Time Out! 27 Quick & Cheap Ways to Incorporate Self Care into Your Day

It is officially the holiday season and I want you to stop whatever you’re doing and check in with yourself. How are you feeling? Hopeful? Stuck? Stressed or anxious? Are you going through the motions, getting all the things done, without really enjoying the lights or the smell of the tree or the joy on your kids’ faces? Are you worried about upcoming events? Money? Are you tired? Are you dealing with grief or loss?
All too often, this season is over-scheduled and full of complicated emotions, and we are left thinly stretched with no time to care for ourselves. Self care can feel like luxury or just one more impossible standard for ourselves that we cannot reach. But, remember how that airplane safety care tells you to place your oxygen mask (over your nose AND mouth, by the way) on yourself FIRST before placing it on others? Taking care of our own needs is vital when caring for others.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring different areas that tend to go by the wayside during the holidays. I’m hoping to give you some tips on how to care for yourself easily without spending extra cash or time, your two most precious resources. If there is something that is particularly stressful for you, reach out! I would love to tailor these more specifically to my community!
To start out our series, I’m bringing you 27 teeny tiny ways that you can give yourself some attention throughout the day. These are quick, free, and have many uses. They may not change your life in that instant, but they are guaranteed to provide you with at least 5 minutes of peace. Take a few that resonate with you, put them in your phone, and take them out in those difficult moments. Think of it as your self care arsenal.
  1. Take a few deep breaths. Stay tuned for more breathing exercises this week, but this one should tide you over.
  2. Put ice on your face. Someone close to me loves to use this one when she can’t get our of her emotional brain and into her rational one. It’s widely used for individuals with anxiety.
  3. Wash your face. If you don’t have ice, wash your face. Use whatever temperature you’d like, add a cleanser and a moisturizer if you prefer. Really focus on the water clearing away your troubles and taking it down the drain.
  4. Take a time out. In my house, we tell our toddler to “take a break” when she can’t stop crying and won’t respond to our efforts, and she will go lie down in her favorite spot.
  5. Go into child’s pose. Stretch out your hips and back while reducing fatigue and stress.
  6. Go outside for a literal sun salutation or sit still. Take some deep breaths and fill your lungs with fresh air.
  7. Have a personal inhaler of lavender essential oil, or other scent that is uplifting. I love Eden’s Garden.
  8. Press PAUSE on your difficult conversation. You don’t need to explain yourself. Come back when you’re ready.
  9. Make a cup of tea. No caffeine! I love this one.
  10. Stretch. Touch your toes. Stretch out your neck or your back. Get those hamstrings loose.
  11. Write down the last compliment you received.
  12. Write down a compliment to yourself.
  13. Ask for a hug. I know a nurse who hugs everyone. Patients, family, residents, and the most crotchety old attending physicians. It really brought the energy to a much more lovely place. If hugs are your thing, request consent and go for it.
  14. Unfollow someone on social media that doesn’t add to your happiness.
  15. Write down or say out loud three things you’re grateful for.
  16. Turn up your favorite song and have a dance party. Sometimes this is a great way to get out of a funk.
  17. Log out of social media for an hour.
  18. Powerpose. Ignore the weird research issues, Amy Cuddy was onto something.
  19. Close your eyes and count to 10.
  20. If that doesn’t work, count to 20. Or 100.
  21. Drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!
  22. Look at a picture of puppies. (Or your babies, or whatever)
  23. Write yourself a thank you note.
  24. Ask for what you need. This one is super hard for me. If you figure out the secret to this one, let me know.
  25. Pray. It can be to God or whatever your Higher Power. This one helps me.

Happy holidays,


One thought on “Time Out! 27 Quick & Cheap Ways to Incorporate Self Care into Your Day

  1. Pingback: Journaling Exercise: Boundary Setting | Catalina Wellness

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