The third time's a charm, right?
I am sitting here trying to get this blog post out again, for the third time. I have written it twice already and it has disappeared each time.
Which is really inconvenient when you are trying to launch a podcast alongside a blog post. My only regret is I didn't write it out outside of the internet before. So this time I am learning my lesson and making sure to save as I go, and create a hard copy on the computer.
Which in a way is filling my own cup.
I am taking the time to do the things that will help me reach my goals. And that feels really good.
Filling our cup or self-care doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. I used to think I needed a whole Spa Day or Girl's Night to consider it "Me Time".
Changing the way we look at self-care makes it so much less stressful. And honestly who has time to stress over the thing that is supposed to help us manage our stress??
So I scoured the internet, talked to friends, racked my brain, and I put together a list of self-care action items you can do in less than 10 minutes.
Start taking care of yourself, so you can show up and take care of everyone else.
If you want to listen to the accompanying podcast, you can listen here.
We are playing Self Care Bingo this week in our Facebook Group. You can download your cards and get started playing with us or with your friends!
- 3 Deep Breaths - It's a simple task and takes mere seconds
- 10 Jumping Jack - Get moving to get some energy flowing
- Positive Affirmations.
- Play your favorite upbeat song
- Play a song that gives you a good cry in the closet - Sometimes we just need to let it out.
- Hug a loved one - Jyn loves hugs. She has started trying to jump up on me to be held and wraps her arms around my neck it is soooo cute. And gives an extra bit of love to my day.
- Put your phone down - Step away from electronics for 10 minutes.
- Take your vitamins - This is one I am working on in my daily routine. It keeps us healthy and ready to do all of the things we need to do
- Body Scan - Take a moment to really check in with yourself. What is your body telling you?
- Get ready for the day. – I am passionate about this one. I am working on my morning routine but will be discussing it soon. Right now, I am getting up at 5 am. And I am tired at 5 am. But nothing makes me feel more ready to start my day than taking a shower, getting dressed, and putting myself together. Kind of like I would with any other job. Yes, even stay-at-home moms and wives and girlfriends and dog moms and whatever you identify as. Getting ready for the day will boost your confidence and self-esteem. It will put a true start to the day. Yoga pants count. Slippers count. Get out of whatever you slept in. Brush your hair. Put on some mascara (or don’t). Make yourself feel like you are that put-together woman you dream of being. Even if she’s in loungewear and will end up with cheerios or flour in her hair later.
- Read a favorite blog - Yup, you are doing self-care right now by reading about the ways you might implement self-care in your life. It’s a wild circle. Investing the time to read a blog about self-care may trigger more ideas for you to implement self-care in your own daily routine. You just took time for yourself. No matter what it is you’re reading. Even the back of the cereal box. You took a few minutes to read something just for yourself.
- Check something off your to-do list - Self-care doesn’t have to be pampering yourself. Sometimes self-care looks like checking that nagging item off your to-do list that has been bringing you stress. Kind of like me writing this blog. After the second round getting interrupted and lost, I left this unchecked task on my to-do list for way too long. It caused me stress, stalled me from moving forward in my goals, and really wasn’t that hard of a task to do. So check it off. Whatever your nagging item is. Stop letting it stress you out.
- Journal - Journaling is great for so many different reasons, but most importantly, it can help us remember what really brings us joy. Then we can do more of those things. You may choose to journal using prompts or just freely write your thoughts and ideas. Maybe you come up with 5 questions you ask about your day every evening and fill those out. Whatever journaling looks like to you, no matter how frequent or infrequent, writing down our thoughts can help clear a lot of space in our minds.
- Drink a cup of tea - Hide in the closet and have a quiet cup of tea if you have to. Or facetime a friend and enjoy a cup together.
- Read - Depending on how fast you read and how much time you have, you can get through 5-10 pages of a book in about 10 minutes. Read something you enjoy. Even if it’s a comic book.
- Motivational video/podcast - How much time do you have? Search 3-minute motivational video on YouTube Throw a podcast on while you are doing dishes or folding laundry
- Write a card to a friend - This one kills two birds with one stone. It fills your cup to do something that brings someone else simple joy and connects you with a friend in a more personalized way than a text or social media comment. If you have a hard time remembering to go to the post office this one might cause you more stress. This is where a good commercial for stamps.com would be placed, but I am not sponsored by them.
- Set out your clothes - See -*, although I am not a huge stickler for this one. Setting out your clothes is like giving your future self a mental break. Morning you is going to love that you don’t need to think about what you are going to wear. Unless morning you and night you think way differently about what you want to wear.
- Buy yourself flowers - Or create a bouquet from the flowers in your yard
- Forgive someone - The best piece of advice I ever got on forgiveness was to set a date and do it. Yup, just do it. We don’t need to verbally express forgiveness at all times, and forgiveness doesn’t mean letting someone who has hurt you in the past continue to do so. Forgiveness may come with new boundaries. Forgive yourself too. Same concept. Be as angry as you want about whatever it is you need to fogive yourself for until that date, then just do it. Let go of the anger. Allow yourself to forgive. It sounds really simple, and I know it’s really hard, but holding onto grudges causes so much anxiety and stress in our lives. Forgive, and move forward.
- Plan your week or month - Maybe you can’t plan the whole week or month in 5 or 10 minutes, but you can get a rough idea of what you have going on and go from there. Write down all of the important events. Add in chores and things you need to get done. Sprinkle in some self-care moments to recharge throughout the day.
- Say no to something - It sounds easy but think about it. When was the last time you said no to something because you really just couldn’t take on one more thing? Or you know it really wasn’t your jam? Saying no can be empowering, but it also doesn’t have to be rude. And it is completely okay to say no to your mom for lunch if you really just don’t have the time or energy to go to lunch.
