Affordable Self Care Ideas for Busy Moms

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I don’t know about you, but I’m feelin’ 22.

Be that as it may, I’m 33 now! I am loving my 30s so far. I feel very blessed for my family, friends, and the opportunities I’ve had in this crazy life.

As I’ve gotten busier, had more kids, and more to dos, I’ve definitely felt the neglect of my own self care. I try to be better though, and I’ve made a lot of positive changes in my life recently that have helped me be a more productive, more intentional, happier mama.

affordable self care ideas
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A lot of people probably think that “self care” has to be an expensive spa day or something like that, but taking care of yourself can be totally affordable!

From goal setting to treat yo’ self.  I hope some, or maybe all of these 33 self care ideas will improve your quality of life.  Pick a couple of things that stick out, and get started!

33 Affordable Self Care Ideas for Busy Moms

Wake up early.

Self Care Ideas for Busy Moms
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Yes I know, this one is not the easiest task!  Waking up early give yous some time to yourself before the morning chaos begins.  You can organize your morning, drink coffee in silence, meditate, pray, exercise, and so much more.  I always feel LESS tired when I wake up early, because I’m prepared for the day, instead of feeling like i’m trying to catch up.

Related PostOrganized Morning Routine for Busy Moms

Meditation and Mindset.

The mind is a powerful thing.  It’s important to reset your intentions daily.  If you’re working toward a big goal, trying to pay off debt, or working on a weight loss program, you have to go over your WHY every day, and remind yourself that it’s worth it.  Some quiet minutes meditating on the goal as if you’ve already accomplished it, can be really helpful to keep you motivated.

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Brain dump.

If you tend to get stressed or overwhelmed by the things you need to get done in a day, get out a sheet of paper and just start writing a list of everything that pops into your head.  Don’t overthink, just write.  Once you are done, you can pick out your top 3-5 most important items.  Prioritize everything else and give it a deadline.  Now you can plan your day efficiently.

Plan out your day.

Now that you know what your priorities are for the day, you can make a plan and take action.  What’s for dinner?  What after school activities are happening today?  Make sure you have everything written out so you can stay ahead of the chaos.

Related PostBest Planners for Moms

Time blocking.

Time blocking is a really effective way to manage your many to-do’s.  The problem with mamas today, is that there are so many distractions.  I go to check my emails, and suddenly I’m buying a new blogging course, or scrolling facebook.  Setting time blocks and timers can help you stay on task.

Self Care Ideas for Busy Moms
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What is time blocking?

Basically, you will get out your cute little daily planner sheet, and color code your time schedule.  So, from 8-8:30 you can highlight purple for “email time”.  Then 8:30-9:30 is breakfast and morning routine, and so on from there.

This is helpful, when you have a million things to do and don’t know where to start.  You won’t feel like you need to completely finish one thing before moving on to the next.  You can just spend 20 minutes checking emails, then move onto cleaning, then work.  Get as much done as you can within the alloted time, and if the task is not finished, you will just have to wait until the next time block.

Goal Setting.

Speaking of goals, you should be setting them!  Not dreams, not wishes, actual goals with deadlines.  What do you want in life, and what are the steps you need to take to get there?  Write them down, set a deadline, get an accountability partner and conquer them girlie!

Related PostHow to Set SMART Financial Goals

Here is an awesome free smart goals worksheet, so you can start planning!

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Simplify your Closet.

I know fashion isn’t everything, but I always feel more productive when I’m dressed for the day with my a little hair and makeup going!

One of the difficulties of getting dressed after kids, is that a lot of things don’t fit, or you just neglect that part of your life and spend the whole clothing budget on the kids!

I used this amazing FREE capsule wardrobe guide to completely reorganize my wardrobe, and now I get excited to get dressed everyday.

I upgraded to Corina’s 280 Outfit ideas.  I keep it in a binder in my closet, and can’t wait to flip through and pick out something cute and comfortable to wear for the day.

Fix your finances.

Do you know how to do something as simple as a budget?  I thought I was “budgeting” because we were always super frugal, and I was “monitoring” what we spent.  Meaning, I was just watching our money go places, but not having any purpose.  It wasn’t until earlier this year when I realized we were easily spending more than we made each month, because we didn’t have any kind of a plan.

Related Posts:

Why You Need a Budget for Your Household

How to Make a Budget for Beginners

Simple Tips for a Personal Budget that Works!

Learn how to do a simple written budget, and stick to it.  A great resource for learning an easy to understand method to personal finance is Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

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Take Care of Your Skin.

When all you want to do is crawl into bed and not mess with an 87 step skin care regimen, it can be difficult to take off your makeup and wash your face.

Find a skin care product that you love, and is also simple, and effective!

I love having a skin care routine, because even on those crazy days when there’s not enough dry shampoo IN THE WORLD, I still feel super clean and fresh.


Try to read only 10 pages of a personal development or inspirational book each day.  No one can stay 100% motivated 24/7, so having a constant reminder that YOU have control over your life and success can be really life changing.  Mindset is SO important, in motherhood and in life!  It’s important to be flooding your mind with the belief that you deserve happiness and success.

