Self-Care Ideas For Overwhelmed Moms, an A-Z Guide!

Self-Care Ideas For Overwhelmed Moms

Your world may no longer be all about you, but it’s time to feel human again. Use this A-Z guide of self-care ideas for overwhelmed Moms to stay ahead of your self-care game.

Motherhood is complicated, but lucky for us self-care doesn’t have to be. I have compiled a list of over 30 self-care ideas you can start using today! 

However, remember when I said self-care doesn’t have to be complicated? Without a strong foundation supporting all of your efforts in self-care, this process can turn into a reactive, problem-solving approach that falls below your expectations. 

Checkout the 4 Steps to a Strong Foundation of Self-Care first, before you dive right into this list!

Once you feel that you have a strong mindset and support, this A-Z resource can become a tool in itself.

Pull out this list as you plan your self-care activities for the week. I’ll have a short version of this list available for a free download at the end of this post!

I challenge you to try each one in the next 60 days.

A-Z Guide of Self-Care Ideas For Overwhelmed Moms


Affirmations. Speaking affirmations enforces positive thinking and empowerment. Examples may be, “I am the best Mom for my kids”, “I trust my maternal intuition”, “Being a Mom has shown me how strong I am.” Write these down on sticky notes and post them on your bathroom mirror. 

Acupuncture. Chinese medicine believes this can balance out the flow of energy in your body. Western medicine believes it stimulates nerves and tissues. No matter what you believe, it may help relieve stress in your body. 

Aromatherapy. It’s time to support your friend who sells oils or find ones that you love. Oils such as lavender, lemon, and bergamot have been found to relieve stress and relax the body. (More on aromatherapy)


Breaks. Avoid burnout by giving yourself breaks. That might be 20 minutes alone in the bathroom or 2 hours every Saturday. Heck plan a girls weekend! Have a conversation with your support (spouse, childcare, family) and schedule these breaks in. This way everyone can plan ahead of time.

Bath. I cant’t leave this one out. However, I have found that people either love or hat baths. You do you girlfriend, but stay off of social media if you do. This is your time to relax.


Cry. Let it out. Have a good cry when you need it. It actually releases

Cuddle. Touch can release oxytocin in your body. It gives you a sense of safety and security as it soothes your body by activating the vagus nerve. (New Moms- No wonder your baby wants to be held all the time!)

Cook. Cook up a fresh meal. Try one of those delivery services like Hello Fresh and turn it into a date night with your spouse!


Dance. Dance like nobody’s watching. Heck, make a TikTok! You don’t have to post it, but you know you’ve been wanting to do it. Enroll in a dance class. Get out and dance! It will release those feel-good endorphins into your bloodstream, and it will reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Win, win!

Deep Breathing Exercises. My favorite is called triangle breathing. Breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, and breathe out for 3 seconds. Repeat for a minute.

Declutter.  Pick one closet, or one room in your home. Empty it out, sort your items into keep, donate, sell. Then put the items back into place using a system such as a bin to keep it organized. 


Exercise. This one tends to be the more obvious one, yet many of us struggle to be consistent with it. Grab a friend or join an accountability group with Gingerly Mama. Make it simple, but move your body everyday to release those endorphins. 


Foster Friendships. Don’t we all struggle with staying in touch, or is it just me? Try to schedule out one phone call a week with a friend or family member to catch up. You may be surprised how much JOY this will bring you. 


Grounding. Grounding exercises use mental distractions to help redirect your thoughts away from distressing feelings and back to the present. I used this when I nursed my son at night and was having sad thoughts. Instead I focused on the warmth from my baby, his weight in my arms, the little noises he would make.

Garden. Getting in touch with nature can be very calming to some people. It can give you a sense of immediate or nurtured satisfaction that you helped something beautiful grow. 


Hobby. Find something that is attainable and that brings you JOY. For some that may be coloring, stitching, or puzzles. 

Hydrate. Most people need about 80 ounces of water a day. Be careful not to over hydrate and flush out necessary vitamins and minerals. Checkout a formula here to calculate how much you need. 

Self-Care Ideas For Overwhelmed Moms


Indulge. Be careful with this one, you just don’t want it to become a coping mechanism or habit. But, let yourself enjoy those indulging foods, shows, movies, and wine. Don’t feel guilty when you do, it can take away the feeling you are craving. 

Indulging doesn’t always have to be in food either! Dive into a book and read it through! Turn on Netflix and binge that series. Allow yourself to do this every once in a while. Do what you enjoy.


Journal. Something as simple as writing down what you are grateful for today. Or 2 amazing things that happened today and how you could have made it even better.


Kiss. Again, touch releases oxytocin! This hormone acts as a neurotransmitter (messenger) in your brain. It is known as the natural love drug as it is released with any touch to humans or animals. It helps regulate our emotions and works together with dopamine to give us a happy feeling. 


Listen. Listen to your favorite music while engaging in a relaxing activity. Go for a walk and listen to nature and your own mind. 

Lists. Take out a piece of paper and pen. Write out everything that is on your mind…what is overwhelming you? Errands, projects, cleaning, cooking, work, kids, decor, a party? This is called a brain dump. From here, organize your list into priority:

  • Has to be done today
  • Would be nice if it’s done today
  • Can wait until tomorrow
  • Should be completed this week


Morning Routine. One thing we can all do without excuses is drink at least 1 glass of water within the first 10 minutes of waking up. Water has so many health benefits from hydration, removing toxins, healthy skin, brain function and more. 

From here, you have to figure out what is reasonable for you. If you have 3 kids and have to leave the house by 7 am, maybe getting an hour workout in, meditation, and a shower is too much. Set realistic goals so you start your day with accomplishment and not failure. 

