9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do in 10 Minutes

Making time for self-care activities when you're a mum can be tough. With kids running riot during the day, and the chores and your partner wanting your attention at night, it's easy to see that finding time for yourself is difficult. But you can spend time on yourself with these 9 self-care activities you can do in 10 minutes!

There is no picturesque version of what self-care looks like; it's different for every person who wants to practice it.

Jenna Wortham

Take a shower

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Take a shower and you'll feel a ton better!
Taking a shower can make you feel like you again.

A quick shower can do wonders for your mood. Washing away the stress and strain just getting 10 minutes to take care of yourself can set you up for the day. Whenever I get a chance for a shower it's like the sun is shining. The water flows over me and I smile because it's time just for me, no one bothers me and I'm completely alone.

Write in your journal

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Write about your day in your journal.

Journaling can really help with your mental health, or even just to get ideas out of your head so you don't feel so cluttered. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by everything I write, I get the ideas and thoughts out of my head and when I take the time to do that I feel so much better. We spend so much time thinking about everyone else and storing information in our head that we can get "clogged up" and suffer as a result. Take 10 minutes for self-care, get things out of your head occasionally, and you might find yourself smiling a little more.

Put on make up

This could be a full face of make up or just a little lipstick. I don't do full face make up, it would take me hours, but I do like to wear a little mascara and shiny lip balm. These days, as I get older I need highlighter under my eyes too so I don't look so tired. But to be honest I like to keep it simple. Just using those three things I feel loads better. I don't have to spend ages putting on make up and I get that little boost to my confidence - even if I'm not going anywhere.

Paint your nails

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Take some time to paint your nails!
I always enjoy painting my nails - it makes me feel good.

Like I said I'm not much for the beauty stuff, but I do like to paint my nails regularly. Somehow it just makes me feel good. I don't spend hours in a salon having my nails done, it's just normal nail polish (I like Rimmel Super Gel) and I do it myself. When I get 10 minutes I spend it on one of my favourite self-care activities - I paint my nails. Then, even though the rest of me may look shocking, I can look at my hands and smile, because at least something is nice and put together. 

Do your hair

If you're anything like me you get up in a morning give your hair a quick brush and then throw in back in a hairband or quick bun. Most of the time I like my hair to be out of the way, up off my shoulders and tied back so it doesn't get in the way when I'm cleaning. But sometimes I'll take the time to "do" my hair. And no, I don't spend ages on that either. Just 10 minutes is all I need to put some mousse in my hair, scrunch it up, and leave it. That's it. 

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Do your hair, it'll make you feel a little better.

I've got curly hair, well wavy really, but I don't like to spend ages messing about with hairdryers and special products so all I do is bung some mousse in, scrunch, and done. And to be honest I love how my hair looks when I do that. 

Why not take 10 minutes for yourself and make your hair look nice? It's amazing the difference it can make when you can look in the mirror and say "huh, my hair looks good today!".


If you can find 10 minutes this self-care activity can really help. Simply sitting in the quiet and breathing is therapeutic. It helps you let go of the things the aren't important, it helps you focus, but most of all it helps you centre yourself. 

I like to sit in my backyard. I go out on the hammock and sit in silence and kind of meditate. Nature is calming, and it's nice to go out there and clear my head.

Devon Werkheiser

The thing with the word "meditate" is that if you're anything like me you imagine sitting cross-legged with your hands out to your side, forefinger and thumb making a circle, saying the word "om". And it makes you giggle. But meditation isn't about finding the right pose, it's about getting a little time to sit and basically do nothing. To clear your mind, concentrate on your breathing, and calm yourself. When I get the chance (which isn't often) I do like to sit on my bed, eyes closed, and just clear my mind. I sit and breathe, and do nothing else. It's a calming experience and can really help with those hectic days.

Read a chapter

Nothing says "me time" like sitting to read a chapter of your favourite, or current, book. Taking 10 minutes for this self-care activity is not only helping you get time for yourself but depending on the book you're reading you could also be working on improving yourself (not that you need improving!). I'm currently reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F***: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson and it's quite different to my usual reads - like Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. My book is opening my eyes to my own thoughts and actions and I'm making small changes in my thought processes to try to improve things. That's not to say I think I need improving, just that the book has helped me see some bad habits I've got into. 

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Read a chapter of your book - a great escape.
Escape adulting and delve into your favourite story.