If you read 10 pages every day you could conquer quite a few books in a year!  Think of the person you would be next year at this time, if you start today?!

RelatedBest Personal Finance Books for Women

Recommended Reading:

Time with spouse.

Spend some time with the people you love!  Invest in your relationship with your spouse or significant other.  Go on dates, even if it’s just completely putting down your phones and watching the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” (that’s us).

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Time with kids.

This one isn’t difficult, we all want to be with our babies!  Sometimes it can be difficult to focus all of your attention on them though.  There are so many distractions.  Shut everything off, and do something creative.  Go on a nature walk, search Pinterest for a messy craft, or make popcorn and watch a snuggly movie.  You will feel refreshed and ready to take on motherhood like a boss.

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Learn something new.

You can learn pretty much anything on the internet.  It’s crazy, but awesome!  There are so many online courses that people just like you and me create.  You can learn how to sew or start a blog overnight.

I went to school for medicine, but thanks to the good ol’ world wide web, I can add web design, graphic design, and so much more to my resume.  It’s fun and exciting to learn something new.  Try to learn something new each day, and teach someone else.  It will make you feel great to share and teach useful skills to others.  Every time I learn a new skill, I try to write a blog post about it to share with others.

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Invest in yourself.

On the subject of learning, you can take online courses for a fraction of the cost that it would be to sit in a physical classroom.  There are online courses that will practically give you a Harvard level marketing degree if you’re willing to invest the time and small cost.  I have learned so many amazing skills to turn my blog into a business, and every course was online (and usually taught by another mama like me!)


Yes, I know…this one is almost as bad as getting up early!  ha!  It’s true though, you need to take care of your body so you can take care of everyone else.  Go on a walk, go to the gym, join a class, or hang out with Jillian Michaels in your living room (that’s what I do).  Just get moving!  You will feel better, have more energy, and set an amazing example for your family.

Eat right. Fuel your body.

We all know we should be eating well.  This one is so hard for me.  I’m tired, always in a rush, and the last thing I want to do is make a meal plan and stick to it!  However, it is super important to take care of your body and feed it the right fuel to keep on keepin’ on.  This does not mean dieting, or starving yourself AT ALL.  My husband and I follow this book to guide our healthy eating choices, and use this cookbook to do our meal planning.  It saves us money and calories and we are always full!

RelatedBudget Friendly Snacks for Weight Loss

Drink your water.

You should be drinking AT LEAST half of your body weight in water every day.  Even more if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or really active.  Drinking enough water will change your energy level, your skin, and your overall health completely.  It’s probably the easiest, and most important thing to do on this list, but I totally struggle.  It helps if you fill up a water bottle the night before so it’s ready to go the next day.  If you don’t, you’ll be rushing around and it will be the last thing you think of.

Serve others.

Nothing feels better than helping other people!  Are you passionate about serving others?  Find a volunteer opportunity, collect food for your local pantry, or make a meal for a busy mom friend.  It feels good to do something for others, and sets a great example for our little ones.

Switch to Clean Beauty Products.

I used to be one to roll my eyes at the whole “clean” beauty movement, but I’m totally on board now.  As a physician, I want to know what ingredients I’m putting in my body, and there are so many harmful substances used in our makeup and personal care products.  Read labels, research, and know exactly what those foreign sounding substances are!  My favorite makeup and skincare line follows the strict European cosmetic standards, banning over 1400 ingredients that are not banned in the US.

Detox your pits.

Have I lost you yet?  Once I got on the clean beauty movement, I just couldn’t stop.  Aluminum is the active ingredient in our antiperspirants, and it has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease!  I did a little more investigating and found Kopari Coconut Oil deodorant, and decided to make the switch.  I love it!  Our bodies are supposed to sweat to eliminate toxins, and Kopari’s yummy deo allows your body to detox and keeps you smelling fresh!  Learn more on Kopari’s website here.

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Love your cleaning routine.

I’m all for the saying “snuggle your babies, the cleaning can wait until tomorrow,” but let’s get real here. If your house is a crazy mess, you will be an even bigger mess.

When our house is destroyed, I CANT EVEN. It’s like I just don’t even know where to start!

Find a way to make cleaning enjoyable, like using yummy smelling products that you love. I have been using Grove Collaborativeto order my delicious smelling Mrs. Meyer’s products for way less than at the store, and it makes cleaning just a teensy bit more enjoyable!

I also love to use Thieves cleaning products from Young Living, because they are safe around the kids and smell like Christmas!

Treat yo’ self.

Maybe just give yourself a little something to look forward to in your mailbox. The FabFitFun box is the perfect busy mama treat.

Full size products delivered straight to you at a price that’s budget friendly. I would normally never splurge on personal care products, but the FabFitFun box makes your hard earned money go a little further.

Related PostSubscription Boxes that Make Cool Gifts

Stretch to prevent pain.

As a podiatrist, I can not stress this enough! Stretch every day. In the morning and at night. It will change everything about the way your body functions.

