Do you do 15 minute self care activities daily? Everyone I speak to says the same thing “I just don’t have time” or “I don’t know where the time goes?” Sound familiar?
The need for Self Care
I have read all the books, blog posts and leaflets advising that you can’t be everything to everyone and you can’t pour from an empty cup. I understand that burnout leads to poor mental health, stress and anxiety. I get it, I really do, but in a world where many of us are working from home or commuting to work as well as running around after the kids and keeping on top of the housework, it just doesn’t leave a lot of time; for self-care, does it?
Self Care in 15 minutes a day?
But what if I told you there are ways that there are self-care activities you can do in 15 minutes or less? Yes, with 15 minute self care activities a day, you can hit the pause button and reset yourself to start the day anew and come out ready to face whatever the world has to throw at you. The most important first step is making that commitment to yourself; treat it as an appointment rather than waiting for the perfect time to open up for you.
Alchemy Self Care Hourglass
I have taken to giving myself 15 minutes in the morning after dropping the children at school before I begin my day. I set up my Alchemy Self-Care Hourglass, which is therapeutic to watch in itself. It reminds me of a small hourglass I used to have as a child; I would let time slip away just watching the sand grains building in the bottom chamber.
Read on to discover 20 self-care activities you can do in 15 minutes or less:
Over the past few months, I had noticed how I was getting really tight in my neck, back and hips because I haven’t been able to find the time to go to the gym. The result of this is increased headaches, injuries and an inability to concentrate on my work because of pain.
I decided to start doing daily pilates workouts by following Youtube videos. This means I can select a video by skill and length of time. Just 15 minutes a day has helped me feel so much better and got my day off to a good start.
2. Guided Breathing with Moment Pebble
The Moment Pebble is a white marbled ‘pebble’ with a light-LED inside to guide you through stress-reducing breathing techniques. This simple device is perfect for all ages and abilities, which means that I can share it with my Beans when they have a ‘moment’ and need to take time out.
From the moment we opened our Moment Pebble, we were excited by the fluid movement of the box. Inside we found the moment pebble, charging stone, charging cable, carry pouch and an instruction booklet.
Moment Pebble has a light sequence which you follow with your breathing; as you focus on the light glow increasing, you breathe in, as the light fades, you breathe out and repeat. Having something to focus on really helps you to control your breathing and enter a state of calm.
I keep the Moment Pebble on my desk and use it throughout the day to help me regain focus.
Keep reading to the bottom for your chance to WIN a Moment Pebble!!!
3. Acupressure Mat
For hundreds of years, gurus used a bed of nails as a method of self-care; finally, we have something which looks a little less daunting yet provides the same effective results called an acupressure mat.
An acupressure mat works by stimulating energy in the body and triggering the body’s natural self-healing response, resulting in deep relaxation, soothes away tension and increases blood flow. It has similar benefits to acupuncture, but it does not penetrate the skin.
Benefits can be achieved in as little as 15 minutes a day.
4. Painting or Colouring
Take time out of your day with a colour book, app or a paintbrush and canvas. As you immerse yourself in the movement of the colour and the picture or work of art builds, your stresses and strains will melt away. During the Covid lockdowns, the Beans and I used to paint regularly, and it was such a wonderful way to spend time together without bickering and tantrums.
5. Paint your nails
Rather like painting a picture, the methodical movement of the brush as you sweep the colour down your nails is very calming and therapeutic. To top it off, you have beautiful nails to admire afterwards as you go about your day, a pleasant reminder of your self-care time.
6. Read a book or magazine
It doesn’t matter what the content or time of day; grab a book, a magazine, your kindle or even a blog post on your phone. Take off your shoes, curl up in a comfy corner and read. I always surprise myself by how much I can read in a 15-minute session, yet it feels like I have been there for hours.
Reading stimulates the brain and gets your imagination flowing; this is great for improving your mental health.
