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Orem’s Self Care Theory
Dorothy Orem died about 15 years ago. And when she did, people everywhere rediscovered her self care theory. Initially developed with nurses in mind, it defined an individual’s ability to perform self-care as “the practice of activities that individuals initiate and perform on their own behalf in maintaining life, health, and well-being.”
Of course, with what we’ve all been through in the past several years, her theory and practice continues to grow and gain more fans all the time.
Caregivers and Self Care
Most moms that I socialize with are caregivers. And, caregiving without relief or respite wears on you. Nope, not playing the ableist card or being a martyr, but no one adult was intended to care for another 24/7/365. It’s ok to need a break, and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for that.
We are constantly reminded that “you cannot fill from an empty cup,” and if you hear that one more time, you might explode.
Honestly, sometimes self-care just seems like an impossible task. Just the thought of planning a self-care activity seems overwhelming, which is why you probably put it off more times than you should. I know I have often muttered to myself, “Hmph, self care, yeah give me one more thing that I don’t have time to do!”
Self Care Ideas for IEP Moms
Here are 36 easy self-care ideas for busy moms. These ideas are meant to be short since most moms cannot take an entire day off for self-care (even though that is what we all really need!), let alone ten minutes. Choose something from this list, and feel your stress slowly ease away.
Most of these only take 10 minutes and do not require any additional purchases. (but hey, if you want to–buy it!)
1. Read a Book
If you are an avid reader, take a couple of minutes to read a book! Whether it is a timeless classic you read eight times already or a new one, just stop your busy day to read a chapter or two.
2. Take a Nature Walk
Nature is so grounding. Take a walk, whether that is around your house, street, or to an actual park. Deep breathe and take in the beautiful world we live in.
3. Watch the Sunset or Sunrise
There is just something about sunsets or sunrises that relaxes your entire body. If you rise early, go catch the sunrise, even if it is from your window. Or, if you prefer, watch the sunset on your day and release the worries and stressors from your day.
4. Enjoy a Cup of Tea by Yourself
Instead of having your tea always cold, take that five minutes to enjoy a hot cup of tea all by yourself. Your day will automatically be better!
5. Take a Bubble Bath
We all know how relaxing bubble baths are. Find a lovely scented bath bomb to add to your self-care routine that day!
6. Journal for 10 Minutes Straight
If you feel mentally bloated or like your head is going to explode, you need to do a massive brain dump. When I cannot focus on anything and feel extremely stressed but can’t seem to get anything done, I know I need to just write all my thoughts, feelings, and emotions down on paper. It brings a huge relief.
7. Wash Your Face and Do a Skincare Routine
Washing my face always helps to relax me, so I take that extra couple of minutes to do a full-face skincare routine for my self-care some days. Exfoliate, do a face mask, and put on some face serum or moisturizer. You will feel like a whole new mom!
8. Dance to Your Favorite Song
Dance your heart out to your favorite song. Make sure you get moving fully. Moving around helps release the tension from all your stress and will boost your mood.
9. Find a 10 Minute Yoga Video on YouTube To Do
If you are into yoga, find a new routine to try out for the day. Something as little as 5-10 minutes could make a huge difference in your day.
10. Find a Guided Meditation You Really Enjoy
All moms should do a few guided meditations weekly. My favorite one is just five minutes and totally doable. You will feel refreshed and will be able to let go of your worries and stress easily.
11. Call Your Best Friend or Mom and Just Talk
I rarely talk on the phone anymore, and sometimes I really miss it! Sometimes all we need is to let everything out in a big rant. Call up your mom or a friend and just talk away. You will feel so relieved afterward!
12. Declutter a Room in Your House You’ve Been Meant Already
It is hard to focus or get anything done when we have too much clutter in our minds and living spaces.. So, take that time to declutter a place you have wanted to for a long time.
13. Get a Coloring Book and Just Color
Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and just color. This is one you can even do with your children around as they love to color with you! Coloring is a form of art therapy that helps you release your emotions on paper. I get mine at Ollie’s!
14. Do a Random Act of Kindness
When you serve someone, you feel lighter. So, go do a random act of kindness around your neighborhood or to someone you know!
15. Buy Yourself a New Outfit or Pair of Shoes
We all need to splurge every now and then. Whether you shop online or at a physical store, go buy something you really love; you deserve it.
