This next post in my Nourish series will be looking at small ways you can nourish your mind, body and soul to practice self-care during those really busy days.
Whether it’s a busy job, raising children, running your own business, coping with health problems or one of the many other things we face each day, it can be tricky to fit in time for nourishing self-care and looking after ourselves. It’s often the thing that drops off the bottom of the to-do list at the end of an exhausting day. However, it’s also one of the most important things because if we don’t look after ourselves and fill up our own tank, we won’t be any use to anyone.
There is often a misconception that self-care is a unicorn and glitter filled fantasy of weekend long spa trips, two hour bubble baths and hotel stays. Unfortunately, for a lot of us that is completely unrealistic with the time and financial restrictions that these impose. I want to bust the myth that self-care has to be expensive or time consuming and that’s it’s all about pampering. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a lovely bubble bath as much as the next person and pampering is definitely an element of self-care, but self-care is also about nourishing your soul, being creative, being kind to yourself, creating boundaries, saying no, doing things which light you up, showing gratitude, stepping away from other people’s drama and handing back responsibility for something which doesn’t belong to you. It’s about finding a little pocket of time that is just for you and your needs, which can help you cope with all the balls you are juggling along with building resilience for the tough times. By practicing self-care, we are listening to what our body needs, giving ourselves the respect we deserve and helping to safeguard our health. Self-care isn’t selfish – it’s vital.
Here are some ideas on some pocket-sized moments of self-care, which only take 10 minutes or less:
- Carry a fiction book with you and enjoy 10 minutes of reading, where you can escape into another world.
- Write or say a list of 15 things you are grateful for in your life.
- Say no to something you don’t want to do.
- Enjoy a cup of something hot and soothing without doing anything else.
- Light a candle and watch the beautiful flame.
- Go for a walk in nature.
- Hand back responsibility for something you’ve taken on which doesn’t belong to you – let people take responsibility for their own lives.
- Enjoy 10 minutes of knitting, crochet, origami, colouring or something creative which you love.
- Meditate for 10 minutes.
- Call a positive friend or loved one for a catch up.
- Sit down, drop your shoulder and take some deep breaths.
- Grab your journal or a piece of paper and write down everything that is whirling around your brain.
- Have a nourishing snack – don’t forget the basics!
- Cuddle up with your pet.
- Burn some aromatherapy oils, light a beautifully smelling candle, use an aromatherapy spray or roll on and enjoy the gorgeous aromas.
- Read 10 minutes of an inspirational book.
- Sit down and do nothing for 10 minutes.
- Be compassionate and kind with yourself – congratulate yourself on what you have managed to do and change your internal voice into a soothing voice that you would use with your best friend to help you deal with whatever you are finding challenging.
- Grab your sketch book or a piece of paper and draw whatever you like.
- Create a boundary around someone or a situation that is causing you stress.
- Spend 10 minutes cuddling a hot water bottle.
- Pamper your body for 10 minutes doing something you love – a manicure, pedicure, body scrub, moisturising your body.
- Enjoy ten minutes of a TV program or film that you love.
- Say or write some positive affirmations.
- Take 10 minutes to choose something to wear that you love – jewellery, nail polish, clothes, make up – whatever will bring you joy and make you feel good throughout the day.
- Learn something new for 10 minutes.
- Take a 10 minute bubble bath.
- Spend 10 minutes in the garden.
- Do something for 10 minutes, which you absolutely love doing.
- Do 10 minutes of yoga.
- Listen to your favourite music or podcast for 10 minutes
- Take a 10 minute nap.
- Listen to a 10 minute guided meditation.
- Step away from getting caught up in someone else’s drama and choose peace.
- Give yourself a 10 minute hand, shoulder and neck massage.
All of these activities can be extended for when you can make more time and space – the longer the better! Schedule in your self-care so it’s in your diary for the length of time that you can give to it – whether it’s ten minutes, half an hour or longer. If possible, think about getting into a routine so your self-care happens around the same time each day but if not, don’t worry and make time for it in wherever you can. Set a timer if necessary and intend that this precious time will be for you and your needs only.
I have created a little area on my desk with my aromatherapy spray, my aromatherapy roll on, a candle, some nourishing snacks, some crystals and my affirmation of the day. This helps me to create mini moments of self-care, when I’m working to give me a few minutes break during the day. These often take less than two minutes but bring calm and joy into my day.
If you’re based at a desk all day, consider creating a little corner or drawer filled with things which make you smile and bring you peace and encourage you to practice self-care. If you’re not based in one place all day, you could make a little self-care nourishing kit to carry in your bag with things which bring you calm and joy and help give you pocket-sized moments of self-care when you’re on the move. This is also a lovely idea to take away on holiday or if you travel for business so that your self-care practices can come with you.
These are only a handful of ideas to get you thinking. Ultimately, self-care is about doing something for yourself that you love and need so think about what would really make a difference to you.
How will you spend your ten minutes?
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