Our virtual world is swarming with more buzzwords than an active beehive. Fake news. Democracy. Viral. Influencer. And without a doubt, self-care has been added to that list.
But self-care gets a bad rap. It isn’t a lazy solution like leaving your dirty clothes on the floor. In contrast, it’s a proactive approach that increases your capacity to function better and longer. It’s something that reenergizes you, gives a little boost, and feels like a pick-me-up.
The nice thing is that you don’t need an hour a day or twenty four hours per week to implement some loving self-care strategies. All you need is five minutes—and maybe even less than that!
The key is to be intentional.
- Set aside all distractions.
- Dive wholeheartedly into your self-care activity.
- And allow it to refuel you for whatever comes next.
Try out one of these ideas before your kids finish school, in between virtual meetings, or while you’re drinking your morning cup of coffee.
Fun fact: The Italian dessert tiramisu literally translates to “pick me up.” So approach these seventeen snack-sized self-care habits like a spoonful of tiramisu!
- Step outside and take a deep breath of fresh air.
Observe the weather with all five senses. What do you see in the sky? What does the air smell like? What animals do you hear? Touch a crispy leaf, soft flower petal, or rough piece of bark. (We don’t recommend that you eat anything, but you can imagine the tastes of the season, such as apple cider in the Fall or crisp lemonade in the Summer.)
- Enjoy a cup of your favorite drink.
Save a steaming mug of coffee or tea. Pour yourself a glass of wine or beer. Sip on apple cider or orange juice. But set aside at least three minute to really savor your drink.
- Treat yourself to a special treat.
Bake cookies, purchase a cake, or nibble on candy. But close your eyes and lavish every bite of your dessert. You deserve a mini break and nothing is more rewarding than something sweet!
- Take a nap.
You have permission to take a cat nap. Grab a blanket, put on an eye mask, turn on some background noise, and snooze for a few minutes. Just don’t forget to set your alarm!
- Sing your favorite song.
Pop in your headphones and jam out to your favorite tune! Don’t be afraid to sing your heart out (especially if you’re in the car). Swaying to the beat, relating to the lyrics, and hearing instruments has a soothing effect.
Plus most songs are only a few minutes long, making it perfect for a snack-sized self-care break.
- Stretch for five minutes (without getting sweaty).
No one wants to change outfits in the middle of the day to get in a quick workout. Instead, try yoga, stretching, a short walk, or a quick cardio session—enough to get moving but not so much that you get all sweaty.
Bonus: an increased heart rate boosts endorphins, which lifts your mood for a few hours post-workout.
- Listen to a new podcast.
Expand your listening library, but don’t box yourself in. Find a show that’s purely entertaining, centers on a subject that you are curious about, or something that you wouldn’t usually spend time on.
Is the podcast longer than five minutes? That’s okay. Play five minutes at a time and you’ll finish the episode in just a few days.
- Sit in a new spot.
While your desk might be an ideal spot to work, spend your self-care break somewhere else. Find a new place with a fresh perspective. Cosy up in your armchair, sit outside on a bench, or lay down on a soft rug. You might even leave more inspired just because of the different point of view!
- Pick up your favorite book or watch your favorite movie.
Here’s a quiz you can’t fail: What’s your favorite book? What’s your favorite movie?
Grab your paperback or push those buttons on your remote. Set a timer for five to ten minutes and indulge. Keep up that pattern all week and you’ll be amazed at what a few minutes a day can help you accomplish!
- Write a letter to someone you care about.
Gratitude is powerful. Say thank you, and be specific what you’re thankful for. Or write a note to a friend just because they were on your mind. Plus, mailboxes aren’t solely created for bills and junk mail; everyone could use a joyful dose of snail mail too!
- Clean out a messy area and donate what you no longer need/use.
You know exactly which area I’m talking about. That spot that always gives you the heebie jeebies, or that drawer you just ignore because it’s too overwhelming. Pick a small spot—no need to tackle the whole area at once—and jump in. Set a timer for five minutes and accomplish as much as you can in that time slot. Trashing unwanted items and donating unused ones will be like a breath of fresh air.
- Browse an old photo album or family videos.
Reminiscing makes the heart grow fonder. Dust off your old photo albums and browse through the days of family vacations. Pop in your video tapes (or click play from your digital archives) and smile at your sweet memories.
- Fill up one page in your journal with whatever you want.
No expectations. Just you, a pen, and a piece of paper. Write, draw, doodle, color—just fill up that page with whatever feels right in the moment.
- Do something with your hands.
Paint. Draw. Write. Sew. Craft. Color. Play. Type. Active fingers often spur an active imagination!
- Read jokes or watch a comedian.
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, and so will a good, hearty laugh! Snatch a joke book off your kid’s bookshelf and revel in some old-fashioned knock knock jokes. Search for a comedian online and watch one of their most popular skits. And when in doubt, your back-up plan can include Jimmy Fallon, SNL, or Dude Perfect.
- Snuggle under a blanket.
Soft, fluffy, and ultra inviting. Blankets harness the ability to instantly make you relax and settle in. Grab a blanket and cosy up for a few minutes to love on yourself. And yes, you can even invite that throw blanket into your office chair.
- Take an extra shower, just because.
Hot water, aromatherapy, and steam are keys to relaxation. Take extra care of yourself today with an extra shower, just because you can and not because you have to.
Don’t feel better after taking care of yourself? Still struggling to amp up your motivation or make it through the day?
Sometimes there are internal barriers that rob us of our joy. And we can help discover the tangled roots that are constricting your growth. Call us today. Let’s get started!