Working Moms

20 Practical Self-Care Strategies for Busy Working Moms at Home

Working moms, raise your hand if you’re running on fumes most days. According to surveys, the majority of us put family needs first while having zero work-life balance. No wonder so many feel exhausted and overwhelmed operating in constant survival mode!

When you’re juggling office demands, mom duties, and household responsibilities 24/7, self-care usually gets sacrificed. But the hard truth is, if you don’t prioritize your own well-being, you’ll have no energy to give anyone else. That’s when the burnout, resentment, and guilt spiral hits hard.

What busy working moms at home need are practical self-care strategies that are feasible for our crazy lives. Not lofty ideas that add more stress – but real, sustainable habits we can actually incorporate. This guide breaks down 20 such tips to help overwhelmed mothers avoid burnout through small, functional wins.

Read More: Stay at Home Mom to Working Mom Transition: Everything You Need to Know 

Here Are the 20 Self-Care Strategies for Busy Working Moms at Home

  1. Set Boundaries
  2. Delegate Tasks
  3. Short Meditation Sessions
  4. Regular Exercise
  5. Quality Time with Children
  6. Healthy Eating Habits
  7. Adequate Sleep
  8. Pamper Yourself
  9. Stay Connected
  10. Mindfulness Practices
  11. Time Management Tools
  12. Professional Help if Needed
  13. Educational Screen Time for Kids
  14. Stay Hydrated
  15. Learn to Say No
  16. Practice Gratitude
  17. Relaxing Evening Routine
  18. Limit Social Media
  19. Personal Development
  20. Journaling

1. Set Boundaries

self care strategies for busy working moms at home

As a working mom, it’s easy to feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once with everyone’s needs coming before your own. One of the most crucial self-care strategies? Setting clear boundaries – and sticking to them.

Dr. Rebecca Ray, a clinical psychologist, explains,

“Boundary setting is really about prioritizing your feelings, needs, and priorities. It allows you to give your time and energy in a way that leaves you feeling fulfilled rather than resentful or depleted.”

Maybe your boundary is a strict 8pm work curfew so you have family time in the evenings. Perhaps it’s not responding to any work messages between 6-8am while getting kids ready. Or designating one hour daily completely free of chores or screens.

Get specific about what you need, communicate those boundaries firmly with your family and colleagues, and be prepared to enforce them consistently. Having structured “you” time frees up mental bandwidth and creates space for self-care.

Read More: 15 Effective Time Management Hacks for Working Moms To Maximize Your Day

2. Delegate Tasks

Trying to do everything yourself is a surefire path to burnout for working mothers. To protect your sanity, delegate any household tasks or chores you can to family members, schedule permitting.

Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert, says,

“By delegating low-priority tasks, you free up time to focus on high-priority activities that move the needle. Delegating gives you breathing room in your schedule.”

Older kids can handle age-appropriate jobs like doing their own laundry, packing lunches, or cleaning bathrooms. Spouses or partners should be carrying an equal load around the house. And don’t be afraid to outsource services where it makes sense – groceries, housecleaning, lawn care, etc.

Taking things off your plate and dividing up duties more equitably is huge for reducing stress and making self-care routines possible.

Read More: 20 Proven Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder (with Real-life Examples)

3. Short Meditation Sessions

self care strategies for busy working moms at home

When your working mom life is a chaotic whirlwind, the thought of meditating for extended periods can seem laughable. Who has time for that? Instead, incorporate just 5-10 minute meditation sessions whenever you can.

Meditation coach Emily Fletcher states,

“Mini-meditation sessions help settle your mind, calm your body, and reset your stress response throughout the day. Taking small breaks returns you to your natural state of relaxation.”

Maybe you squeeze in five mindful minutes during your morning skincare routine or while waiting for that conference call to start. Or you hit the pause button for a relaxing breathing exercise between checking off to-do list items.

These bite-sized pockets of presence and stillness amidst the pandemonium work amazingly to hit the reset button and cultivate inner peace. No strict time commitments needed – just short bursts you can actually stick to.

4. Regular Exercise

When you’re a busy working mother, regular exercise often falls by the wayside. But making time for physical activity is crucial for both your mental and physical self-care.

Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, remarks,

“Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your mood, boost energy levels, and protect yourself from many chronic diseases. It’s really a necessity, not a luxury, for busy moms.”

The key is finding a sustainable routine you actually enjoy and can stick to consistently. Maybe it’s going for walks during your lunch break or signing up for a mom-and-baby yoga class. Dusting off that neglected bike for weekend family rides or streaming a 20-minute bodyweight workout at home while dinner is in the oven.

