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Little Moments

Splashing water on face

Written by Pamela Larsen

When people hear the term “self-care,” they often think of a massage, a yoga class, or a weekend vacation. Many people don’t think they have time during their busy day for self-care. But I find that I can have self-care in my busy daily schedule by taking “little moments” of self-care throughout the day. 

There are many ways you can do this, and everyone can find what works for them. Here are some ideas to try:

After using the bathroom, splash warm water on your face and close your eyes for a moment to enjoy the warmth. You can even lightly rub your fingers into your cheeks and jaw. You might find that the muscles in your forehead and jaw relax a bit; you might not have even realized they were tight. This takes only a few moments, yet it can serve as a reset button leaving you feeling refreshed.

Another idea is to get outside, out of the office and take a mental break from work. Being outside has been proven to help our feeling of well-being. Walk quickly around the block, try not to think about work, just notice all your senses and your surroundings; notice the temperature, the quality of the light, the sky, and trees, etc. After five or ten minutes, when you return to work, you might find that you have a new outlook on your project and you are more alert.

If you are stuck inside, take a few minutes sitting in your chair with your feet on the floor and eyes closed.  Breath in with the count of five, hold your breath for a count of five, and let it out for a count of five. You can do this anytime during the day, especially after a stressful interaction, and it can be extremely helpful since it lets your body know you are okay and your mind slows down, which can again hit the reset button.

Just getting up and making a cup of coffee or tea, holding the warm mug in your hands and smelling the beverage can relax you. 

Other ideas are having a 10-minute coffee break with a friend, touching a pet, watering and noticing a plant or flowers, looking out the window for a few minutes, closing your eyes, placing your head on your desk for a moment, listen to a song you love, doing 20 jumping jacks! To dive deeper, follow the link here for more resources.

In our modern society there never seems to be enough time to do everything. Most of us try to find a balance between work, family, friends, hobbies, exercise, relaxation. Just thinking about trying to do everything can further exhaust us!

Practicing self-care throughout the day can prevent a buildup of anxiety and exhaustion. Studies have shown that at work, we are more productive if we take small breaks to recharge, to reset. And it is a more enjoyable way and a healthier way to live our lives.