All the time in the world? Uh, that phrase is a teensy-weensy bit misleading. There’s almost never enough time to do essential things, like focus on ourselves. Solution? Let’s change that! It’s Self-Care September, darn it, and we’re here for it. Recharge body, mind and spirit, even if you’re short on time. Behold: Your 5-minute self-care routine. These super-simple, time-efficient, self-care habits will keep you healthy, happy and connected to your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Your 5-Minute Self-Care Routine
(Because everyBODY has 5 minutes!)
Stretch. We’ll say it again. Streeeetch. It improves flexibility and serves as a true act of self-care. “The movement not only provides a sense of release and helps you feel connected to your body, but it can also serve as a powerful reminder that you took the time to do something restorative for yourself.”
Enter a room or a place with a smile. Doesn’t matter if no one’s in the room; show off those pearly whites for yourself—it’s an instant anxiety reliever. Smiling causes your brain to release neuropeptides that help fight off stress, while neurotransmitters like endorphins relieve mild pain. There’s even been some data that forcing a smile can be a mood booster.
Laugh aloud for minute. Halfway through you’ll really be laughing at how ridiculous you feel/sound…until ultimately your laughter becomes real. (No joke.) Because in the short-term, laughter activates your stress response, promotes circulation to soothe tension, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and boosts endorphins released to your brain, according to Mayo Clinic. Long-term, it’s been suggested laughter alleviates pain, helps you connect with others, and improves your immune system and mood.
Freewrite. Journaling’s a well-received self-care pastime, but if you don’t have the time (or if you have writer’s block), simply freewrite. Take 60 seconds to put the pen to paper. Write anything you want—a quick gratitude list, words that inspire you (passion, love, strength, etc.), goals for the day, etc.
Cuddle with your pet. Hold and stroke your four-legged, furry BFF to ease anxiety; cuddle for a quick sec to release dopamine and serotonin, the “happy hormones” that alleviate depression and anxiety. (Don’t have a pet? We bet mom, sis, your spouse, etc. are good stand-ins!)
Airplane mode. Put your phone on it. For these five minutes at least.
Reach for a glass of H2O. Drinking enough water can help boost energy levels, increase mood and improve memory and brain function (among its many benefits).
Expect that positive, fabulous things will happen to you today! Take a few moments to meditate and manifest on positivity. Like Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Pretty smart guy.