The “what” doesn’t matter as much as making it non-negotiable in your weekly schedule. Blocking off dedicated times ensures exercise becomes a habitual self-care priority in your motherhood journey rather than an occasional afterthought.

5. Quality Time with Children

self care strategies for busy working moms at home

Ironic as it sounds, one of the best forms of self-care for working moms is quality, engaged time with your kids. No phones, no multitasking – just soaking up memorable moments together.

Christine Carter, a sociologist, observes,

“The birth of a child is one of the most transformative and profound experiences of adult life. Yet many busy mothers end up feeling disconnected from the joy they felt.”

Whether it’s a pre-bedtime snuggle and chat session or a Saturday morning pancake tradition, those intentional pockets of undivided attention benefit you as much as them. You’ll create lasting bonds, instill your family values, and fill up your own cup with all those sweet smiles and belly laughs.

So turn off those work notifications, get on their eye level, and revel in their curiosity and excitement for a little while. Presence is one of the greatest gifts a busy mother can give.

6. Healthy Eating Habits

With their never-ending to-do lists, working moms are notorious for putting their own nutritional needs last. From skipped breakfasts to vending machine runs, unhealthy eating patterns only feed into your fatigue and stress.

Dr. Susan Brickman advises,

“Food is our primary source of energy and nourishment. When you eat well, you’ll have more stamina and focus as a busy mother juggling multiple roles.”

The good news? Establishing better eating habits doesn’t require herculean efforts or complex meal prep. Start simple by drinking more water, keeping easy snacks like nuts or fruits on hand, and planning out one nutritious family dinner each week.

Swapping out those sugary treats for energy-boosting snacks and making time for regular sit-down meals whenever possible restores depleted resources. A self-care basic that’s essential for working mothers’ physical and mental performance.

7. Adequate Sleep

self care strategies for busy working moms at home

They call it “beauty sleep” for a reason – adequate rest is crucial for a working mom’s self-care. Yet so many of us sacrifice sleep in an effort to power through our overwhelming schedules.

Dr. Michael Breus, a sleep specialist, emphasizes,

“A lack of sleep impacts everything – your mood, energy levels, productivity, you name it. Busy moms need to make time for self-care by prioritizing consistent, quality sleep.”

Aim for 7-9 hours per night whenever possible. Establish a relaxing pre-bed routine like taking a bath or reading something enjoyable. Keep screens out of the bedroom, and avoid caffeine too close to bedtime. Getting enough restorative rest improves your focus, decision-making, and overall functioning as a busy working mother.

It may mean waking up a little earlier in the morning before the chaos starts. But making time for self-care with adequate sleep allows you to be fully present and patient rather than running on fumes all day.

8. Pamper Yourself

Working motherhood can feel like a relentless cycle of putting everyone else first constantly. That’s why one of the most rejuvenating self-care tips for busy moms? Pamper yourself regularly, even in small ways.

David Schwartz, LMFT, says,

“It is not selfish to take care of yourself. It is a necessity. The good news is, the more time you spend taking care of yourself and recharging your own batteries, the more positive energy you will have to give to your child.” 

Set a standing hair or mani/pedi appointment. Draw a warm bath and queue up your favorite podcast. Buy yourself fresh flowers for your home office. Indulge in a face mask during your wind-down routine.

The pampering possibilities are endless! Carving out dedicated “me” time, even if it’s just 30 minutes on the weekend, helps restore your sense of identity beyond “working mom.” Little luxuries remind you to also prioritize your own needs and desires occasionally.

9. Stay Connected

self care strategies for busy working moms at home

Being a working mother can feel extremely isolating at times. You’re juggling ferocious demands from both the office and home fronts, with little time for outside socialization. That’s why supportive relationships are so vital for self-care.

Sociologist Shasta Nelson says,

“We all need to feel understood, affirmed, and validated by others in our village. Nurturing your support system staves off loneliness and creates resilience.”

Schedule regular phone, video, or in-person check-ins with fellow working mom friends who just “get it.” Join an online community or support group where you can openly vent. Or prioritize regular date nights with your partner to reconnect.

Having this constructive social outlet allows you to speak freely about the unique stresses of your situation without judgment. The encouragement and empathy from others remind you you’re not alone on this journey. Staying connected is self-care for a busy mom’s mental health.

Read More: “I Feel Like I Don’t Connect With Anyone Anymore” — Why Do You Experience This?  

10. Mindfulness Practices

When the working mom whirlwind leaves you feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, mindfulness practices are one of the most grounding self-care tips for moms. Taking a pause to be fully present calms both mind and body.

Psychologist Shauna Shapiro explains,

“Mindfulness allows you to get out of your head and re-engage with the world around you. It reduces stress, increases focus, and cultivates patience – major pluses for busy mothers.”

