Truly Doable Self-Care That Takes 5 Minutes Or Less

My friend swans into brunch looking remarkably well-rested and relaxed.

She tucks the napkin into her lap, sighs happily, and launches into an endorsement of the amazing spa where she just spent a three day weekend.

“You’ve got to check it out, girl. You’re always talking about self-care, you deserve some yourself!”

I know. I KNOW. And I would love to book myself into Miraval for three days. Who wouldn’t?!

But between Halloween, the upcoming holidays, on-boarding new coaching clients, and prepping for a totally-outside-of-my-professional-comfort-zone product launch (stay tuned!) I don’t have the time, money, or energy for $1,300 a night spa stays that also require me to book a flight.

(Sidenote: I created a free workbook called 15 Ways To Find Time To Actually Practice Self-Care! Click here to download your copy.)

If you’re in the same boat, here are 11 of my favorite ways to fit in tiny slivers of self-care in less than five minutes.

1- Open a window

Here in California, it’s open-window weather, well, almost year round. Cracking the window and getting some fresh air and hearing the birds makes spreadsheets, bill-paying, or meal prep a bit nicer.

2- Light a candle

I personally love these. Lighting a candle (especially on dark mornings or after sunset) makes things feel cozy and intentional, rather than “why am I up this early?!” depressing. It can also make an overcast, drizzly day feel lovely.

3- Slip into something more comfortable (literally)

The tight underwire bra, the shoes that pinch, the skirt that keeps riding up – these can all impact our moods to a surprising extent! It only takes a minute to put on a pair of cute yoga pants or slippers. I love these!

4- Put that food on a plate, eat it somewhere nice, without a screen

Plating your food (rather than eating it out of the tupperware, standing over the sink), takes 15 seconds max. If you’re feeling really fancy, add a decorative drizzle of olive oil, or something green on top.

Then take that plate out onto the patio, the deck, or just away from your desk and give your meal and yourself the attention they deserve.

5- Listen to a beloved song from your adolescence

Studies show that listening to music from our adolescence is often tied to positive memories of that time. So google “Top 40 songs of 2002” and luxuriate in Vanessa Carlton’s A Thousand Miles and your memories of low rise jeans. (Or 1995 and Collective Soul’s “December” as the case may be.)

6- Put on earrings (or lipstick)

Or whatever your personal version of “I’m making an effort” – a belt, high heels, a shirt with a collar. Enclothed Cognition is real and when we wear something we associate with being “put together” we feel better.

7- Set a timer and spend five minutes tidying up

You will be amazed by how much you can accomplish. You can even pair this with #5 and clean for the length of a favorite song!

8- Take a deep breath of an invigorating scent

Aromatherapy is an incredibly effective and affordable way to feel better fast. Aromatherapists generally agree that scents like sage, lemon, peppermint, jasmine, and cedarwood boost focus and creativity.

9- Stretch

I bet you’ve been sitting in a desk chair or hunching over a phone for multiple hours today, right? Or hauling around a toddler? I love this no-equipment-needed five-minute stretching routine.

10- Text a friend about a funny shared memory

Connecting with the people we love is a quick way to feel better and it strengthens our relationships in the long run (which is also self-care.) Text or message a friend about a funny memory you have of something you two did together.

11- Cuddle with your pet, partner or child

Cuddling with someone you love releases endorphins and a feel-good hormone called oxytocin. So give your kiddo, partner, or pup a cuddle and feel better in a few minutes!

But I want to hear from you! What did I miss – what’s your favorite five-minute self-care practice?

(P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for my newest product! I’m dropping it on January 8th and it will definitely help you practice self-care in five minutes!)