Self-care ideas for busy people!
There’s no doubt that this year has been tough on everyone’s mental health. No matter who you are or where you’re from, someone in your life has been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. You would think with all the extra time at home that we’d have learned to slow down and use our self-care ideas. But for many, more time at home means being isolated from their friends, family, and even significant others. Even working from home can be overwhelming with the inability to separate home and work life effectively.
It’s extremely important now more than ever that we learn the significance of taking just five minutes to decompress with simple self-care.
*If you’re a parent, it can be even harder to find time for self-care! Be sure to check out this post to learn more about how you can get the best from your self-care.
10 Five-minute self-care ideas.
1. Take time to breathe.
It may seem silly, but it’s so important that we take time to breathe. By which I mean we need to take proper, deep, refreshing breaths. The majority of us rush through life going about our daily routines without a second thought. We breathe, we digest, our hearts pump; We live. But the first thing, my therapist always asked me when I was showing symptoms of being overwhelmed was ‘is your breathing right?’
By taking deep, mindful breaths we’re allowing our bodies to fully exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. It’s also known to be a great way to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety symptoms.
One of my favourite breathing techniques is the ‘4 in, hold for 7, 8 out.’ Before trying any breathing exercises make sure you’re in a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed. I usually find the best place for this is in the shower, bath, or even while using the loo.
Check out this post about Sunday self-care to get you ready for the week ahead.
It takes just five minutes to hydrate. In fact, it might even take just a few seconds if you have water or juice ready! I always make sure to have a bottle of orange juice with me while I’m writing, gaming or even just chilling on the couch.
*As wonderful as coffee is, it rarely hydrates and actually causes the opposite effect if taken in excess.
3. Stand up and stretch.
If you’re working in an office or even if you’re in customer service, always take the time to step away from your work area and stretch. Not only is it a great way to take five minutes from your workspace, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to exercise your dormant muscles, release tension, and even reduce stress.
4. Listen to your favourite song.
It takes just two seconds to pop on your favourite feel-good tune or loved-up ballad. Step away from the computer, the TV, or the mountain of paperwork, and just take three to five minutes to enjoy your favourite melody. If you’re feeling extra bold, why not do your stretches to your favourite song? Better yet, why not dance!?
5. Write down five things that you’re grateful for.
Gratitude is one of the best things to come out of my personal recovery. Not only have I learned to stop and appreciate the little things, but writing them down also ensures that they never slip my mind. I’m constantly reminded of the wonderful people I have, the beautiful home I own, and the cuddly cats that I’ve adopted. Even the simplest things like witnessing a sunrise or having a great cup of coffee make it on my list.
6. Spend time with your pets.
Take some time away from the TV or the computer to cuddle your nearest and dearest. By which I mean your pets. Cat, dog, ferret – no matter what it is, drop all and take five minutes to show them how much you love them. Not only is this a great way to make them feel good, but it’s also been proven that pets can have a positive impact on our mental health.
7. Have a snack.
Take just five minutes to nourish yourself. Grab an apple, a banana or even a bag of crisps. If you’re working from home it’s especially important to make sure you don’t miss any major meals or snacks so that you can keep your mind sharp!
Even if you’re just chilling around the house it’s important to nourish yourself.
You might not get much read in five minutes, but it’s better than nothing. Start that book or continue your current read. Even one page a day is a great achievement. Who knows? You might discover your next favourite novel by reading just a little at a time.
9. Send someone a text.
It takes no time to send a text to let someone know that you’re thinking of them. You can even give someone a call if you’re feeling up for it. Just checking in with someone briefly can make their day and let them know that you’re in their thoughts.
10. Light some candles.
Grab some beautifully scented wax melts, a couple of tea lights and freshen up your living space. I have a burner in each room of my house and frequently have them all going at once.
*Before lighting any candles or burners, please ensure they are safe to be left alone. If you have kids or animals, be aware that unattended candles can be dangerous.