8 Self Care Ideas for Stay at Home Moms (20 Minutes or Less!)

8 self care ideas for stay at home mamas #selfcare #stayathome #mama #health #stress


Being a stay at home mom (or a working mom!) is stressful and you can lose yourself in the day-to-day busyness of taking care of kids. Here are 8 Self Care Ideas for Stay at Home Moms that can all be done in 20 minutes or less!

8 self care ideas for stay at home mamas #selfcare #stayathome #mama #health #stress

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Some people – often people who just have too many words and not enough things to use them on – will tell you that being a stay at home mom is easy. But those of us that are, or have been, stay at home moms know that is simply not the case.

Sure, it’s a blessing that I don’t have to get myself and a baby ready for work or daycare every day. And I can do laundry during the day.

And don’t get me wrong – at this stage in my life, I love being a stay at home mom. It’s definitely the right choice for our family.


But being at home with your little ones all day long is no joke.


Kids are needy – all. the. time. It seems like every time I think I’ve got Camden settled and entertained so I can sneak off to clean something or start laundry, he needs me again. Every time.

And it’s great that I can clean during the day – but when everyone goes to work and daycare, there’s no mess to be made. When you’re all home, messes are made over and over and over again. Yesterday Camden pulled all the books off his shelf or out of his book bin (more than 50 books!) 3 different times. And that’s on top of all the other messes he makes, and on top of diaper changes, meals, feedings, and trying to keep up on other housework.

Plus I obviously try to find some time to work on this blog.

In a nutshell, being a stay at home mom is messy and it can be stressful and often lonely.

It’s important that SAHMs find an outlet for that stress, even if it’s just a few minutes of the day.  Here are 8 self care ideas for stay at home moms that don’t take a lot of time but can help ease some stress for you.


Take a nap.

Yeah, I know. Is it even possible? But what if you made it a goal that once a week – that’s it – you found time to take a nap? If you’re like me, I only have 1 kiddo, so when he takes a nap, I can give up the housework for 1 day and take a stress-relieving nap. Or maybe your kids go to preschool and you could take a 45 minute nap. Or maybe you plan it out with your husband that on Saturdays, he’s in charge for an hour while you get a nap. I promise – that nap will feel well-earned and glorious.


Workout at home.

I live 25 minutes from a gym with childcare, so there is no way I’m lugging my baby on an almost-hour-long roundtrip plus paying gas and gym fees to go workout. Nobody has time for that. But I do try to fit in a 20-30 minute workout at least a few times a week. Other times I workout before Camden is up in the morning. Sometimes I get my workout in while he’s eating breakfast and playing on the floor. Sometimes I work out with him in my arms. Do you let your kids watch any tv? Maybe you can pull your workout up on the laptop or tablet while they watch their show. The endorphins rush will be well worth it if you make time for it.


Read a book.

I love reading; I used to read at least 50 books a year. While that definitely  doesn’t happen anymore, I do try to make time to do a little reading. Pick a book you really want to read – I recommend The Dry by Jane Harper if you like mysteries or Becoming by Michelle Obama if you like nonfiction – and find a time to read, even if it’s just 1 chapter or 10 minutes a day. I pump right before I go to bed, and while that’s not my ideal ‘stress-relieving’ time (because to me, pumping is kind of stressful), it is 15 minutes that I can read every night.


Take a bath.

I’m a bath girl – my husband even got me a ton of bath stuff (like a tray, salts, bubble bath, etc) for Mother’s Day – because they are my ‘me time.’ I don’t take a bath while Camden is awake, because I’d be half listening to what he’s doing and trying to decide if I need to cut it short and go help Andrew. But, at least once a week, once Camden is in bed, Andrew has a computer game night with friends and I go take a 30 minute bath. We both clean up the kitchen and all the toys and whatever else before we go relax, but it’s a great way for us to each have our own little stress relievers.
Plus, I use bath time to do some extra reading so I actually get 2 stress-relievers in one. Woot-woot!



