Are you guilty of taking care of everyone around you and forgetting to take care of yourself? If so, this list is for you!
25 Methods of Self-Care that Take 25 Minutes (or Less)
1. Take a Shower. As a mompreneur with five kids, I’ve found it easy to be sucked into the busy-ness of business on more than… a dozen occasions. Taking 5-10 minutes, first thing in the morning, to take a shower, however, provides such an amazing boost to my mind and body that I make sure to wake up early just to make sure I have time to do so!
2. Journal. I have a daily, evening practice of journaling, which allows me to clear my head of thoughts and stress, and enter sleep with a calm mind. In my journal, I include my highs and lows of the day, as well as what I am grateful for (see #17).
3. Breathe in Fresh Air. Sitting inside all day is NOT good for us, and the 5 seconds it takes to get to our cars doesn’t count as “getting fresh air” in my book. Take a little bit of time to sit or stand outside and enjoy the fresh air and the sounds of nature. If you’re in a metropolitan area, perhaps this is a walk around the block and enjoying the sights and sounds of the people around you, but in either case, get outside and be inspired!
4. Clear Clutter. Clutter makes me crazy. Whether it’s clutter on my desk or kid clutter on the floor of my office, it’s presence distracts me from reaching my highest levels of productivity. In the moments I find myself distracted, I take five minutes to clear the clutter.
5. Smile. Have you ever had somebody at the grocery look at you in confusion when you smiled at them for no reason? I have. A smile has the power to not only improve our spirit, but also to instantly make somebody else’s day better.
6. Meditate. Meditation doesn’t need to take hours. It also doesn’t require attending a retreat away from home. Simply find a comfortable position, and allow yourself to find a peaceful state with your eyes closed. Don’t pressure yourself to clear your mind, but instead enjoy the journey your thoughts take you on.
7. Have Sex. According to WebMD, people who have sex once or twice a week take less sick days. And this is just ONE of the benefits! While I’m not encouraging you to go have unprotected sex or otherwise unsafe sexual relations, engaging with your significant other frequently IS good for you!
8. Read a Book. Every night before bed, I spend a bit of time reading. I’ve already planned out my next day, and my mind is put to rest with the flow of words across the pages. Note: I do NOT read on an electronic device, and encourage you, if you’re reading before bed, to read physical books so as to not stimulate your brain with the lights.
9. Get or Give a Massage. Did you know that massage can alleviate anxiety, digestive disorders, headaches and insomnia? Well, according to the Mayo Clinic, it can! You don’t need to pay for a massage, either! Ask your significant other (nicely), or trade massages with a friend!
10. Listen to Your Favorite Song. I have a YouTube playlist of all my favorite “Pick-me-up” music that I will listen to when I’m looking for motivation. And apparently, this playlist is good for me! According to LifeHack, music makes us happier, reduces stress, and improves health.
11. Drink a Glass of Water. Several months ago I gave up soda/pop and drastically increased my water consumption. Since then, I’ve noticed my skin has been a lot clearer, and I’ve been sleeping much better. I have seen it said many times that we should drink 64oz of water per day. How much is that? Approximately 5-½ cans of soda/pop worth of water. Other common benefits of drinking water (according to Mind Body Green) include increasing energy, flushing out toxins, boosting the immune System and more!
12. Take Out the Trash. Perhaps it’s just because I’m a mom of five who also has six animals in the house, but I LOVE taking out the trash. I can’t deny that once in a while there’s an “oops” and one of the super-annoying toys goes out with it, but boy… Getting the trash out feels sooo good! Take a look around and figure out what you can do without!
13. Complement Someone You Don’t Know. What would a compliment from a stranger do for your day? Make it better? Well, what if you could make a stranger AND your day better? Shine the light on someone else today, and make your day brighter as well!
14. Take a Nap. My best naps last between 10 and 25 minutes, and I’m constantly surprised how much more refreshed I am when I wake. Be sure to set an alarm, however, because even I have fallen victim to a “quick nap” that lasted hours.
15. Give Someone a Hug. Did you know what a hugs are extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress? Well, according to Mind Body Green, they are! So put your germaphobe tendencies aside, and start hugging!
16. Get Up and Stretch. Stretching isn’t just something we do when we’re waking up or falling asleep. It’s actually an important act before and after engaging in exercise, and according to Health Fitness Revolution, stretching increases blood flow and nutrients to your cartilage and muscles!
17. Practice Gratitude. The simple act of giving thanks can provide an unimaginable boost to your day. Don’t forget to be grateful for the small things just as much as you are for the big!
18. Laugh! According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter increases your intake of Oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and provides numerous other benefits to reduce stress!
19. Perform a Random Act of Kindness. It never ceases to amaze me how surprised other parents at my daycare are when I wait an entire 5-seconds for them with the door open. In my mind, if I let the door go, it would be slamming in their face just as they approached it. What would be the good feeling gained in that? So, whether it’s holding open a door or paying for the coffee of a random person who may not even be in line behind me yet, I love performing random acts of kindness! Not only does it make them feel good, but it makes me feel good, too!
20. Dump the Drama. My husband and I don’t do drama. Period. So whenever I see somebody dishing the drama on social media, I dump them. If it’s someone I can’t unfriend without facing backlash (ie family members), I will unfollow them rather than unfriend. Other than that, however, and it’s a one-click silent “Goodbye!”
21. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane. Pull out your old photo albums or journals and take a look at where you were 1, 5, 10 or even 20 years ago. Look at how much you’ve grown! Take a moment to reflect on the treasures in your life, new and old!
22. Eat a Healthy Meal. A healthy meal doesn’t need to take hours to prepare. The next time you’re short on time and are tempted to go through the drive through, consider eating a healthy, quick meal instead. Consider this: An entire avocado contains just as many calories as a Big Mac, however the fats are good, and the additional nutrients are… many! Is an avocado a meal? Maybe. But if you don’t consider it so, think of a quick and easy healthy meal of your own!
23. Cuddle with Your Animals. I can be having the roughest day, but a quick cuddle with one of our furry friends can take a tremendous amount of stress away. Whether it’s curling up on the couch with my Chihuahua-Shitszu, Penny, or allowing my cat, Fortune, to give me his love-filled head butts, I leave the encounter feeling blessed and loved.
24. Schedule a Doctor Appointment You’ve Been Putting Off. I’ve been guilty — on more than one occasion — of putting off scheduling an important doctor appointment, just because I was letting the busy-ness of my business take over my life. This is not good. What ONE doctor appointment do you NEED to schedule today? Go do it!
25. Plan Tomorrow. I rest easier the nights I have invested time into planning the next day. I know all my tasks are in order, and I have a plan laid out for when and how I will accomplish them all.
What ONE act of self-care are you committing to carry out today? Share in the comments below!