Do you feel like you barely have time for everyday life stuff, let alone self-care? Thankfully, self-care doesn’t have to take ages to do! Not everyone has time to take an hour long bubble bath or the funds to book a massage, and that’s okay! Take the pressure off and personalize your self-care rituals based on your preferences and schedule. I’ve come up with a list of self-care activities to help you get started. Did I mention they’re all completely free, too? Yass!
Check it out, and make a mental note of which ones you want to try. Pin this post for later so you don’t forget!
25 Self-Care Activities that You Can Do in 5 Minutes or Less + Free Printable Self Care Planner
#1 Close your eyes and go to your happy place
Set a timer for 5 minutes on your phone, and think back to a time when you felt totally happy, fulfilled, and content. If you’re feeling stressed, reflect on a picture in your mind that makes you feel totally relaxed and at peace. Your mind is powerful, and it also can’t tell the difference between a visualization and reality. This is a quick and easy self-care activity you can do any time you need a little pick me up.
#2 Do a sequence of deep belly breaths
Give your body a much needed oxygen boost by doing a few deep belly breaths. Practice using the 4-7-8 technique. All you need to do is take in a deep breath for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and then slowly release for 8 seconds. Do this 4 times in a row, and you’ll feel like a whole new woman!
#3 Dance to a song that makes you happy
Any time I need a mood boost, I’ll put on a cheesy song that makes me smile like Spice Girls’ “Spice Up Your Life” and start dancing around like a fool. Don’t worry about what you look like, just have fun and let all the tension in your body release. Even if you only have time to dance to one song, it can completely shift your mood and make you feel good.
#4 Sing a song you love
Even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket, singing is a powerful self-care practice. Singing naturally boosts the release of happy hormones like serotonin and oxytocin, and it doesn’t cost you a thing! I sing all the time, and often I don’t even realize I’m doing it until others point it out haha! It’s how I self-soothe and comfort myself in hard times.
#5 Write down your big dreams and life goals
Even if you don’t have time to take action on your goals and dreams today, the simple act of writing them down can help you feel better about where your life is headed. Especially if you’re having a hard time, knowing what you’re working towards can keep you motivated and let’s face it, sane, when what you want feels really far away.
#6 Do a mini meditation
Meditation doesn’t have to happen on a special pillow, and it certainly doesn’t require a plane trip to India. All you really need is a comfortable place to sit and the willingness to try. Your mind doesn’t have to be free of thoughts for meditation to be powerful. Honestly, my mind goes bonkers every time I meditate and I just do my best. You still receive benefits from an imperfect attempt at meditation, so give it a try!
#7 Take a short walk
Getting outside and breathing in some fresh air can make you feel like a whole new human. If you only have 5 minutes, make it count and step outside for a bit. As the saying goes, “move a muscle to move a mood.”
#8 Send quick love notes to 3 people you haven’t talked to in awhile
Doesn’t it feel good to make others feel good? It costs you $0 to send a quick “I’m thinking about you” or “I appreciate you” text to people you care about but don’t always have the time to talk to on a regular basis. Make someone’s day, and you’ll also make your own!
#9 Set 3 intentions for your day
Setting 3 intentions a day has totally transformed how I work and live. It helps me to focus on what is most important to me and let go of what’s really not. If you need help with this, you can download my free daily planner here in my Resource Library.
#10 Think of 5 things you’re grateful for and why
Gratitude is one of those things you can easily discount, because it seems like everyone is talking about it. But it really does make a difference in how you feel about your daily life. As humans we tend to focus on what’s going wrong rather than what’s going right. Gratitude is the antidote to this negative mentality.
#11 Do some stretches
Stretches feel so good, don’t they? Especially if you have low back pain like moi!. Take a few minutes to take care of your body! You’re worth it!