Reading is a way of letting go of the day-to-day stuff. To escape, if you're reading fiction, into a far off land where you watch the lives of other people (or creatures). You broaden your horizons, you go on adventures, and experience all the emotions that go along with it. And taking the time to read during the colder months is brilliant because you can snuggle under your favourite fleecy blanket with a hot coffee and your book!

Colour in

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Colour in with your kids, you'll both have fun!

A while ago adult colouring seemed to take off in a huge way, and while it seems to have died down again I think it's a great way to spend 10 minutes. The other thing about colouring is that you can involve the kids too! Give them a colouring page, grab your own colouring book or page, and get colouring. It's a great way to spend time with your kids but you're also getting that all important self-care time.

Waste time

Whenever I look at self-care activities that people suggest it almost always consists of taking care of yourself activities like the ones above. It's about making sure you get time to make yourself feel better. But sometimes what you actually need is just time to switch off - to stop being mum, even if just for 10 minutes, and to "waste" time. To be able to sit and mess about for a while instead of feeling like everything is your responsibility and you have to be an adult all the time. 

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Grab your iPad and have some fun!
Spend some time on your favourite game.

That's why my last self-care activity is to waste time. Grab your iPad (or other tablet), download a game, and waste 10 minutes. Play games, do a puzzle, whatever it is you like to do. There are lots of games I use to waste my time and at the moment I like Merge Dragons (on the iPad) and Zelda on the Switch Lite. It's nice to just switch off and be me.

To be honest you don't have to play games, however you like to "waste" your time - do that. Because it's all about letting go of the responsibility of adulting. Let it all go for 10 minutes and you'll feel so much better!

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Got a spare 10 minutes? Try out these things to look after yourself.

Self-care is an important part of life, and as mums we neglect ourselves far too much. Give yourself 10 minutes per day for self-care activities and you'll soon get into the habit of looking after yourself. Of course there'll be blips in your routine, but that's okay too, as long as you get back to it. The key is learning that it's okay to take care of yourself sometimes.

Further reading

I've been reading about self-care and how we should be looking after ourselves and found a few posts I think you might like. Sara over at Get Mom Balanced shares her ideas for 15 Minute Self-Care: 15 Quick and Effective Strategies. And if you're looking for a quick read full of ideas check out the guys at Good Therapy who have 134 Activities to Add to Your Self Care Plan.

Which self-care activity will you spend 10 minutes on today?

Keeping momentum with your routine, despite blips

Routines can make life easier, they help you stay organised and keep on top of your housework. But when the kids are off school, or you're ill, your routine takes a hit and you (and your household) fall into chaos. The kitchen doesn't get cleaned, the washing mountain continues to grow, and dust piles up everywhere. When the kids go back to school it's difficult to get back into your routine because there's so much to catch up on. But there is a way to keep momentum with your routines, despite these blips. Read on to find out how...

Blips in your routine don't make you a bad mum

First of all you need to know that we all have these blips in our routines. We fall ill, half-term arrives before we're ready for it, or a family member needs our help, and our routine takes a hit. But suffering a blip in your routine does NOT make you a bad mum.

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | My son's bedroom is messy all the time!
My youngest's bedroom - a whole day's job!

It's taken me a long time to realise that an untidy house doesn't mean I'm rubbish at being a mum. I used to beat myself up every Monday morning when I looked at my kitchen and saw the chaos. Plates piled high waiting to be loaded into the dishwasher. A laundry mountain to rival Everest. It would get me down that even over a weekend I couldn't keep up with the routine and give my family a tidy house to live in. But then I saw what that chaos meant.

By allowing the plates to pile up, and the laundry to stay unwashed, I was actually prioritising my family over the cleaning. I spent time with my boys and the Hubby rather than doing the cleaning. I was enjoying playing board games, watching our favourite shows, or going out for family days. So why on earth was I beating myself up about being a bad mum? Is prioritising your family a bad thing? No of course it isn't.

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | You can keep up with your routine, no matter what.

So if, like me, you have blips in your routine, and every week you feel bad for not being a better mum, just take a moment to think about what you've spent your time doing. 

Because the truth is you DO AN AMAZING JOB. You just need to see it.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

William Arthur Ward

You can always get back on track with your routine

The blips that happen can throw your routine and mean you have to spend a little extra time on your chores. But you can always get back on track. Spending a little extra time each day will get your routine back on track and come the weekend you'll be back to normal again - just in time for taking the weekend for your family!

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | Having fun with your family is more important than your routine.
Family fun - much more important than sticking to a routine.