- Make a smoothie - Simple and sweet. I actually do this every morning now as part of our early morning routine. It’s an act of self-care as I get a yummy thing first thing in the morning and an act of love for Andy. I make one for him to take with him on his commute.
- Meal Plan - In the same way, we planned for the week. Get a rough idea of what you are going to use for the food you have. This plan----+ may change the next time you are scrolling Pinterest, but get a plan in place. Not only will this answer What’s for Dinner without thinking, but you’ll save money by using what needs to be used first.
- Communicate your needs to your partner - Y’all… Relationships are scary. You have to be vulnerable with another human being about the things you only think to yourself and hope that you don’t scare them away. Even typing that gives me the creeps. I am currently in my longest relationship, and from the beginning, we have had hard conversations, tried to be open about the hard stuff, and it’s still hard. Almost 6 years later I still have a hard time communicating my needs. But every single time I do, my relationship gets better, and my happiness level goes up.
- Text a loved one - For people like me that notoriously do not make it to the post office, or those who really only have a minute, text a loved one, Text them more than just what’s up? Ask them about what is going on this week, or what they need to talk about. Most of my friendships are long-distance, and texting is sometimes the best way for us to stay in touch. Make it more personal.
- Go outside - Just a few minutes in the fresh air can change your mood and help recharge your energy dramatically.
- Try to get a few minutes outside in bright morning sunshine every day to get better sleep.
- Smile - Even if you are by yourself, smile. The act of smiling can make us feel better.
- Do 15 squats - Pay attention to your form, and turn those 15 squats into a quick workout. I also used to do 5 squats every time I used the restroom. This way if I was at work or out, I could do them in the stall without looking like a crazy person.
- Diffuse essential oils - Or light a candle if that’s your thing, Aromatherapy is so powerful. I’ll talk a little more about that in another post.
- Cuddle with a pet - I am blessed to have two cuddly pups in the house, but if you don’t have a pet, and you have a little more time, you could volunteer at a shelter or sign up to walk dogs with Rover.
- Stretch - A quick stretch session can really wake us up and feel good for our whole bodies. I like to choose a yoga video on Youtube to stretch alongside.
- Meditate - I really don’t meditate often. It hasn’t been something I personally find relaxing, but I know many who do. My mind races a million miles per minute, which is exactly why I know I need meditation, but it’s a habit I need to acquire. And it’s okay to not be ready for a habit yet. We are ever-growing creatures.
- Brain dump - Braindumping gets all of the thoughts preventing me from meditating onto paper.
- Clean something - Y’all know I am all about that timer. Set it for 10 minutes and focus on an area of your home that is causing you stress and anxiety. And then be done. If it takes ten 10 minute sessions, so be it. Each step is one step closer.
- Create a vision board - You can do a quick one in about 10 minutes or if you have more time you can spend as long as you like on it. Either use Pinterest, your phone, Canva, or just a big sheet of paper. Gather together all of the images of things you envision for your future. I like to take a photo and put it as my phone background or hang my vision board somewhere I will see it daily.
- Take a quick shower - Sometimes just the basics are important. Taking a quick shower is a way of hitting reset and allowing our bodies to start fresh feeling ready to attack the next tasks.
- Eat something healthy - Instead of reaching for the junk food, grab some fruit or veggies. Take care of your body and treat it well. Keep your body feeling good.
- Unfollow people on Social Media - I am a huge fan of the unfollow button. If someone is no longer bringing positivity into your daily life, let them go. If they bring you stress and anxiety, let them go. If you really just don’t get what you need from their profile, let them go. Keeping your following on social media to a minimum helps make sure you see what actually does brighten your day more often.
- Put on a face mask - No, not one of those things that prevent you from breathing in the fresh air that has become normalized. There are so many different options for face masks on the market from brightening, to soothing and acne relief. Or you can whip up your own. I will work on a list of recipes for you.
- Write down 5 things you love about yourself - Feeling a little less than worthy? Be your own cheerleader. What do you really love about yourself? If you are having a hard time, what do you love about those you surround yourself with? It’s likely you have similar qualities.
- Deep condition your hair - Give your hair some extra love and moisture, especially in the drier winter months.
- Walk around the block - For me, this is a much longer than 10-minute task… My “block” is almost 3 miles. But getting outside and getting moving is the point - Set a time for 5 minutes, walk wherever you can walk to, and then turn around.
- Write down your goals - Preferably in a place where you can see them regularly and not some random notebook you might run across in 5 years.
- Writing our goals and creating things like vision boards helps us remember and visualize our dreams. Seeing it every day keeps It at the forefront of the mind instead of looking back in 5 years saying you wish you had completed that goal.
- Declutter - No, you probably won’t get through a lot in just a few minutes, but if you choose to part ways with just one item, it is one less item you need to deal with.
- Brain Dump - Write it all down. Everything that comes to your mind, in no particular order. Get it all out on paper.
- Color an adult coloring book - No judgment if it’s not made for adults.
- Moisturize - The skin is the largest organ and our biggest protector against viruses and bacteria. Dry skin cracks and becomes more susceptible to allowing viruses and bacteria into our system.
- Eat breakfast in bed - Even if you have to make it yourself and then get back into bed to eat it.
- Write down the things that make you feel good. Self-care is a personal journey, and what makes me feel fulfilled, may not make you feel fulfilled. As you come across little things in your day that fill your cup write them down.
Do more of what makes you happy.
Which of these quick self-care tips will you be adding to your day? I would love to hear from you!