With midterms in full swing, it can be frustrating to be told to make time to take care of yourself. Sometimes it’s truly impossible to take the whole night off for self-care because some days all you have is five minutes to spare.
That’s OK. Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be as simple as completing little tasks so you have time to relax later. So put down that studying for a bit: we’ve curated a list of 20 self-care tips you can complete in less than five minutes.
Refresh your grocery list. Check your fridge/pantry for anything you need on your next grocery run. You’ll thank yourself later.
Take a walk (even if it’s to take out the trash). It’s not always realistic to go on an hour-long nature walk, especially as the weather is getting colder. Take a break to take the trash out or check your mail. I know it sounds weird, but fresh air, even in small doses, is good for your mind.
Handwrite a self-affirmation. It’s cheesy, but practice positive affirmations with yourself. For example, tell yourself, “I am kind,” or, “I am good enough.” You can use a sticky note or even make a running list of affirmations in your phone notes.
Pour a glass of water. Don’t forget to hydrate when life gets crazy. A reasonable goal is to drink eight glasses a day.
Declutter a space you’ve been avoiding. If you’ve been avoiding a pile of clothes, consider tidying it up. If the dishes have been piling up, clean some off. Once you get started, odds are you’ll feel better.
Brush your hair. For some people feeling “put together,” is a form of self-care. If this sounds like you, take a moment to do your hair.
Listen to your favorite song. Everyone has their “hype” song. If you don’t have one, maybe our Spotify playlists can give you some ideas. Maybe even squeeze in some exercise and have a mini dance party.
Watch a (short) YouTube video. If you struggle to find time to watch YouTube videos, break them up during the day. Keep a tab open and watch when you need a mood booster. David Dobrik is a fan favorite and radiates good vibes all around.
Make your bed. Did you know that 71% of bed makers consider themselves happy? Even if it’s the middle of the afternoon, it’s not too late to make your bed and reward your emotional health.
Stretch. Just get your body moving, however that may look for you.
Make weekend plans. Having something to look forward to in the future can motivate you in the present. Text or call a friend and make plans to grab a coffee if that is something that makes you feel good.
Light a candle. If you live in a dorm, use some room spray instead. Making your space a place you want to be in can be self-care as well.
Doodle. Tap into your childlike side and get creative with something unrelated to your schoolwork. Investing in an adult coloring book is totally worth it or something as easy as grabbing a notebook and going with the flow works too.
Vlog your day. Document how you are feeling. You don’t have to post it on social media, instead, consider it like journaling.
Get off your phone. Sometimes self-care can look like scrolling but in moderation. If you find yourself falling down the Instagram loophole, stop yourself in your tracks: hide your phone in another room or give it to a trusted roommate.
Write down things that make you happy. Do them when you have the time. When your busy season is over, refer back to this list and check a few things off.
Closeout apps on your phone. If you have numerous apps open on your phone, close them out if they overwhelm you.
Grab a snack. If your body is telling you that you are hungry, listen to it. If you are looking to get fancy, we have easy recipes like avocado fries prepared for you on Home Appétit.
Wash your face. You don’t need fancy face masks made with bad ingredients to say you value self-care. You may have blown off washing your face today, so take a couple of minutes to do that. Start small.
Breathe. Go back to your breath. Deep breathing can feel uncomfortable; however, the effects on stress reduction are tremendous. It’s worth the time if you are feeling particularly stressed.