Have you ever been told that you’re a great parent, spouse, or employee? Have you ever been commended for your commitment to whatever task you’re focused on?
Unfortunately, that kind of praise only seems to be given when you’re exhausted from your responsibilities. Like a swan swimming past, others may only see your graceful, collected surface. They don’t see your legs working furiously under the surface to keep you afloat.
You might be in an even worse situation if you feel that you’re not living up to your perceived standards. Should you work even harder and exhaust yourself even more? How can you relax and approach your responsibilities with a better mindset?
Let’s talk about a simple 15-minute habit that can help to boost your energy, and leave you feeling happier and more confident.
What Is the 15 Minute Habit?
Simply put, you should spend at least 15 minutes a day on self-care. This means relaxing and doing whatever else you want to do. Ideally, you could take more than 15 minutes, or at least have several breaks throughout the day.
Unfortunately, not everyone’s schedule allows for a lot of free time. You might have to set aside time at the beginning of the day, or whenever you’ll have time.
It’s worth noting that the 15-minute habit isn’t an excuse to watch 15 minutes of Netflix, or to spend 15 minutes scrolling through social media! Social media and entertainment are fine, but it’s not exactly self-care!
In fact, it’s good to have a no-screen rule during your 15 minutes of self-care.
Self Care: Does It Really Make a Difference?
Self-care means more than just taking a long bubble bath every few months. Self-care involves taking time to address your own needs. For most of us, we spend our days thinking about other people’s needs. This could include our partner, children, family, friends, coworkers, and employer.
There’s a time and place to focus on others. In fact, focusing on the needs of others can help us to put our own troubles into perspective.
However, we still need to slow down and think about what we need. Self-care can bring plenty of benefits:
- Relaxing and de stressing
- A better understanding of who you are and what you want
- Improved self-esteem and confidence
- Time to think about your day
- Time to enjoy mindfulness
- Increased energy and productivity
- Greater happiness
However, self-care isn’t all about what it can “do” for your productivity. It’s simply about doing something good and kind for yourself. After all, how often do you do kind things for other people? Even something as simple as bringing someone a cup of coffee or snack counts as kindness.
Building a Habit
Who doesn’t like the idea of self-care? Unfortunately, problems can arise when you try and implement 15 minutes of self-care into your daily routine. After all, we all live busy lives. If you have small children, a lot of your day is going to be taken up by your children.
The best way to get 15 minutes of me-time into your day is to get up a little earlier than usual. This gives you the best chance of having the house to yourself, with no interruptions.
Getting up 15 minutes earlier could be a little challenging. Try planning what you’ll do for your self-care session the night before, so you have something good to look forward to.
While individuals differ, it takes around two months to build a daily habit. So, it could take you some time to properly get into the habit of a 15-minute self-care session. Remember, this shouldn’t be a chore. You’re taking time out of your busy day to do something you enjoy, for no other reason than to treat yourself.
Self Care Ideas
Everyone is different, and one person’s ideal self-care routine is another person’s chore. You don’t need to do the same thing every day for self-care. If you want to do something bigger, such as a long soak in the tub, try setting aside more time later in the day.
Really, what you choose to do for self-care depends on you and your interests. Let’s talk about a few popular ways to relax and recharge.
- Read a book
Let’s be honest. Most of us have been planning to “read more” for longer than we’d care to remember. You might have a good book sitting on your bedside table, but you just don’t have time to finish it.
Setting aside 15 minutes a day for self-care could give you the perfect opportunity to work your way through that book - and maybe even start another one!
15 minutes probably isn’t enough time to rush down to the gym. But it is enough time to work through a few exercises at home or go for a short run. Not everyone loves to exercise, but it’s great for our bodies and leaves us feeling happy and invigorated.
If you live a busy lifestyle, taking time to be quiet, still, and in tune with yourself can be invaluable. You don’t even need to use your whole 15 minutes to meditate: a 5 or 10 minute guided meditation could be all you need. There are plenty of apps you can download which provide daily meditations.
- Indulge your hobbies
Maybe you love to knit or sew, bake, read, eat a fancy breakfast, or just sip coffee and watch the birds in your garden. Whatever you love to do, you can take 15 minutes out of your day to be kind to yourself and do what you love.
The Bottom Line
Even the busiest people can spare 15 minutes from their day. Remember that your time is valuable, and you’re investing it in yourself.
15 minutes is only a guideline. Perhaps you can spare half an hour or several 15-minute increments during the day. Perhaps you’d rather take 15 minutes during lunchtime.
The point is, we’re all different. Choose what works for you. This is your time and yours alone.