It’s easy to feel like we have absolutely no time for ourselves. We focus our energy on getting ahead in our careers, caring for our families, and paying the bills. Many of us rush through our days, struggling to keep our heads above water, and are way too exhausted at the end of it all to do anything for ourselves aside from the absolute necessities.
However busy you are, it’s important to find time to take care of yourself. Self-care should be a regular part of your personal routine. You might think you’re doing others a service by pushing yourself to your limits, but you’ll soon find yourself run down and burnt out. If you feel like you simply can’t find the time in your day to show yourself a little love, there are lots of small ways you can embrace self-care in five minutes or less. The next time you’re feeling pressed for time, consider these self-care hacks to give yourself a quick boost.
Quick Self-Care Hacks
#1 Get lost in a song.
There’s plenty of science to back it up, but most of us don’t need to be convinced that music can have a huge impact on our moods. Most songs clock in at five minutes or less, so a quick boost from your favorite tune can be just what you need to relax a little. Keep a playlist of your favorite songs on your phone for easy access in a pinch. If you’re at home, crank up the volume and dance your heart out. Stuck at work, on the bus, or in line at the store? Throw in your earbuds and find your own personal sanctuary.
#2 Meditate for five minutes.
Meditation is a terrific tool to keep in your personal self-care kit. You can practice meditation anywhere, at any time – at work, on your commute, in the carpool lane, or while you brush your teeth in the morning. Learning how to meditate can take some time, but if you can get a decent grasp of it, you’ll be able to clear your mind, elevate your mood, and intensify your focus wherever you are. If you have never meditated before, consider using an app like Headspace to guide you through the process.
#3 Get up and move.
Take a break from whatever you’re doing and spend five minutes in motion. If you really want to get your blood pumping, dance around your room, do a handful of jumping jacks, or climb a few flights of stairs at the office. However, you don’t have to go all-out to reap the benefits of movement – a simple walk to the office break room and back will work in a pinch. If you don’t have much room to move around, simply standing in place and stretching while focusing on your breath for a few minutes can be a great way to relax.
#4 Indulge in something small.
If you don’t have a ton of time or money to spend on yourself, it’s perfectly OK to treat yourself to something small. Keep a stash of dark chocolate in your desk drawer and break off a square or two to savor when you feel like you need a moment to yourself. If your favorite splurge is a spa day, apply some lemongrass-scented lotion and give yourself a hand massage to relieve some tension. Find little ways to incorporate the things that bring you joy into your day and you’ll find yourself happier and healthier.
#5 Write down your thoughts.
Journaling can be a great way to show yourself a little love, especially when you’ve got a lot on your mind. The simple act of putting your thoughts on paper can help you think much more clearly and examine your problems from afar, which is often a great way to put them into perspective. Carry a notebook around for a dedicated space to spill your thoughts, or jot them down on any piece of paper you can find – either way, you’ll feel much better after you write everything down.
#6 Laugh a little.
They say laughter is the best medicine, and there’s a lot of truth to that. A good laugh can boost your endorphin levels, sending your brain a little dose of positivity, and it’s proven to reduce stress, too. The next time you find yourself feeling frazzled, find a few minutes and seek out something to make you smile. If you aren’t feeling very inspired, here are a few ways you can find humor in a pinch:
- Turn to YouTube! They have a whole section devoted to comedy filled with funny clips. You’ll find anything from hilarious game show answers to hysterical home videos. And everyone loves a good cat video!
- Check out the filters on Snapchat. Some of them are just plain weird, but others are quite humorous. To brighten someone else’s day, take a quick snap of your silly self and send it to a friend.
- Think back to a time you laughed so hard you hurt and try to relive the moment. Memory can be a powerful thing. You may be surprised to find yourself chuckling to yourself from nothing but a thought.
Self-care doesn’t have to be something you have to invest a lot of time or money in. But it’s definitely something we could all benefit from! Incorporate some or all of these self-care hacks into your day to feel happier and healthier.