That describes my daily life at the moment. I spend the week catching up on chores only to take the weekend for the family - and then I'm back to where I started. But that's okay.

You can always catch up, there's always going to be time for those chores - and to be honest if there isn't you're probably doing something more important like caring for a sick child.

Keeping momentum with your routine

The key to keeping momentum with your routine is to do chores a little at a time, more often. I have a giant list of chores to be done, but I never try to do all the chores at once - that would overwhelm me and I'd give up. Instead I break my chores list down into smaller chunks so they're easier to tackle. 

In a morning, after the kids have gone to school (or while they're getting ready), I'll wander around the house collecting the dirty dishes or glasses and load the dishwasher. It usually takes less than 10 minutes.

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | A tidy lounge makes me feel so much better!
Tidying the lounge takes much less time if I do it a little bit at a time.

The laundry is another task, that I'll tackle later. Loading the laundry into the machine takes 5 minutes and then I can leave the machine to do its job. Another job done.

Cleaning the kitchen counters is next on the list, and depending on what day it is it can take anywhere between 5 minutes and 15 minutes. But once it's done I can smile because my kitchen looks great.

I do these small jobs almost every day (not counting weekends) and usually manage to keep momentum with my routine because I'm staying on top of the chores and they don't build up too much over the weekend. 

Use checklists to keep momentum

Whether it's paper checklists, something stuck to your fridge, or reminders on your phone, using checklists to help you keep track of your chores is a great way to keep momentum with your routine. Think of all the jobs that you have to do every day and list them. Then each time you finish one of those chores you can tick it off - not only does it feel good ticking something off a checklists but you can see that you're making progress every day. And when you're a stay-at-home mum any kind of progress makes you feel better.

I use reminders on my phone. I have a list of jobs I do every day, every week, and every month, and they pop up regularly so I don't even need to think about it. I have set days for each room, for example Mondays are my lounge days, Tuesdays are for my office. That way I can concentrate on a  room, do all my chores for that room and then stop - so I'm not overwhelmed with all the cleaning that needs to be done. That routine also helps with keeping everywhere tidy, because no room gets a chance to get overly untidy. 

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | My phone helps me stay on track every day.
I wouldn't be without my phone - it helps me stay on track.

Admittedly sometimes I ignore the reminders. Usually at a weekend. But I know they're there and it does encourage me to tidy up when I can so that the chores don't pile up.

You may like to use paper, or your phone, but having a reminder of the chores you need to do is a great way to keep momentum with your routine. Especially if it pops up on your phone every time you look at it. It's like that nagging little voice that never lets things settle. And while nagging is annoying - it works doesn't it?

Know nothing is set in stone

No matter how many days you keep momentum with your routine you're always going to suffer blips. Holidays from school, an unexpected visitor, or illness will pop up and your routine takes the hit - but that's okay. If you happen to have your lounge cleaning day pop up, but the bedrooms desperately need tidying then tidy the bedrooms. YOU are in control of your routine and you can always switch things around if necessary. 

They key is taking control, knowing that it doesn't matter how many blips happen you can always get back on track. You can always keep going with your routine, even if it's just the essential things like loading the dishwasher because you have no clean dishes! 

Keep momentum with your self-care routine too!

Despite blips to your chores routine you really need to make sure you're taking care of yourself too. Only when we fall ill do we realise we've been neglecting ourselves and that's why we're ill. I've done this so many times that I finally realised taking some time for myself occasionally meant I was ill less often. Don't ask me how that works - but it does!

Self-care is really about taking care of you and focusing on feeling good about yourself - mind and body.

Franchesca Ramsey

I take time out to read, to have time alone (while the boys are at school), and I spend time doing things I enjoy - like playing games. I have down time and as a result I am more relaxed about everything else. I don't stress about the dishes, I don't worry about the laundry. I take care of that stuff according to my routine and I have time for me too - win!

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | Your routine keeps you going, you just need to know how.

Please make sure to allow time for yourself when you're working out your routine - it's just as important!

Do you manage to keep momentum with your routine?

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | Grab the Organised Mama Pack to help you get organised!

How To Get ME Time During School Holidays

The kids are about to be off school. You're used to them being at school and being able to drink a hot coffee in peace.  You like the quiet hours during the school term when you can choose what to do without interruption or just get the chores done before they get home. So how do you get time for you during the school holidays?

