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Self care is a term that has been thrown around a lot for the last few years. I’m not sure about you, but when I think of self care, I think of Donna and Tom on Parks and Recreation when they had their “Treat Yo’Self” day!
Now if you don’t watch Parks and Rec, you have no idea what I’m talking about. In short, Donna and Tom would have one day a year when they would treat themselves to a day of living obscenely lavish! They would take themselves to the finest restaurants, buy the finest clothes, rent limousines, and live like kings and queens for the day.
Now that sounds AMAZING! Don’t we all wish we could have self care like that?
But for the typical mom, treat yo’self looks a little more like 5 whole minutes in the bathroom without your child in there with you.
Surely we can all treat ourselves a little better than that!
But the reality is that we as moms probably have 5 minutes a day that we can spare for ourselves. Asking ourselves to chisel out an hour out of a week to have R&R time can almost be MORE stressful than what it’s worth. Plus we all know that we can plan to have those long bubble baths in a candle lit bathroom, but then we take one look at our tub and realize that we can’t remember the last time it’s been cleaned. Sometimes planning the big lavish self care initiatives can actually be more trouble than what it’s worth.
So maybe the better option is to just find 5 minutes a day to better ourselves.
Self care is not only about taking care of your mental health, but your physical health and your spiritual health. God says in His word that our bodies are temples, and that includes your mind. When we let ourselves get in a state of mental overload, we’re not able to operate in the way God really intended us. If God himself rested, surely there’s a way we can incorporate a little bit of rest into our own lives.
These 5 minute self care tips have been tried and true for myself as well as others. No, I didn’t set a timer to make sure I ONLY took 5 minutes to do them. But these tips are so simple and low maintenance that you could EASILY only take 5 minutes out of your day to do them. If you’re more of a morning person, then wake up just 5 minutes earlier and have some me-time before your house turns into romper room. More of a night owl? Then just chisel out 5 extra minutes before hitting the hay and do one thing to ground you before bed. I guarantee you, 5 minutes is all you need to care for yourself, spirit soul and body!
1- Read a chapter of the Bible or a devotional
Can reading the Bible actually be self care? ABSOLUTELY! You’re taking care of your spiritual self! That is the MOST important kind of self-care you can do! Your spirit is going to long outlive your body, therefore it is vital that you care for your spirt!
The amazing thing about caring for your spirit is that it makes you feel good! The word of God brings peace and direction to you, which is going to keep you grounded more than anything else. I talk a lot about different ways that busy moms can study the Bible in my post, “7 Practical Ways Busy Moms Can Study the Bible.” Feel free to check that out for different ways to get the most out of studying the Bible when you barely have time. Devotionals are also AMAZING for giving your spirit a quick boost, as well as giving you a prompt of something to meditate on during the day.
Dayspring has an incredible selection of Bibles and devotionals that fit so many needs! Not only are their Bibles absolutely beautiful, but they offer them in so many different translations and different layouts. This is the Bible I use personally, and I absolutely love it! It has space on the side so I can write down any thoughts I have while reading. You can purchase it with the link below.
2- Start a gratitude journal
When we are overwhelmed, it can be so easy to dwell on what is wrong with our life. When we focus on all the wrong, we tend to completely miss all the right! This strategy can be a great way to wrap up your day. Simply spending 5 minutes writing down the things you’re grateful for can really put a positive spin on even the worst of days.
Gratitude journals don’t have to be fancy. Even just making a list of things you’re grateful for on your phone can work great! Some people need a little extra help to think about those things though. Theres no shame in that! Sometimes life is really tough and we have to dig REALLY deep to find moments of gratitude.
If you find yourself in that stage of life where gratitude doesn’t come easily, I suggest getting a gratitude journal. These are not just your average blank journals, they have prompts that help you REALLY think about what you’re really grateful for. This gratitude journal by Dayspring is excellent, and super cute! You can purchase it with the link below
Life Is Messy (God Is Good) - Gratitude Journal - $10.00
from: DaySpring Cards Inc
3- Have a little coffee with Jesus
Coffee is my love language! I ADORE coffee! I kid you not, coffee drinking is basically a recreational sport for most of my family members. This one is probably my favorite form of self care, because it is something I do every single day!
I like to wake up just a few minutes before anyone else, make my coffee, sit on my couch, and take a few minutes and pray. It’s really not that fancy. All I do is thank Jesus for giving me another day to live. I thank Him for blessing me with my family, my home, and with Him in my life. I pray that I can have a sensitive ear to hear what He would like to speak to me that day, and that I can be the best example of Him to my family and my community. Sometimes I take more than 5 minutes, but most of the time my son wakes up by that point, so it’s mommy duty!
