Self-Care Ideas for Small Moments, Big Moments, and the In-Between

Are you in need of some self-care ideas? Do you ever find yourself with a short amount of time, and no idea how to use it? Maybe you scroll through Instagram because there is nothing else you can think of that will fill up the ten minutes you have until the next thing on your to-do list? Below, I’m going to give you some self-care ideas, and break them down into how much time you need to benefit from them.  Through my years of training and practice as a therapist, I also have some SERIOUS self-care experience, and I’m eager to share some ideas with you!

First of all, what is self-care? Every now and then, I see the glazed looks of those who have absolutely no idea what I am talking about when I say “self-care.” And that’s ok! Let’s define it.  Self-care is the intentional act of caring for and nurturing yourself.  We need to engage in self-care in order to be healthy, to fulfill our obligations, and to enjoy the time we are given in this beautiful world.

Never again let social media be your default when you have a short amount of time to fill, and if you suddenly find yourself with a free afternoon, maybe these ideas will inspire you do something you’ve never done before!

If you have 5 minutes:

  1. Take pictures of the world around you
  2. Read a page or two in a book  (I always have a book with me for this purpose)
  3. Doodle or draw (Keep a notebook or sketchbook with you at all times in case you have a free moment)
  4. Listen to a song mindfully (Sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus on the music)
  5. Write down three things you are grateful for
  6. Do some relaxed breathing
  7. Pray

If you have 10 minutes:

  1. Take pictures of the world around you
  2. Reading a few pages of a book (Again, never be without a book.  Ever.)
  3. Doodle or draw (Again, never be without a notebook, sketchbook, and writing tool.)
  4. Stretch, or do some yoga
  5. Write down what you have accomplished so far today (a more friendly spin on the to-do list)
  6. Progressive muscle relaxation

If you have 30 minutes:

  1. Go for a walk or a jog
  2. Watch a funny tv show
  3. Listen to a podcast (If you’re feeling conscientious, take notes on it, and relish in the feeling of accomplishment!)
  4. Treat yourself to a cup of coffee or tea at a coffee shop
  5. Reading a chapter or two in a book (That’s a theme, here, I guess…)

If you have 1-2 hours:

  1. Eating at a restaurant by yourself or with a loved one
  2. Walking around an antique mall or thrift store
  3. Listening to an album from beginning to end, mindfully, without doing anything else
  4. Take a bubble bath

If you have 3 hours:

  1. Work a puzzle
  2. Visit a museum alone or with someone you love
  3. Cook or bake, and listen to music while you clean up the kitchen

If you have a half-day:

  1.  Pick a destination close by you don’t normally visit, and go to a coffee shop, restaurant, or bookstore
  2. Stay home, but pick several things above (like cooking, reading, going for a walk) and indulge yourself

If you have a full day or weekend:

  1.  Take a road trip, or stay home and pick several things that take shorter amounts of time

Whatever you choose, be mindful and intentional about it, and be proud of taking care of yourself.  What are some of your favorite self-care ideas?

*This is for informational purposes only, and not meant to take the place of professional advice.

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