind a break from daily stresses and reconnect with the parts of yourself that make you feel joyful and alive. 

Pick one or two hobbies or creative activities you love and make them a priority again. Even small windows of time like during baby’s nap or after the kids go to bed can be enough. Consider learning a new instrument, taking an art class, joining a book club, painting, scrapbooking, gardening, or pursuing any hobby that lights you up. Being good at your hobbies or achieving certain results isn’t nearly as important as the act of making time for them consistently. 

Tap into local resources that allow you to explore your passions as a mother. Many community centers, colleges, or activity groups offer parent/child classes so you can involve your kids in the fun too. Or trade babysitting time with other parents so you each get blocks of time for your own activities. When you pursue your passions consistently, you’ll feel more energized, grounded and better equipped to handle the demands of motherhood. 

Practice Mindfulness 

Setting aside time for mindfulness and meditation can provide immense benefits for busy moms. Slowing down and focusing your awareness on the present moment helps relieve stress, center your emotions, and gain clarity and perspective. 

Meditation is one of the most effective mindfulness techniques. Even just 5-10 minutes per day of sitting quietly, paying attention to your breath and letting thoughts come and go without judgment can dramatically improve your mood and mindset. Apps like Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer provide guided meditations if you’re new to the practice. Find a simple routine that works for you. 

Deep breathing is another quick and easy way to become mindful. Taking just a few minutes to stop and breathe deeply into your belly can quickly relax your body and calm your mind. Deep breathing triggers your relaxation response, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. 

Bringing full awareness to daily activities is a form of mindfulness too. While washing dishes or folding laundry, tune into the sensations and movements of your body. Appreciate the smells, textures and sights around you. Slowing down and fully engaging your senses helps you find moments of peace and contentment, even amidst busy days. 

Staying present with your kids while playing, reading or cuddling can also cultivate mindfulness. Noticing their facial expressions, giggles and questions fills your heart with gratitude and joy. Mindfulness allows you to fully appreciate precious family moments as they unfold. 

Exercise and Move 

As a busy mom, it can be challenging to find time for exercise, but regular physical activity is crucial for reducing stress, boosting energy, and taking care of your health. Even a short workout or brisk walk can leave you feeling refreshed and recharged. 

Make exercise a priority by scheduling it into your calendar, just like any other appointment. Wake up 30 minutes early to do yoga, go for a jog during your lunch break, or put the kids to bed 30 minutes early so you can squeeze in some strength training. Look for opportunities to be active throughout your day – take the stairs, go for a walk around the block, or do bodyweight squats and pushups during TV commercial breaks. 

If getting to the gym is difficult, there are plenty of ways to exercise at home. Online workout videos and apps like Yoga with Adriene make it easy to fit in a quick routine whenever you have time. Go for walks, jogs or bike rides around your neighborhood. There are so many options for getting your heart rate up that don’t require expensive equipment or gym memberships. 

The key is to choose activities you actually enjoy, so exercise feels rejuvenating rather than like another chore. Dancing, hiking, cycling, martial arts and sports can all be great forms of active self-care. Many gyms and fitness studios also offer childcare services to give you uninterrupted mom time during your workouts. 

Even 10-15 minutes of movement every day can relieve stress, boost your energy, improve your sleep, and leave you feeling healthier and happier. As a busy mom, exercise is one of the most important ways to take care of yourself and find that elusive “me time.” 

Nourish Your Body 

As a busy mom, it can be easy to put your own needs on the backburner, but nourishing your body should be a priority. Eating healthy, balanced meals and staying hydrated ensures you have the energy to care for your family and yourself. 

Making nutrition a priority benefits your mind, body, and overall well-being. Taking time to eat healthy meals and stay hydrated is an act of self-care. 

Get Proper Rest 

Adequate sleep is crucial for moms to function at their best. However, between night wakings with kids and the never-ending to-do list, rest often gets pushed aside. Make sleep a top priority by aiming for 7-9 hours per night. 

Take naps when you can, even if it’s just 20 minutes. A short rest period can give you the energy boost you need to get through the rest of the day. Lay down while your baby naps. Try to sneak in a nap while older kids are at school or doing independent play. 

Establish a relaxing pre-bedtime routine. Turn off screens at least one hour before bed. Take a warm bath or read an enjoyable book. Dim the lights and listen to soothing music. Slowing down and unwinding prepares both your mind and body for quality sleep. 

Getting proper rest helps you have the energy and patience to cherish each day with your kids. While sleep may feel like an impossible luxury, prioritizing it benefits your entire family. Aim to turn in early and catch up on weekends or days off. Rest allows you to be fully present so you can enjoy your important role as a mom. 

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