Related post: 10 Easy Self-Care Practices for Stress Relief
#12 Watch a funny video
Am I telling you that watching funny cat videos counts as self-care? Yes, yes I am 😉
#13 Watch an inspiring video
I love feeling the feels from watching inspiring videos on YouTube. One of my favorite vloggers is Jonna Jinton, and I look forward to a new video from her every week. I definitely consider videos that make me feel good self-care.
#14 Give yourself a quick massage
Giving yourself a nice neck, scalp, shoulder, hand, or foot massage is the ultimate act of self-love, especially when you’re feeling stressed. Google some self-massage techniques if you really wanna wow yourself.
#15 Pull an oracle card
If you’re a bit woo-woo like me, and like receiving messages from your higher self and God/The Universe buy yourself an oracle card deck. You can ask any open-ended question, but I prefer to simply ask: “what do I need to know today?” Here are a couple of my favorite decks:
#16 Read a few pages of a good book
I carry my Kindle reader everywhere I go, because I love to read pretty much every chance I get. If you only have a few minutes to spare, read a few pages of an interesting book. It doesn’t have to be a self-help or personal development book. I’ve been reading a lot of romance and chick lit books lately, because they are totally binge-worthy and help me decompress. If you need some inspiring book recommendations check out this post or this one!
#17 Do a short yoga sequence
Even if you’re no yogi, you can check out some beginner yoga sequences either on Pinterest or yet again, on YouTube. What can I say? It’s one of my favorite free resources!
#18 Drink a cup of your favorite hot tea
I’m obsessed with tea. My fiancé even bought me a fancy tea diffuser so I can use loose tea rather than being limited to what comes in a tea bag. There is not much a hot cup of tea can’t do. It helps you to slow down, savor the moment, and relax.
#19 Drink a glass of water
Staying hydrated is definitely self-care! If you have trouble drinking enough water, buy a pretty glass water bottle. It will save you money, save the planet, and you’ll wanna take it everywhere you go like an adult sippy cup hehe.
#20 Say affirmations to yourself in the mirror
If this feels hokey, hear me out. Your subconscious mind is like a sponge, and when you take the time to tell yourself good things it helps your mind create new beliefs that empower you rather than cut you down. At first, you’ll probably feel a bit silly, but do it anyway. Try the affirmations below if you feel stuck on what to say. I created them for my self-love workbook, You Woke Up Worthy: A 21-Day Self-Love Journey for Women with Big Dreams, and they are really powerful!
#21 Write down your daily and/or weekly wins
In my opinion, celebration should be a daily rather than a once-in-a-blue-moon thing. Every single day, you have something to celebrate even if it feels small. When you take time to celebrate how far you’ve come, it keeps you motivated and inspired to keep going. If that’s not self-care, I’m not sure what is.
#22 Write down 10 things you love about yourself
You’re pretty damn awesome, you know that? Well, we could all use a little reminder of our awesomeness now and again so why not write down all the things you love about yourself. It takes just a few minutes, but it can make your whole week look a lot brighter.
Slather your body and face with natural (toxin-free) skincare on a daily basis, and you’ll feel like a million bucks with very little time investment.
#24 Wear/use your favorite things
I’ve never understood waiting until the right occasion to wear and use my favorite things. Life is happening right now, and there are no guarantees you’ll be here tomorrow. That sounds morbid, but it’s true! Use the stuff that makes you smile and feel happy. Stop waiting for the perfect time. The perfect time is now.
#25 Visualize your dreams coming true
Set a timer for 3-5 minutes and visualize your dreams coming true for you. Allow yourself to feel all the positive emotions that you’d feel if it were real life. Act as if your visualization is your real life. Remember your brain can’t tell the difference between you thinking about something and actually experiencing it. When you visualize what you want, you’re a lot more likely to make it happen instead of self-sabotaging your success. Do this daily, and your whole life just might change!
So there you have it! 25 self-care activities that you can do even if you have very little time. I hope this list has given you some inspiration, and encouraged you to make space for you in your schedule. You are worthy!
Need help staying on track with your self-care? Download the free printable Weekly Self-Care Plan I created just for you!