20 Self-Care Techniques You Can Do in Under 5 Minutes
Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash
We all get busy. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent, working a full-time job, a leader in your church, a student, or just a person living in this crazy world, it can be hard to find the time to breathe.
I want you to know that it's okay, necessary even, to take a few minutes to yourself each day. Even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom for a moment to hide from your toddler (or in my case, my cats), that's okay.
If you aren't sure what you can do for only a few minutes to give yourself a little TLC, I've got you! Pick one thing from this list to try each day to show some love to yourself and take a breather, because you deserve it.
This is the simplest thing you can do. Just take a step back from all the chaos in your world and just breathe. Inhale for four seconds. Exhale for four seconds. Repeat.
If it helps, imagine that each breath out is releasing all of your stress and each breath in is a chance to start over.
2. Give someone a hug
Never underestimate the power of a hug. This is as much for you as it is the other person. Hug your best friend, your child, your significant other. Hugs reduce anxiety and stress, make us happier, and protect you against illness!
3. Listen to your favorite song
Music is a great way to reduce stress and show some self-care. Turn on your favorite song and sing along, or listen to some calming instrumental music while you do your breathing exercise.
4. Read a favorite quote, poem, or scripture
Read something that inspires you to be better or comforts you. This can help revitalize you and make it easier to keep moving during a tough time.
5. Brush your hair
This might not be super helpful if your hair is tangled, but brushing through your hair, even with your fingers, can help send stress-relieving signals to your brain. Think about how good it feels when someone plays with your hair. You can do this for yourself.
6. Give yourself a neck massage
Just rub your neck and shoulders for a couple minutes. This form a self-care helps soothe tense muscles and helps you to mentally and physically relax.
7. Meditate or pray
Whether you are religious or not, meditation and/or prayer can help soothe your soul. Prayer helps me find comfort when I am stressed because I do believe I have someone out there looking out for me. Meditation helps calm my anxieties and stresses when I can't get out of my head.
8. Call a friend or loved one
Talk to someone about your problems. Or simply call someone to tell them you love them and were thinking about them. Talking, whether it is about your stress or not, can help relieve stressors and make both people feel loved and appreciated.
9. Try aromatherapy
Embrace the power of smell. Does the scent of lavender, oranges, or eucalyptus calm you? Find some good essential oils or lotion that you can use to calm your mind and relax.
10. Color or draw
Coloring or drawing is a great way to relieve stress if these are things that you enjoy doing. Pick up a grown-up coloring book or grab a blank piece of paper and start drawing.
11. Write a letter
Write a letter to yourself, a friend, or a loved one. The act of writing and thinking of someone else (even your future self) can help lift you up and feel like you are needed.
12. Play a game on your phone
Sometimes you just need a healthy little distraction. Pull out that game and give yourself a few minutes to just get away from it all. Then get going again with a fresh start.
13. Eat a piece of chocolate (or another favorite treat)
You know you deserve this one. Grab a favorite treat and indulge a little. Food has a huge correlation with stress relief - just be sure this is in moderation so it doesn't have the opposite effect.
14. Drink some herbal tea
Heat up some peppermint or chamomile tea and just sit down and relax for a few minutes. Let the warmth soothe you and melt your cares away.
15. Cuddle with a pet
Fur baby snuggles are proven to relieve stress. Why else would emotional care animals be a thing? Grab your pet and snuggle up with them for a few minutes to calm your worries.
16. Do some stretches
Stretching helps to literally relax your muscles. When you feel yourself tensing up after a stressful day, do some simple stretches to loosen up and feel better.
17. Step outside
Never underestimate the power of fresh air. Have you been cooped up inside your office or house all day? Step outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air.
"You're never fully dressed without a smile."
Smiling is a physical action you can do to trigger a psychological response. Smiling releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals in our bodies responsible for making us feel happy and lower stress levels.
19. Watch a funny video
Maybe it's not so easy to force yourself to smile. Watch a funny video on YouTube to get those endorphins moving and help lift your mood.
20. Write down what you are grateful for
Pull out a piece of paper and write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. This helps turn your attitude toward optimism and focusing on the good that you have rather than stressing about the negative things that are bringing you down.
We are all stressed out all the time. So put yourself first for a few minutes each day to indulge in a little self-care. You deserve it.