In my practice as a mental health therapist, I have found that people often struggle to practice self-care for several reasons. One of these, is the mindset that self-care is indulgent, unnecessary, selfish, a luxury and time consuming. For this reason, self-care is often the first thing to go on our to-do list and is rarely prioritized. Self-care is important for many reasons. It helps decrease stress, be present focused, and improves emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
Self-care does not have to be time consuming. I encourage clients to practice a variety of self-care activities and to be intentional about which activities they do and when. Self-care is a great way to help increase sense of self and awareness of emotional, physical, and mental health needs. A self-care activity should be reflective of the energy you are able to devote and what your needs are that day. For example, if I have a stressful and long day at work, I might choose a self-care activity that requires little time and energy from me. To help you continue to practice self-care on your busiest and most draining of days, the list below contains self-care activities that can be done in 5 minutes or less.
- 5 Minute Meditation: 5 minutes in a peaceful and relaxing environment while engaging in breath work makes a big difference. You can choose a guided meditation, listen to calming music or sit in silence.
- Make a brag list: take 5 minutes to write down personal accomplishments, strengths, and things you like about yourself.
- Journal: you can free write or look up a prompt.
- Write down some positive affirmations or mantras.
- Message a loved one.
- Dance around to your favorite song.
- Go outside or look out a window and practice a grounding technique (3 things I see, 3 things I hear, 3 things I smell and so on).
- Walk around the block
I hope this list helps you be more consistent in your practice of self-care. Self-care activities can be adaptable and flexible to meet your needs, time constraints and level of energy. If you need help practicing self-care, please reach out to one our therapists today!