20 Self Care Ideas That Take 20 Minutes or Less

20 Self Care Ideas That Take20 Minutes Or Less Featured

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As a work from home mom who struggles with anxiety I learned the importance of self care pretty quickly. Especially after one particularly stressful day when I realized I had suppressed so much stress and forgot to give myself a breather. I realized I needed to find self care ideas that I could do daily that would take less than 20 minutes.

I went on a big search of self care ideas. Unfortunately a lot of the self care tips were things that as a work at home mom just aren’t feasible.

I’m lucky if I get to shower without a knock on the door or banging and screaming from an overly clingy toddler. Let alone take a nice hot bath with wine and a book for an hour. So I needed 20 minute or less self care ideas that could be accomplished while Lucas slept.

I wanted realistic self care ideas that are cheap or free. Going and getting my nails done, or a pedicure, or sitting in Starbucks are just not feasible for me like they used to be. They needed to help me relieve anxiety quickly. So I started thinking what are some of my favorite things to do? I came up with this list.

Self Care Ideas

Read for 20 minutes

Perfect for right before bed or even during nap time. Escape into a book and read for 20 minutes. If needed, set a timer on your phone so you know when your time is up. For 20 minutes you are in a completely different world. I love my Amazon Fire Tablet with my Kindle Unlimited program for this. The tablet fits nicely in my purse so I can get in some self care reading time anytime I want.

Check out my post How To Be A More Balanced Mom.


Coloring for 20 minutes will drastically lower your stress levels. Those Adult Coloring Books are hot for a reason. As a former paint and sip host believe me I know how much getting creative actually reduces your stress levels.

Play With Your Kid

We all know nothing makes you happier than hearing the sweet sound of your child’s laughter. Go and make them laugh. Tickle, play, or cuddle and let all the worry and stress of the day just melt away. Plus your kid gets some extra special Mom or Dad time too.

Give yourself a scalp massage

We all love to massage our own scalp. It feels good and helps to make your head feel fuzzy which is extremely relaxing. Added bonus scalp massages can help increase blood flow to the scalp making your hair grow faster and stronger.

Cuddle with your pet

It is a widely known fact that people with pets are less stressed and healthier than those without. Take advantage of the anxiety reducing effects and curl up with Mr. Fuzzybutt for some quick self care.

Breathe in your favorite scent

Spray your favorite scent on your pillow, lavender or vanilla maybe? Then just breathe in the scent. Scent can be a powerful tool in igniting certain emotions – so use that power to help relax for a few minutes. This is my all time favorite scent for relaxation.


YouTube has some amazing guided meditation videos that could really benefit you. Pick out a few of your favorites and sit and relax for a few minutes. Meditation does nothing but slow you down, forces you to take your mind off your problems, and focus on breathing. I recently started using meditation nightly to help relax for a better nights sleep.

Hide and scare your significant other to induce laughter

This one is a new one but I find it to be the most powerful way to relieve stress immediately. Obviously please make sure your significant other gets a little joy out of being scared, if they laugh when you accidentally scare them like my husband does. Chances are you are good.

A few days ago after waking my husband I hid and waited for him to come walking down the hallway. I jumped out and said Boo! He jumped and we both laughed for a good 5 minutes. It was a huge stress relief and actually started off our day on an awesome footing.

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Dance it out

Turn on a playlist and just dance in your living room or bedroom. It increases your heart rate and gets your blood flowing which helps to boost endorphins. It also gives you enough time to break from your daily stress and reduce it.

Go for a walk

Go for a walk. Around your neighborhood, to the store, anywhere. Just get out of your house or workplace and go walk. Walking is fantastic exercise which helps to produce endorphins while giving you alone time which is fantastic self care.

Sit in the sun for 20 minutes

I do this one any evening I can. Living in Ohio means I don’t always get sunny days but when we do I soak up as much sun as I can. Vitamin D is crucial to battle feelings of anxiety or depression.


I’m lucky on this one, I blog therefore I write about 3 times a week. However, it takes me a lot longer than 20 minutes to write my posts. What I actually mean about writing as a 20 minute self care is keep a journal or diary where you can write it out. Get all your thoughts out in a stream of consciousness. It will help to cure some of the scatter brain feeling we all get at times.

You can also try starting a bullet journal. Starting mine was a fantastic decision. I rarely forget things and I have a great place to journal too.


I do not care if you have a horrible singing voice. Jump into your car turn on the stereo and sing it out. No one will hear you but for 5 minutes it’s you and your song. Nothing helps you make it through a tough day quite like singing your current anthem.

Give yourself a facial

Go into your bathroom slather on your favorite mask. Sit and let it dry for 15-20 minutes. It’s like getting a mini spa day without spending a bunch of money.

Deep condition your hair

Even in you have oily hair deep conditioning your hair is important for strong hair. Massaging your scalp while applying the conditioner, sitting while it soaks in, and the soft feel afterwards are all very relaxing.

Give Yourself a Mini Massage

No joke right after your shower just slather lotion all over your body. Massaging lotion will help to relieve muscle tension but using your favorite scent can help to relax you as well. I use this one when I need to de-stress.

Take a 20 minute hot shower

I love to just stand in the shower and let the hot water run over my head. It drowns out much of the noise in a toddler house. The heat helps to relax muscles. This is one of my favorite self care ideas.

Eat something sweet

Ok obviously I’m not saying you should drown your emotions in food. We all know that sugar triggers the happiness hormone in your brain which is why we have such a sugar problem. What I’m saying is eat some watermelon or chocolate covered strawberries. Have that bowl (or pint) of ice cream. Just give in to the sugary temptation every once in awhile. Also, you aren’t allowed to feel bad about it either. If you really don’t want to blow your diet try one of these smoothies instead.


Sometimes all you need to do is take five minutes to just breathe. Five minutes to just sit in silence and count out your breathing. This clears your mind and allows better oxygen flow into your brain relieving some of the tension or stress.

Stretch out on the floor and lay there for 5 minutes

I love this one. Seriously get down on the floor and spread out. Stretch your arms above your head, point your toes, and act like you are physically being pulled in opposite directions. Once the stretch is complete you will feel a bit more relaxed so lay there for a few minutes enjoying the tingling.

Related Post: 5 Things You Need In Your Daily Self Care Checklist

Self care should be a priority in your life. It gives you a bit more relaxation and helps to improve mood. Self care can help to improve relationships with those you are closest too while also allowing you to naturally relieve stress and anxiety.

Do you have any self care ideas? If so please comment. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this. Share it with friends who could benefit from self care.

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