Finding time for self-care every day is hard. This post is all about simple 5-minute self care ideas for when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
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Sometimes we don’t have a full day to spend time reading our favorite book on the couch or getting cozy in a bubble bath. That doesn’t mean we should neglect our mental health and stop practicing self-care. All it takes is 5 minutes to practice self-care with some simple activities.
what is self care?
Self-care is simply taking care of you and your needs. It is doing things that take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. We can practice self-care in a variety of different ways from yoga and journaling to taking breaks and asking for help. Self-care is going to look different for every person, and you should practice self-care in the way that is best for you.
5-minute self care ideas
Take five minutes to try out one of these simple self care ideas when you are feeling overwhelmed today. I’ve found my day feels a lot less stressful if I take little moments throughout the day to practice self-care and check in with myself. I feel less burnout and happier at the end of the day.
This post is about 5-minute self care ideas
1. Deep breathing exercises
Doing something as simple as deep breathing exercises for five minutes can often be enough to relax our mind and body. Check out this mindful breathing meditation video that can help you concentrate on your breathing while releasing stress and anxiety.
2. Pet your dog/cat
Did you know that petting an animal can actually help relieve stress? Next time you are feeling overwhelmed spend five minutes snuggling up with your dog or cat (or lizard if you’re in to that).
3. Step outside
Get outside for a couple minutes everyday. Getting some sunlight is such a simple self-care activity and will only take a few minutes. Spend 5 minutes outside before driving to work, or take your lunch break outside instead of in the office.
4. Use essential oils
If you have a essential oil diffuser, turn it on and spend some time simply taking in the aroma. Aromatherapy isn’t the only way you can feel the benefits of essential oils though. You could also mix the oils with a carrier oil like coconut oil or even olive oil before rubbing it into your skin.
5. Say affirmations
A positive mindset can turn your whole day around. We don’t even realize that we are subconsciously thinking negatively about ourselves sometimes which can add more stress to our day. Positive affirmations can help by shifting your mindset to a more positive direction, so you feel better about yourself and are more confident to tackle the day ahead of you.
6. Take a break
Just walk away from whatever you are doing for 5 minutes. Take back a few moments of your day just for yourself. Sometimes all it takes to feel better is a short break and deep breaths.
7. Online window shop
This is my kind of self-care activity, and yes, you can consider online window shopping a self care activity:) 95% of the time I don’t really buy anything, I just think it’s fun to browse home decor and clothing. Short online browsing breaks provide me a little inspiration which can help motivate me during the day- try it out, maybe it will help you too!
8. Water your plant
There’s is something very relaxing about taking the time to care for your plants. I love using this misting bottle to provide my plants a little more moisture while allowing me all the fun of spraying the bottle everywhere. Use this 5-minute self care activity sparingly though, you don’t want to overwater your plants!
9. Drink water
Now that you’ve watered your plants, don’t forget to water yourself! You should be drinking around 4-6 cups of water everyday. I love this water bottle that helps keep you on track for your water intake goals with little encouraging words and time markers right on the bottle.
10. Listen to music
Pop in your earbuds on jam out to your favorite song. Most songs are in the 3-5 minute range so listening to music is the perfect 5-minute self care ideas.
11. Watch a Youtube video
Get caught up with your favorite Youtubers newest video or see what’s trending for the day. Youtube is filled with videos from entertainment to educational so you’re sure to find a good 5-minute video that you’re interested in. I personally really like watching late night talk-show clips on Youtube when I need a short break.
12. Write down something you are thankful for
Expressing gratitude is another great way we can shift our mindset in a more positive direction. When you think about things you are thankful for, your brain releases dopamine and serotonin which make you feel happier. A great 5 minute self care idea is to write down 3 things you are thankful for in a gratitude journal.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”Proverb
Get out of your desk, start walking around, and stretch! Do a few simple stretches like reaching for the sky and touching your toes. Remember to also gently stretch your neck by slowly rolling your head side to side. You could even try out this 5-minute full body yoga stretch on Youtube.
14. 5-minute mindfulness activity
15. Walk around
This 5-minute self care activity is really important for people who work in a desk all day. You need to be getting up and walking around for your physical and mental health. Get the blood circulating through your body by taking a couple laps around your office or by walking outside for a few minutes.
16. Doodle in a notebook
Remember doodling on the margins of your notebook in class as a kid? It was a fun creative outlet that alleviated stress, and you can still doodle in your notebooks as an adult! Take a few minutes from your day to sketch something, doodle on a blank page, and just have fun with it.
17. Write from a journal prompt
Journal prompts are great because they help guide us in our writing and thoughts by asking questions we don’t normally ask ourselves. Completing a short 5-minute journal prompt daily is a great way to become more mindful of your thoughts and emotions.
You may also like: 50 Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery and Self-Reflection
18. Drink tea
There’s nothing like a warm cup of tea to help you feel more relaxed. Also, isn’t making tea in a cute teapot 1000% more fun? I absolutely love this vintage mint green teapot that makes a whistling noise when your water is ready.
19. Have a snack
Eat a yummy snack the next time you feel like you need a self-care break. Some of my favorite snacks to munch on during breaks are popcorn, Goldfish, and Veggie Straws!
20. Light a candle
Turn down the lights in your room or office and light a candle. The soft flame will help your body relax and certain scents like lavender and eucalyptus can be used as aromatherapy.
21. Change into comfy clothes
Wearing uncomfortable work clothes all day will put anyone in a bad mood. Change into comfortable sweats and your favorite sweatshirt. Don’t forget to keep your feet nice and cozy with these awesome moccasins. Changing into comfy clothes is one of my face 5 minute self care ideas.
22. Splash your face with water
Try splashing your face or neck water water the next time you feel tired or just need a reset. Some people have used splashing water on their face to help get their mental state back on track when they are feeling anxious.
23. Text a friend
Self care is also about taking care of your social well-being. It only takes 5-minutes to check in with your friends and family. Ask them how they are doing or catch up on all the people you’ve ghosted the past week *guilty of this*
24. Read an article online
Learn something new or search the web for new blogs. Read an online article like this one in your free time as an educational 5 minute self care idea.
25. Read a poem
A poem can help us gain a new perspective on life. I mean if you like music, then they are basically song lyrics that you read. Read some poetry when you have a couple minutes, or even better write a few lines of poetry yourself.
26. Put on lotion
Moisturizing is an important self care activity! Keep your skin hydrated with the the classic CeraVe moisturizing body lotion. If you have dry skin like me, reapplying a good moisturizing lotion in the winter months is a must!
27. Read a daily devotional
Reading a daily devotional is a great way to grow spiritually and gain a better understanding of the Bible. Below are some great daily devotional books.
28. Read motivational/inspiring quotes
An easy pick-me-up self care idea is to read a couple inspiring quotes. Pinterest has a ton of great motivational and inspiring quotes you can scroll through and read to gain a little inspiration.
You may also like: 30 Inspirational Women Entrepreneurs Quotes to Inspire You
some quick self care tips
Remember that self care is about taking care of YOU and your physical, emotional, and mental well being. Self care doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing for it to be effective. Take a nap, take a break, take 5 minutes from your day to practice self care.