Meditate. Meditation and mindset can be very powerful for your body and mind. From mindfulness, movement, spiritual, mantra, and progressive relaxation there are several you can find on YouTube to try out. Here is one that I love!

Massage. Do I need to say more? Ask your spouse or partner for a 10 minute shoulder rub. If possible and probably even better, schedule yourself an hour massage at your local spa. 

Self-Care Ideas For Overwhelmed Moms


Nutrition. Many people fall into poor eating habits when they are upset. Stress and sadness are the number one emotions that can change your pattern of eating. Make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet that is colorful and fresh. Try to avoid restrictions, as these may only lead to food obsessions and cravings that can set your body off track.

Nature. Time spent outside has mental and physical benefits! Nature-based self-care is associated with lower levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Further, the bacteria found in plant life can help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.


Organize. My personal favorite. Sometimes you just need to tackle that closet that is a mess. Take everything out. Sort it. Store only what you need back. Start with the common areas of your home that you start your day with and spend the most time in. 


Pray. I love the apps Abide and #Bible for inspiration and guidance. 

Paint. Even if you are not artistic, like myself, try it out! Painting may take you back to your childhood when times were less stressful, it may bring you peace in the moment, and spark your creativity. 


Quotes. Who else is a sucker for a good quote? When I need inspiration, my go-to place for quotes is Pinterest. Find one that you connect with and need at that time. Print or write it out, and post it on your bathroom mirror. Make it your screen saver. Change it out as necessary.


Relax. Funny right. Moms can relax? No, but really let something go. Watch that TV show late at night. Stay up too late with your friends. Indulge in that book. Go sit in your car for 10 min to get away. Do what relaxes you, guilt free, every once in a while.

Receive Help. The first time I had PPD, I thought I could handle it myself because of my background in mental health. The second time around, I finally met with a therapist. It changed my entire perspective. Make that appointment you’ve been dreading.

Also, accept help when people offer to help you. Maybe they can come over and hold the baby so you can take a nap? Maybe they can watch your child for an hour. When someone volunteers to help others, they actually benefit too. It helps you to help others!


Say No. If you are feeling overwhelmed, then it’s time to reevaluate your involvement. It’s ok to give things up because you aren’t benefiting from them anymore. Some may see it as selfish, but right now it is and that’s ok. Set healthy boundaries with yourself and others. This helps avoid burnout. 

Support Group. It’s reassuring to meet people who are going through something just like you are. You can find pretty much any type of support group you need online through social media.

Stretch. Release tension in your tissues as you engage in stretching exercises. 

Self-Care Ideas For Overwhelmed Moms


Take a Class. Nothing is more empowering than when you learn a new skill. Register for a cooking or dance class. Take a risk on this and surprise yourself. 

Therapy. There are so many types of therapy out there right now. It can be so overwhelming that it’s tough to start. Ask people in your circle if they know of a therapist in your area. Today you can meet over the phone, virtually, or in person. Everyone needs a therapist. 


Unplug and Unfollow. It’s time to CLEAN.IT.UP. If you are on social media you know that it can take a big toll on your mental health. You see your friends out together and you weren’t invited- they must not like you as much. That one Mom always shares her kids doing arts and crafts at home-all your kids do is watch TV, so you must be a bad Mom. 

You just served a frozen dinner tonight, and your friend just shared her grilled chicken salad her entire family is enjoying- you are letting your family down. This list goes on. 

If a person doesn’t add value to your life, unfollow. If you get sucked into social media and go down a dark hole of comparing, take a week off. It is refreshing, let me tell you! You will never regret it. 


Vision Board. Ever get caught up in your thoughts and dreams? Write down a list of everything you would like to accomplish this year. Lookup pictures to represent them and print them off. Glue them onto paper and write out your goals. Post this board somewhere you will see daily, or in the spot where you go to procrastinate. 

Volunteer. Volunteering is one of those life tasks that we regret signing up for on our way there, but feel joyful and rewarded when you leave. Animal shelters, nursing homes, food pantries, church, schools, park districts, libraries, the list goes on. Pick one and go. 

Vacation. Ahhhhh sandy feet, warm air, and the sound of waves. Book your dream vacation now. … But then if you can do that, have your spouse take bedtime with the kids tonight and go do something that you love. Or get a babysitter and leave the home to do something you couldn’t with kids. Either way, get away from your normal space and do something you enjoy. 


Walk. 10,000 steps is a daily goal for people who wear step trackers, but I challenge you to walk for 45 minutes everyday this week. Wake up early, do it on your lunch, or stay up a bit later to get it done. 


Xoxo. Let’s just say this one is important. Being intimate with your spouse literally makes you feel good by increasing the neurotransmitter, dopamine, in your brain! And let’s not forget the oxytocin that is released. All feel good hormones. 

Self-Care Ideas For Overwhelmed Moms


Yoga. Yoga has so many physical and mental benefits. You don’t need a mat or a gym membership to try it. Go on YouTube and find a video, from beginner to advanced, and try it!


Zzz’s. Go to sleep, friend. Listen to your body, it’s probably tired around 9 pm, that show isn’t going to make you feel as good as sleep will. Did you know you need at least 4 hours of consecutive sleep otherwise it can start affecting your brain function and mental health? It is suggested that you get at least 7 hours of sleep at night as a grown woman. 

Strong Self-Care Foundation

Again, while this list of self-care ideas is a great place to go when you are feeling stressed, this A-Z list can become a reactive, problem-solving approach to stress. When this happens over and over again, self-care can then start to fall below your expectations. Remember to establish a supportive foundation to your self-care first. 

Get the FREE downloadable A-Z Self-Care Guide (great image to save to your phone for quick ideas)…


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