We are so busy nowadays that we don’t take time out for ourselves. We are always on the go. However, it’s important to be proactive about taking good care of ourselves so we can recharge our battery and we don’t run the risk of burnout. Here are some practical self-care ideas for busy people – even when you only have 15 seconds!
If you have 15 seconds to 1 minute
- Drops everything else and just pause, stop all the doing and just be for little while, close your eyes for a moment and feel the stillness, take a couple of deep breaths, repeat an affirmation/mantra or prayer, or do absolutely nothing and just relax.
- Better still, try this self-compassion exercise: put your hands on your heart and breathe into it, feel your heart beating and the warmth and love. Take self-care microbreaks like these throughout the day.
If you have 1-5 minutes
- Look out of the window, stand up and move about, stretch your body or do a few quick yoga poses such as the Sun Salutation, make a cup of tea or coffee and drink it slowly and mindfully.
- Also, consciously shift gears: maybe you have a long to-do list, but take a break after you finish task A instead of jumping straight into task B.
If you have 5-30 minutes
- Don’t sit at your desk, go outside, get some sun, go for a walk, or go get coffee or healthy snacks.
- Or you can stay in but do something different: listen to your favourite music, and if you are at home you can also dance to the music, watch a funny YouTube video, be social and talk to your co-workers, call your family or friends for a quick chat.
- Another option is to do a quick (guided) meditation or visualisation, or take a power nap!
If you have more than 1 hour
- Go out for lunch/dinner by yourself or with others, go to the gym or the yoga studio, go to the park, read for pleasure, write in your journal, make lists to get whatever is in your head onto paper, have a long chat with a close friend or family.
- If you are at home, cook your own meal and eat the food mindfully, spend time in your garden, play with your pet or your child, take a long nap, watch a favourite TV show or two, go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep.
If you have more than 1 day or the whole weekend
- Unplug from technology (for at least half a day), don’t spend it just doing house chores or running errands, sleep in or catch up on sleep, exercise, spend time with your family and friends, go for coffee/brunch/dinner, enjoy great company and conversations, go window shopping, go to local food or craft markets, sample delicious food and drinks, or try new recipes and cook up a storm.
- Also, go for a drive, go into nature is great for self-care – bushwalking, bike riding, swimming, etc, do something you haven’t done for a long time, take a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn, be adventurous!