Credit photo: Brandy Kennedy –– Cover photo by Brooke Lark
On this National Self-Care Day, we want you to take time for yourself. But that’s not enough: taking care of yourself once every so often is a bare minimum. Taking time for yourself daily – even if it’s just five minutes – should be what we all aim for. Because our body is worthy of care and attention, and because it can help you handle stress better and even give you more energy. So basically, you take care of yourself, and your body will take care of you in return. It’s a pretty decent payoff if you ask us. But when it comes to self-care, we’re often sold these long and involved practices, going to a yoga class, going on a hike, having a massage… None of us have time to do that every day. But spending five minutes to care for ourselves is something most of us can carve into our day. So, let’s look at a few self-care treats you can do in five minutes to make yourself feel your best.
Meditation is a tried-and-tested relaxation method that people have sworn by for generations. Even though meditation can feel daunting when you strip it back to what it really means, it’s relatively simple. You need to rest your eyes and focus on your breathing. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – if you want to be elaborate, that’s cool too – but just take some time to be in the moment, acknowledge any thoughts, and let them move on without indulging them.
Paint your nails
Meditative practices come in lots of forms, and there’s nothing to say that you can’t clear your mind while painting your nails. Five minutes isn’t long, but it’s plenty of time to add a splash of fast-drying color or an extra layer of top coat to keep your nails looking gorgeous and shiny… All while clearing your mind of whatever is stressing you out.
Give yourself a pep talk
Sometimes you just need to remind yourself that you’re capable of anything you set your mind to. Taking five minutes to stand in front of the mirror and repeat affirmations can be the perfect way to make yourself feel better and put you on track to slay the rest of the day. Here are some of our favorite affirmations to make you feel great:
“I am strong. I am powerful, and I am capable of achieving all of my goals.”
“I respect myself and care for myself with as much attention as I give to others.”
“I am worthy of attracting everything I desire.”
Have a shower
The South Pacific Class wasn’t wrong: sometimes you’ve just gotta wash that man (or woman, or wherever/whoever is stressing you out) right out of your hair. Having a quick shower can completely change how you’re feeling. Use a moisturizing cleanser, and give your scalp a nice scrub to get your day back on track.
Brush your hair
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a big difference. Taking time to brush your hair carefully is one of the most gentle acts of self-care out there. When you’re busy or stressed, things get cast aside, and looking after your hair can slip down your priority list. If you find our hair gets knotted easily, apply a detangling spray on the ends, and focus on the lengths of your hair first, before making your way up to the roots, for painless and relaxing detangling.
Put on a face mask or A BUTT MASK
We all know how relaxing face masks can be, but there’s no reason for them to be kept for special occasions. One of the most indulgent self-care rituals you can have is setting aside a little collection of face masks ready to go for a day when you feel like you need extra “me time.” If you live somewhere warm or deal with redness and puffiness, then keeping a mask or two in your fridge will make the treat even more luxurious and refreshing.
Movement is a big stress reliever, and stretching for five minutes is often just the reset your mind and body needs – particularly if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day. Again, it doesn’t need to be elaborate. Simply rolling your neck for a few minutes and bending over to touch your toes, if that’s accessible to you, can help release some tension.
Put on a hair mask
A treat for your hair and mind, applying a hair mask is a lovely way to indulge in some self-care without needing to carve out hours of your day. If you’re working from home, apply your mask for five minutes at some point in the afternoon, and leave it on until you can rinse it off later that evening. Or you can even put it on before bed and leave it to work overnight (just make sure it doesn’t contain pigment of any type if you’re leaving it on overnight.)
Release tension in your face
When we’re stressed, we tend to hold a lot of stress in the muscles in our faces. Even when you aren’t feeling particularly stressed, releasing tension in your face can help you relax and release muscles that cause fine lines and wrinkles. Here’s our go-to five-minute tension release massage:
- Wash your hands, and cleanse your face.
- Apply gentle pressure with your knuckles between your eyebrows and move your fingers toward your hairline.
- Gently run your fingers over your eyebrows and under-eye area.
- Press your fingers on either side of your nose, and gently drag your fingertips from your nose to your ears.
- Place the heel of your hands at your chin, and run your hands from your chin to the bottom of your ears, moving along your jawline.
- Repeat as desired.
Exfoliate your scalp
Scalp exfoliation is one of those things we often want to do but never actually set aside time to do it. Well, that’s where your five minutes a day comes to the rescue: add a five-minute scalp exfoliating ritual to your shower once a week. There are tons of gorgeous scalp exfoliating products available, so find one you like the sound of, and follow the instructions. Usually, it will involve wetting and cleansing your hair with shampoo, then massaging the product into your scalp for a few minutes and letting it sit. Then, you go ahead and rinse and condition as usual.