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20 Minute Ways to Practice Self-Care
Dated: February 2 2021
Good morning! We’ve made it through the first month of 2021! With Valentine’s Day coming up, it can be easy to get tangled up in relationship thoughts – but we’re here to help you focus on the relationship that matters the most in your life: the one you have with yourself! Whether you’re a significant other, a parent, or a friend, if you forget to focus on yourself everything around you can tend to get a little stressful. That’s why we decided to compile a list of 20 minute activities you can do daily to take care of yourself, mentally and physically.
1. Go Outside – It can be your apartment balcony, a back porch or a local nature park, but just do it! Research has shown that spending time in some fresh air can lower your heart rate, reduce stress levels, help with insomnia, and even stimulate your immune system. In other words, getting outside (even for a twenty-minute increment) can help your mind as well as your body.
2. Exercise – We know that exercise isn’t everyone’s idea of taking time for yourself, but no one is saying you have to go crazy! Go on a walk, follow along with a short online yoga class, spin a hula-hoop…whatever physical activity you can find that you enjoy doing and doesn’t feel like a chore. A 20-minute walk can help release endorphins that instantly improve your mood. It can also help you sleep better, improve your memory, and strengthen your heart.
3. Have a cup of tea – Taking a moment to relax and appreciate a freshly-brewed cup of tea is underrated. You can replace your morning coffee with a mug of tea and enjoy the benefits – and still use caffeinated tea (like green or black) if you like that extra kick before you start your day. One cup of black tea a day can improve gut health, improve heart health, and improve focus (plus more!) And if you add a little bit of local honey to your tea, it can help with allergies. Guilt-free and tasty, there’s no reason to not take the time to enjoy it.
4. Breathe – This one is easy- you’re always doing it anyway. However, when you take 20 minutes to focus on your breathing, the benefits are actually kind of unbelievable. Your breathing affects your whole body (including your brain), and you can practice breathing exercises anywhere you are. Even just five minutes of focused, deep breathing can help ease anxiety, regulate blood pressure, and even improve energy metabolism. Finding a few breathing exercises online and figuring out which ones work for you is a great place to start.
5. Your choice – Here’s to you: think about what you truly enjoy doing, where you can zone out and set aside the problems of the day for a little while. Is it reading a good book? Gardening? Cooking? Crafting? Whatever it may be, schedule that activity in as your 20 minutes of self-care time. Everyone’s brain needs a few moments a day to be at peace; make time for what makes you happy.
Hopefully this list can nudge you in the direction of self-care. We know that some days are busier or more stressful than others, but you need and deserve a few minutes of peace! Don’t let that get away from you – your mind and body will be grateful to you.
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