As we get older, less active, and consistently wear all the wrong shoes, our bodies start to tighten up causing pain in our lower back, hips, knees, and feet.

Stretching keeps everything functioning at an optimal level. Work it in to your morning routine and you will feel better.

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Develop a solid night routine.

Good nights lead to much better days!  Make sure you are taking 30 minutes before bed, to get organized for the next day, stretch, do Yoga, sip hot tea, read a book, and take care of your skin.  You will feel so much better in the morning, and ready to tackle the day if you take care of yourself at night.

Kick the Clutter.

It is so much easier to get ready in the morning when you have only what you need, love, and wear on a regular basis.  This is definitely difficult for people that love fashion, but take a quick look in your closet and think about how much of it you actually wear.  I started keeping only what I love and actually wear, and I am way more inclined to actually get dressed every day, and feel good about my outfits.  Plus, I make extra cash each month by selling what I’m not wearing on Poshmark.

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Get a silk pillowcase.

Good for your skin, and hair.  A silk pillowcase is a nice little addition to your night time routine.  It doesn’t cost much, but can add a little luxury to your beauty rest.  A silk pillowcase can prevent lines and creasing on your face while you sleep, and also prevents your hair from breaking and tangling through the night.

Invest in a cute and cozy pair of PJs.

When I get home from work, I immediately change into my PJs.  I love being cozy, but I feel even better when my PJs are extra cute.  Since, I spend the majority of my time at home in loungewear, I like to invest in a few cute jammy options.  If you know you look good, you will feel good too!

Play music.

We are probably behind the times here, but my husband won an Amazon Echo Dot at a podiatry conference last month, and we have been LOVING it for playing music throughout the house!  Instead of turning on the TV for a little background noise, we find ourselves having dance parties or singing at the top of our lungs.  Just make sure you turn off “voice ordering”, if you have kids! ha!

Shut off the TV.

On the subject of TV, I am 100% guilty of turning on the TV for the kids so I can get stuff done.  I think it’s totally ok to do, and I’m not a parenting expert, or a judgy mom.  However, I started to notice that if I didn’t turn on the TV, they didn’t necessarily ask for it.  Instead of automatically turning the TV on when they wake up, we play music or start getting ready for the day right away.  The kids usually end up playing with toys upstairs or playing hide and seek or something else fun and creative!  This helps with my self care, because I feel better about the kids’ “brain development”, and their behavior is way better too!

Also, if you find yourself sitting in front of the TV scrolling on your phone, think about what else you could be doing during that time to improve your mind or body.  Try popping in a work out DVD, or reading one of those personal development books.  You will feel so much better, more inspired, and super motivated to do more for yourself!

Get outside.

There is no replacement for a little fresh air!  It’s good for you and the kids.  It’s so hard to get outside in Texas, because it’s either triple digit heat, or freezing cold.  There aren’t many perfect fall days to play in, but when the weather is nice, we love to go the park or just go for a little family walk with the stroller.  A brisk walk can really change your mood and energy level!

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Listen to podcasts.

This is one of the things I started doing, after I read “The Slight Edge”, by Jeff Olson.  He mentioned listening to audiobooks or podcasts while you are exercising or in your car, so you can build your own dreams, instead of building Kenny Chesney’s dreams.  LOL!

Okay, so I’m not suggesting that you never listen to another song again, but there are sneaky little chunks of time that you could be inspiring and motivating yourself by listening to podcasts.

I love to listen to the Dave Ramsey Show Podcast while I’m driving the kids to school or sports.  I also enjoy Rachel Hollis’ Rise podcast, Christy Wright’s Business Boutique podcast, and my new favorite is Ruth Soukup’s Do It Scared.

There are SO many different topics to motivate you wherever you are in life.  I highly encourage finding a good one, and turning it on next time you’re in the car or gym.

Put down your phone and take it all in.

We all do it.  We are checking emails, scrolling Facebook, or looking for what to cook tonight on Pinterest.  I’m always wanting to check my blog stats, or share my posts on social media, so it’s especially difficult for me to set my phone down and walk away for a while.  It is so important though, to just put down the phone and take everything in.  We miss so many little things when we are not completely engaged with our kids, or our husband.  Set scheduled times for when you will check your emails or social media, and outside of that stay off of the phone!

Pursue Your Passions.

Don’t be afraid to start a new adventure.  I wish I had started my blog YEARS ago, but I was always so afraid of what other people would think.  It’s so important to have something that you love and are passionate about.  Just start!  Start a blog or a side hustle. Write, create, sew, build, do YOU.

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Self care isn’t selfish, and you’ve gotta fill your own cup before you can fill others!  You know this mama!  What’s your favorite way to take care of yourself?  Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share.

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Self Care Ideas for Busy Moms
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Frugal living ideas for self care for busy moms | How to practice self care on a budget | Busy moms living on a budget | #frugalliving #moneysavingtips #savemoney #budget #frugal #frugalmom
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hi! I'm shannon

I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.