tips & tools to help you feel freaking awesome

5 fast self care activities: 10 minutes or less

5 self care quickies: Self Care Activities Anyone can do in 10 minutes or less

Self-care is important for well being. We can all agree on that. But what if our personal and professional commitments consume daily life and we just can’t find enough time for a proper self-care routine? Our busy lives don’t have to keep all self care is out of reach.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. Try one of these 5 quickies – a self care activity you can do in 10 minutes or less. Your mental health and physical health are worth it!

woman in gray tank top and white shorts

What is a self care activity anway?

Before we get started, let’s make sure we can answer this one key question: What do we mean when we say self care activity? This bit is critical: We aren’t limited to some  pre-ordained list of legit self care because no such thing exists. We need not worry if our self care ideas are perfet or right. We can quiet that sort of self-criticism and focus on taking action in the present moment. 

Essentially, self care activities involve spending time to care for ourselves and to recharge.  There are a many, MANY ways to practice self care, but what they have in common is that they’re beneficial and make you feel good. Easy enough, eh? 

Ok. Sure, Deb. But what if I’m really looking for the best self care ideas out there? Then what? 

Fair question.

The absolute best self care activities
are those we actually do.

So now  that we have the nitty gritty out of the way, I can’t wait to share some of my favorite fast, simple self care activities. These are effective techniques that just happen to be quick and good for mental health or physical health.   s

5 Quickies - Self Care in Under 10 minutes

These particular self care activities were chosen with busy people and ease in mind. The main things needed are you and a timer. You don’t have to spend money or take lessons. All 5 of these basic techniques are easy and take 10 minutes or less.

Ready? Here we go…

Self care Quickie #1:

Let’s get physical. Physical.

Channel your inner Olivia Newton-John and put on the song “Physical” or whatever gets you moving.  Dance (my favorite) or go for a little walk. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise. With just 10 minutes you will start to change your physiology and even your brain function.

Bonus: if you go to a different place to boogie  – a different room or (gasp!) go outside for some fresh air- the change in scenery can shift your attention for a mini brain reboot.

woman in pink tank top and white shorts
Woman in blue shirt listening to music in headphones and relaxing

Self care Quickie #2:

Breathe – even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Take 10 minutes to do a quick meditation or practice breathwork.  You can do this a couple of times a day if you want to feel extra relaxed, but even just 2- 3 minutes count.

Find a space where you will be uninterrupted for 10 minutes and set a timer. Breathwork has been shown to lower cortisol levels, ease anxiety, and improve sleep. It is easy to try – either close your eyes or focus on something neutral like the ceiling as you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth until your timer goes off.

Self care Quickie #3:

Tea time.

Fill up a big cup of tea or coffee and relax for 10 minutes. Why not make this particular cuppa special with some added flair? Drink it out of your favorite mug at home, gong the cup and make a declaration that you are freaking awesome, slurp to enjoy it, or do whatever you need to do to feel good. 

Not the right time for caffeine or a hot beverage? This 100% works with a nice glass of water, too.

Warming cup of tea
Quokka mom with a baby quokka peeping out of her pouch

Self care Quickie #4:

Get a dose of cute.

Check out some cute animals on your phone or tablet. I’m serious, research shows that “cute” is good for our brains. For example, when we see a video of baby animals frolicking, it not only triggers positive emotional responses for us (watch out dopamine), but can also increase our perceptual abilities (d’awww bet you feel brighter now).

PRO TIP: Set a timer if you’re worried about getting caught up in something too distracting. I could look at animals for hours left unsupervised

Self care Quickie #5:

Pet Your Brain.

Sounds funny, yeah? But it does work, so give this one a shot. Try a form of self care known as “havening,” a simple method for soothing. Here it is: Gently rub your palms together as if washing your hands  – from fingertips to the top of the wrist. 

Because the brain is amazing, this simple act affects your brain activity. It can boost the love-hormone oxytocin as well as activity in the amygdala, a region of the brain involved in emotions. 

Woman rubbing her hands together in a self care activity known as havening

There you have it. Five effective, easy-peasy self care ideas for very smart people. 

Recap:  5 Fast Self Care Quickies that take 10 minutes or less.

To recap, the five self care quickies mentioned are: getting physical (e.g., doing some exercise), breathing, drinking tea, looking at cute animals, and petting your brain. Each of these self care activities can be done in 10 minutes or less, and they are all known to have various benefits for mental health and physical health.

Extra Credit Self Care (no pressure!)

Want to go all out? Challenge yourself to make a self care plan that includes one  activity per day for one week. Mix it up with some days for mental self care, some days for physical self care, and some days for social self care. It will probably take less than an hour altogether so is totally doable no matter how busy your personal life might be.

Remember: a little self care can go a long way. If you choose from the quickie list, it won’t take much time to do something good for your mental health and wellbeing. Each time you choose self care, you can make a difference in your life.

Need a little help getting started? Try one of these Self Care Tools

If you think a self care tools would be useful, here are two of my favorites:

Balance Mindfulness App for Well being

A mindfulness app with tons of quickies and lessons to help you start a mindfulness practice.  It’s one of my favorites. If you want to try, click this link because  I want to hook you up with a free year of Balance  (new users only). 

heyitsdeb 1-week Self Care Tracker:

I made a free printable you can use for your 1-week self care challenge. It’s a simple worksheet where you can plan your week and track your progressDownload the 1-week self care challenge tracker to get started.—

Try one (or more!) of these self care ideas this week and let me know what you think.

We cannot pour from an empty cup, eh? When you spend time on self care, it’s good for you and everyone around you, too. We cannot pour from an empty cup, eh? 

If you try one of the quickies or use the 1-week self care planner, tag me on social media to share how freakin’ awesome you are.  If we aren’t connected on social yet, here’s the scoop on where to find heyitsdeb on social media.
xo, deb in script as the sign off for Deb Durham at ey It's Deb

PS:  Bonus, social connection is good for our brains, so a quick DM is a win for social self care, too. <3

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