One common misconception about self-care is that it takes too much time. If you’re feeling stressed-out, anxious, depressed, or are suffering from insomnia or fatigue, there are some super-quick self-care techniques that can help. Let’s not waste any time getting into them!
1. Practice Gratitude
I admit that I thought a daily gratitude practice seemed a little hokey when I first heard about it. But especially when I’m in a bad mood or feel like nothing is going my way, thinking of 3 things I’m grateful for helps shift my perspective. (The picture above is me taking a moment in gratitude for my pool!)
2. Use a Mantra
I wrote about one of the mantras I use in a previous blog post. Repeating a mantra over and over is, well, repetitive–and that’s the point. Repeating something positive to yourself will crowd out other negative thoughts and put you in a better frame of mind.
3. Have a go-to breathing technique
Breathing techniques can help soothe a dysregulated nervous system and calm you down. I share a handful of them that you might want to experiment with in this blog post, including the one I find most helpful: 4-7-8 Breath.
4. Try a Five Senses Meditation
This meditation quickly helps bring you into the present moment, especially if you do it out in nature. (Though I even do it in bed sometimes when I can’t sleep!) For a 7-minute guided version of this meditation, you might like to use this short video I created.
5. Visualize (or distract yourself!)
A visualization is another quick self-care technique you can do when you’re lying in bed at night with unwelcome thoughts racing through your mind. Think of an event from your favorite relaxing vacation or a scene from your favorite (non-action) movie. You could even bring into your mind that cute pet video from social media that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. It may take practice to stay focused on the visualization but keep at it. It will become easier in time and will be a nice distraction for your ruminating mind.
6. Move–even just a little bit
Don’t feel guilty about not being able to set aside a full hour to work out. Instead, go for a 15-minute walk or do a 15-minute yoga video. You will feel better physically for having gotten some movement, as well as mentally because you took some time to do something good for yourself!
For best results, start with one of these suggestions and do it daily for a week. Continuity is the key. Doing a 7-minute meditation once isn’t going help you long-term, but you’ll start to notice a change if you do a 7-minute meditation every day. Thinking of 3 things you’re grateful for once isn’t going to make much of a difference, but you’ll start to feel a shift if you think of 3 things you’re grateful for every day. Try it out and see for yourself. These techniques may seem overly-simplistic when you’re dealing with a lot of stress–that’s what I thought at first–but, trust me, they will help you navigate life with more ease if you do them on a daily basis. And what’s great is that they will only take a few minutes of your time.
Finally, if you are ready and able to spend a little more time moving self-care up to the top of your priority list, here’s a quick plug for my Stop Sabotaging Your Self-Care online course. Over the course of 4 lessons, I share my own self-care journey, help you discover the obstacles standing in the way of your self-care, and teach you actionable strategies for positive and sustainable change. Use coupon code courses50 to save 50% on this course for a limited time.
A real human being took the time to write this blog post without the help of AI.