Let’s face it, parents have a lot on their plates. From devising sleep schedules to carrying out bathing, feeding, cleaning and chauffeuring duties, caring for kiddos can be all consuming. Add to that the everyday pressures of modern life (plus the stress of a global pandemic!), and you might be feeling depleted or burnt out. That’s why self-care for moms and dads is more important than ever. Granted, it can be difficult to carve out “me time” if you don’t have easy access to childcare, but finding the space for your own needs will ultimately make you a happier, healthier parent (and overall person). Yes, making a conscious decision to put yourself first from time to time can reduce stress and leave you better equipped to tend to your family.
So what exactly is self-care? In short, it involves recognizing your own needs and doing things that take care of your mind, body and soul. Whether that means getting out for a walk, taking a hot shower, exercising, meditating or slapping on a luxurious face mask—if it makes you feel good and revitalized, it counts as self-care.
Not sure how to add some regular rest and relaxation to your daily routine? Here, you’ll find awesome self-care ideas for moms and dads—plus, thoughtful gift ideas to treat yourself (or the caregivers in your life!) to some extra TLC.
Reciting a daily affirmation is a quick and easy self-care idea for moms with little or no time on their hands. These mom-focused affirmation cards are digital, meaning you can print them out or read them off your phone each morning. The set of 15 cards feature beautiful illustrations and simple, empowering messages.
Buy it: Sis Heal Yourself Shop Motherhood Affirmation Cards, $12, Etsy.com
A gratitude journal is another awesome entry-point into self-care for moms. Jotting down your thoughts gives you time to check in with yourself and grapple with big feelings. This pick by Papier has space to set daily intentions, a day-to-day planner and a simple mood tracker, which can be helpful during the postpartum period. Plus, get a load of that cool cover!
Buy it: Papier Mother Earth Wellness Journal, $33, Papier.com
Did you know that meditation is scientifically proven to reduce stress? So when it comes to exploring self-care for moms, a meditation app is a great place to start. Expectful is specifically designed for new and expectant parents, and offers guided meditation sessions between 10 and 20 minutes. And, because the experts know that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach, users have access to their own specially curated meditations. Sign us up.
Buy it: Expectful App, $10 per month or $60 for an annual subscription, App.Expectful.com
Self-care for moms and dads doesn’t have to be fancy—but everyone deserves to be pampered from time to time. Treat yourself (or someone you love) to a spa treatment to ease the aches and pains that often go hand-in-hand with parenting. Spa Week has a network of 9,000 salons nationwide, meaning you can book a mani-pedi or a facial in your local area.
Buy it: Spa Week Wellness Gift Card, starting from $25, SpaWeek.com
Yoga is a practice that combines gentle exercise with mindful breathing techniques. Practicing for even five minutes a day will boost core strength and help you reconnect to your body. That’s why a yoga mat is one of the best self-care gifts for new moms. This option, by Lululemon, is made from a cushioned, antimicrobial rubber material that works just as hard as you do.
Buy it: Lululemon The Reversible Mat 5mm, $88, Lululemon.com
Self-care for moms can be as simple as relaxing with a warm beverage. This tasty tea by the Best of Pregnancy award-winning brand Pink Stork is a great choice for nursing moms. It’s naturally caffeine-free and is packed full of vitamins that support milk flow.
Buy it: Pink Stork Smooth Vanilla Lactation Tea, $13, Target.com
The trend for facial rolling is here to stay—and with good reason. Using a jade roller daily soothes the nervous system, stimulates blood circulation and encourages lymphatic drainage. In addition to the health and beauty benefits, you’ll find that it feels pretty nice too!
Buy it: Province Apothecary Dual Action Jade Facial Roller, $44, Nordstrom.com
If your idea of self-care for moms revolves around skincare, check out the Best of Pregnancy award-winning Calm Pure Radiance Oil by True Botanicals. The face oil was created with moms in mind and contains 27 plant actives that are anti-inflammatory, hydrating and naturally calming to skin. Pair this product with a jade roller for the ultimate self-care moment.
