The Ultimate 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Tired Moms

Finding time for yourself can be difficult as a mom, so that’s why we’ve designed this awesome 30-day self-care challenge!

It may not come as a huge surprise, but here’s the truth about moms and self-care: We aren’t good at it. 

In fact, a recent survey conducted by Healthy Women and Working Mother magazine revealed that 78% of women say they put off their own self-care because they’re so busy taking care of others. 

Actually, here’s how moms ranked their priorities when it comes to taking care of the health needs of people around them: 

  1. Children
  2. Pets
  3. Elderly relatives
  4. Spouse or significant other
  5. Themselves

It’s sad but true that we rank our health and well-being as less important than that of the family dog. Ouch, huh?

Why self-care is so important

Emma Bennett, LCSW, who specializes in working with new moms, told Good Housekeeping that:

“Self-care is a necessity, not an indulgence. We need to nurture ourselves just like we nurture our children. If we don’t take care of ourselves, feelings of depletion, resentment, and isolation could potentially arise.”

Amen to that!

We’ve definitely felt ALL of those things (depletion, resentment, and isolation) here at Jen Bradley|MOMs and we’re willing to bet you probably have too! 

If self-care is something you’ve felt guilty doing in the past, remember: “self-care is a necessity, not an indulgence.” 

The familiar saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup” is especially true in motherhood. 

And the opposite is also true: When you have a full cup, you have something to pour.

Taking time for yourself and your needs really does mean that you will be a better mom for your kids!

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Self-care for moms needs planning

One of the trickiest things about self-care is that it doesn’t just happen by accident. 

According to research, the average mom reports only getting about 17 minutes of unscheduled “me time” every day.

Instead of waiting for self-care time to fall into our laps, we need to plan and prepare for it!

This is why we feel so passionate and excited to share this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Moms with you! We’ve done all the work – all you need to do is download and print out the Challenge from our Free Printable Library and you’ll be all set! 

How the 30-Day Self-Care challenge works

You can start the 30-day self-care challenge at any time – it doesn’t have to be the start of a new month. 

The entire challenge is undated, so you can enter your own dates into the blanks and do the self-care challenges in any order you like. 

Additionally, if any of these ideas don’t feel like self-care for you, they can easily be substituted with something that you would enjoy more. 

The goal of the challenge is to do just ONE act of self-care every day for the next 30 days. 

Okay, keep reading to see each of the daily self-care challenges below! 

The 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Moms

Day 1: Write a thank you note

According to Forbes, developing an “attitude of gratitude is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.”

Choose someone in your life who has helped you lately, or who has made a positive impact on your life, and let them know how thankful you are for them! 

You can write a simple thank you text or grab an old-fashioned notecard, pen, and a stamp and send your thanks through the mail. 

Day 2: Take a micro-nap

Why a micro-nap and not a long nap, you ask? Because sleep experts interviewed for The Wall Street Journal shared that a 10-20 minute nap is actually the best length for someone who seeks to build alertness. 

Plus, let’s admit it, a 10-20 minute nap is a lot more feasible for moms, right?

woman taking a nap

Day 3: Watch something funny

You’ve heard the phrase that laughter is the best medicine. But the cool thing is that science actually supports this! Laughter can help your muscles to relax, boost your immune system, and even burn calories!

So pull up your favorite comedian on YouTube or re-watch your favorite episode of Friends or The Office and have a good laugh! 

Day 4: Read a favorite book for 20 minutes

Grab a cup of tea, curl up in your favorite comfy chair, and read for 20 minutes. (If you end up taking a micro-nap instead, that’s okay!)

reading for pleasure

Day 5: Drink 80 oz. of water

Staying hydrated is essential for proper body functioning, but it also helps to improve sleep quality and our overall mood! 

Experts recommend that women drink 11 cups of water per day! 

If plain water isn’t your favorite, try infusing it with different yummy fruits, such as strawberry or citrus.

Day 6: Listen to an uplifting podcast or audiobook

Listening to a podcast or audiobook can be one of the easiest forms of self-care, because you can do something for yourself while you do other simple tasks, such as folding the laundry, getting ready for the day, working out, or driving around town. 

When you are feeding your mind, these chores can seem much less mundane!

Day 7: Wake up 30 minutes before your kids

If you’re a night owl, waking up before your kids may sound like the opposite of self-care for moms. 

But think of how relaxing it could be to not have to wake up to demands for breakfast from all of your tiny humans! 

In fact, a great idea would be to choose another idea from the 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Moms and do that during your extra 30 minutes! 

Related article: How to Wake Up Early and Not Be Tired

Day 8: Try a new beauty product 

While some people feel that self-care focused on our appearance isn’t true self-care, we disagree. 

Feeling good about your body can help you feel more confident, and confidence is something all moms need. 