16. Go for a Run
If you love working out, go for a run! All the adrenaline from running helps relieve you and gives you more energy than just sitting down and relaxing.
17. Buy a Plant to Take Care Of, or Plant a Garden
Many find that taking care of plants or gardening is therapeutic. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a try! Something as simple as a succulent can help you have a new thing to do to change your routine during your day.
18. Get a Manicure or Pedicure
Splurge and get a mani or pedi. You can also do your own at home if you prefer. When you look good, you will feel good too!
19. Relax Outside in the Sun
Pretend you are at the beach and just relax out in the sun. Feel the warmth that comes from the sun. Envision the sun embracing you in a nice warm hug.
20. Go for a Swim
Swimming helps relieve your physical pain, as well as your mental tension. Enjoy being in the water and just relax.
21. Visit a Place You’ve Always Wanted to Go But Never Had the Time
This could be a new coffee shop, boutique, museum, etc. You know, that one place that you frequently drive by and think “I need to stop in there sometime!”
Find a place that intrigues and excites you and go without any kids so you can fully enjoy your time there!
22. Take a Nap
If you can and feel up to it, take that nap. You deserve it. Snuggle up to your pillows and blankets and deep breathe until you fall asleep.
23. Eat Some Food You’ve Been Craving
Confession time–once in a while, while I’m out for an IEP meeting, I stop and eat lunch all by myself. Sometimes it’s a new café I want to try, other times it’s a total greasy spoon with totally unhealthy food.
We all have cravings all day long. Even if it is not healthy at all, go get your cravings. Close your eyes as you take your bites and taste every bite to the fullest. Use all your senses as you eat your food.
24. Talk to an Empowerment Coach
Most coaches will have a free consultation. If you need to be inspired, contact an empowerment coach! They will do wonders for you. You might even feel like a new person afterward.
25. Create Affirmations for Your Life
Write down some affirmations, or print some out. Stick them around your house and practice saying them to yourself in the mirror. Slowly over time, you will believe these affirmations, and they will change your life!
26. Write Down and Plan Your Dreams for Life
Like the positive affirmations mentioned above, writing down your plans and your dreams will help you visualize them and make them happen. Everyone always gets pumped when they visualize and start planning out their dreams and ambitions in life.
27. Snuggle a Baby for a Bit
This might not be the best option if you are a new mom or a mom with multiple kids needing a break. For teen moms, sometimes we just need to snuggle up to a baby for a little while. This always feels a little bit like heaven on earth.
28. Find a New Hobby
Randomly pick a hobby you are interested in and try it out! Whether that is painting, ax throwing, tennis, or snowboarding, try it out! Even if you don’t like it, you will gain confidence that you tried something new.
29. Take Yourself Out on a Date
Treat yourself to a nice date you would typically go on with someone else. Taking that alone time and treating yourself is worth it.
30. Binge Watch Your Favorite Non-Kid Show
Watch that scary movie that gets your heart pumping, the hilarious tv show you miss, or a cheesy romantic comedy and just relax with popcorn and chocolate.
31. Do a Gratitude Journal
When we are more grateful, we are naturally happier. Find things each day you are grateful for and write them down in your journal. Try to find new things each day to have no repeats!
32. Talk to a Therapist
If you have been feeling down for quite some time, try reaching out to a therapist. They are there to validate you and teach you ways to handle your emotions. This is a great self-care idea for new moms.
33. Do a Fun Craft You Saw on Pinterest
Crafting brings out the best in moms. Find a craft you think is so cute on Pinterest and carry it out! Even if it doesn’t turn out exactly as you wanted, take pride in what you created!
34. Dry Brush, Shave Your Legs, and Do a Complete Body Lotion
Dry brushing, shaving, and lotioning up is not only relaxing but super beneficial for your body! Take those extra few minutes to make it a complete routine. Enjoy the smell and feel of the lotion and super soft skin!
35. Get a Massage
We all need massages every now and then. If you cannot go to get a massage, at least bring out your massage gun and loosen out your neck and back. If you can, have your spouse give you a massage too!
36. Take a Drive by Yourself
Driving can be so relaxing for many moms, especially if no one else is in the car with you! Don’t plan where you are headed. Simply drive and make random turns until you find someplace cool or need to head back home.
Hopefully, some of these self-care ideas resonate with you and help you see you can find the time to do something for yourself. Next time you have a pocket of time here and there, bring out this list and practice self-care. You got this mama!