How to Practice Self-Care, Even If You Only Have 5 Minutes

You don't need to book into a luxurious three-day retreat to look after yourself.

Self-care gets a lot of play in the health and wellness industry. But sometimes the idea is a little more aspirational than inspirational—if you’re Gwenyth Paltrow, it probably seems reasonable to head to a five-day silent meditation retreat to recharge your batteries … The rest of us, though, are lucky to squeeze in five minutes of silence at home.


You don’t need a ton of time and boatloads of money 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.

You have… 5 minutes


Try this: Stretch it out.

By incorporating a desk stretch into your daily routine, you’re not only taking care of your back but your mental well-being too. 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!

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 well-being. 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.

You have… 20 minutes

Image: Pinterest/
Image: Pinterest/

Try this: Take a bath

Oprah Winfrey’s favorite way to unwind? Bubble baths. 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 a splash of bubble bath, turn off the lights, and light some scented candles. Whether you’d prefer to watch an episode of your favorite show or lie back and relax in silence, we guarantee your relaxation levels will soar.

You have… 30 minutes

Try this: Do a sheet mask

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 lacey masquerade masks, so you can look good while you pamper yourself!

You have… 45 minutes

Image: Pinterest/
Image: Pinterest/

Try this: Take yourself to lunch

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.

You have… an hour

via iStock
via iStock

Try this: Get a massage

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!

Emma Norris
A true believer in balance, Emma is just as passionate about pizza as she is about pull-ups. When she’s not writing, she loves strength training, visiting new cafes and trying out new fitness classes. Having lived in Ireland and Canada, Emma was bitten by the travel bug at a young age. She loves nothing more than visiting new destinations and experiencing different cultures. Emma grew up (and currently lives) near the beautiful Coogee Beach and is happiest when she’s near a body of water. She started her career in magazines and has recently made the exciting transition to the digital world.