Covid changed our everyday routines in a way that we never imagined. Extended lockdowns kept us from gathering with our friends and family, and business closures meant we had to get creative and find/embrace our inner DIY’er for self-care. We learned to do a self-facial massage, how to remove our own body hair and facial hair, and even how to cut and style our own hair. The importance of self-care became more important than ever. It was a way of calming the chaotic storm we found ourselves in (and to look good on Zoom).
As we continue to live through changing lockdowns and re-openings, practising self-care on a regular basis is as critical as ever. This transitional phase of the pandemic is just as stressful and can be overwhelming when combined with the expectations of returning to normal life. Regardless of how busy we get we should be able to make time for (at least) 10-minutes of self-care every day.
In the spirit of making this list as accessible as possible, physical activities are kept at a minimum and/or modified where possible. Taking a 10-minute break for a Ashtanga yoga session, or high-intensity cardio, or even going for a walk are amazing for your body and mind. It’s just not possible for everyone but, luckily, other activities are just as good. So, open the window or step outside (if possible) or just stay exactly where you are, breathe deep and spend 10 minutes on your self-care.
10 minutes of self-care activities:
1. Breathing Meditation.
Breathing meditation has a way of slowing the world down and centering you. It helps you get out of your head and calms you mind, body, and soul. A popular type of mindful breathing is 4-7-8 breathing which is:
- breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds; and then,
- holding it for 7 seconds; and finally,
- exhaling through the mouth for 8 seconds making a swooshing sound while keeping your tongue pressed against the back of your front teeth.
You can also do a guided breathing meditation like this excellent one by Kim Eng. Her calming voice keeps you on track and focused on your breath so you can relax your mind and body.
2. Listen to music for 10 Minutes of Self-Care.
Music has a way of transporting us and giving us all the feels. Music can motivate you, console you, and rage with you. Create mini-playlists of songs that take you to better/happy places. For example, create a playlist of songs that make you sing. Loud. Or songs that make you want to dance whether it’s up on your feet jumping around or moving what you can while seated. Or a playlist that reminds you of all that’s beautiful in the world. In 10 minutes, music can lift you up and turn that frown upside down. Here’s a mini-playlist of songs that will make you feel good, get you moving and smiling 😊
3. Tune into your favourite podcast.
There are a number of podcasts that I regularly listen to because they lift me up and make me smile/laugh even on the worst days. Being a HUGE RuPaul Drag Race fan, I follow the queens on their post-drag race journeys and podcasts are one of them. A few of my favourites are Famous this Week with Priyanka and Brooke Lynn, The Bald and the Beautiful with Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamo, Sibling Rivalry with Bob the Drag Queen and Monet X Change, and The Bianca Del Rio Podcast. Any of these podcasts will consistently give you 10 minutes of complete entertainment.
4. Hand Reflexology.
Hand reflexology is an alternative form of therapy that targets specific body points by massaging different parts of your hands. In 10 minutes, you can do a routine that caters to a variety of ailments. You can read about hand reflexology via the Healthista website and see it demonstrated through their series of hand reflexology videos.
5. Face Yoga.
Face yoga is a series of facial exercises that stimulate your muscles, skin and lymphatic system. It also helps to relieve stress and tension. There are countless exercises that you can do to target different areas of your face and neck. To get you started, you can watch this 10 minute facial yoga routine to help you on your way.
We hope these suggestions inspire you to take the time to care for yourself even during the busiest of days. That is when you need it the most. If none of these appeal to you, do whatever does. It can be as simple as reading a book.
It’s amazing what 10 minutes can do. Spend it on yourself because you’re worth it.