As a mom, it can sometimes feel like you are forever busy. But it’s important to take time for YOU. So here are 20 Ways to Treat Yourself (when you’re basically always too “busy” to actually treat yourself), including plenty of budget-friendly options … because you totally deserve it, FYI.
This summer, I’ve been on an endless wheel of getting ALL of the things done; a.k.a., I’m basically always too busy. Every night, I crumble into the sofa, only to announce something along the lines of, “I need a break!” And then I pick up my laptop, and get back to work.
Part of it is that we have a baby due in just a matter of weeks (I think we have somewhere around 6ish weeks, and time is flying); and I feel an increased sense of urgency to be “ready” for the new babe, whatever that means. Let’s face it, is there such a thing as being “ready” for kids? ha, probably not. Not ever. Hubby and I; we’re also workaholics. We feed off of each other, I think. We both eat dinner, watch shows (Did you see Game of Thrones last night?), and sit with our heads buried in our computers. I swear I’ve had the thought that my over-churned/overheated laptop on my lap cannot be good for the growing babe in my belly. And now that I’m a mom, everything is about Scarlett. My head is a constant whir of planning her outfits, her lunches, her activities and playdates, whether we’re on track teaching her the alphabet and her numbers, if she’s social enough, if her current bedtime schedule starts a bit too late, when I’ll need to size up on shoes for her, if I have a raincoat that fits her for the new school year, what gifts I should bring for her new teachers, how to get her to fear going number two on the potty less, the list goes on and on, and on. Oh, and I have a job. I run a business, and all that goes along with it. How I managed all of this, while practicing law just a couple of years ago, I’ll never know.
My long-winded point is: as a mom, a business woman, and a go-getter, how do we make time for ourselves? how do you treat yourself? Do we? The answer for most of us is, probably not. I won’t be going on any girls’ trips in the foreseeable future, and I can’t really afford to pay a sitter to watch Scarlett (and soon enough, the new baby), just so I can go to a daily yoga class; so I have to start small, and practical.
But even the small and practical, it’s so worthwhile. Remember the old adage – ahem, Parks and Recs knows all – Treat Yo’ Self.
So here they are: 20 Ways to Treat Yourself (when you’re basically always too “busy” to treat yourself) …
… because you totally deserve it, FYI.
- Bake cookies. Forget the calories, bake a big batch of cookies, and eat one or three fresh out of the oven with a big glass of milk or cup of tea.
- Binge-watch a show or have a movie marathon. Make a big bowl of popcorn and settle in. NO computers or phones allowed. (By the way, I shared a HUGE list of the best shows to binge-watch on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, right here.)
- Buy a stack of girly magazines, and actually READ THEM. All in one sitting. Go wild, and make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and just browse. Fold pages. Circle things. Feel inspired.
- Take a nap. Even if you can only sneak in a half hour, sleeping is magical, and odds are, none of us get enough of it. Spray a bit of lavender on your pillowcase and pretend you’re at the spa.
- Go to the spa or nail salon. A pedicure is a fraction of the cost of an actual massage, and did you know at most places you can pay just a few dollars extra to have them rub your legs and feet LONGER? Dooooo it. Treat yourself.
- Buy the shoes, or whatever on-trend item you’ve been mooning after for months. Since having a child, I’ve stopped splurging on seasonal trends, re-directing any of my shopping efforts towards more practical items. This summer, I really wanted a pair of espadrilles. And hey, this pair, they’re like sneakers; comfort and practicality. Save up or wait for the sale, and go for it.
- Read a book. I’ve started reading again this summer. I usually only sneak in a few pages at a time – waiting at doctors’ appointments, just before bed, when I just need to let my mind wander – and I’m LOVING it. I’ve read several books the last few months and it feels so good. It feels like a treat; and best of all, it’s both good for my mind and FREE. Our local library lets you check out ebooks online for free. Often, you have to get on a waitlist for the more popular books, but once you sign up for a book, you get an alert when the book has become available, and it’s so exciting when a bestseller you’ve been eager to read shows up in your inbox. You can also go to the library and check out a good old-fashioned book with pages. There’s something decadent about reading an actual book. (Stumped on what to read? Check out our book club.)
