27 Ways To Practice Self Care (Under 10 Minutes)
How do you practice self-care when you’re busy with life? Having a self care list that you can pull out when you feel like rejuvenating yourself is essential.
Self-care doesn’t have to always include a long bubble bath with cucumber slices, music, and wine.
Often it looks like saying no to commitments that can overwhelm you or waking up a few minutes earlier so that you can get mentally prepared for the day.
Self care for me is a combination of quiet time, self expression, and mindfulness.
As a college student and part-time worker my days prior to prioritizing self-care were stressful if not draining.
I can imagine that you are going through stressful times as well and I hope by the end of this self care list you feel more prepared to practice self care.
This blog post is in collaboration with Evie From LaMalaMujer.com and together we worked to bring you guys 27 quick and easy self care activities that you can do in between shifts, classes, or any time you need to dedicate a few minutes to yourself.
Self-Care Activities Under 10 Minutes
Shift your mindset
1. Practice gratitude
The first thing I do when I wake up is express how grateful I am to be alive.
By allowing myself to not complain about how I need more sleep or how I really don’t want to get up I have effectively begun my day on the right foot.
Another way you can express gratitude is by celebrating a daily win.
This can look like “I’m glad I bought that ice cream on sale” or “I handled a stressful day at work well.”
A great way to step back from a chaotic day is to honor yourself by saying affirmations out loud.
An affirmation is any positive saying that helps you get through the day or task. When I feel overwhelmed I like saying “I am capable of managing several different priorities” or “I am a badass and I will learn to manage these tasks efficiently”.
If saying positive things about yourself feels weird, I want you to focus on maybe why that is.
You might have some deeply rooted limiting beliefs about yourself.
Journaling is a great way to practice self-care and step away from a busy schedule.
Some great journal prompts are:
What am I grateful for today?
What emotion best describes how I feel about the day?
What has been on my mind a lot today?
What can I do for myself today that will make me feel better?
4. Send a mental love letter
I like to do this exercise in the morning as I begin my day.
It’s a great way to set your intention for the day. I think about one person who I feel like could use good vibes, and I write them a short love letter.
It doesn’t need to be anyone you know. For example, the other day I went to the bank and I saw a woman who seemed very stressed out over some unauthorized transaction that occurred on her account. The next morning, I thought of her and wrote some kind words and wishes for her in my journal.
Giving love to others (even when they’ll never know about it) is a great way to welcome more positivity and love into your life.
I love to practice self-care in this way.
5. Make some tea
Chamomile and Jasmine are great tea ingredients that can reduce stress.
The action of making yourself tea in itself can serve as a way to take a break and practice self-care.
Related Post: How a sinking fund can reduce stress
6. Read an uplifting or fun book
When I hit a wall and need a change of pace, I’ll pull out an uplifting book.
As a kid, I loved getting lost in sci-fi and fiction books. As an adult, it helps to escape for a couple minutes and think of something fun before I get back to a rigorous workload.
7. Go for a walk
Moving your body is a great way to practice self-care and you don’t need much time to do so.
I like to go for a quick walk outside when I’m at work. A change of scenery is helpful to increase creativity.
It’s such a simple, yet powerful tool.
8. Change the scenery (move your work to a different place in your home)
Similar to going for a walk to get a change of scenery, moving your work station can also help.
I would do this often as an undergraduate college student to give me a boost. If I felt like I was running low on energy, I’d pack up my stuff, take a walk and brainstorm about another study library.
I’d always make it a point to grab a snack as well. A change of scenery and sounds helped me.
9. Step away from your work space
There is nothing more essential than taking a break from typing for 5 hours.
I learned this the hard way when I began sitting at my laptop for hours at a time.
Whether you are at a physical job or working remote, you need to breathe and take a short stroll or literally stand up and move away from your task.
This will help you to do your best work. The brain can only process so much stimuli.
Related Post: 5 ways you can invest in yourself for free
10. Try out a Guided meditation (headspace)
I am not the best at practicing meditation.
When I try to quiet my mind I feel like I welcome lots of random thoughts. What has worked well for me is following a guided meditation via Headspace.
It’s easy, helpful and free.
11. Check in with your body
Ask yourself when is the last time I hydrated, had a snack or took a break?
When I’m busy with work or studying, I can easily miss cues for food or taking a break.
Sometimes I’ll go hours before I realize I missed a meal. Setting an alarm every hour can be a great way to take a break to grab a snack, hydrate or take a walk.
12. Acknowledge how the day is going
Reminding yourself that the day is hard but you’ve gotten through other obstacles can give you an energy boost.
