15 self-care ideas for parents, even if you only have a few free minutes

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

Parents don't have a whole lot of free time. Take a casual survey of parents you know and you might hear mums and dads tell you they have under 30 minutes to themselves each day.

But that doesn't mean we have to completely sacrifice the things that bring us joy in order to make the most out of the little free time we have.

Even a few minutes of self-care can make a huge impact in our physical and emotional health, plus it can make us better parents and set great examples for our children. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or you spend your days in an office, here are 15 ideas that may help you find a little "me" time.

Remember that what soothes you might not work for someone else, so ideas here run the gamut.

If you have less than 5 minutes for self-care

  • Try mindful toothbrushing.
  • Set up a bedside beauty station.
  • Write handwritten cards to friends you've lost touch with.
  • Treat yourself to your favourite warm beverage (latte, golden milk, anything!).
  • Clean out a kitchen drawer that's been bothering you. Pull out everything, toss the junk, and get it organised if that gives you peace.
  • Take off your work clothes or at-home sweats and put on something that truly makes you feel good, like silk PJs!
  • Walk outside and mindfully tune in to your surroundings.

If you have 30 minutes for self-care

  • Borrow your kid's colouring book, put on a Spotify playlist you like, and start colouring.
  • Write down something that's bothering you or keeping you up at night. Then start thinking about the steps you need to take in order to complete the goal, working backward.
  • So if selling your house is something on your mind, think about all of the steps that are getting in your way of doing it (i.e. fix the leaky roof, have the basement repaired, paint the porch, etc.).
  • Stash your phone in your pocket and go on a nature walk.
  • Make yourself some tea and take a soothing bath.
  • Cue up your favourite workout and get exercising.
  • Set up a phone date with a friend you've lost touch with. Make sure they're available to chat with you too.
  • Go to a bookstore and dive into a book or your favourite magazines.
  • Start and complete a mini art project. Maybe it's turning the pictures on your phone into an album.

This story originally appeared on POPSUGAR Australia, read it here.