After our last blog post about prioritizing self care, we can all agree that life is often too big, too much, and too costly to our budgets and personal energies to risk adding one more task to those growing to-do lists. But we can still take care of ourselves by breaking self-care up into tiny chunks and fitting them into those in-between times.
No worries if you haven’t been able to make a list of ways to do this yet. We see you, we feel you, so we made a list for you.
8 ways to practice amazing self-care in minutes:
1. Make a mental list of the things that are Right in your life. It’s easy to get bogged down in what’s going wrong. Sometimes, we just need a reminder of all the good that’s balancing out the bad. Doing this mental inventory is not only an instant mood lifter, but cultivates gratitude, which has been proven to dramatically increase overall happiness and well-being.
2. Create self-care invitations around your home/ office. Rather than trusting yourself to remember your new self-care activity, or even worse, getting up in the middle of a much-needed rest, try this: leave self-care tools in various places that you frequently take breaks. Lay a favorite book or two on the kitchen table. A bottle of nail polish next to the couch. Some essential oils next to your desk.
3. Get a houseplant, or get a few. This is the most low-maintenance self-care practices you can possibly do. Plants clean the air around you all day, invigorating your mind and body, and in return, all you have to do is water them every couple days.
4. Turn your cellphone off. Give your mind a break from constant distraction, and temporarily shield it from the world’s demands. Unplugging for even 10 to 15 minutes can recharge your personal batteries faster than those in your phone.
5. Listen to your favorite songs. Pick ones that fit your current mood (or the mood you need to be in) and rock out or zen out. It’s like hitting an emotional reset button. Commercials and doctors’ offices manipulate us in this way all the time, and it works! So you might as well get in on that action.
6. Delete annoying or toxic people from your social media lists. This feels soooooooooo good. Trust us.
7. Stretch. Seriously, just commit yourself to stretching for a solid 5 minutes. It doesn’t have to be fancy or specific. Look at the way babies stretch, and then do that. Your body will thank you by the end of it, and chances are you’ll feel more awake too. This is because you’re dispersing lactic acid and increasing blood flow, carrying oxygen throughout your entire body.
8. Say no to something. If you can reschedule it, safely ignore it, or if it’s just plain bumming you out, pick one thing and cancel it–even if it’s a good thing that you maybe can’t quite get to. Send that raincheck text, stay in, and take that project off your to-do list. You are lightening your load, literally.
These should be good to get you started, and you can always add to or customize them later. Then, when you’re feeling better than you have in years, you’ll have the time and energy to think about bigger and splashier self-care activities. And if you think that five minutes of stretching feels good, just you wait!