10 things you can do for yourself in under 5 minutes
A struggle in this field is that people want to make changes but don’t want to add anything extra into their days. I fully get it and hear you all loud and clear. That’s why I do my best to suggest things that don’t take forever to do but can be done for a few minutes each day to create change that actually lasts. The things I mention in this blog can be done almost anywhere and don’t cost a thing! They can make a big difference to your wellbeing and give your body and mind a chance to catch up to one another. So, have a read through and start by trying one. Then over time, you can keep weaving these practices into your days. Enjoy!
WRITE AN ‘ABSOLUTE YES LIST’⠀
Write down all the things that you would say yes to without hesitation. The things on it might be big or small. Cost a lot or nothing. Take weeks or an hour. Be on your own or with others. There’s no right or wrong. P.S. notice how you feel after writing this list. I bet it’s a different feeling to when you do your to-do list!⠀
TURN SOME NOTIFICATIONS OFF⠀
This makes such a big difference and takes away a lot of distraction and urgency. Turn off as many notifications on your phone as you can. Think of things that make you automatically pick up your phone when you don’t really need to (hint hint: social media!).
You can do this at any time of the day. You might do it when you wake up, while you’re at work, before you eat lunch, when you get home at the end of the day or before bed. Just do what you feel your body needs at the time. It doesn’t have to be fancy or in a special sequence! When we’re stressed we often tense and our body becomes quite rigid, stretching releases the fascial layer around our muscles (connective tissue) which helps out body to release and let go.
DO A BRAIN DUMP⠀
Grab a piece of paper and write down everything that comes to mind. Your to-do’s, worries, wins, wonderings, questions, feelings- absolutely anything. Don’t worry what it looks like or if it doesn’t make sense. It’s a chance to free up some headspace and process what’s happening.⠀
NOTICE YOUR BREATH⠀
Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Close your eyes and notice which hand is moving more. Chances are it’s the hand on your chest as most of us shallow breathe, especially when we’re stressed! Now take 3 deep breaths and try to get them to flow all the way down to your belly so your ribs expand and your hand moves.⠀Make your out breath longer than your in breath. If you breathe in through your nose for 3 seconds, breathe out through your mouth for at least one second more. You can gradually build up. ⠀
Notice how your body feels. Unclench and wriggle your jaw, roll your shoulders and circle your head around 3 times in both directions. You can also listen to a body scan meditation like this one I recorded for you here.
Go on a sensory walk or engage your senses wherever you are. It helps to bring you back to the present moment and makes you appreciate what’s around you. You can use the 5-4-3-2-1 method to help you. Start by looking around and noticing 5 things you can see. Next, 4 things you can hear. Which sounds are close and which ones are further away? What are 3 things you can feel? It might the the sun or cool air on your skin, your clothes tight or loose against your body or your feet touching the ground. What are 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste? These last two might be trickier but give them a try anyway. ⠀
Repeat some positive affirmations! I have a list of 101 of my favourites for you to choose from here. Choose ones that resonate with you and stick with them until you’re ready to choose a new one. You can write these down to remind yourself. People often set them as the lock screen on their phones (see my Instagram highlights for some free ones).
Leave some white space in your day. It’s time where nothing is planned, there’s no outcome and you do what feels best for you when the time comes around 🤗. You can take the chance to simply be, focus on yourself and let your body and mind catch up to one another! Be realistic and start with 5-10 minutes if this is new to you. ⠀
NOTICE THE GOOD
Take some time to practice gratitude. A lot of the time we’re rushing around from one thing to the next, always striving to have, be and do more while missing what’s right in front of us. Challenge yourself to say 3 things you’re grateful for at least once a day. Link it to another habit so it becomes second nature. For example, when you wake up or before you go to bed, every time you’re waiting at a traffic light, each time you pick up your phone or when you’re brushing your teeth. If you keep practicing gratitude, it’ll become second nature and you’ll be able to easily notice and list heaps of things each day. If you’re a visual person and want to see your pile of good things grow, you can write your ideas on a post-it and pop it in a jar each day. This is great to do in your workplace and at home as well so people can join in the practice.
So, now it’s over to you. Which one are you going to try today? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments section below!
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