You don’t have to sit cross-legged for hours, either. Some simple ways to practice self-care through mindfulness:

  • Eat one meal per day without distractions, savoring each bite
  • Take a mindful walk around the block, noting sights/sounds/smells
  • Do a body scan by breathing deeply while tensing and releasing muscles
  • Practice belly breathing when you start feeling frazzled
  • Use wait times for short mindful meditations

By default, motherhood often has us operating on autopilot. Mindfulness self-care routines create little pockets of presence throughout the chaos. You’ll feel more centered, appreciative, and intentional as a busy working mom.

11. Time Management Tools

For working mothers, using productivity tools is one of the most practical ways to practice self-care. When you’re more organized and efficiently managing your time, it reduces stress and frustration.

Time coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders notes,

“Time management is really self-management. The better you can control your schedule and workload, the more breathing room you create for other self-care habits.”

Take advantage of apps like calendar sharing with your partner, to-do list managers, meal planning subscriptions, and auto-paying bills. Use a central organization hub like a bullet journal or command center to keep everyone’s moving parts straight. And schedule recurring self-care appointments on your calendar just like any other commitment.

The right time management tools essentially multiply your most precious resource as a busy working mom – allowing you to actually follow through on self-care.

Read More: Top Strategies for Prioritization and Time Management at Work

12. Professional Help if Needed

self care strategies for busy working moms at home

On the rockiest of working mom days, sometimes the greatest act of self-care is asking for professional help. There’s no badge of honor in struggling alone – investing in your mental health aids the entire family.

Therapist Amy Nasamran says,

“Having an outside perspective can provide immense relief. A counselor helps reframe situations, manage stress and emotions, and gives you a judgment-free zone.”

From monthly massages to treat physical tension to remote teletherapy sessions, don’t hesitate to use self-care services. Hire a career coach if you’re feeling unfulfilled professionally. Enlist household support like a mother’s helper or cleaning company. Take a yoga class for the mind-body benefits.

Prioritizing your well-being through expert assistance frees up invaluable time and energy. It’s an act of love toward yourself and those counting on you.

13. Educational Screen Time for Kids

As a working mom, you’ve probably experienced guilt over allowing screen time for your kids. But intentional, educational screen time can actually be a powerful tool for self-care when used wisely.

Dr. Georgene Troseth of Vanderbilt University’s Children’s Media Lab says,

“Quality programming provides crucial brain breaks for mothers juggling multiple responsibilities. The key is being selective about content.”

Seek out age-appropriate, educational apps that teach skills like reading, math, and problem-solving through interactive games and videos. Many libraries and subscriptions offer free resources like e-books, language lessons, virtual museum tours, and more.

By striving for a balance – not allowing mindless, unlimited screen time but still using it as a strategic break – you free up pockets for self-care pursuits. Read, exercise, or simply spend 30 minutes relaxing solo while your child’s engrossed in an enriching, age-appropriate activity.

Don’t feel guilty about utilizing this powerful parenting and self-care tool in moderation. Just be vigilant about quality over quantity.

14. Stay Hydrated

self care strategies for busy working moms at home

It may seem simplistic, but one of the most impactful self-care tips for busy moms? Drink enough water daily. Proper hydration boosts energy levels, flushes toxins, improves focus and concentration – everything you need to operate at your best.

Dr. Jeffrey Utz of Allegheny Health Network explains,

“By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. For optimal health and productivity, make hydration an all-day priority.”

An easy habit is carrying a reusable water bottle with you everywhere and taking sips frequently throughout the day. If you struggle remembering, set smartphone reminders or app trackers to aim for your target ounce count.

You can even ask for help by having kids give them a full bottle before school to finish by pickup. Making this simple nutritional tweak offers huge self-care returns for your working mom life.

15. Learn to Say No

One of the most powerful yet underutilized self-care tools for working mothers? A single word: “No.”

“Women have been socially conditioned to say ‘yes’ to please others far too often. But that people-pleasing takes an immense mental and physical toll when you become overcommitted,” notes therapist Kathleen Smith.

Whether it’s staying late at the office, volunteering for that fundraiser, or hosting houseguests, if an ask doesn’t align with your highest priorities, feel empowered to decline politely but firmly. Guarding your boundaries and limited free time is self-care.

You can say “No, I’m overcommitted right now.” Or “No, but I could do X instead.” Start small if it’s difficult – even saying “Let me think about it” rather than an automatic yes buys you reflection time. Protect your energy for what truly matters most.

