We all have days where our self-care game just isn’t on point. It’s ok, not every day can be a great day but there are ways to make the less good days seem a bit better.
I’ve had more bad days than good lately. I’ve been home sick a lot and I really don’t enjoy it. I had 3 weeks off recovering from surgery, was at work for one week and then off again for a week.
It’s the boredom that gets to me because I can’t manage to do much when I feel this way. If I do anything for too long I get a headache – sleep too long, read too long, watch tv too long, colour too long. I still don’t have a lot of energy as it can take up to 3 months to recover completely from the surgery I had.
But I’ve found ways to make myself feel better, even if it is just for a short while.
Here are 12 ways to self care in under 10 minutes
Its the easiest one that only requires you. You can literally do it anywhere and no one will be any wiser because hey, we all need to breathe. There are many different breathing exercises that you can follow as well. I have a Fitbit Charge 2 that has a Relax mode and all you do is follow the breathing instructions for 2 minutes. It really helps when I need a me moment.
2. Freshen Up
Wash your face, have a shower, brush your teeth or do all 3. Feeling clean can really help your mindset if you’re feeling off. I know it’s tempting to stay in pjs all day but that can actually be counter-productive if you want to feel better.
3. Dress to Impress
But to impress yourself. Those days where I feel like shit and don’t want to do anything are the days where I know I need to get up and actually get dressed and not just in see through yoga pants dressed, I mean proper dressed.
If you’re new to meditation or skeptical of the benefits, meditation will be really hard. It is called a practice because you need to do just that, practice, to benefit from it. There are apps you can use to help. Headspace have a 10 day guided intro to meditation but my favourite app is the Calm app. I use the free version and its great. My one complaint is that I wish you could buy certain features rather than sign up monthly but its a small annoyance. They have guided and unguided meditations where you can choose the length of time. I also use it a lot at night time as they have sleep stories to help you get to sleep.
5. Practice Gratitude
And not just the basic I have shelter, food and people who love me even though these are great. Something a bit deeper like ‘I’m grateful that I can buy a $40 umbrella cuz its raining and I don’t have to worry where that money came from’ or ‘I’m grateful that despite being caught speeding, I and no one else was hurt by my actions.’
Grab a notebook and write, draw or doodle for a few minutes. Don’t worry that its not all perfect. It doesn’t need to be. Just get out whatever it is you need to. It’s not about having an insta-worthy, perfect layout notebook/journal. It’s about having a space to let out what you need when you need to.
7. Write a to-do list
Even if your list literally consists of get up, have a shower, get dressed, eat something nutritious. I get it. Some days that’s all you can manage. And you know what? Its still an accomplishment. You did it!
8. Tidy something up
Whether its your room, your desk or your car, you’ll feel better once things seem to be in order. Plus it amazing how much you can accomplish in 10 minute slots.
9. Sing and dance to your favourite song
I have a playlist called Shower and its all the songs I love to sing and dance to in the shower. I play it at other times and it always puts me in a good mood.
Its no surprise that when your body feels tense, you feel tense and when your body is loose, you feel loose. One of my favourite stretch/yoga sequences is only 7 minutes long but it makes a world of difference.
Drink water. And keep drinking water. It can help with alertness and movement and has so many benefits to your body. Chuck in some mint or lemon too if you feel like it.
12. Physical Contact
Physical contact can drastically improve mood. It can foster greater intimacy and trust between two people and can greatly improve communication, bonding and health.
So there you have it. 12 different ways to improve your mood in less than 10 minutes.