As busy women, we give so much of our energy to others. Whether it’s working hard to reach deadlines in the office, dishing out advice to friends or looking after the needs of our partners, we spend so much of our time giving. This isn’t a bad thing, mind you. Putting the needs of others before our own is just part of being a top-notch chick! But how often do you take the time to look after yourself? We don’t mean chugging green juices and hitting the gym five times a week, either. We’re talking about taking time out just to do something for yourself and recharge your batteries. There’s a reason why on planes they ask you to put your own oxygen mask on before you help others. In order to really be the best employee, partner, daughter, friend or mother you can be, you need to prioritise your own mental wellbeing. Luckily, you don’t need to book in a luxurious three day health retreat to practice self-care (although it would help!) Whether you’ve got 5 minutes or an hour, there’s plenty you quick activities you can do to recharge, rejuvenate and refocus.
1. You have… 5 minutes
Try this: Stretch it out.
Let’s face it, sitting at a desk all day isn’t exactly showing your body love. But for many of us, it’s unavoidable. By incorporating a desk stretch into your daily routine, you’re not only taking care of your back but your mental wellbeing too. Yes, five minutes may sound like a long time when you’ve got a page-long to do list to whizz through. But we promise your pile of work will still be there when you finish! Plus, you’ll be in a much better frame of mind to tackle it once you’ve taken time for yourself. These stretches from Blue Shield will take you just under five minutes to finish and you won’t even have to move away from your desk!
2. You have…10 minutes
Try this: Do a guided meditation
Meditation is by far one of the best ways to practice self-care. It’s a time for you to slow down and focus solely on your own wellbeing. But as much as we would all love a beautiful meditation sanctuary like the one above, you don’t need one. Meditation can be done anywhere and it doesn’t have to take a long time. That’s why we love the meditation app Headspace. The guided meditations are only 10 minutes long, making them perfect to slot into your lunch break or commute.
3. You have… 20 minutes
Try this: Have a bath
Did you know that Oprah Winfrey’s number one hobby is taking a bubble bath? It may sound silly, but it’s no coincidence that one of the world’s most successful women loves luxuriating in the bathtub! It’s a fantastic way to show yourself the self-care you deserve, which can make you more productive in the long run. Fill up the tub, add in a splash of bubble bath, turn off the lights and light some scented candles. Whether you’d prefer to watch an episode of your favourite show or lie back and relax in silence, we guarantee your relaxation levels will soar.
4. You have… 30 minutes
Try this: Do a sheet mask
Is there anything more relaxing than chilling on the lounge in a sheet mask with a cup of tea? Not only is it great for your skin, it’s a quick and affordable way to practice self-care. Unfortunately, many sheet masks are packed with chemicals and tested on animals. That’s why we’re currently obsessed with Trefiel masks. They’re cruelty free, plant-based and feel amazing on your skin. We also love the fact that they look like lacy masquerade masks, so you can look good while you pamper yourself!
5. You have… 45 minutes
Try this: Take yourself to lunch
Meeting up with friends for lunch is great. You get to catch up on the latest goss and steal some of their chips. But sometimes in order to really recharge your batteries, you need to go it alone. We know going to a cafe solo can seem a little weird the first time you do it (especially if you get squished onto a table with a big group.) But we promise everyone is too preoccupied with their food to wonder who the loner in the corner is! Pick somewhere that’s not too busy, put away your phone and simply enjoy your own company (and your meal). If you’re worried about looking awkward, bring a good book with you!
6. You have… an hour
Try this: Have a massage
So you’ve got a whole hour to yourself? Why not treat yourself to the ultimate self-care activity and book in for a massage? Not only is it a great way to release any tension you’re holding in your body, it also forces you to do nothing but relax for an entire hour! If the idea of splashing out on an expensive massage just stresses you out more, you can usually find plenty of good deals on websites like Groupon or LivingSocial. Better yet, see if you can talk a nimble-handed friend or partner into giving you one for free. If it’ll make you happier and more relaxed, chances are they’ll benefit from it too!