How to Fit Self-Care Into Your Schedule as a Busy Mom (5 Life-Changing Tips)

Self-care and motherhood; they’re the two things that seem so attainable before you have kids but suddenly feel very mutually exclusive when you’re a mom who is overscheduled and under-caffeinated. So, let’s address the question you’ve been asking: how can you realistically fit self-care into your schedule as a busy mom?

It’s not as hard as you think, but it’s also not the easiest thing to prioritize. Surprisingly, though…it’s simple.

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Are you rolling your eyes or shaking your head in disbelief? Good. This post is just for you then! Let’s dive into all things scheduling self-care for all the busy moms everywhere, shall we?

Fitting self-care in as a busy mom requires you to prioritize yourself. That’s really all there is to it. If you want to make yourself a priority you have to do exactly that…make yourself a priority.

This means scheduling in and committing to your self-care and valuing it like you do everything else on your calendar. Is it easy? No. But it is truly simple, and the following tips will help you practice self-care in a way that feels good and works for you no matter how busy you are and whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom.

The #1 Tip to Fit Self-Care Into Your Schedule as a Busy Mom: Decide What Self-Care Looks Like for You

Forget the IG posts and trends that tell you what self-care is and isn’t. All you need to know is what self-care needs to look like for you. What makes you happy? What refills you and energizes your spirit?

If you don’t know how to answer those questions or you’re not sure where you should start, that’s okay! Forgetting about the different things that light you up is, unfortunately, part of motherhood for most moms. You just need to be intentional about it from this point forward and if you can remain just 10% more intentional every day, you’ll make incredible progress in a short amount of time.

Try some journaling prompts, look up self-care ideas, and take notes the next couple of days on what you need most.

It can be as simple as drinking more water, waking up earlier than everyone else to have some alone time, working on that new hobby you’ve been thinking about, or something as big as investing in a life coach or going to counseling.

You can’t schedule self-care into your life if you don’t know what self-care looks like to you in the first place, which is why this is the most important tip of all.

#2: Establish Your Non-Negotioable Self-Care Activities

There are pretty much endless things you can do for yourself that would be considered self-care, but if you’re looking to schedule something just for you on a daily basis, you need to start with 1-3 non-negotiable self-care activities.

These would be your main sources of stress relief and the things that make the biggest difference both immediately and in the long term. Ideally, they build on one another and have a domino effect, meaning they have the biggest impact right away and ultimately make everything else easier.

These non-negotiables will probably be physical or mental health-related as opposed to “pampering” types of self-care activities and will be the habits you need to form most. This is especially true if you’re not used to investing in yourself at all or if you’re burned out. If you’re at the point of being in survival mode and being snappy on a regular basis, it’s very likely you need to start with the basics and build your self-care routines from there.

These are the things that really make a strong foundation for self-care and a truly healthy, happy mom.

So, as boring as it sounds, just start with the basics – the habits that will make you feel better from a physical, mental, and energetic standpoint that you need the most on a daily basis.

#3: Create Daily Self-Care Routines

The easiest way to prioritize anything and actually make it a daily habit is to attach it to an existing routine or create a new routine altogether. Either way, routines are one of the best self-care tips for good reason – because they work!

Routines are great because they’re not rigid and they don’t have to rely on a specific schedule, which can be overwhelming and unrealistic for most moms, especially in busy seasons of motherhood. Think of them as a structure or framework.

When creating your self-care routines, you can focus on a set of similar activities. For example, you can lump your exercise and vitamins into one routine, or do journaling and affirmations at the same time. Or you can dedicate a specific amount of time each day to do whatever you feel like in that moment.

This is a perfect way to make sure you actually commit to those daily non-negotiables from above.

Really the biggest takeaway from creating a self-care routine is to make it a daily habit to take care of yourself in the most important and impactful ways, then continue to do that pretty much forever.

#4: Schedule Self-Care by Time Blocking

When you’re planning your week or month, schedule in specific blocks of time that you’ll dedicate to your self-care. This could be your self-care routines or something more frivolous. The important thing is that you make sure you actually block off time in your busy schedule to take care of yourself.

If you’re not familiar with what time blocking is, it’s simply dedicating a set amount of time to focus on a series of similar tasks or one task by itself.

As a busy mom, you’re already short on time and probably not used to considering yourself in your schedule at all. If this is the case, start with small chunks of time and build up as you can.

Ideally, you fit in at least 10 minutes at a time but anything is better than nothing!

This also works best when you block off time where you’re energized, inspired, and can really give it your all. Speaking of which – this isn’t all or nothing. Don’t throw in the towel if your self-care routines are thrown off or if you need to reschedule on yourself. Things will happen, and while you should prioritize time for yourself like you would any other appointment, it’s also important to have realistic expectations. Sometimes it won’t go according to plan, and that’s okay. Investing in yourself is still always worth it.

#5: Prioritize Practicing Self-Care Activities

If you’re looking to fit self-care into your schedule, the truth is you have to make time for it first. This means evaluating your current priorities and prioritizing yourself, day in and day out by actually showing up for yourself and following through on your self-care schedule.

It also means setting boundaries and setting expectations with your family and friends. I know you’re tired of hearing the old cliche that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so I won’t go there even though we all know it’s true. You will only ever be as full as you allow yourself to be.

Prioritizing yourself will look different in each season of motherhood, but no matter what season you’re in just remember that your self-care is your responsibility and every responsibility of course deserves to be taken seriously.

The Gist

To sum it all up, fitting self-care into your schedule as a busy mom really isn’t as complicated as it seems. Sure, there will be frustrations and interruptions, but at the end of the day, it’s simply a matter of priorities.

If you’re ready to prioritize yourself, start with these 5 life-changing self-care tips:

#1: Decide what self-care looks like for you

#2: Start with the basics and establish daily non-negotiables

#3: Create daily self-care routines

#4: Schedule in specific blocks of time to practice self-care

#5: Prioritize yourself and set boundaries