You know that self-care is important. You know that self-care is something you need to prioritize in your day. But sometimes, even with the best of intentions and carefully laid plans, you just don’t get everything done that you want to.
So what do you do on those days where your plans get derailed? Or on those days where you just don’t feel that you have the time for self-care?
Don’t give up on looking after yourself!
If anything it’s more important than ever to take some time for yourself and get back on track for tomorrow.
Take 5 minutes to practice some quick and simple self-care.
Here are 15 activities that will take around 5 minutes or less. You can absolutely fit at least 1 or 2 into even your busiest of days!
15 quick and easy self-care tips for those busy days
1. Take some deep breaths
Focus on your breathing for a minute or two. Inhale into your belly, exhale slowly. Even just taking one or two deep belly breaths will do you the world of good.
You don’t need to meditate for long to feel the benefits. Even just 1 or 2 minutes will have a positive effect. These popular apps all have meditations you can select for 5 minutes or less.
Have you always wanted to try meditation but don’t feel confident? Check out my post on mindfullness meditation for some tips:
3. Do some stretches or yoga
It’s easy to incorporate a few simple stretches into your day.
I love to do this 5 minute morning yoga routine from Yoga with Adriene as part of my morning routine. However, really you could do it at any time of day.
Adriene has a whole playlist on YouTube for quick yoga routines that is definitely worth checking out. It’s called “Yoga Quickies! 10 minutes and under practices that serve.“
4. Drink a glass of water
Drinking more water is a simple but often overlooked way of improving our wellbeing. By staying hydrated you’ll reduce fatigue, boost your brainpower and improve your mood.
5. Go outside
Being outside, even for a short time is great for your wellbeing. Take a quick walk around the block to get some fresh air and your blood flowing. Or have a wander in a park or garden and tune into the sights, smells and sounds of nature.
6. Tend to a plant
There are lots of studies highlighting the benefits of plants in our lives – how they can improve both our physical environment by providing cleaner air and our mental wellbeing by boosting our mood and enhancing concentration and memory.
Whether you have a few houseplants or a big garden, a quick 5 minutes spent tending to your plants, or even just admiring them, is very therapeutic.
7. Put your phone face down and resist picking it up for 5 minutes.
Take some time to slow down from the frenetic pace of social media and email. Give yourself a break from the constant checking, scrolling and jumping between apps. Go on, you can do it!
8. Work on your current creative project or plan your next one
You don’t need big blocks of time to be creative. If you have a knitting or crochet project, pick it up and work on in for 5 minutes. Like to draw or paint? Pick up your sketchbook and make some doodles. If you love to cook or bake – browse through a recipe book. Love to craft? Make some notes on the materials you need for your next project.
9. Listen to a favourite song or two
There’s no doubt music has the power to boost our mood. Hum, sing along or dance. Better still, if you haven’t already, start creating playlists with your favourite songs for different moods that you can listen to whenever you like.
10. Eat something fresh
Eat a piece of fruit, or some vegetables, or whizz up a smoothie. Give yourself a boost with all those extra nutrients and fibre, and of course the great taste. Inhale the gorgeous citrus scent when you peel an orange or cut into a lemon. It really can boost your mood!
11. Make yourself a hot drink
Make yourself some tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or other favourite hot beverage. Revel in the comforting ritual of making a hot drink. Waiting for the kettle to boil, or the milk to warm. The feeling of the warm cup in your hands. The lovely smell. And of course that first sip of something delicious.
12. Write down one good thing
What is one good thing that has happened today? Something that went well, or something that you enjoyed. Whether it’s a cuddle from a loved one, the sun shining, or a cup of coffee that hit the spot, expressing gratitude and appreciation for a good thing in your life today will make you smile.
13. Give yourself a hand massage
Grab some gorgeous smelling hand-cream and take your time massaging it into your hands. Massage each finger individually as well as the back of your hands and your palms. Our hands work so hard. They really deserve some love.
14. Focus on your posture
How are you sitting? Or standing? Are your shoulders hunched or tense? Mindfully drop your shoulder-blades and your shoulders will follow. Give your shoulders a roll. That feels better, doesn’t it?
You only need 5 minutes to clean out something small like your purse or wallet. It feels great to throw out those old receipts and out-of-date coupons!
Or declutter a flat space like your coffee table, sideboard or dining table.
If you are like me, someone who feels anxious when there’s excess clutter about, then clearing clutter from your living space is definitely a great form of self-care.
What’s your favourite quick and easy self-care tip for busy days? Let me know in the comments below.
Read more about self-care
- Why you should prioritize self-care
- 15 self-care quotes to motivate and inspire you
- 6 inspiring ways to track your self-care
Create the best self-care routine for you
Self-care is the foundation of your lovely year.
It’s the springboard to boosting your happiness, getting organized and feeling accomplished.
But it’s not always easy to know where to start.
The Lovely Year Self-Care Toolkit will help you identify the specific self-care actions you can take to boost your wellbeing and create your ideal self-care routine.