One of the of top things reasons I hear as a reason to not practice self-care is time. No one has the time to do it. I get it. I think back to when I was working a 9-5, going to college full-time, starting my blog, doing street art, and somehow maintaining a boyfriend/social life, so I can’t even imagine having 2-3 jobs, having kids, going through a divorce, a chronic illness, etc. added on top of all of that!
Sarah Starrs said it best that, “No one has as many hours in a day as Beyoncé”. We like to think we all have the same 24 hours, but that’s privileged thinking. I’m very aware that I have more luxury than my friends who have corporate jobs, go to school, have kids, etc. I work from home and have an extremely flexible schedule which makes it easy for me to practice self-care. I acknowledge that privilege and am grateful for it. It also means that I can test out things that work and give you tips for your busy schedules.
We might not all have the same 24 hours, but we do get to choose what we prioritize. If you have time for a text message drama, a TV show, a scroll session on Instagram, or whatever else you’re filling your time with, I bet you can find five minutes during your day. I know we’ve gotten more accustomed to saying, “I literally didn’t have a minute at all this entire weekend”, but is that actually true? Maybe, if you step back, is that a little hyperbolic? Five minutes isn’t terribly long, right? You could excuse yourself for five minutes to go to the bathroom and it wouldn’t really raise any eyebrows. So let’s start excusing ourselves for five minutes acts of self-care.
At least once a day, make an effort to do one thing that will make you feel good. That’s your goal. To feel good. It doesn’t need to be drastic. You might actually not have time to take a yoga class, do a 45 minute meditation, or journal your heart out till you cry. That might not realistically be in the cards for your right now. That’s okay! But that doesn’t mean we throw in the towel.
Here are 15 ideas for self-care acts that take five minutes or less. All of them are aimed to make you feel better, boost your mood/morale, and overall increase your self-care and feelings of self-worth in the long run. Think about it: if you dedicate five minutes every day for the next month, that’s 150 minutes! Or 1,800 minutes in a year (equal to 30 hours!!). If we show up for ourselves every single day, just once, for five minutes, don’t you think that could have a positive impact on our minds, bodies, and feelings? Let’s try it either way!
15 Five Minute Acts Of Self-Care
1. Making a list of 3-10 things you’re grateful for (in your head or on paper; tips on gratitude journaling)
2. Do a five minute guided meditation (tons of videos on YouTube)
3. Write down a positive affirmation/ say it out loud to yourself
4. Slowly eat a piece of fruit with your eyes closed (tips for mindful eating)
5. Turn on an upbeat song and dance for the entire thing
6. Do 4-7-8 breathing (set a timer)
7. Drink a hot mug of tea
8. Scream into a pillow
9. Shake your body out (hands, arms, feet, legs, head, neck, everything!)
10. Sniff a candle or essential oil
11. Watch a YouTube video of a cute animal (start making a playlist that you can come back to)
12. Write down three to five things you’re good at (or just list them in your head)
13. Drink a whole bottle of water
14. Pop some Bubble Wrap and imagine your problems bursting as the bubble pops
15. Go outside and look up at the clouds; let your mind tell you what you see as you relax
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How do you like to practice self-care in under five minutes?
Photo: Maura Housley