So try a new beauty product today! Here are a few of our recent favorites that won’t break the bank:

beauty product for self-care challenge

Day 9: Call an old friend

Take some time today to connect with an old friend via phone call, FaceTime, or whatever works best for you!

Day 10: Try a new herbal tea

Day 11: Repeat 5 positive affirmations

If you’ve never tried positive affirmations before or if you’ve fallen out of the habit, today is a great day to start! 

Stand in front of a mirror and say these statements out loud:

  1. I am enough, just as I am now. 
  2. I am worthy of love and affection.
  3. I am strong and capable. 
  4. I appreciate my body. 
  5. I am thankful to be me.

Research confirms that while positive affirmations aren’t a magic formula, they can help you to see yourself more positively and motivate you to act towards positive changes. 

Day 12: Take yourself to lunch

It might seem strange to go to lunch by yourself, but it can be a great time to enjoy being alone, eating whatever you want, at your own pace! 

If going to lunch by yourself isn’t feasible, try going for a walk around your neighborhood by yourself instead. 

Day 13: Declutter your purse/handbag/diaper bag/car

Numerous scientific studies have found a direct positive connection between mental health and a decluttered environment. 

While decluttering your entire home isn’t going to happen in one day, take some time today to declutter your handbag, diaper bag, or even your car! 

This will help you to feel so much more put together the next time you leave the house!

Day 14: Write down 5 things you are thankful for

Grab a notebook and write down 5 specific things you are thankful for today! You can do this in the morning when you first wake up, or just before you turn out the lights. 

Remember, the power of gratitude is real!

Related article: The 30-Day Gratitude Challenge for Moms

Day 15: Try a new exercise regimen

There’s no need to start an expensive gym membership today or create an elaborate workout plan. Instead, try a new type of exercise that you’ve never tried before! (Barre is our new current favorite!)

You can find almost endless options for workout videos on YouTube! 

at-home workout

Day 16: Color in a coloring book

Over the past several years, adult coloring has definitely become a huge thing. Clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, PsyD, says: 

“Adult coloring requires modest attention focused outside of self-awareness. It’s a simple activity that takes us outside ourselves in the same way [that] cutting the lawn, knitting, or taking a Sunday drive can all be relaxing.”

Whether you choose a complex mandala, a pretty phrase to color or you borrow your kids’ coloring book, grab some colored pencils and create something lovely!

Day 17: Take the day off of social media

Did you know that studies show that using Facebook makes us less happy? And that the more we use social media, the more socially isolated we feel? 

Taking at least one day off of social media can be a fantastic form of self-care for moms everywhere! 

Day 18: Sit outside and observe nature

Find a quiet spot outside and just listen for a few minutes. Do you hear birds chirping? The breeze blowing? Do you feel the sun warming your arms? 

Even if you only have five minutes, let yourself be fully present to take in the sights, smells, sounds, and feelings you experience. 

Day 19: Start a new morning routine

One wise friend told me years ago, “If you can conquer your mornings, it doesn’t matter what happens during the rest of the day!” And she was so right. 

Think about what you want to do in the morning but usually don’t have time to do – and write out a morning routine that includes that behavior! 

Related article: How to Create the Best Daily Schedule for Stay-at-Home Moms

Day 20: Meditate

Meditation can be a wonderful form of self-care! 

There are tons of resources to help you learn to meditate: YouTube videos, apps such as Headspace, and meditation playlists on iTunes. 

Choose a resource and spend 5-10 minutes meditating today. 

meditation is a great form of self-care

Day 21: Get a haircut

Of all the activities in this 30-day Self-Care Challenge for Moms, getting a haircut is the one that probably requires the most planning! (And just so we’re clear, this isn’t a recommendation to cut bangs into your hair!) 

But a trip to the salon for a new haircut (even if it’s just a trim!) can make you feel like a million bucks! 

Day 22: Have a brain dump

Sometimes you might feel like you have more going on in your mind than you can handle at once.

That’s why having a good brain dump session is an essential part of this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge! 

Simply grab a piece of paper or a journal and write down all the thoughts you have swirling through your mind. Getting them out and onto a piece of paper can really help to clear your mind and feel less stressed, according to health coach Micah McGuire

take time to try a brain dump

Day 23: Practice 4-7-8 breathing

What is 4-7-8 breathing? This is a simple breathing technique where you draw in your breath through the nose for a count of 4, hold it in for 7 seconds, and breathe it out through the mouth for 8 seconds. 

This type of measured breathing is believed to help curb nervousness, stress, and anxiety. 

You’ll want to practice 4-7-8 breathing several times in a row, a few times throughout the day for it to have a helpful effect!