We love our kids but we still want time for us

It doesn't really need saying but I'll say it anyway, just because we want that time on our own doesn't mean we don't love our kids. Of course we love our kids. But when they're at school every day it's easy to get used to the quiet and then the school holidays roll around and you've suddenly got them around your feet every day. It's frustrating because you can't get chores done, the house is never quiet, and your coffee has gone cold.  Loving your kids does not mean you should't want time for you during the school holidays.

Motherhood is... difficult and... rewarding.

Gloria Estefan

Get time for you during the school holidays by planning ahead

Knowing when the school holidays are -  ahead of time - is key, that's why I spend some time at the start of the school year checking the school websites and marking the holidays on my calendar. I have 3 calendars - one on the wall in my office, a diary, and the calendar on my phone. When I check the school websites I have my diary in hand and a highlighter, and I go through the year highlighting all the school holidays.

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Planning ahead of time will make it easier to see what time you have available.
Don't forget to make yourself a coffee while you're planning!

I've found transcribing the holidays into my diary to be quickest way to get the information. I can then go through my diary and add the holidays into the months, add them to the calendar in my office, and especially add them to the calendar on my phone. That is the most important one because I carry it around with me all the time and whenever I'm making appointments I need to check if the kids are off school.

So, planning ahead. If you can see in your diary/calendar that you've got a half-term coming up this month, or an easter holiday, then you can think about it ahead of time and plan accordingly. For example, as the Easter school holidays are coming up I'm planning on taking the boys to see my family for at least one of the days. We're going to travel to Grimsby and spend the day with my parents. We're also planning on going for a few walks, and LP has mentioned he wants to go to the local play centre.

Now of course those things aren't about me getting time for me, but if I know what we have planned for us and the boys then I can schedule in time for me too. Like when we go to Grimsby, I'll spend the day driving 2 hours there, and 2 hours back, as well as spending time with my family - and that's great - but in order to get some me time too I have to make sure I get home in time to chill out at the end of the day. Which I always do. I'll arrange it so I come home at about 6pm and then the boys will play their games or watch TV and I can sit in my recliner, get Netflix on the go, and chill out. And BAM, in one day I've entertained the kids AND got time for me. WIN!

Spend time together during the school holidays doing something you enjoy 

If you enjoy cooking you could get time doing something you love, as well as entertaining the kids during the school holidays.

LP has been asking me for ages if we could bake some cookies. I've been putting it off if I'm honest, I don't enjoy baking, it's not really my thing, but I told him I would and I really should. But if you are a baker, and enjoy it, it's the perfect way to get that time for yourself as well as keeping the kids busy.

When I bake/cook with LP I tend to have a recipe on my iPad, stood up where we can see it, and LP will read out the instructions and try to follow them. I'll be on hand to help if he needs it. Having the iPad to hand is really good, it means he can see instructions and doesn't need much help unless it's something particularly difficult. We chat while he does stuff and we both have fun. And then I have an excuse to sit and have a coffee later!

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Involve them in the cooking and they learn, then you get time to sit afterwards!
Having a stand for the iPad is really useful - head over to Menkind to find an awesome one available for £21.99!

But there's not just baking, it could be going for a walk or friend meet ups (meet up with other mums!), whatever it is you choose to do with them - use it as a bargaining chip. You do the thing, and then later you get to have a coffee in peace.

Get time for you during the school holidays by keeping the kids busy

Another way to get that time for you during the school holidays is to keep the kids busy. You could let them play their games, you could give them activity books or Lego to play with, or you could tell them to play outside. By keeping them busy or occupied you get to sit down, for at least 10 minutes (but hopefully longer) and do what makes you happy.

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Tipping out a box of lego and just letting them create is a great way of being able to drink a hot coffee while they're home!
Lego can keep them busy for hours!

When the boys play their games I tend to make myself a coffee and read a chapter of my book. If they're watching a movie I'll take some time to do some drawing. And if they're playing outside I know I don't have much time before they'll be coming inside complaining or fighting so I make myself a quick coffee and sit and watch them through the window. Each time I get to do something I love, and it's during the school holidays!

Forget your morning routine during the school holidays

Getting chores done, or even started some days, can be a bit of a pain during the school holidays. The kids get toys out, eat food all day, and generally make a mess - which makes your job that much harder.

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Messes can just pop up when the kids are home - give yourself a break!
There'll be the messes that just pop up, so why bother with the usual routine?

