When it comes to self care and self-kindness, many of us find the options are few and far between if we don’t have a few hours to spare.
Self care, by definition, is “intentional action(s) you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health.”
Since each of us are in different states of physical, mental, or emotional health, the self care solutions can widely differ, and you don’t need hours a day to practice taking good care of yourself.
What we often say is “I don’t have time for self care.” But, it’s easy for this to really turn in to “I don’t deserve self care.” Which I’m here to tell you, isn’t true.
If you had a physical ailment and a friend told you that you should see a doctor, you wouldn’t say “I don’t deserve to see a doctor.” (You might say you don’t have time, though!)
Here’s the rub. If you don’t make time for you, nobody else will. I want you to get in the habit of making yourself a priority.
So please try one of these self-care and self-kindness practices that you can enjoy in 15 minutes or less. Just try one and see how it feels.
In today’s society, we sit a lot longer than our bodies were made for. Sitting allows stress and tension to pool in the body. So get up and move!
Walking, even for just 15 minutes allows fresh air into your lungs and encourages circulation in the blood from head to toe, giving you an energetic boost and a clear head – you might find a solution to some of those problems you’re tackling.
You can incorporate running errands with your walk time – for example, parking a few blocks away from the post office and enjoying a short walk before and after.
Did you that writing can contribute to emotional health? It can – and it can take many forms. Maybe you have a gratitude journal in which you practice mindfulness.
Perhaps you can spend your 15 minutes sending postcards or a letter to those people in your life you’d like to be a little more connected to; how about writing a love letter to yourself?
Maybe you like to doodle or draw cartoons or write poems – allowing your mind to de-clutter by pouring your thoughts and dreams down on paper is very powerful for self care and healing.
If you find your days a struggle because of all the demands asked of you, my question is – what can you delete?
What is not serving you that you can say goodbye to?
Take 15 minutes and make a list of possibilities that you can put into action. That might be one of your volunteer positions that is just too much. Perhaps you need to cut back on TV news or Netflix binge watching (a little goes a long way). Do you have any toxic relationships that you need to disengage from?
Be honest with yourself in this process; the first step is to identify what does not serve you, and then hit the delete button in a way and time that flows with ease.
Most of the modern world is chronically sleep deprived – no wonder our caffeine and sugar consumption is off the charts.
Can 15 minutes make a difference? Yes.
Go to bed 15 minutes earlier and see after a week if your emotional state has improved. If you can get some alone time during the day, how about a 15 minute power nap? Allow your body to catch up so you can show up fully to all the people and experiences that are present in your life.
Last but not least is my gift to you: a wildcard of permission to do whatever would feel like a treat or celebration to you.
Are you craving a steaming hot creamy latte with a dab of whipped cream? Salted caramels from your favorite local purveyor? A calming chamomile tea as a new bedtime ritual? It doesn’t have to be consumable – maybe you want to hire a cleaner once a month to help you find more time to practice self care.
Life is meant to be savored, enjoyed, so allow yourself those indulgences. You’ve earned them.
Andy Hayes is the founder of Plum Deluxe, the website that helps you create moments that matter. From eBooks and worksheets to a creative line of organic loose leaf teas, Andy wants to help you live a good live. For more inspiration, follow Plum Deluxe on Pinterest.