If your vision of “self-care” is Sundays spent sleeping till noon, applying sheet masks, and doing the crossword in your pajamas, you’re not far off. But self care practices can (and should!) also be bite-size actions that easily slip into your daily routine, like picking up a pretty bouquet while you’re out grabbing milk at the grocery store. We have 10 more ways to put yourself first when you only have 10 minutes to spare.
1. Spa out. Turn your shower into a full-on spa by hanging a bunch of eucalyptus from the showerhead. The steam will help release the essential oils for a soothing and uplifting rinse. While you’re at it, apply a face mask while you shampoo and soap up too.
2. Treat your hands. Recreate the salon experience by grabbing your favorite lotion and giving yourself a mini hand massage and quick manicure. Try to really zone in on the feeling of working out any trapped stress points in your fingers and knuckles and lose yourself in the act of painting on a pretty polish.
3. Get your om on. Do a quick search on YouTube for a 10-minute yin yoga class that’ll zap stress in its tracks and leave your body and mind feeling fully refreshed. Yin yoga focuses on deep breath work and holding poses for a longer period of time than a regular hatha or vinyasa class.
4. Dream. DIY a quick lavender pillow spray that’ll guarantee the sweetest snooze when you finally hit the hay. Fill a small amber glass spray bottle with 30 drops of lavender essential oil, three tablespoons filtered water, and 1/2 tablespoon witch hazel.
5. Enjoy teatime. Create your own tea ritual by setting out your favorite mug, saucer, and loose-leaf tea. Do some stretches or deep breathing while you wait for the water to boil and your tea to steep. We like gunpowder green or Earl Grey for an afternoon cup or try chamomile or rooibos before bed.
6. Reach out to a loved one. Text a far-flung friend that you’re thinking of her and ask a quick question that she’ll be able to reply to instantly. Something like, “What’s for dinner?” or “What was the funniest thing that happened to you today?” will get the convo going without all the pressure to fully catch up right this minute.
7. Try earthing. You know the blissed-out feeling you get when your feet are in the sand? There’s actually scientific evidence to back up the concept of “earthing,” when our bodies physically interact with the earth’s electrons to positive effect (several small studies show it can reduce blood pressure and help insomnia). For a quick hit of feel-good vibes, walk barefoot in the park, slip off your hiking boots in the woods, or simply go touch dirt somewhere (as the weather allows).
8. Read. What if you skipped the endless IG scroll next time, you’re in line at Whole Foods and actually read a few pages of that novel you downloaded forever ago? Reading is a form of active relaxation and lets the mind focus on one single task, similar to meditation.
9. Update your calendar. Finally schedule that doc appointment that’s been on regular roll-over on your to-do list. Getting on the books at the dentist/optometrist will make you a) feel accomplished and b) benefit your future health. Win-win.
10. Call your grandma. And not just on her birthday. She’ll treasure a quick chat with her favorite granddaughter, and we bet hearing her voice on the other end of the line will brighten your day too.