What do you do when you need to feel restored, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle your day after a long night of work? If you’re like most people, you pull out your phone and start scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest. While this habit may help you de-stress at the moment, it’s not necessarily the best use of your time. If you want to feel refreshed without wasting hours on social media, try these 5 minutes of me time that can make a huge difference.
You should take some “me time” for yourself. Whether it’s a few minutes before bed, in your car between errands, or while taking a walk around your neighborhood, try to take some time to do nothing but breathe. We often use this time to reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives and clarify what needs to be changed.
Even if you don’t think you have five minutes, research shows that even short spurts of meditative breathing can impact how we feel. A study from UCSF found that only three two-minute breathing exercises were enough to make volunteers feel more relaxed during an anxiety-inducing exercise task—and their calmness lasted well after they completed those three two-minute sessions.
2) Write down 3 things that happened today
What did you do today? Write down three things that happened and how they made you feel. List two hobbies you like to do: This is something you should always be asking yourself, as it gives you insight into what makes your day fun, what activities give you energy, or what helps with your stress levels.
Knowing what makes us happy is critical to taking care of ourselves and explains why me-time is so important. Break down your long-term goals into steps: So much easier said than done! However, with just 20 minutes on hand each night or even on your lunch break at work (you know no one’s looking), it can help to list everything that comes to mind and write down each step needed.
3) Take 5 minutes to do something nice for yourself
When you’re working hard to achieve your goals, it’s easy to feel like self-care and me time doesn’t have any place in your life. But it does—and research shows that taking time for yourself can help you reduce stress and improve performance at work. So, how do you make some me time for yourself when you’re already maxed out?
According to experts, 5 minutes is all it takes to relax and recharge. Start by turning off all distractions—including social media and your phone—and get comfortable somewhere private (ideally someplace that isn’t your office). Then, close your eyes and focus on breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.
4) Create positive affirmations
Saying I’m bad at math or I am always so tired in the mornings every day doesn’t just make you feel lousy—it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you tell yourself, over and over again, that you can never get organized, it starts to feel true.
Telling yourself that there are no good men out there can actually make it harder to meet someone. This is called emotional reasoning: telling yourself something negative even though there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Positive affirmations are an easy way to trick your brain into thinking optimistically, even when everything seems hopeless. So take some me time to take care of yourself and keep telling yourself that everything will work out in the end.
5) Read self-help books
Many people tend to overwork themselves, working seven days a week and putting off rest. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health, and it starts with carving out some “me time” for yourself.
Reading self-help books—or even watching fitness videos—can do wonders for your mind and help you focus on what’s most important in life. Spending time alone might sound like it will leave you bored or unproductive, but in reality, resting is extremely beneficial. The simple act of reading can soothe your mind after a long day at work, allowing you to relax before getting back to whatever tasks lie ahead.