Five Minutes of Self Care
As parents, business owners, employees, dog walkers, short order chefs, house cleaners, taxi drivers, sports coach, spouses and all of the other hats that we wear as Mothers and Fathers, finding time for yourself seems like it is the last thing on your plate. But remember: You cannot fill from an empty cup.
You matter. Your mental health matters.
Try to find five minutes each day for a little bit of self care. And lucky for you, we have a short list of supplies you need and directions for how to get the most out of those five minutes.
Your favorite drink: Be that coffee, tea, sweet tea, or even chocolate milk. Make sure your special drink is reserved just for you, and on hand so that you are able to enjoy it when you get these five minutes to yourself, whenever those five minutes may come.
An activity you like: Coloring, playing bubbles, painting your toenails, brushing your hair are just a few activities that come to mind. But feel free to customize this as well. The point of these five minutes is to be enjoyable, not a chore or something you are not looking forward to doing. It also should be an activity that can be pleasure even for one minute (i.e. no prep, no clean up).
Two small pieces of your favorite food: Of course candy or chocolate is an easy choice here as both are delicious and individually wrapped, but having two pieces of something you love is important.
Minute 1: Prepare your drink
Start the water if you are making tea, or ground your favorite coffee beans for coffee. If it is already made, bring out your favorite cup and pour the drink. Find a comfortable seat (or lock the bathroom door), and settle into your surroundings.
Minute 2-3: Activity
Bring out the activity that you set aside as your favorite and start to play with it like your toddler would play with a new toy. Really notice it, notice how your hands respond when they touch the activity, notice how your mind and body feel as you settle into the routine of playing.
Minute 4: Treat
Before you being to consume your treat, look at it. Are the edges curved? Hard? Soft? Smell it. I am sure it smells delicious, but what other smells do you notice? Now, take a small bite, and notice how it feels in your mouth and how your mind is responding to having this delicious treat. Slowly finish it, but enjoy the process. The second piece is to have later in the day so you can remember how relaxed you felt last time you ate the same thing.
Minute 5: Enjoy your drink
Hopefully it has cooled enough to drink it, but savor those moments. Relax as you take your first sip, and feel it flow through your mouth, down your throat and into your stomach. Enjoy the aroma as much as the taste. How does your body feel while drinking it? Did you instantly warm up? Become more relaxed? Cool down?
After you do these five minutes of self care a couple of days in a row, you will begin to not need to think about what you are doing, and you will be able to customize those five minutes to ensure that you are getting exactly what you need to do so you can be the best parent, business owner, employee, dog walker, short order chef, house cleaner, taxi driver, sports coach and spouse possible.
Let us know how it felt to have a structured five minutes of self care in the comments!