“I’m having a very hard time finding/making time for myself. I feel like “My Time” doesn’t exist. I feel like a failure.”
This is what a member in Your Missing Peace: The Coaching Club asked for help with. When you’re busy and struggling to fit yourself in, it feels next-to-impossible to make the changes that you want to make, because all your time and energy are going elsewhere. And you know what becomes extra tempting when you’re not getting what you need? Reaching for something to eat to fill in the gap. Too often, smart, busy women feel alone with struggles like this – and the tendency is to take the frustration out on ourselves.
But here’s the thing. Learning how to find, claim, and get the most benefit from time for you is a habit – and it’s one you can cultivate (and probably strengthen) – even if you’re busy, over-tired, or overworked. In fact, if this is the case, the stakes are especially high.
Figuring out how to leverage small bits of time to shift your mood and energy, to feed your soul, and to help you stay in touch with your priorities is something you can get better at. It doesn’t require a major life overhaul. In fact, it’s often the small, simple steps that can shift your energy and help you take better care of you. And by the way, taking care of your needs, making time for you, and feeding yourself the things you really need, is a pretty impressive plan for taking your power back from overeating.
The next time you’re about to mindlessly click on social media because you only have five minutes, try one of these ideas instead.
Here are 50 simple ways to do something nice for yourself in five minutes or less
- Get a glass of water and drink.
- Make a decision that needs to be made and call it good.
- Complete something – send the email, schedule the appointment, respond to the jury summons. Close the loop – it calms the mind.
- Get 200 steps.
- Wash salad greens.
- Fill your essential oil diffuser and use it.
- Change your phone wallpaper to a picture that you love.
- Do pushups or squats or walking lunges for five minutes.
- Make a list of things you can ask for help with or delegate entirely (do you really have to be the one who empties the dishwasher/picks up the mail/stops by the grocery store on the way home/ or makes that phone call?).
- Make a cup of tea.
- Do deep breathing.
- Make every appointment in your calendar five minutes longer but don’t tell anyone. Use the extra time to tie up loose ends, make notes, file away your paperwork, or clear your mind before the next thing.
- Listen to your favorite, upbeat song.
- Send a quick, heartfelt thank you or note or text of appreciation to someone. Both of you will benefit.
- Organize your vitamins and supplements for the week in a daily pillbox.
- Use a meditation app like Calm and dial-up a five-minute meditation.
- Make a list of things you’re grateful for.
- Give yourself a hand or foot massage with lotion or oil that you love.
- Schedule your next vacation in your calendar and/or submit the paperwork.
- Create a reminder/alarm in your phone for midafternoon. Title it “Pause and Check-in” so that this is the message that pops up when your alert activates, or choose a title that’s the perfect midafternoon reminder for you.
- Step outside and experience the weather. Feel the wind/rain/sun/warmth/chill on your skin.
- Smile – whether you feel happy or not. Picture something that does create a happy feeling inside. Melt into it as much as you can and let your mood life from the inside out.
- Take one small step toward something you’ve been putting off – put it on your calendar, make the phone call, send an email asking for help, or whatever feels like the next doable
- Say no to something or decline an invitation. Give yourself a five-minute window to act decisively.
- Sign up for an online grocery delivery service or online grocery ordering if it’s available.
- Do a power pose and hold it for three minutes.
- Put some good books on hold at your local library.
- Update your workout playlist.
- Light a candle.
- Start a list of places you want to visit (either close or far away).
- Set a timer, close your eyes, and do nothing for five minutes. It’s okay if you fall asleep.
- Turn off the email/news/social alerts on your phone/iPad/computer.
- Layout your clothes for tomorrow, or get the coffee ready, or make your lunch.
- Text your significant other and ask them out on a date.
- Make a self-care appointment – schedule your hair appointment, your mammogram, your annual exam, or a pedicure.
- Declutter your desk.
- Dance with abandon.
- Make a list of your strengths.
- Spend time with your pets.
- Practice being in the moment, tuning in with all your senses, and savoring the present for five minutes.
- Create some order. Put ten things away.
- Lie down and stretch out as long as you can. Stretch your arms overhead and reach your toes away from you. Create space in your body.
- Google something you’ve always wanted the answer to. Take the time to watch a how-to video on YouTube about something you’re really interested in.
- Do something silly and fun – hula hoop, blow bubbles on your back porch, play with play dough.
- Spend five minutes reviewing what went well and what you’re proud of on the way home from work.
- Take five extra minutes at meals. Put your fork down between bites. Be present for the conversation. Pause to notice the taste and texture of your food and to ask yourself whether you’re still hungry or feeling satisfied.
- Make a list of things you’re tolerating or that aren’t working for you. Don’t stress about it, just make the list. You’ll be amazed at the power of noticing these things and how it can begin to create powerful changes.
- Take five minutes to let someone you trust know that getting better at taking time for yourself is a priority and an ability that you’re working to strengthen.