7. Go for a walk
Taking time out in nature is so good for the soul as well as your physical health; try parking a little further away from work or taking a walk during your lunch break. If you’re able to walk somewhere green and open, listen to the birds singing, smell the flowers and enjoy feeling the sunshine on your face. You could even take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass.
If you’re not so lucky and need to walk in a built-up area, you could download a podcast to listen to instead.
8. Do face yoga
At some point in our lives, we become dissatisfied with how we look; we begin to notice the laughter lines or the puffy eye bags from lack of sleep, we wish we could look 10 years younger, but we don’t necessarily want to go under the knife. Try taking just 15 minutes out of your day every day to do face yoga and see the results in as little as a month. You can find lots of information and videos for free online, or you can sign up for a course if you want to be held accountable.
You can follow paid for programmes online, videos on Youtube, or you can follow the instructions in a book like this one I bought from Amazon. I have a few books in this series that are all well written and pretty to look at.
9. Dance like nobody’s watching
I actually have a playlist on Spotify labelled Dance around the kitchen which has all my favourite get up and dance tunes. It’s guaranteed to lift my spirits every time, and I always feel better after playing it. Even the dogs like to dance around the kitchen with me.
Dancing releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones that make you feel happy.
10. Light candles and take a bath
Now this one is even better if someone else prepares it all for you, but if not, the benefits of taking a bath whilst relaxing with the aroma of your favourite scented candle are the same. Put some music on in the background or revel in the silence and soak your cares away.
11. Write in a journal
There are lots of different ways that you can use a journal for self-care, from free-writing where you put pen to paper and let your mind take over to answering specific questions in a Question a Day journal, writing lists or doing a brain dump. Getting the thoughts out of your head and onto paper is great for relieving stress and helping you to see the bigger picture. Plus, any excuse for a new journal is good by me!
12. Take time out in the garden with your cuppa
How often do you make yourself a drink and either forget to drink it or reach for the cup only to realise you drank it without noticing? I am guilty on both parts, and I am yet to decide which is the most annoying?
Make yourself a cup of your favourite beverage and sit in the garden to savour it; I guarantee you it will taste a thousand times better than it usually does.
13. Phone a friend
For some, this could take a little more planning to ensure that your friend will be available to take your call without having to rush off but having a natter with a friend is the best medicine.
Meditation isn’t for everyone. The first few times that I tried it, I didn’t get it, but since downloading the Calm app, I have found it much easier to listen to a guided meditation.
15. Do some light gardening to connect with nature
Getting your hands dirty and connecting with nature is a great way to feel grounded and calm. Try planting new flowers or watering the plants, and imagine how your plants will look as you nurture them.
16. Style your hair
I don’t mean the rushed styling you do in the morning before you start your day. I mean getting up earlier to give yourself the time to take time on your hair and consciously consider each step of the process; this too can be a form of meditation and the result if you look and feel fabulous.
17. Self Massage
A little while ago, I shared the Exogun percussion massager with you, which enables you to massage yourself. Spending 15 minutes a day using this helps keep you relaxed and free of knots and stress.
If you don’t happen to have a percussion massager, then have no fear; you can still give yourself a foot rub or facial massage; you could even use a foam roller to smooth out those knots in your back.
18. Apply a face mask and chill
A bit of pampering is always a nice treat, so wrap your hair up, smooth on a face mask (I particularly like the self-warming ones), lie down and relax whilst the face mask does all the hard work for you.
19. Have a cat nap
Catnaps are a powerful self-care treat that can dramatically improve your afternoon energy levels, improve your memory, and help you be more alert and focussed and elevate your mood. Do you really need more reasons than that?
Let’s face it, we all like to take time out and catch up on social media from time to time, but you want your time to be spent catching up with people who mean something to you. Not the random people you met years ago on a work course or the friend of a friend who you accepted but have never actually had a conversation with. Treat yourself to a social media clearout and make your feed worth your precious time.
For your chance to WIN a Moment Pebble and begin your daily 15 minute self care activities, complete the Gleam entry form below:The Moment Pebble Giveaway