It’s so easy for moms to think of themselves last. They’ll think of every little thing that their kids, hubbies, and homes need before they’d even consider their own. This is certainly a pity. As Registered Family Psychologist Michele S. Alignay emphasized during Mommy Mundo’s Mindful Mom Re-Treat, moms have to take care of their needs first if they want to address those of their families’.
When travelling with kids, for example, parents are advised to put their oxygen masks first before assisting their children in the event of an aircraft decompression. If parents become light-headed and faint because of the thinner air, then they won’t be able to help their kids. The same thinking applies to everyday life. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we wouldn’t be able to fully give ourselves to others. As Alignay put it, “We cannot give what we don’t have!”
The good news is that cranking our batteries to full charge doesn’t take a lot of time, nor does it involve a whole lot of money. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 self-care ideas which you can do in just 10 minutes. Insert them into your everyday routine, and you’d find yourself with even more purpose and energy to get through the day!
1. Step outside. In the morning, get your daily dose of sunlight by taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood or lingering in the garden. Sunshine revitalizes, refreshes, and sets you in a good mood. At night, take a chair out, lie back, and gaze at the stars. Looking up to the heavens will reveal to you a galaxy of star formations, inspiring both awe and gratitude—awe at the wonders of our amazing universe and gratitude that we have been given the chance to appreciate it!
2. Learn something new. You’re never too old to learn a new thing, and you’re never too busy to pick up a few tricks especially with all those video tutorials on the Internet. If you’ve always wanted to know how to make the perfect omelette or how to strobe like a makeup artist, then spend a few, uninterrupted minutes watching a tutorial. Practice what you’ve picked up, and you’d feel rejuvenated having learned something entirely new!
3. Go on a sensorial binge! Give your senses a nice, big boost every once in a while. For your sense of sight, check out the many patterns to be found in your garden. Look down at the grass, are there any new plants rising from the ground? If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of a firely or two. For your sense of smell, layer on your fragrances after you take a shower. Choose a body fragrance which complements the scent of your lotion. Be mindful of how the two scents blend together. For your sense of hearing, put on some music, something you have never heard before. See how the notes go together, and ask what you like and did not like about them.
4. Plan your outfit. Channel your single self and make a fuss about what you’re going to wear tomorrow. Ditch your shirt-and-jeans combo and go for something fun and flirty for a change. It doesn’t matter whether you’ll just be finishing chores around the house or running around all day doing errands. When you look good, you’ll feel even better, and your hubby will surely notice too!
5. Do a quick purge. Social media is good as it connects you to friends old and new, and updates you on current news, both local and global. Unfortunately, social media can also be less than pleasant when it’s full of rants, complaints, and petty quarrels. Such negativity may bring you down, so do yourself a favor and do a quick 10-minute purge of your social media accounts, unfollowing toxic people who spew out all kinds of vitriol. Edit your feed so that it’s filled with positive, inspiring messages. After all, you already have tons of concerns on your own.
6. Take a power nap. A nap is woefully underestimated but it can give you enough energy to power you through the rest of the day. When you find yourself getting weary of the heat or getting overwhelmed by the hundred and one things that you still need to do, place your head on a pillow for a quick shuteye. Set the alarm for 10 minutes, and you’ll wake up with a more alert mind.
7. Do a long read. How many of you have bookmarked an online article—those really long good ones which promise enlightenment at the end—and not actually have the time nor the energy to follow through? Many, for sure! Well, today, actually sit down and finish reading that story, whether it’s a human interest one or a self-help piece. Immerse yourself in words, and give your neurons a flash workout!
8. Do a quick fix. We all have these minor irritants that bug us every time we encounter it. Perhaps it’s a painting still unhanged after three years or a missing button on a favorite cardigan. Banish those irritants once and for all by actually doing something about it. It would only take a few minutes to sew on a button or hang a painting, and then your mind would be clear for more beautiful thoughts.
9. Phone a friend. Don’t text. Don’t chat. Make an actual live call whether it’s on your landline or cellphone or Viber, Skype, or FaceTime accounts. The experience of hearing a loved one on the other end of the line is energizing. Ten minutes would give you more than enough time to catch up, laugh, trade jokes, and even shed a tear or two!
10. Be thankful. A full day means a full life, so be grateful for it. At the end of the day, rather than dwelling on everything that didn’t come your way, write down everything that you are happy for. Always look at the big picture and list down events, big and small, that made your day such a happy, happening one!