woman's legs in a bubble bath

11 ways to sneak in some relaxation when you’re short on time

We all want a little more “me time” every day. In fact, we need it—that escape from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, just a few relaxing moments to recharge. But the biggest obstacle to finding “me” time is time. It’s hard to prioritize the little luxuries while you’re racing from meeting to meeting at the office and keeping the kids happy and well-fed at home. While you may not have time for a full spa day or an official girls’ night, here are a few ideas for carving out “me time” in the midst of your fast-paced, jam-packed everyday life.

If you can’t get to the nail salon…

Grab your favorite body cream, nail file and polish and give your fingers and toes some attention. Sure, it’s not a salon, but you can transform your bathroom into a spa-like environment with soft music and a little candlelight. Take your time and savor the smell of the lotion, the smooth strokes of polish and the pretty final product. (Bonus points if you can sink into a bubble bath beforehand.)

If you can’t make it to yoga…

Roll out your mat in a quiet space at home. Follow along with a yoga routine on YouTube (might we suggest Yoga with Adriene?) and relax with deep breaths, mind-body awareness and soothing stretches. The best part: settling into savasana (“corpse pose”) to wrap up the end of your practice. What mom couldn’t use a few moments to lie down in peace?

If you can’t find time for a facial…

Whip out your face scrubs, creams and masks for a fun at-home pampering session. After cleansing and exfoliating to your heart’s desire, enjoy some downtime with your favorite book or an episode of House Hunters while your face mask does the dirty work (or multi-task if you must).

If you can’t go out for a girls’ night…

Invite a good friend over for wine, snacks and maybe a little trashy TV. It can be hard to coordinate schedules with a big group and expensive to dish out for dinner and drinks, so keep it simple with a cozy night on the couch. Real-talk with a girlfriend is an amazing way to reconnect and refresh yourself after a busy week (or month!).

If you don’t have time to read a book…

Cue up an audiobook or podcast. Listen to the latest best-seller or tune into an inspiring podcast while you do dishes, fold laundry, nurse or take a few breaths. A short auditory escape to another place or time is good for the soul.

If you can’t sit down to scribble in a journal…

Tap out a note on your phone or send an email to yourself. Pour out how you’re feeling, what you’re experiencing, what you’re grateful for in a few lines. No need to follow any structure or even write in complete sentences! Getting those thoughts, dreams and emotions down into words will give you an outlet and help you process your busy life. It can also be amazing to look back and see your growth over time.

If you can’t make time for shopping…

Shop your own house or set up a swap with a friend. While online shopping is basically a must-do for moms, it can also be an easy way to rack up expenses. (Middle-of-the-night Amazon purchases, I’m looking at you!) Instead, browse your closets or drawers and rediscover some old favorites. If you’re feeling uninspired, or perhaps your pre-pregnancy clothes aren’t feeling as great post-partum, talk to a friend about borrowing or swapping items for a fun, fresh look.

If you can’t get to the gym…

Take a solo walk or do a few simple cardio and bodyweight exercises. Sneak in 15 minutes before the baby wakes up or after bedtime. Even a short workout will kick up those endorphins and leave you with a sense of accomplishment. And who knows—if you get into a solid routine, you may not miss the gym at all!

If you don’t have time for a nap…

Enjoy a quick meditation. When a cat nap isn’t in the cards, you can still find some peace and renewed energy through breathing, relaxing and tuning out the constant buzz of life through convenient mindfulness and meditation products. Use an app like Headspace or Calm for a guided meditation or sit down, close your eyes and clear your mind for a few minutes.

If you can’t nail down a date night…

Plan a lunch date instead! Reconnecting with your spouse doesn’t have to be a whole to-do with candles and roses. Set aside an hour for lunch at a nearby restaurant or café, and bring the baby. If naptime is an issue, order your favorite takeout to the house while your little one sleeps. There’s no added expense of hiring a babysitter and no dining room dress code. Hello, yoga pants.

If you don’t have time for a movie night…

Have a movie morning. Head to the theater for a 10:00 a.m. showing, wear your comfiest pajamas, bring your baby and feel free to nurse away. Chances are, the only other person in the theater will be a new mom with a baby, too. So there’s no need to feel embarrassed if your little one cries during the movie. Treat yourself to some popcorn and enjoy a semi-private showing.


At Ashland Women’s Health, we work with moms every day, but we’re also moms ourselves. We get how hectic life can be, balancing family, career, home and more, and we know how important it is to find some “me time” in that mix. Reach out to our team for help with breastfeeding, pumping or general mom-life questions so we can take a few to-dos off your plate and give you back some precious time for YOU.