Mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health, but, oftentimes when you’re stressed and overwhelmed, you lack the time to relax. Prolonged stress can lead to an abundance of problems such as depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular disease. In order to combat the stress of everyday life, here are self-care ideas that you can do even if you only have 5 minutes.
1. Take a Moment to Meditate
Sometimes, when you’re stressed out, just taking a minute or five to reevaluate your day and free up your mind can be very beneficial. If you find yourself sitting in the office with time to spare, or you’re on your lunch break and have a break, simply declutter your mind and focus on yourself. If you want, you can create a sacred place within your mind and go there whenever you meditate.
2. Drink a Glass of Water
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways that you can practice self-care throughout the day. Take a minute to drink a glass of water and just focus on the moment. If you’re looking for an added boost of flavor and nutrition, you can also invest in a special water bottle that will allow you to add fruits and herbs to your water. Some of the most popular fruits to add to water are watermelon, lemon, blueberries, and cucumbers. You can also add herbs like mint.
3. Listen to Your Favorite Song
This is one of the easiest ways to practice self-care through the day, and you can pair it with other self-care habits. Using your headphones, listen to your favorite song once or twice. While listening, considering taking a moment to drink that glass of water or to meditate.
You don’t have to have a 45 minute yoga session in your cubicle to feel better. Even a few minutes of simple stretches can increase blood flow to your muscles, calm your mind, and relieve stress. If you find yourself needing a moment for yourself, stand up and do a few stretches. Reach up as far as you can then touch your toes. You can also do squats, spinal twists, neck rolls, and even chest openers.
5. Write Down a List of Everything You’re Thankful For
It’s easy to feel drained and down throughout the day, especially if it’s been a particularly tough or stressful day. A good way to combat these negative feelings is by replacing them with positive feelings. Using either a pen and paper, your phone, and even just your head, make a list of at least five things you’re thankful for. Don’t stop there, though! If you still have free time, expand your list to ten things or even more. If a person has made their way onto your list, take the time that day to thank them and spread the positivity.
When thinking about self-care, it’s easy to forget just how good laughing is for you. Laughing triggers the production of endorphins, which will increase your mood. If you find yourself with free time, take some time to watch a funny video or chat with a funny friend.