Your Self-care Lists

OK, we know what self-care is, and we know why we should do it.  But what can we do that constitutes self-care?

I think you might like this answer – ANYTHING THAT YOU LIKE.  If it is self-care to you, then it is self-care.  Remember though, that also means that what may be exquisite self-care for you, may be torture to someone else.

So today we are going to start a couple lists.  These are going to be  lists of things we can do for self-care when we have a spare 5, 15 or 30 (or more) minutes.  These are general lists, so remember that everything on the lists won’t work for any one person.  Hopefully these lists will serve as catalysts to get you writing your own list of things that work for you.  It is your choice – what is on your list?

Let’s start with the “I can squeeze in 5 minutes right now, if I only knew what to do”  list.  Remember that this is just a general list – feel free to add and delete as needed.

5 minutes

  • Sit quietly (or lie down) and mindfully breathe slow, deep breaths
  • Spend 5 minutes on some kind of puzzle (Sudoku, crossword, word search, whatever)
  • Sit outside to re-energize, look at the birds & squirrels (or whatever else is running around)
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Meditate

15 minutes

  • Anything on your 5 minute list, only longer
  • Have a cup of coffee, sitting down
  • Weed a garden
  • Mindfully take a shower
  • Read a book or magazine
  • Write in a journal
  • Paint your nails
  • Take a quick nap
  • Talk to a good friend on the phone
  • Organize something (a drawer, a shelf, a desk, whatever)

30 minutes or longer

  • Anything on your 5 or 15 minute lists, only longer
  • Take a bubble bath or sit in the hot tub
  • Get together with friends and do something that makes you laugh
  • Have a pedicure/manicure
  • Have a massage
  • Take a long walk
  • Go to the zoo (for self-care go alone or with friends, take the kids another time)
  • Watch a funny or uplifting video
  • Go hear someone you admire speak
  • Go to a performance of something you want to hear (symphony, jazz, rock & roll, whatever)

So there you have three quick lists.  Now here is the point of the lists.  If you get a free 5 or 15 minutes (or longer), you really don’t want to spend half that time trying to figure out what to do. There is little worse than finally coming up with 15 unspoken-for minutes, and taking 10 of them to decide what you want to do.  I would invite you to personalize your lists, and them keep them somewhere safe (in a drawer, on a bulletin board – whatever works for you) so that if this unexpected time presents itself, you can take full advantage of it.  You don’t necessarily have to pick something off of your list, but the list may prompt you to think of what it is you want to do.

And, of course, I am curious….what would you add to your lists?

2 comments to Your Self-care Lists

  • 5 min: watch birds at the feeders while drinking good coffee
    15 min: take a slow walk at dawn on the waterfront, noticing all the wildlife
    30 min:hike in the woods

    Think I need more nature in my life! Have a good weekend Judy!

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