Day 24: Enjoy a warm bath – or shower

This is the quintessential form of self-care for a reason! Draw a warm bath, or cue up a hot shower, and let yourself soak for at least 15 minutes. 

warm bath or shower

Day 25: Have a personal dance party

You can have a personal dance party totally by yourself, or you can always include your kids! Pump up the jams and let yourself bust a move like you haven’t in years! 

Dancing releases all of the happiness hormones your brain can produce, so turn up the volume and enjoy a fabulous pick-me-up!

Day 26: Try a new face mask

When you wash your face at the end of the day, take some extra time to try a rejuvenating face mask. 

Here are a few we love right now:

Day 27: Give yourself a mani/pedi

While going to the salon for a manicure or pedicure may be your preference (and if you can, definitely do!), but if you prefer to stay home or want to save a little money, giving yourself a manicure or pedicure can be a great way to perform a little self-care. 

This mani/pedi set from Amazon is a great way to get started!

give yourself a manicure

Day 28: Give up sugar for the day

Giving up sugar may not seem like self-care, but it actually is! According to several medical doctors, “excess sugar impairs both our cognitive skills and our self-control. For many people, having a little sugar stimulates a craving for more. Sugar has drug-like effects in the reward center of the brain.”

In the case of sugar, you can definitely have too much of a “good” thing, so give yourself a break from sugar today!

Day 29: Start a bedtime routine

While many people develop a morning routine, having a nighttime routine is a great way to give yourself some daily self-care and set yourself up for a good night’s sleep! 

Some things you might consider adding to your bedtime routine are: 

  • following a skin-care regimen
  • turning off screens 1 hour before bed
  • writing out your schedule for tomorrow
  • journaling
  • recording 5 things you are thankful for
  • setting out your clothes for the next day

Day 30: Spend 30 minutes doing your hobby

Has anyone ever asked you what your hobbies are and you didn’t know what to say? Hello, #momlife. 

Block out 30 minutes today to re-engage with your hobby and remember that you do have interests outside of your children! 

Pin the image below to come back to these ideas in the future!

self-care pin 2

More great ideas for self-care

At Jen Bradley|MOMS we recognize and celebrate that every mom is unique, and we may all have vastly different circumstances. 

If some of the activities in the 30-day Self-Care Challenge for Moms don’t suit your fancy, that’s perfectly fine! 

Feel free to switch them out as needed. 

Here’s a list of 20+ more ideas for self-care that you might enjoy: 

  • Stretch
  • Go to lunch with a friend
  • Set an earlier bedtime
  • Do some yoga
  • Give yourself a mini-massage
  • Try using a sleep mask
  • Buy a new pillow
  • Practice 8-count breathing
  • Go to the library
  • Visit the Farmer’s Market
  • Cuddle with your kids or partner
  • Use blue-light blocking glasses
  • Do a small act of service for a friend
  • Have a “no alarm” morning
  • Take care of your shoes
  • Clean your makeup brushes
  • Start taking a daily multivitamin for women (call your doctor first!)
  • Declutter a drawer in your home
  • Plant some flowers
  • Buy a new notebook and pens
  • Eat clean all day
  • Get a massage

What do to do after the 30-day self-care challenge for moms

Once you’ve finished this 30-day self-care challenge for moms, it’s a great idea to choose your very favorite self-care activities and make it a daily habit! 

While many people believe it takes 3 weeks to create a habit, the reality is that it takes about 66 days for a habit to be fully formed. 

So as part of the 30-day self-care challenge Free Printable, you’ll also get a long-term habit-tracker to help you turn two of your favorite self-care activities into real habits! 

Why only two? Because it’s important not to overwhelm yourself with too many changes at once. When we try to do too much, the likelihood that nothing will stick is very high. 

After you get your first two self-care habits in place, you can definitely add more! 

Final thoughts about the 30-day self-care challenge for moms

Are you feeing motivated to try a 30-day self-care challenge? Remember, you don’t have to do everything on the list or go in any particular order.

And if you miss a day or two, that’s okay! Just hop right back in when you can.

The most important thing is that you start to see how you can incorporate small acts of self-care into your daily mom life and keep your cup full!

Don’t forget to download the free 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Moms from our Printable Library before you go!

Related articles about self-care for moms:

20 Easy Ways to Avoid Mommy Burnout

How to Actually Say Good-bye to Mom Guilt

50 Beautiful and Inspirational Quotes about Mothers

13 Cringeworthy Mom Fails That Will Help You Feel Better About Mom Life

Have you ever tried a 30-day self-care challenge before?


Pin the image below to return to this post in the future!

self-care challenge pin
The Ultimate 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Tired MomsThe Ultimate 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Tired MomsThe Ultimate 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Tired MomsThe Ultimate 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Tired MomsThe Ultimate 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Tired Moms

Jen Bradley, the founder of Jen Bradley|MOMs

Hi there! I’m Jen and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a mom who believes that meaningful connections with our families can happen in small and simple ways. Read More …


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