35 Self-Care Practices in 5 Minutes or Less
No judgement, but...when’s the last time you practiced self-care?
And when we say no judgement, we really mean it. There’s nothing worse than feeling bad about yourself for not taking care of yourself. We get it: there’s SO many reasons self-care gets placed on the backburner. Not enough time. It’s selfish (it’s not!). I’m too tired.
Self-care is vital to well-being and more time you dedicate to it, the more you’ll reap the benefits in everyday life. It’s the fuel our mind and bodies need to function optimally and give back to others (so, it’s actually the opposite of being selfish).
We encourage our clients to practice self-care in every aspect of their lives. But here’s the kicker: it doesn’t have to be extravagant, complex, or time-consuming. You know that old adage: good things come in small packages? Apply that here.
Try it yourself! Here’s 35 simple self-care practices that take 5 minutes or less; try 2-3 of your favorites:
PICK A SONG THAT MATCHES YOUR MOOD AND DANCE IT OUT! Sometimes getting out of your mind and into your body is all it takes.
GIVE YOURSELF A MASSAGE. You'll release endorphins and feel more connected to your body.
LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND GIVE YOURSELF 3 COMPLIMENTS. It may be harder than it sounds, but it’s totally worth it. A smile or laugh won’t hurt either.
SOAK YOUR HANDS/FEET. Treat yourself to an Epsom salt soak, which relieves muscle tension and joint inflammation. Optional: add lavender oil for relaxation
CLEAR YOUR SPACE WITH SAGE AND/OR PALO SANTO. Burning sage can help clear the air and even bacteria, while palo santo contributes to creating a peaceful, uplifting atmosphere.
WRITE A POEM OR LOVE LETTER TO YOURSELF. Don’t forget to reflect on your first true love (that’s you).
MAKE A GRATITUDE LIST. Declaring our gratitudes helps us shift into a state of fulfillment by acknowledging what we already have and can create a feeling of abundance.
CREATE A SELF-CARE PLAYLIST. A little self-care practice to prepare you for your next self-care practice. ;)
FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING. Witness your breath for 5 minutes. Notice the sound, texture, temperature, depth, and length. Then, let it all go with a big sigh!
GIVE YOURSELF A HUG. REALLY, DO IT. How could you not feel better afterwards?
FIX SOMETHING YOU’VE BEEN MEANING TO. Focusing your attention something small can feel like an enormous accomplishment. Think sewing a button, replacing a light bulb, or color coding your keys.
UNPLUG. Turn off all your electronic devices and free yourself of technology and communication for as long as you’d like, whether for 5 minutes or an entire weekend.
PREPARE YOUR FAVORITE SNACK + DRINK. Nourish yourself with healthy food and feel better from the inside out.
SIGN UP FOR SOMETHING YOU’VE WANTED TO DO. Here’s your chance to plant the seed for that skydiving trip you’ve been dreaming about, or even a local fitness class you haven’t gotten around to taking.
MEDITATE. 5 minutes of meditation is better than none. We love the apps Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer
TAKE A NAP. The ultimate self-care practice increases alertness, boosts creativity, reduces stress, improves decision-making, and elevates mood.
ACT LIKE A KID. Kids are unapologetically honest about their feelings and desires. Whether you throw a temper tantrum or decide to play with Play-Doh, tap into your inner child or a bit.
WALK OUTSIDE BAREFOOT. If you can do so safely, feel your feet kiss the earth, the grass, the dirt beneath you. Not only is it freeing, walking barefoot helps strengthen muscles in the feet.
CRY. It’s okay to feel sad, lonely, or hurt. Embrace these emotions, and then let them go with a good cry.
CREATE A VISION BOARD. Use images in magazines, books, etc. to create an inspiration board for yourself.
GO THROUGH OLD PICTURES. Indulge in good memories of vacations, parties, and get-togethers with family and friends.
YOGA. Take a child’s pose and focus on your inhales and exhales. Try this: Inhale. “I am.” Exhale. “Okay.”
CLOSE YOUR EYES. Eliminate the external distractions in go inwards, even if just for a few minutes.
CUDDLE WITH A FLUFFY FRIEND. If you don't have a cat or dog in your life, volunteer at a shelter.
TELL SOMEONE YOU LOVE THEM. You deserve to love, and to be loved. Share the feeling!
SING A SONG. Don’t take it too seriously; dare to be silly.
SAY NO TO SOMETHING THAT’S STRESSING YOU OUT. Just because you made weekend plans doesn’t mean you have to keep them. If it doesn’t serve you, let it go.
GO FOR A WALK. Get a breath of fresh air. Follow an animal around. Smell the flowers. Skip around. Notice how it feels to be alive!
DRAW OR PAINT SOMETHING. Don’t even think about it; just do it.
SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER. Find a non-profit you care about and reach out about volunteer opportunities.
CALL YOUR BEST FRIEND. Bonus: Ask them to name 3 things they love about you.
WATER YOUR PLANTS. Plants give us so much (fresh oxygen, less carbon dioxide, cute decor!). They deserve a little love too.
TELL OR MAKE UP A JOKE. Learn to laugh at yourself, and give yourself even more reasons to laugh.
MARK OFF TIME ON YOUR CALENDAR. Perhaps you noticed how amazing a 5-minute self-care practice feels and want to make a day of it!
DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Just relax. You deserve it. Hint: This one can be longer than 5 minutes.
What were your favorite self-care practices?