What the heck is self-care?
Self-care means just that: caring for the self. However you choose to do that works great! If you’re treating your mind and body with kindness, you’re practicing self-care. One person’s manicure is another’s session with their favorite podcast. But self-care goes deeper than that. Sure, doing little things that bring you joy or make you feel pampered are part of self-care. But what is really means is digging deep, to find out what you really need to be the best version of yourself, achieve your goals, and live your life to the fullest. Real self-care is making sure that you eat balanced meals and exercise, that your relationships are healthy ones, and that you are taking care of your mental health.
Ok, but I don’t have time for that
We’re all busy and stressed out, and sometimes the idea of taking time out for self-care doesn’t seem feasible. But it really doesn’t take long, especially if you keep in mind that the pamper yourself version of self-care saturating your Instagram feed isn’t the only way to do it! Don’t worry if you think you don’t have the time or money to practice self-care. We’ve got you covered with the following tips:
4 easy self-care practices you can do in 10 minutes (or less)
1) Go for a walk:
Going for a walk (or a jog or run, if that’s more your thing) gets your body moving and your blood pumping, and it can distract you from what’s going on in your life—or maybe even give you the time you need to solve a problem you’ve been working on. You can go for a longer walk, but even 10 minutes will do the trick. Listen to a feel-good playlist or give yourself some time alone with your thoughts.
2) Be Mindful:
It’s easy to meditate, even if you’ve never tried it! Just sit or lie down in a comfortable position and take a deep breath in. Now slowly breathe out. Try to concentrate on your breath and keep your mind clear. It might be frustrating if your mind keeps wandering, but it’s totally normal. Just keep trying. As long as you’re being still and quiet and breathing deeply, you’ll reap the benefits of meditation! You should feel more focused and relaxed afterwards—and ready to take on the rest of your day.
3) Choose positivity:
Choosing positivity is perhaps one of the most powerful acts of self-care. It’s sometimes difficult to stay positive, especially if you suffer from a mental health condition like depression, but it’s crucial. The most helpful thing you can do to stay positive is to choose to spend time with positive people. You wouldn’t believe how big of an effect avoiding gossipers and other negative people can have on your mindset. Try starting your day with an affirmation like “Today I will choose positivity. I will stay away from the people who radiate negativity, and I will spend time with those who radiate positivity.”
4) Take time for yourself:
While self-care is more than spa treatments and desserts, sometimes that’s exactly what you need. The important thing is that you take time for yourself. Even if your schedule is packed; you can always ask for help! A colleague could maybe take a task or two off your hands, or a partner or family member could help out with childcare or household chores. Just pencil in some time for yourself—get a manicure, go out with friends, binge something on Hulu, or just make yourself a fancy cheese plate. Or instant mac and cheese. That works, too.