The beautiful thing about prayer is that it doesn’t have to be fancy for it to be effective. Of course you don’t have to drink coffee! Maybe you’re more of a tea person, or you just want some water in the morning. Whatever your morning beverage choice is, I promise you if you invite Jesus to have a seat with you, it’ll be that much better.
4- Exercise for 5 minutes
Can I ACTUALLY exercise for 5 minutes? YES!
Exercising is one of the most popular forms of self care, simply because it WORKS! There is so much research out there that shows that physical activity improves mental health! Even just a few minutes of moving your body can improve your mood! I know lots of people who try to chisel out an hour of their day to exercise. Unfortunately, some of us just don’t have an hour! For a lot of us, we LITERALLY only get 5 whole minutes of alone time.
I recently downloaded an app called 5 Minute Home Workout. It is totally FREE, and each of their exercise sequences literally only take 5 minutes! Yes, it even has a timer to prove it. All of the exercises require little to no equipment, and all the exercises can be modified to your comfort level. You can even customize your own sequence to fit your own exercise goals. Is it the fanciest app in the world? No, not really. Does it get the job done? Absolutely!
There’s also a TON of wonderful Youtube videos that take you through 5 minute workouts. Of course, those are totally free too.
Here’s a great one from the Popsugar Youtube channel. The Popsugar channel on Youtube has TONS of amazing workout sequences!
5- Listen to a song you REALLY love
I said earlier that coffee is my love language. Music is totally my secondary love language! There is something about listening to a great song that automatically lifts your spirits!
A lot of research supports that music improves your mood and stimulates your brain. Listening to certain types of music is proven to temporarily lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and lower the amount of stress hormones. Most of the time, it is slower calming music that has those affects on the body. But finding some good music to dance it out to is just as beneficial for you as calming music.
Personally, I stick to Christian/Worship music. In the morning while making breakfast, I love to play some worship music over my Amazon Echo. It just sets the mood for the day for me. It puts my mind and my spirit in the right frame.
6- Write down an encouraging scripture for yourself
The Word of God brings life to us, and it is vital for our spiritual growth that we hide the Word in our heart.
What does it mean to hide the Word in your heart? It just means to remember it! For me, the easiest way to remember scripture is to write it down.
When I read a verse in the Bible that speaks to me, I like to write it down on an index card and place it somewhere in my house where I will see it frequently. For me, that’s my bathroom mirror. Other people like to put their scriptures on their fridge, or their steering wheel, or maybe their dresser. Wherever you place it, just the act of writing down the scriputre has such amazing benefits for your spirit.
7- Learn a new language
One of the best kinds of self care you can give yourself is learning a new skill!
I absolutely LOVE the Duolingo app! It is a FREE app that gives you short, fun lessons on just about any language you’re interested in learning! Trekkies, you can even learn Klingon!
The thing I love the most about the Duolingo app is that the lessons are short! It does not have to take you hours a day to learn a new language! You can literally take 5 minutes a day to learn a new language. The app also allows you to set goals for yourself.
Check out the Duolingo app here!
8- Just breathe!
Breathing exercises don’t have to be weird!
I think when a lot of people think about deep breathing exercises, they think of someone hitting a gong, burning incense, and saying “namaste.” No, this is not a yoga class.
It is seriously as simple as sitting in a quiet space, breathing in for 3-5 seconds, and out for 3-5 seconds. Just doing that for a few minutes can do WONDERS for stress!
There are so many apps that lead you through deep breathing exercises! Just about every single one of the are free! Here’s a few for you to check out:
- 3 Minute Mindfulness
- Breathe (This one is my personal favorite. It has adorable pictures that help you visualize your breathing!)
- Deep Breathing Exercises Relax
- Keep Deep Breathing
Don’t think you only have to do one!
The great thing about all these self care strategies is that you can easily do a couple of these at the same time! You can totally drink some coffee and listen to a great song at the same time! Double whammy! While you’re reading the Bible, write down a scripture that means a lot to you! Don’t feel like you have to choose only one!
The great thing about self care is that it is SO broad! There are so many simple things we can do to ground ourselves and destress. None of the things I listed are super grand or complicated. Anyone of any income, background, location, or age can benefit from these tips! You don’t need a clawfoot bathtub and 55 candles to relax! You also don’t need to chisel out an entire day to decompress. We can all find 5 minutes to do one thing for ourselves.
Do you have any quick self care tips? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
Need more help with calming and controlling your anxiety? You can sign up to receive my FREE Calm and Control Anxiety workbook! This has been my go-to strategy for keeping me grounded in difficult times, and I KNOW it’ll work for you too! Check out my blog post, One Amazing Strategy to Calm and Control Anxiety, to learn more!