- Check your city calendar for events. Do this on a Monday, so that you have all week to look forward to your big weekend plans. Invite friends. Festivals, fairs, outdoor concerts, Bavarian pretzel-eating contests, whatever. Have fun, get out, enjoy all of the great stuff your city has to offer.
- Take a class. You’d be amazed at how important it is for your mind and spirit to learn; to continue to grow. Whether it’s a cooking class, a coding class, a knitting class, a macramé class, you name it; if it peaks your interest and one is available in your community, or online, give it a try. (Here’s why I love taking classes as a grown-up.)
- Take a hot bath. If you’re a mom, wait until the kids are asleep. Add a drop or two of essential oil or epsom salts or bubble bath or flower petals. Turn on your favorite mellow music, light a few candles, and stay in the tub until your fingers get all wrinkly and raisin-like. Put one of those gunky hair masks in and actually wait the time the package tells you to leave it in. Then wash it out, and stay a few minutes longer.
- Go on a date night. Check out a restaurant you’ve been dying to try. See a show. Spend the time to do your hair and makeup. I always feel extra special when I actually take the time to put on a bit of makeup, curl my hair, and slip into a pretty dress.
- Get your hair blown out. For just $30-$35 most blow-out salons will have you looking va-va-voom in no time. I ALWAYS feel like a rockstar when my hair looks great. After that, see number 9.
- Take the yoga class. (Or the barre class, etc.) If you’re a mom, find a gym that has childcare. This will be your new best friend. Try all different classes until you find the right fit. No sense committing yourself to a “luxury,” only to be shackled to a class you aren’t in love with. Then, once you’ve found it, even if you just go once a week, that’s your time. If you want to save time and money, try one of these 10 free online at-home workouts. (The best part, there’s no one to embarrass yourself in front of when you try hip hop!)
- Get outside. Even if you loathe going to the gym, odds are, a breath of fresh air sounds nice right about now. If you’re with the kiddos, strap them into a stroller, pack a few juice boxes and snacks, and take a walk. For some reason, it takes me all of this energy to muster my behind outside, but once we’re out and strolling, most likely singing to Taylor Swift at the top of our lungs (sorry, neighbors!), I feel so much better. And Scarlett LOVES it. She collects leaves and twigs along the way and tells me stories. Win, win.
- Spend a day complimenting yourself. Seriously. Every time you even think about putting yourself down, give yourself a compliment instead. And mean it. For instance, when you’re getting dressed in the morning and you feel the urge to think, “I look fat in these pants,” scrap the pants, put on your favorite dress, look straight in the mirror and think, “I look gorgeous.”
- Go for a drive. Pick a weekend day without any commitments, pack the family into the car and go for a drive. Sometimes, when we just want to aimlessly explore, we leave around our little one’s nap time. She passes out fairly quickly, and we get a pretty peaceful one-to-two hours to explore the scenery, make mental notes of places we want to try, and talk about future vacations, plans, dreams, goals. Treat yourself.
- Tour model homes. I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. Grab your local paper or search online for model homes in your area. Hit up a few with a big cup of coffee in hand, and let yourself dream. Maybe it’s that we watch too much HGTV, but hubby and I LOVE dreaming about future homes and home renovation projects we could do in our current home. Even if you never have that gigantic kitchen island, it’s fun to play pretend now and then.
- Buy new sheets. As in, really, really soft sheets. Or a silk pillowcase. You’ll feel like a million bucks after just one night’s sleep.
- Take a trip down memory lane, with music. Pick a favorite album from high school or college and play all of the tracks from start to finish.
- Color or paint. All of those adult coloring books are popular for a reason. It really is SO relaxing to just sit and create. Pick up an intricate coloring book or print a few of these free adult coloring pages and using markers, colored pencils, or watercolors, have a little creative fun.
How do you treat yourself, even when you feel like the busiest person in the world? Send me your suggestions and favorite ways to unwind and reward yourself!
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