Read More: How to Be Assertive at Work as a Manager – 20 Examples to Master

16. Practice Gratitude

self care strategies for busy working moms at home

When the working mom grind has you feeling depleted and negative, one of the most uplifting self-care tips is practicing gratitude regularly. Taking stock of the positive helps reshape your mindset.

“Gratitude is a powerful tool for increasing well-being and life satisfaction. It promotes the savoring of positive life experiences,” says Dr. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher.

Each morning, reflect on 3-5 things you’re grateful for, big or small – a roof over your head, a funny kid moment, good physical health. Keep a gratitude journal documenting uplifting daily events. Or go around the dinner table having everyone share a “rose and thorn” from their day.

Intentionally focusing your lens on the positive nurtures resilience and perseverance as a busy mother. You’ll be better equipped to prioritize self-care when you counterbalance stress with appreciation for the bright spots.

17. Relaxing Evening Routine

The key to seamlessly transitioning from “working mom” mode to “self-care” mode? Establish an unwinding routine that signals the workday is over. Use cues to put boundaries between those dual roles.

“Having a scheduled wind-down ritual is vital for reducing stress and recalibrating work-life harmony. It allows you to symbolically reboot before reentering your home life,” explains Dr. Samantha Harris, psychologist.

Perhaps you take 15 minutes after walking in the door to change into comfy clothes, do some light stretching, and make a cup of herbal tea. Play soft music and light a scented candle while prepping dinner. Take a warm bath or read a few chapters of fiction to shift gears.

Whatever practice works for you, dedicating some nightly “me time” for self-care routines creates space between your obligations and personal life. You’ll feel refreshed and present rather than bringing workday stresses into the home.

18. Limit Social Media


While social platforms can promote community for working moms, unchecked social media consumption is the antithesis of self-care. Be intentional about limiting your exposure for your mental health.

“Social media can trigger insecurity and comparison traps that erode self-worth. It’s crucial to be self-aware of how different online activities impact your mood,” explains researcher Dr. David Bickham.

Do a social media audit – are certain people, topics, or accounts leaving you stressed or inadequate? Mute or unfollow feeds that don’t serve your self-care. Use website blockers during work hours if you’re prone to mindless scrolling. And establish tech-free time periods like during family meals.

You can even temporarily deactivate accounts if needed for a social media reset. The goal is to be more conscious about avoiding mindless negative loops that sap time and diminish your well-being. Reclaiming control over your online habits prioritizes self-care.

19. Personal Development

For the working mom with a perpetually busy schedule, pursuing personal growth and skill development is an often overlooked yet impactful form of self-care. Nurturing your interests outside of work and parenting roles pays huge dividends.

“Engaging in activities that allow you to learn and progress creates a sense of meaning and vitality. It’s an uplifting counterpoint to the monotony of routine,” notes psychiatrist Samantha Boardman, MD.

Maybe you’ve been wanting to learn a new language, instrument, or artistic hobby. Or you’re drawn to take an academic course on a fascinating topic. Attending workshops and conferences expands your knowledge. Even reading books and listening to podcasts on subjects you’re passionate about count.

The key is intentionally prioritizing personal development amidst your career and family obligations. Consistently feeding this part of your identity reminds you that you’re still a multifaceted individual beyond “working mom.” It’s self-care that nourishes your mind, perspective, and sense of purpose.

20. Journaling

self care strategies for busy working moms at home

For working moms, upheaval and stress are par for the course. One of the most therapeutic self-care practices is giving your bottled emotions an outlet through journaling.

“Journaling allows you to gain clarity by exploring your innermost thoughts and feelings on paper. It provides a window into your own mind, helping identify patterns and process experiences in a deeper way,” says Dr. Tasha Eurich, psychologist and author.

From weekly brain-dumps to prompted gratitude journals to artistic visual diaries, find a journaling medium that resonates. Don’t worry about perfection or centering every entry – let it be an uncensored stream of consciousness. Getting thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper provides immense catharsis.

Journaling also allows you to celebrate small wins, process anxieties, and record perspective shifts as a busy working mom. It’s a self-care technique enabling deeper self-understanding and growth amid the chaos. Pick up that pen and allow yourself to be heard.


Let’s be real – as a busy working mom, putting yourself last has practically become a way of life. With endless demands from work, family, and the house, how are you supposed to find breathing room for self-care?

Here’s the truth: Those little pockets of nurturing yourself aren’t luxuries, they’re absolutely necessary for your mental and physical health. You can’t show up as a focused parent or productive employee while running on fumes constantly.

The 20 self-care strategies for busy working moms at home packed into this guide are designed for the reality of your hectic schedule. From micro-moves like mindfulness habits to bigger acts like enforcing firm boundaries, these are practical tips any overwhelmed mom can actually incorporate into the daily pandemonium.

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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