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African-American mother nursing baby boy

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Nothing truly prepared me for the demands of motherhood, except being thrown into it. I’ve been stretched in ways I didn’t think were possible and I feel burned out more often than I ever imagined I could. Of course, none of us can pour from an empty cup, so I had to begin incorporating some self-care practices that may seem small in isolation but, when working together for the good of those who need a break, have helped me to stay afloat. Here are 13 small ways to recharge when it feels like you’re running on empty.

Young African female student , relaxing and listening music in a University campus room

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Listen to an inspirational podcast or sermon

While music can be calming and uplifting, sometimes you need an actual word. Listening to a great sermon on YouTube or a motivational speaker’s podcast can often do the trick. The good thing is you can listen while you cook, clean, or perform any of those other tasks that sometimes overwhelm you. Or, you can put your foot down and tell your family these 45 minutes belong to you.

Young woman reading

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Create a gratitude list

One way to feel better about the stressful aspects of your life is to think about and express gratitude for the things that are going right. Sometimes it’s easy to forget or take our blessings for granted, which is why creating a gratitude list is a great exercise to implement periodically — especially when the going gets tough.

Woman lying down

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Plan a staycation

When you have a ton of responsibilities, planning a full-fledged vacation when you actually need one is not always doable. However, going on a nice little staycation right in your state can also achieve similar results.

Women driving car

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Take a long drive alone

Roll down the windows, get the aux cord, pull up your favorite album on Spotify and just drive. It will help to clear your head.

Woman taking relaxing bath

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Take a relaxing bath

A nice long soak in the tub complete with a bath bomb and Epsom salt or an essential oils blend will leave you feeling renewed both physically and mentally.

Business owner assisting customer in nail salon

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Get a manicure and pedicure

While it sounds small, a quick trip to the local nail salon can help you to feel revitalized. When you look better, you feel better.

Relaxing during head massage

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Schedule a spa day

Massage therapy has been proven to reduce stress levels by up to 30 percent.

Black woman at a coffee shop using her cell phone

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Take yourself to your favorite restaurant

Though many are uncomfortable with dining alone, it’s one of those things that you shouldn’t knock until you try it. Eating at your favorite restaurant with a great book as your companion offers a quick escape that can allow you to head back home with a new attitude.

Peaceful sleep

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Get a good night’s sleep

Of course, nothing will recharge you like a full night’s sleep that is free from interruption. If you find that you’re struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, try taking melatonin gummies before bed.

Young woman relaxing on the floor at home

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Take a power nap

For some of us, an uninterrupted night of sleep is not always attainable, so don’t count out the power of a good nap. Sneaking a short nap or two (20 minutes or less) throughout the day can help you to recharge.

Attractive young woman in city walk

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Go for a walk alone or with friends

Fresh air and a bit of cardio is always a good thing. Fall is the perfect time of year to link up with friends and hit the track to engage in rich conversation and a bit of dialogue.

No dry and cracked skin for me

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Add a new product to your skincare routine

Never underestimate the power of a good skincare routine. Some products are designed specifically with stress relief in mind.

African lady showing faith in church

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Catch the early service on Sunday

Hearing a good word is also a great way to recharge for the week ahead, but when you already have one million things to check off of your to-do list before the week begins, the thought of sitting in church half of the afternoon can be a turn-off. A great solution is to catch the early service. You get the spiritual teaching and you still have the remainder of your day to take care of your other business.

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