Self Care Tips for the Busy Woman

We’ve been having some genuinely cold weather for the past week or so (well, cold is relative, but it’s cold for San Diego),  so I want to ask you to help me brainstorm on ways to keep active and feeling good while chills and rainy weather keep us inside.

I’ve also got two small children (a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl,) so anything that also keeps them entertained is a real winner in my book. Below are some of the ways I’ve found to “beat the holiday blues.” Some cost money, some cost nothing at all. A little quality self care never hurt anybody (but it sure can help!)

Take a Long Walk

This is the trick I use daily to get the wiggles out, both for myself and for my kids. As a work-from-home mom, I find myself sitting and writing for hours at a time without a break. Then I realize that my two pups are starting to get fussy, and when the kids are home, they’re bored. So, out the door we go! We’ve got a nice park two blocks away, so we usually head in that direction. 10-15 minutes outside, and my head is clear and I’m able to focus again on work.

Spend the Day at Yu Spa

If you haven’t tried the coolest Korean day spa on Convoy, you are missing out! For $30, you can spend the entire day at Yu Spa soaking in the hot tub, going between the dry and wet saunas, and trying out the red clay and Himalayan salt rooms. Sip some hot tea and grab a meal at the cafe in front. If you’re feeling a little fancy, try the scrub and massage combos. The cost of these services includes full admission to the spa.

Fair warning: The women and men-only sections of this spa are fully nude. If you get nervous or uncomfortable with nudity, there is a whole lot of it here. But to be honest, everyone is trying to relax. No one will pay you any mind as you stroll around with your beautiful bits on display. 

Plan a Family Game Night

This is probably my son’s favorite suggestion on the list. He’s obsessed with Battleship. We also break out the Go Fish game and Mr. Bucket, and good old Memory Game cards. Here are some other wonderful options for a family game night.

Book an Affordable Massage

Every once in a while, you deserve an hour of silence while a delightful stranger gets all of those knots out of your shoulders. Here locally, Massage Eden and Happy Head are two of my favorite affordable massage spots. You can also invest in a 6-month subscription at other places to get discounts on treatments, or to make things even easier, get a masseuse who comes to you!

Plan a Family Movie Night

This is another habit on repeat for the Gaghagen family. It usually involves Star Wars, popcorn, and hot chocolate, although with little sister’s input the options are becoming more varied. Between Netflix and Amazon Prime, we never have to pay extra money to find a fantastic kid-friendly movie. Our current favorites are Moana, Cars 3, Coco, Despicable Me 3 and the Emoji Movie.

Get a Facial

Ah, sheer bliss. If you’ve gotten a facial before, you know how incredible it can be to have your skin massaged, cleansed, deep-cleaned and exfoliated before it is infused with deliciously scented creams. If you haven’t had one before, I recommend booking a one-hour custom facial so that the esthetician can attend to your specific concerns. You can opt for add-ons like microdermabrasion and peels to really tighten those pores and drop years from your skin. My personal favorites for facials here in town are Jezebelle Skin Solutionsand Beauty by Hannah Lebron.T

Create an At-Home Kids Spa Day

This is silly fun for kids of all ages. Lay down towels and put out your overripe bananas and the last honey out of the bottle. Slather it on faces and hair and let it sit while you put cucumbers on your eyelids. The kiddos will feel very silly and very grown up all at the same time. If you really want to get ahead of the mess, apply everything in the bathtub during a bath. Easy peasy!

Book an Impromptu Overnight Trip

We love using sites like Groupon and LivingSocial to surprise the kids with an overnight getaway. Legoland, Knotts Berry Farm, Julian, Lake Cuyamaca, Ensenada, Rosarito, Long Beach, etc. They are all doable with a little planning.

unsplash image of family

Get Your Nails Done

Has it been a while since you treated yourself to some beautiful nails? I tend to take care of my own hands, but I’ll never pass up a bomb pedicure. And heck yes, I want the hot wax and the scrub and the extra massage and the… what were we talking about?

Make Glitter Slime

Slime isn’t just for kids. I actually think it’s super soothing and fun, and when my children make it, I usually end up stealing it. You probably already have the three ingredients:

  • 1/2 TBSP baking soda
  • 1 1/2 TBSP contact lens solution
  • 6 fl oz Elmer’s Glitter Glue

Mix the three together until it sticks and forms that signature slimy texture. In a Ziploc bag, it’ll keep for weeks!

Run a Decadent Bath

When is the last time you actually used your bathtub for yourself? Run the hot water, and grab some Epsom salts and a divine combo of your favorite essential oils. Put your favorite book and a glass of wine on the side, and place a small towel behind your head so that you’ll be uber comfortable. Ditch your hangups with your body and appreciate its softness, suppleness, and strength as Daddy puts the kiddos to bed. Oh—noise-canceling headphones are also fab.

Get a Blowout

The DryBar started a revolution; for prices beginning at $49, someone else will wash your hair, blow it out and style it as you please. Updo? Braid? Done. And if your daughter wants to come along, the Shirley Temple allows them to get their own blowout for just $35. It also makes an affordable birthday gift! (Shirley Temple is for girls 10 and under.)

Photo Credit: The Daily Beast

Do a Kick-Ass Workout

Here’s my final free idea: Get a workout in. Whether yoga or Pilates invigorates you, or a good Spin session leaves you pumped, those endorphins get a crazy boost with just 20-30 minutes of exercise. Personally, I love weightlifting. It makes me feel strong and unstoppable. Don’t have time to get to the gym? I work out twice/week with an amazing and affordable trainer who comes to my house. Love Riza!

Even if none of these ideas float your boat, I hope they remind you to take care of yourself every once in a while. Mama, you cannot pour from an empty cup! 

This post originally appeared on the San Diego Moms Blog.

Daphne Gaghagen

I am a wife and mother of a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, living in Chula Vista, California! My day job is working from home as a Social Business Manager for IBM. I also maintain my Instagram account, @mommyiloveyousobig. I love weightlifting, yoga, and trying out new recipes. I look forward to traveling the world and experiencing new things with my little family. I spend my free time at the gym, obsessing over Netflix shows, discovering new places and having a beer with the hubby or pals. I love making new mommy friends!
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