Stopping to acknowledge it’s a good day allows you to feel more joy and peace with how everything is going.
13. Do some yoga
Anothing great tool to practice self-care is doing yoga.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, breathing method, and relaxation. Yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate.
The next tip on this self care list will make your heart speed up.
14. Break out in sweat (Exercise)
Exercising when you feel anxious can help your body to calm down.
It makes your blood rush and heart pump faster but in a different way.
Instead of your body reacting to internal stimuli like fast thoughts and perceived danger, it begins to focus on the 50 jumping jacks you decided to do.
15. Pet your dog
Did you know that puppies and dogs can increase your endorphin levels?!
This is why many college campuses provide puppy therapy during midterms and finals to help reduce stress.
So when you need to practice self-care, turn to your dog for some love.
16. Put on some ambient or lofi hip hop music
Raising your positivity and good vibes can be done easily by simply putting on some lofi hip hop or other ambient music.
Playing your favorite jams is a great way to practice self-care when you are short for time.
Some of my favorite bands to listen to are:
17. Listen to a podcast
I love podcast.
What better way to learn, be entertained, and multitask than to hear someone's voice playing in your ear?
Here are 4 of my current favorites:
The Sugar Jar Podcast (Self love and self care)
Money Memories (Money tips and casual conversations about finances)
Unlocking Us (Explores ideas on vulnerability and human interaction)
The “A” word (Self care, boundaries, and self love)
18. Watch a youtube video
Visual stimuli can be just as important as audio.
One morning I felt anxious and overwhelmed as I was doing my work.
I went on Youtube and played the famous Ted Talk that psychologist, author, and researcher Brene’ Brown refers to in her work.
You see, she teaches that vulnerability is not a weakness, but in fact a strength and true testament to courage.
Remembering that feeling your emotions makes you strong and not weak is another form of self-care.
It’s also a form of self love.
19. Take a hot bath or shower
If you can learn to take the saying “wash the stress away” literally, a bath can be so relieving and satisfying.
20. Wash your face
A splash of cold water can wake you up and give the illusion of restarting your day.
And it gives you a reason to step away from your work!
21. Check in with a friend
We are not meant to be alone. And checking in with a friend can help you to understand the difference between feeling lonely and actually being alone.
Many of us have a lot of people in our lives that would love to be a shoulder to lean on.
22. Turn off phone notifications to apps that aren’t urgent
Do not disturb is also a quick form of self-care. Not responding to messages and phone calls 24/7 isn’t selfish, it's healthy.
Related Post: How to know if you lack boundaries
23. Healthy social media scroll ( Going to an encouraging page)
Believe it or not social media is not the root to all evil.
If you can declutter your social media, when you scroll you will feel uplifted, motivated, and inspired.
But to do this you have to unfollow gossip pages, influencers that make you feel inadequate, and people you once knew who no longer add to your life.
Yes that means the people you knew in high school.
24. Declutter your room
Take the dishes out the room, straighten up the papers, sweep the floor, put the clothes in the drawer.
You’ll decrease your mess and increase your focus.
25. Go into an empty room
I love my personal space.
And with so many aspects of life being remote, having an empty room to go into, even if it’s the bathroom, can greatly improve my mood.
Take some time to yourself. We all deserve judgement free time to breathe.
26. Make a list of facts when you feel anxious
Anxiety wants you to think of something and worry tremendously.
It brings to mind everything you did in the past and anything you are uncertain about in the future.
Recently I was anxious because I felt a cold coming on. Instead of automatically assuming the worst I decided to step back and make a list of “why this was likely a common cold”
#1 - I extremely socially distance while outside and I wear a mask every time.
#2- Each time the semester is about to start I catch a cold.
#3- My stress levels tend to go up and my immune system goes down.
#4- After a day or two or rest and nutrients I always feel better.
Make your own list when you need to stay present in the moment.
27. Close your eyes and breathe
Your body loves to be filled with oxygen, it'll make you feel better.
More relaxed, more at ease, and calmer. Feeling better thanks to small shifts in routine is definitely self-care.
Self-care doesn’t have to be hard especially as a busy adult. All you have to do is find a way to make time for the things you love even if it’s in small doses.
Self-care techniques that can be done in under 10 minutes are what make your soul feel replenished, your skin bright, and your mind clear.
Let us know in the comments what are some ways that you practice self-care!
Up Next: Positive thinking: 6 ways to shift your mindset
More information on our guest collaborator!
Evie is an engineer, business owner and lifestyle blogger.
She's from Seattle on a mission to connect with women through conversations regarding mental health, personal finance, career, business, martial arts, travel and empowerment