There is a lot to balance right now: our kids’ online learning, figuring out how to telework, and the flood of information on the hour about COVID-19. What seems to be getting lost in the shuffle is our own self-care.
If you’re like us, it’s hard to make this happen. Our self-care is the first thing to drop for everyone else’s needs. But what if we took this opportunity to carve out mandatory time for ourselves to ensure that we are feeling restored each day? The entire family could use that reset time too, and imagine what we would be modeling to our little ones.
We’re not talking about an hour or even a half hour. Just five minutes. You’ll be surprised how you can adjust your mindset in such a short amount of time.
10 Simple Self-Care Ideas
- Wake up to quiet. Set your alarm a little earlier than everyone in the house and notice how still the world is. Try not to look at your phone right away—have a good stretch or pour your cup of coffee or tea first.
- Listen to short podcasts. Have you already taken the plunge? Are listening to podcasts while you’re washing dishes and folding the laundry? If not, this is your chance to zone out a bit, maybe learn something new, or even get in one of those good belly laughs. You can develop a whole library of podcasts and have them at-the-ready when you have time for a five- or 10-minute break. You’ll find yourself eager to find some time to listen in! You’d be surprised how many podcasts are five minutes long. If you have a little more time to pause, you’ll find even more under 15 minutes.
- Meditate or find some time to just look out the window. (Seriously, try it!) We have used the Calm.com app for just about any meditation situation. There seem to be never-ending options for guided relaxation techniques, including developing a gratitude practice, reducing anxiety, getting to sleep more quickly, and reducing stress. Never tried meditating before? Here's how to get started.
- Get outside—nature is nurturing.
- Make healthy food choices.
- Pause and bring yourself into a calmer present by activating your five senses. Try the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Method. This is a great exercise when you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Don't underestimate the power of water. Do you really know how much your body is supposed to get? The benefits of water are endless. Here's what the Mayo Clinic says about our need for water.
- Pump up the jams. Music is therapeutic. You know the feeling you get when your favorite song comes on.
- Get away from your desk and get your body moving. Type “5-minute workout” into your browser and be amazed by the number of results. There are plenty of 5-minute video workouts online. Here are a few to get you started: Quick Workout: 5-minute Total Body Workout (Women’s Health); Body Coach, a series of free workouts from 5 minutes to 30 minutes; 5-Minute Full Body Blast (Men’s Health).
- Call your bestie. Or a family member you keep thinking about but haven’t “had the time” (more like made the time) to talk with lately. Or better yet, FaceTime or Zoom them in. You can schedule ahead of time or reach out on a whim. First, people are more available than ever before, and we are all craving connection to one another even from afar. And second, after talking to one of your favorite humans, your spirits will surely be lifted. Sometimes we let our friends know upfront that we only have five minutes but just wanted to say hi and that we are thinking of them. This will brighten both your days and give you each the surge of energy needed to finish the day strong.