Self-care…you know you need it. But do you actually DO it?
I am the first to admit that self-care is often pushed to the back burner by kid needs, husband needs, house needs, work needs, client needs, pet needs…all the needs. Self-care always seemed more like something I would get around to eventually if I had time. But I never had the time.
Then last Fall I felt like I cracked. All this putting out but never stopping to refill took its toll on my mental and physical health. Ok, universe. Lesson learned.
Want to know a great part about slowing down and recognizing my need to take care of me? I realized it didn’t have to take a long time. I realized it didn’t have to cost a fortune. Of course, it could. And of course, I should treat myself. But there are also things I can do on a daily basis that can help me care for myself that take very little time and no money. They are things I can do with my kids so there is literally no excuse.
And that list of 10 free 10-minute self-care ideas I brainstormed last Fall is what I would like to share with you today. It helped me with my mental and physical health at the end of 2019. It helped me maintain a positive outlook during quarantine. And it will continue to help me take care of me into the future. So I can continue to take care of everyone else.
Watch or read below…
Mindset Self-Care Ideas
Mindset work is crucial to my daily well being. Not sure why it took me so long to realize how much my thoughts, positive or negative, influence my daily actions. But once I realized this, I knew I needed to work on my mindset regularly to stay healthy, stay positive, and move forward in my business.
- Meditation – This has truly been the biggest game-changer for me in terms of mental health. I used to be afraid of quiet. However, now I see it’s necessary. Call it what you want: meditation, prayer, stillness, quiet time. Just take time each day to breathe and stay present. Don’t focus on what did happen or what will happen. Focus on now. I use the Calm app but there are several options out in the forms of apps, YouTube videos, and podcasts to help you quiet your mind.
- Gratitude Journal – It is so much easier to recognize and invite in abundance if you take time each to show gratitude for what you have. It can be as simple as writing 3-5 things on a sheet paper before bed. It can be a discussion around the breakfast table with your family. I personally use the 5 Minute Journal app on my phone. Above all, recognize what you have, big and small. It brightens your mood and helps boost your immune system. Who doesn’t want that?!?
- Writing Affirmations – Wanting more is a great motivator. But not when it grates on your self-esteem or ability to show thanks for what you have. You need to appreciate who you are. All your abilities. Affirmations go hand in hand with gratitude to show you how blessed you are. They help you see all the positive traits you can share with the world. And they can reprogram your subconscious mind in a positive way and help you achieve the life you want. (All that from a little daily dose of affirmation…wow!)
- Writing Goals – While writing goals may not feel like it falls into the traditional “self-care” category, it does if you write them as if they already happened. Just as with affirmations, writing goals in the past tense will train your brain to believe you already have accomplished that goal. Rather than inserting the doubt that you can complete it. What amazing thing did you do this week?
Physical Self-Care Ideas
Don’t worry…they aren’t all exercise-related. 😂 These self-care ideas include physical activities that you do to help get the blood flowing and improve your mood. But speaking of exercise…
- Move Your Body – Even if you aren’t a fan of traditional exercise, moving your body is an important form of self-care. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Set up an obstacle course with your kids. Stretch. Dance. Park your car at the end of the parking lot. Swing on a swing. Rearrange your furniture. Do jumping jacks. Raising your heart rate release dopamine which makes us feel good. But raising your heart rate doesn’t need to be running on a treadmill, lifting weights, or taking a spin class. If you’re feeling disconnected or in a funk, move your body.
- Deep Breaths – On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are times when we feel stress and anxiety that we need to slow down. Sitting quietly (you can hide from your kids in your car, I won’t tell) and taking 5-10 really deep breaths while focusing on the inhale and exhale will help to increase your oxygen supply. It helps to lessen stress and anxiety. It can improve your attention span and lessen physical pain. Next time you feel that flutter in your chest, you know the one, find a quiet place and breathe.
- Laugh, Really Hard – When was the last time you had a good, hearty laugh? It seems so easy and yet we underutilize this form of self-care. I mean, when was the last time you were stressed, anxious, or sad after watching your favorite comedian or funny movie? Studies have shown laughing can help boost the immune system, ease anxiety, relieve stress, and diffuse anger (I’m looking at you, social media). Take a few minutes to watch funny animal videos or your kids make faces. Watch your favorite funny movie. Read a funny book. Laughter truly is the best medicine. 🤣🤣🤣
Activity Self-Care Ideas
In conclusion, we will discuss activities you can do by yourself or with your family. It’s less about strengthening your mind or getting your heart rate up, and more about doing something you love. Perhaps even with people you love. Or alone…trust me, I’m not judging.
- Reach Out to Someone You Love – When was the last time you got non-bill mail? Or a phone call instead of a text? We are simultaneously more and less connected than ever. Feeling disconnected? Phone a friend. Want to express gratitude? Write a thank you card. Miss social interaction with friends or family who are far away? Schedule a group call. Take the next step to create that connection. Social interaction helps to maintain mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. Communication with those we love releases dopamine to improve your mood. But we can’t sit and wait for people to reach out to use. Make the call. Send the email. Send the letter.
- Make Something – Lots of wiggle room in this suggestion based on your idea of fun. For instance, you could bake something. Craft something. Sew something. Color something. Paint something. Build something. Write something. Engaging in creativity can boost your mood and help you feel accomplished. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The simple act of creating boosts your immune system and increases your happiness.
- Read – If you’re a reader, do you make time for it? Reading improves your focus, mindfulness, and connection with your family. By reading fiction before you sleep, you can help improve dreaming (which is important for your brain). Reading with your children establishes quality time and builds a positive relationship with reading and books for them. Not to mention, if you enjoy reading for whatever reason, you should do something you enjoy.
And there you have it. Ten ideas that won’t cost you a dime that you can do it 10 minutes or less to improve your mood, relationships, and overall mental well-being. Which one will you do? Is there something on your list that I missed? Comment below and share how you will incorporate self-care into your routine or other ways you can improve how you take care of you.
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