In term time I have a good morning routine that leaves me with the rest of the day to do the things I enjoy. But in the school holidays that morning routine doesn't work as well. I can't get the kitchen looking spotless in 10 minutes because the boys have used 1 billion glasses overnight and the dishwasher will need to go on 10 times before the kitchen is clear. Despite that though I do try to stick to a routine. So, if the boys have used all the glasses (and plates!) I fill the dishwasher to its capacity and then leave the rest. Yes, it means the kitchen isn't spotless, but it also means that there are clean glasses and plates, and the kitchen looks a little better. I don't have to get it perfect, after all the kids are home and I can't stop them from using things!

You don't have to make sure you do everything during the school holidays, like you do in term time. If you try you'll be working all day and end up with no time for you, so instead leave some cleaning for another day - or better still get the kids to help!

Get time for you by booking a Spa Day 

One way to guarantee you'll get some time for you during the school holidays is to book yourself a spa day. Yes, the cleaning won't get done and the kids will run riot while you're gone but you deserve a break and the Hubby can cope for one day at least - right?

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Spa days are brilliant, it's about time you spoiled yourself!
Aaand.... relax.

I love spa days - an entire day just for me doing what I love. The last time I visited Eden Hall I spent the day reading, drinking coffee, and best of all? Eating cake! I had a lovely massage, facial, and even had my nails done. It was very indulgent, but utterly heavenly. I always come home from Eden Hall very happy, and even if I have to cook dinner when I get home I am happy to do it. Getting an entire day for yourself, one where you don't have to think about anyone else at all, is freeing and you will feel 100% better.

Indulge in your hobbies during the school holidays

If you have a hobby, and it's one you could teach your kids, why not take the opportunity to teach them about it during the school holidays?

By teaching them about your hobby you're showing them something you enjoy doing but you're also giving them the chance to find a hobby too. You get to do the thing you love, you get to spend time with your kids, and perhaps even give them something to occupy them the next time they're off school!

Shopping is a bit of a relaxing hobby for me, which is sometimes troubling for the bank balance.

Rebecca Hall

I have a few hobbies, writing and drawing being a couple, and BP loves writing too. We'll spend time during school holidays going through some of his writing and editing to make it better. The last time we did that we spent hours talking about his writing and after editing he was really proud of what he'd come up with. It's so lovely to be able to pass on stuff like that and seeing him progress as well as take in what I'm saying is brilliant.

Step away from the phone

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | It's amazing how much time you lose when you spend all day scrolling!
Stop scrolling and use the time to make yourself a coffee!

We all know what a time suck social media is right? You start scrolling and before you know it 3 hours have passed and you've got nothing done. I do it in a morning and sometimes I forget the time and then have to rush around to get things done. So instead of spending hours staring at your phone and losing time, during these school holidays why not make a pact with yourself (and your kids) that you'll step away from the phone. You'll keep it in your pocket instead of in your palm. That way you may find that you have more time for yourself than you realised!

Enjoy evening drinks and time for you

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Have a good drink at the end of the day - this is your time, when they're in bed!
We do love a good bourbon!

When you have older kids - I'm talking 8+, after they've gone to bed your time is pretty much your own. You could even let them stay up a little later during the school holidays, but you still end up with a good chunk of time at the end of the day for you.

My boys are 10 and 14 and in term time they go to bed at 8pm and 9pm. During school holidays we let them stay up a little later, after all there's not really any reason they can't stay up. So in the holidays their bedtimes are 8:30pm and 10pm - LP only gets an extra 30 minutes because he's younger and still needs a nice long sleep. BP loves the school holidays because he gets to stay in bed in a morning!

But anyway, back to my point - your evenings are yours. Once the kids are in bed and the house has settled down you can sit down and enjoy the time. How do I do that? With evening drinks. The Hubby and I love to drink bourbon and coke from our favourite glasses while watching House of Cards, or a movie on Netflix. We get to sit together, enjoy a good drink, and chill out - and we know the kids will stay in bed.

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | A lovely glass of bourbon to enjoy in the evening!
Bring on the bourbon!

Once your kids are in bed and settled why not check out Netflix and choose a movie, then settle down with a glass of your favourite drink and relax. The rest of the chores can wait until tomorrow!

Getting time for yourself during the school holidays can seem impossible, but if you put the right things in place, and forget about the chores for a while, you can enjoy that hot coffee or even read a book!

How will you get time for you during the school holidays?

Don't forget you can grab the Fun with AniPals activity book - it'll keep your kids busy for a while so you can enjoy a hot coffee!

Shank You Very Much