Okay, so embracing rest sounds great, but where am I supposed to start?
Self-care is the trendy word for it, but as with many terms that go viral, it has been overtaken by industries pushing products. Self-care has gone from “I will refill my cup so I can pour myself into everything I love in a healthy, helpful way” to “I can be obnoxious as long as I call it self-care.”
Here, I’m trying to guide us away from that mentality of selfishness and consumerism, instead focusing on small things that are easy to pull into our everyday lives. This isn’t about getting the most expensive tea or the prettiest journal. What this is about is finding ways to give yourself a little bit of peace, a little refreshing break, in the middle of the insanity that life can be.
I’m breaking these up into 5-minute, 15-minute, and 1 hour prompts, so that whatever your little breaks look like, you can find something that will fit. Every second we can take to find just that little extra silence is golden. If you don’t know where to start with resting and involving a little more intentionality in your day, this is a great place to start!
When you only have 5 minutes…
- Make a mug of tea
- Give yourself a foot rub
- Massage your jaw and the back of your neck – these are among the first places to clench when you’re stressed
- Make a sugar-and-oil lip scrub and follow it up with some lip balm
- Brain dump. Write out all the little things that you want or have to do, getting them out of your head and onto a page where you can see them more clearly.
- Rub some good-smelling lotion into your hands, & focus on that sensation
- Do a guided meditation
- Watch an SNL bit on YouTube and actually laugh out loud
- Play your favorite song and have a mini dance party – don’t stop moving till the song ends!
When you have 15 minutes…
- Make a little charcuterie plate, and savor each bite. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Grab some baby dill pickles, a couple cheeses, and whatever leftover protein you have. Focus on enjoying the sensations over plating it for a social media post.
- Take a cat nap
- Exfoliate and moisturize your face
- Make a fancy coffee
- Curl up with your favorite blanket and/or pillows
- Read a chapter of your current or favorite book
- Listen to an audiobook or podcast
- Go for a walk
When you have an hour…
- Take a long shower or bath. Use that fancy scrub or really nice hair mask you’ve been hoarding. Bask in the luxury that is indoor plumbing.
- Do your nails
- Take a longer nap
- Prepare a full meal, and eat it slowly without electronics distracting you
- Use your favorite lotion to your heart’s content – your skin will thank you, especially in winter. Focus on enjoying the experience instead of the utilitarian purpose.
- Play with your pet – if you can, take them to the park or another activity area
- Use a face mask
- Watch an episode of your favorite show, without any extra screens pulling your attention away from it.
- Call a close friend
This is obviously not an all-inclusive list, but a starting point for those of us that have spent so long in overdrive it’s hard to think about slowing down. Use these prompts as a way to intentionally infuse some rest into your day. If they don’t sound enjoyable to you, don’t do it. This is not another box to check, another thing to add to your already-overflowing agenda. Try to be aware of how each thing you try makes you feel, and use that as a guide to find what works best for you and how you need to rest.
Do you have a must-try restful activity? Any mindful practices you can’t live without?