Most of us don’t have much energy or time right now, as we focus on the essentials: working, caring for our kids, doing 100 loads of laundry, trying not to drown. Which means that self-care can take a backseat. There’s just soooo much to do.
Thankfully, there are little ways we can incorporate self-care into our current lives. And that’s important because self-care helps to boost our energy and our mood. It helps to reduce our anxiety and to shift our perspective. Self-care practices help us to feel better overall.
Of course, there are many ways to think of self-care, and the definition will differ for each person. But, in general, here are 10 tiny self-care ideas to try today:
- Close your eyes and picture your favorite place for 2 minutes.
- Listen to your favorite podcast (or audiobook) while doing mundane chores.
- Create a little corner in your home that acts as your personal sanctuary. This is where you can go for a minute or two to take a slow, deep breath, and reconnect to yourself. Your corner might include your favorite blanket, a pillow, a plant, a small lamp, a scented candle, and other comforting objects.
- Wake up 15 minutes before your kids do, sip your favorite hot beverage, and read something you love.
- Pen a 3-line poem about your favorite part of the day, or about a difficult part of your day.
- Go to bed one hour or 30 minutes earlier than you typically do.
- Recite a poem or prayer. Here’s a Gaelic blessing from Becca Anderson’s book Prayers for Calm: Meditations, Affirmations, and Prayers to Soothe Your Soul: “Deep peace of the running wave to you. Deep peace of the flowing air to you. Deep peace of the quiet earth to you. Deep peace of the shining stars to you. Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.”
- Set a timer for 10 minutes, and journal your response to this question: How am I really doing?
- Try this 20-minute yoga practice specifically created to help soothe anxiety. If you’re pressed for time, try this 10-minute practice.
- Ask yourself: What do I need to be well today?
If these ideas don’t resonate with you, reflect on other small practices or just one small practice you can try throughout your day to help you feel better and cared for. Think about engaging and soothing your senses (what do I want to feel, see, smell, taste, or hear in this moment?).
Think about what typically feels rejuvenating and restorative and do that (e.g., reading, taking an hour-long walk, riding your bike). Yes, you might need to reduce how long you do it or make other shifts (e.g., if you can’t go outside) and that’s OK.
I know that when you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, the last thing you want to do is add another thing to your to-do list. So be gentle with yourself. Do what feels right to you right now. After all, isn’t that self-care in a nutshell, anyway?