By Carli Ashley
Self-care has become a trend I can definitely hop on board with. Who doesn’t love face masks, manicures, treat-yourself moments, and justifying indulging in incredible food or fancy cocktails? For most people, finding this time to have these moments is difficult. Most people I know have a minimum of two things constantly on the go, on top of all of their daily responsibilities.
Self-care is so much more than aesthetic treatments and heading out on the town. I love how self-care habits have become popular, but it’s important that the main focus be on resetting and recharging the body and the mind. Over the last few years I have discovered that I am not the type of person that can run myself ragged and survive. I have sorted out how to take care of myself, mentally and physically, while still successfully reaching #girlboss heights. Here are 8 ways I manage on fitting self-care into 5 minutes or less:
1. Utilise your free time.
If you commute to work, use the opportunity to plan out your day, week or month. Having a plan set out will help to calm your wandering thoughts. Personally, I find utilising apps like Google Calendar and having a notebook where I can throw to-do lists to be the best way to take care of my mental health. It’s incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed when you feel like you have thousands of things to do and no time to do them. If you don’t commute to work, find any time where you can accomplish this task. It’ll take a few minutes and you’ll thank yourself later!
2. Start the day off right.
Before you get out of bed in the morning, concentrate on inhaling and exhaling for five breaths. Do a light stretch in bed and think about something that will help you set the right tone for the day. If you have a busy day, set the intention that you will conquer the day the best that you can. Don’t put pressure on yourself, just allow yourself to breathe, relax and gradually wake up your body and mind. Set your alarm 5 minutes earlier every day to allow yourself time to do this. Also, make your bed. I started doing this every morning and it has made all the difference in how I see the day ahead.
I’m sure by now you have heard of the phenomenon of jade rolling. I thought it was a gimmick at first, but let me tell you, it is no joke. I store mine in the fridge and right before I apply my makeup I do a quick face roll. Taking even 30 seconds to use a cool jade roller on your face gives you some time to yourself (and to drain your lymph notes) before you start your day, while giving you a ton of skincare benefits.
Depuffing eye gels also only take a few minutes. Throw these on while you brush your teeth, make your coffee or chug a glass of water. P.S. These can also be thrown in the freezer for a few minutes right before putting them on which feels great!
4. Mind dump your thoughts.
This one can be done in the morning or right before bed. You’ll need a notebook that you can rip the pages out of. Mind dumping your thoughts means that without any inhibitions, you place all thoughts on a piece of paper. Physically writing down your thoughts is more effective than running them through in your mind or typing them out on a phone. Doing this in the morning helps you focus on what is important, what needs to be done and how to organize your day. The nightly brain dump will help you sleep because you won’t be half asleep and then snap awake because you’re thinking about the fact that you forgot to pick up almond milk for your morning latte. Brain dumping your thoughts is all about refocusing your mind and helping to remove all unconscious stressers.
5. Organize your vitamins and supplements for the week.
If you take vitamins or supplements you’ll know it can be really difficult to stick with it during the week, especially the weeks where you have a ton of things going on. Think of it like meal prepping for your vitamins. This takes no time and is super effective for maintaining your health throughout the week. I like using an AM and PM pill organizer so I don’t have to think about a single thing. I separate the supplements that can’t be taken together or are more effective on an empty stomach or after food. You can find these pill organizers on Amazon or at your local drugstore…or in your grandparent’s medicine cabinet. Don’t knock it until you try it!
6. Tech detox.
This will sound ironic, but set a timer on your phone for 30 minutes. Before doing so, put your phone on silent and make sure it is across the room, face down or somewhere you won’t see the screen light up. Then just relax. Use the time to breathe, read, put a load of laundry in, go outside and take a breath of fresh air. Whatever it is, just make sure you don’t have a screen in front of you. Detox from technology will allow you to recenter from the millions of things you feel you have to do and all the unconscious comparison that comes with most of the posts online.
7. Buy yourself something that adds to your mood.
If you’re walking down the street after work and you pass by a flower stand, coffee shop or farmers market, pick yourself up something inexpensive that will add to your day. Treating yourself with something small will make you feel special, like you’re putting yourself first by making your happiness a priority. It takes no time at all and may turn around a bad or stressful day.
8. Make TV time productive.
Use cuticle oil and hand cream while you catch up on your favourite shows to treat your nails and hands between manicures. You’ll maintain your manicure and treat yourself at the same time. Doing this gives you a little self-care maintenance without even really having to think about it.
Make yourself a priority and think about your mental and physical health. Self-care doesn’t have to take up an entire day, cost a fortune or only be about aesthetics. Try these habits to start putting minor self-care moments throughout your day to change your lifestyle.