Buy it: True Botanicals Calm Pure Radiance Oil, $110, TrueBotanicals.com
Self-care for moms is essential at any stage of parenthood, but during the initial postpartum period, parents may benefit from some extra tender loving care. That’s where the cozy bundle from Bodily comes in. It includes a warming turmeric latte mix, plus two pairs of non-slip socks designed to accommodate swelling during pregnancy and beyond. Bonus: Check out Bodily to discover tons of resources focused on maternal health and well-being.
Buy it: Bodily Cozy Bundle, $48, Bodily.com
In Breathe, Mama, Breathe, psychotherapist Shonda Moralis outlines the benefits of meditation and shows moms how to care for their well-being—in as little as five minutes. The book is filled with easy, practical steps to establish self-care for moms in daily life.
Buy it: Breathe, Mama, Breathe: 5-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms by Shonda Moralis, $14, Bookshop.org
One of the biggest challenges of parenthood? The lack of sleep, of course. That’s why some of the best self-care ideas for moms and dads focus on helping them get an extra hour in bed. The Hatch Restore uses a smart light, white noise, meditations and a sunrise alarm to create a personalized sleep routine to help you fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Genius.
Buy it: Hatch Restore Smart Sleep Assistant, $130, Hatch.com
Create a relaxing environment at home with the help of this travel-sized aromatherapy diffuser. Simply add water and essential oils, then turn it on to fill your space with the scents you love.
Buy it: Serene House Ranger Travel Aromatherapy Diffuser, $25, Nordstrom.com
Make the most of your shower with this marvelous scalp exfoliator and massager by Tangle Teezer. The clever tool has dual teeth that help to stimulate blood flow, detox the scalp and clear product buildup, all while giving you a rejuvenating massage.
Buy it: Tangle Teezer The Scalp Exfoliator & Massager, $10, Amazon.com
Add some self-care to your sleep routine with a luxurious silk pillowcase. This top-rated pick by Brooklinen is made from 100 percent Mulberry silk that’s naturally cool to the touch. Plus, this pillowcase promises to protect the skin and hair from friction, so you can say goodbye to bed head!
Buy it: Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, $59, Brooklinen.com
Staying active is a great form of self-care for moms and dads. Why? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), daily exercise has been proven to improve sleep and reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. Of course, it can be hard to squeeze in a workout when you’ve got your hands full with a baby. But that’s where Aaptiv comes in. The fitness app has a program dedicated to maternal fitness, with pre- and post-natal classes that are fast and efficient.
Buy it: Aaptiv subscription, starting from $15 per month, Aaptiv.com
Melt away muscular tension with the Theragun Mini. The pocket-sized massager is super-powerful with three speed settings to choose from. Plus, it has a 150-minute battery life, meaning you can chuck this compact device into your diaper bag for rapid relief on the go.
Buy it: Therabody Theragun Mini, $199, Therabody.com
Need to find a moment of zen while working from home and juggling the kids? Look no further than this clever DIY kit from Etsy. Rake the sand, rearrange the pebbles and admire the beauty of nature.
Buy it: The Simply Crafty Shop Mini Beach Zen Garden DIY Kit, $28, Etsy.com
This aromatherapy eye pillow is the perfect addition to Mom’s self-care routine. It releases facial tension by gently engaging acupressure points to soften the delicate muscles around the eyes, while the relaxing scents of lavender and chamomile impart a sense of calm serenity.
Buy it: Bodha Aromatherapy Eye Pillow, $42, Anthropologie.com
Take the weight off and enjoy the HoMedics foot spa. Heated bubbles gently massage feet, while an included exfoliating brush and pumice stone rejuvenate tired tootsies. It’s the perfect alternative to a professional pedicure.
Buy it: HoMedics Bubble Bliss Elite Heated Foot Spa Bubble Foot Massager, $40, Walmart.com
A steaming hot bath is the ultimate form of self-care for moms. So why not take bathtime to the next level with OUAI’s scented, moisturizing Chill Pills Bath Bombs? Simply add to warm water and soak up the skin-nourishing blend of hemp, jojoba and safflower seed oil.
Buy it: Ouai Chill Pills Bath Bombs, $30, Ulta.com
Simple self-care ideas for moms and dads are often the best, as they’re easy to incorporate into your daily routine. The Takeya Actives Insulated Water Bottle is designed with double insulation to keep beverages icy cold and fresh, meaning you’re more likely to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Buy it: Takeya Actives Insulated Water Bottle, $32, Amazon.com