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10 Ways to Practice Self-Care When You Only Have 10 Minutes

10 Ways to Practice Self-Care When You Only Have 10 Minutes

Self-care is so important, but it can sometimes feel like a challenge to find the time for it. This is especially true if you’re a busy mom, a student, working full-time, or all around juggling all the demands of life. While self care means something different to each person, making time for yourself every day no matter how little time you have can help relieve stress, improve your mood, make you feel more productive overall, and frankly just help you enjoy your life more! We’ve put together a list of 10 ways to practice self-care when you only have 10 minutes so that you have options even if time is limited.

Image is of a person's hands writing in a journal with an iced coffee on the side, a good example of self-care when you only have 10 minutes.
Photo by Prophsee Journals

Here are 10 ideas for self-care when you only have 10 minutes:

1. Meditate.

There are many benefits to meditation, and 10 minutes is all it takes to experience the positive impact it can have on your mental wellbeing and clarity. When you meditate, you learn how to focus and concentrate on one thing at a time, which can help you relax, de-stress, and even increase your creativity and productivity. Adding in a bit of breathwork can be even more reinvigorating. Not sure how to get started? Check out the Headspace or Calm apps for some approachable guided meditations for beginners.

2. Journal.

It’s no secret that journaling is a great way to express your thoughts and feelings. But what many people don’t realize is that journaling has many benefits for our mental health. When we write in a journal, we’re able to process our thoughts and emotions in a safe and private space. This can be really helpful for those of us who struggle with feelings of anxiety or depression, and it can be a great tool for self-reflection.

3. Aromatherapy session.

Transform your space into a spa with the help of a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. When these natural essential oils are inhaled, the scent molecules in the oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain. Let your nose lead you into a whole new mindspace.

4. Treat your feet.

It doesn’t take any special equipment or going to an actual spa to give yourself a refreshing mini foot massage. You’ll be surprised by how wonderful and life-changing simply cleaning your feet with a favorite soap, drying, and applying a refreshing lotion or oil (perhaps one with peppermint or eucalyptus) can be. Double your self care indulgence by giving yourself a massage focusing on any areas of trapped stress or tension. 

5. Move your body.

When you’re stressed out, your body releases cortisol, which can have negative effects on your health. Exercise, even for as few as 10 minutes, helps reduce cortisol levels and can help improve your mood. Do a quick search on SweatVida to find your favorite quick 10-minute yoga, HIIT, barre or dance class that’ll literally shake you out of your stress and leave your body and mind feeling relaxed and energized. You might be shocked to find that some of the best workouts don’t take more than 10 minutes to get your blood pumping and body rejuvenated.

6. Take a quick cat nap.

Practicing self-care when you only have 10 minutes doesn’t have to require any effort! 10 minute cat naps are a great way to press reset, and you don’t have to fully fall asleep to experience the quickie rest’s benefits. Make the experience even more relaxing by pairing with some aromatherapy like that described above. A simple mixture of lavender essential oil, witch hazel, and filtered water in a glass spray bottle will do the trick. Just be sure to replace the mixture once every 2-3 weeks to keep the solution fresh.

7. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.

Is it tea time yet? Create your own hot bev ritual by setting a certain time of day to take a break to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in complete stillness. A great way to set the routine is to add a calendar reminder and put your favorite mug, saucer, coffee beans or tea, and any sweeteners you like. Try to truly disconnect while you wait for the coffee to brew or the tea to steep. And best to keep to the herbal – like chamomile or rooibos – or decaf varieties if you plan on taking your hot beverage break anytime after 2pm. 

8. Read.

Just like meditation, reading is a form of active relaxation that lets the mind focus on one single task at a time. This makes it a quick and easy was to relax, unwind, and reset even if you only have 10 minutes. Next time you catch yourself in an endless IG scroll pop into your kindle app instead and read a few pages of that novel you wanted to check out.  Check out these books for relaxation and stress relief. 

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9. Make plans with a friend.

Text or call a friend that you haven’t seen for a bit and set up your next hangout. In our current era of addictive screen time and post-pandemic reemergence into society, people are feeling more isolated and lonely than ever. One of the best ways to get out of this funk is to be proactive about making plans to socialize with people you care about. And unlike the times when we all had in-person work and school forced interactions, we now have to put in effort to make sure we get to spend time together. Nothing beats a real, warm hug! Make sure to get yours!

10. Get outside.

One of my favorite shirts says “A little dirt never hurt” and it’s so true! Getting outside in nature can have magical effects on your states of mental and physical wellbeing. Incorporating a short walk into your daily routine is not only great for resetting your mind, lowering blood pressure, and helping insomnia, but getting at least 8,000 steps a day has also been correlated with living a longer life. Want to get any more benefits from the outdoors? Go barefoot – there’s nothing like that feeling of grass or sand between your toes.

Next time you are craving some self-care, but don’t have much time, try out one of these ideas! Practicing simple self-care when you only have 10 minutes can keep your body from shutting down during stress. While it can feel tempting to numb out and distract yourself from the feeling of your internal tank being empty, making small steps towards caring for yourself makes all the difference.

How do you practice self-care when you only have 10 minutes? Message us @Maidenfolk on Instagram and let us know, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below!

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