8 self care ideas for stay at home moms #sahm #mama #health #selfcare

Listen to a podcast.

Podcasts have become my favorite thing, because I can listen to many of them even when Camden is around. I think podcasts are stress-relieving even if you listen to them while you’re working or cleaning, because they either let you lose yourself in someone else’s story or they build you up as a person (depending on the podcast, obviously).

A few of my favorites: Sword and Scale (a true crime podcast – NOT kid-friendly AT ALL, but so intriguing); For the Love with Jen Hatmaker (funny, bright and build-you-up); and What Really Happened (looks into famous historical figures and events and adds new information – really interesting! My husband loves this one too).


Paint your nails.

I have painted my nails exactly once in the year since Camden was born, and that makes me so sad. I used to love painting them and doing cute designs on each nail. But with everything that comes along with being a stay at home mama, my nails take a backseat every time. But I want to make a little time at least once a month to paint my nails. It’s an easy way for a mama to feel pretty and dressed up without a lot of day-to-day effort!


Go for a walk – by yourself.

This may require enlisting your husband’s help, or finding time while kids are at preschool or other activities. But walking outside is so peaceful, invigorating and refreshing. When I start to feel overwhelmed by everything, going for walk goes a long way toward lessening that anxiety.



Write in whatever way feels most stress-relieving to you. Blogging might be the answer for you. Or maybe you like to hand write letters to family or friends. Or maybe you’ve got a cool guided journal (I really like A Book That Takes Its Time) that you like to write in. Whatever it is, take a few minutes and do some writing just for you and your enjoyment.



See? None of these stress relievers requires more than 20 minutes of your time (but many can take longer if you want!). But picking 1 or 2 each week can mean a lighter heart for you. And a little self-care for you makes you a better mama and/or wife to your family. Take care of yourself, mamas! Your family needs you healthy of mind and body. 

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  1. Judy

    I work from home and have a toddler and baby. I struggle so much to find time for me. I started my blog to do something that was for me and was a place to write. It’s relaxing. Taking a bath is one of my favorite ways to relax too!!

    1. Lisa

      That’s awesome that blogging works for you that way! I have to be careful not to let it seem like another ‘to-do’ or it loses it’s relaxing quality! And bath time is wonderful!!

  2. Amy @ Orison Orchards

    This was a really helpful read. Lately, I’ve started feeling like some of the things on this list (like exercise) are a chore, when in reality they are ALL about taking care of myself! Thanks for the epiphany!

    1. Lisa

      That’s a great epiphany! I think that can happen a lot – what we do to take care of ourselves can almost seem like a chore. Here’s to making it more enjoyable and stress-relieving!

  3. Marya Mesa

    Great tips for self care! It’s hard to make the time when your kids are young but so worth it in the long run.

  4. Sara Ross

    I have a little one at home and two others in school, I also work on a blog when I can fit it in. I feel like my house is in constant mess mode and I pick up the same messes 100 times a day. However, I sat down and pained my nails today. I loved it! Except, I didn’t let the dry long enough and now they look like a hot mess. Next time, I will have to wait until the end of the day and hopefully have time to let them dry properly.

  5. hunnyimhomediy

    Reading and writing definitely help me relieve stress. I make time for both each day because it’s my job (lol) but I know that I need to squeeze in some more self care throughout the day

  6. Jessica

    I have been trying to read more at night after the kids go to bed. Also have been painting my nails, which is a little thing but makes me happy! Working out at home is one I do as well. As busy mamas we all need to fit in our favorite self care activities!

  7. Jenny Morrison

    My kids are almost all grown, but this is a great post! As a work from home Mom, I still neglect self care. I should have learned better by now. I think I will paint my nails this weekend!

  8. Denise Smith

    I love how these include a variety of ideas that are outside of the normal bath tea and wine trend I see l, good ideas.

  9. Kristen lee

    Wow these are really great! I’m not a mom but I think I will definitely be sharing these with my friends that are! Especially reminding them to take some time to rest for themselves!

  10. Karen

    Reading a book and taking a walk are by far my favorites.

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