8 Self-Care Techniques That Take 10 Minutes or Less

Published on August 19, 2023

By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

The fatigue, discomfort, and excessive worry you’re experiencing? It’s called stress. Busy schedules, social engagements, major life events, and a challenging job can add a lot to your plate. It’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves, especially when there seems to be no possibility of adding one more activity to our days. 

Many of us skip self-care because we think we don’t have the time or we convince ourselves we don’t need it. Mental health professionals agree that proper self-care is not only important — it’s vital.1 We’ll explain why and give you eight easy self-care ideas to help you conveniently add it to your day and take care of your well-being. 

Why Does Self-Care Matter?

If you don’t regularly practice self-care techniques, you might not see the value of adding them to your routine. Practicing a healthy and consistent self-care routine, however, has benefits for both your mental and physical health.REF#2564

What The Experts Say About Self-Care

The practice of self-care helps you practice better stress management. Stress that goes unmanaged can lead to negative health conditions like:

  • An increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease REF#2565
  • Unhealthy blood sugar levels REF#2565
  • High blood pressure REF#2565
  • Cholesterol levels that are unbalanced REF#2565
  • Mental illness REF#2565

The body’s stress response causes levels of certain hormones to rise and keeps the body in a state of high alert. Although acute stress can be helpful in certain situations, stress that lasts for longer than two weeks can become chronic and have detrimental health outcomes.REF#2565

Taking care of your body and managing stress go hand-in-hand. Making time for self-care isn't optional if you value your health and want to avoid sidelining yourself with a major illness. Thankfully, you can easily fit these eight self-care tips into your day and support a more balanced body and mind. 

8 Ways To Add Self-Care to Your Day

Self-care doesn’t require an hour-long massage or a weekend hot yoga retreat, although those options sound divine. You can pack a little self-care into your day in 10-minute intervals to enjoy less stress and a more positive outlook. 

1. Unplug

Technology is forever changing the landscape of how we do business and how we communicate with others. While advancements have made it possible for us to talk to our loved ones more frequently and given us a world of information at our fingertips, it’s come at a price. 

Studies show that our smartphones can cause us stress.REF#2566 One reason could be that they keep pinging with notifications while we’re attempting to focus on something else or be present in a social setting. Another could be the pressures of navigating social media. 

A 10-minute smartphone detox is a great way to reset your day and enjoy a few moments of solitude. Place your phone on Do Not Disturb or remove it from your workspace so you aren’t tempted to grab it and begin scrolling. 

Another useful tool: the unfollow button. Unfollowing a social media account that posts triggering content is an easy way to control what you see in your feed and support the lifestyle you want to live. 

2. Practice Breathing Techniques

Our ability to handle stressful situations can improve when we focus on our breathing. Both meditation and yoga are beneficial in helping you connect with your breath and helping you practice slow, intentional breathing. 

Studies on the effects of deep breathing techniques show that they can help support an elevated mood and help calm the body and mind.REF#2567 When your mental to-do list becomes overwhelming, try taking a 10-minute break to declutter your mind. 

If you have trouble focusing, consider firing up your diffuser with essential oils to help set a calming atmosphere, or even taking ones that support a sense of calm, like Lemon Balm.REF#2568

3. The 10-Minute Spa

Maybe you don’t have time for a spa day or even a professional manicure and pedicure — but you can certainly make time for a 10-minute bubble bath routine. After a long, stressful day, slipping into a warm bath can help relax sore muscles and aching joints and help you prepare for sleep. 

Add in a sheet-style face mask that is easy to apply and can enhance your current skincare routine. 

This type of self-care can quickly become something you look forward to at the end of your day. We won’t judge if you soak for longer than 10 minutes!

4. Spend 10 Minutes in Positivity

It’s hard to stay positive when many of life’s stressful events feel overwhelming. Taking a 10-minute timeout to be intentional about positivity can dramatically improve the quality of your day and your quality of life. 

Here are a few ways to do it:

  • For ten minutes, practice reciting or reading positive affirmations. 
  • Create a vision board, and focus on different elements of the board during your break. Consider adding to or rearranging the board if your goals have changed. 
  • Start a gratitude journal, and spend ten minutes expressing gratitude on paper. 

These are only guidelines. The main focus is to remove negative thoughts from your mind and focus on positive self-talk. If you have trouble expressing self-compassion, it may be a good idea to talk to someone (like a trusted friend, therapist, or family member) about your struggle. 

5. Take a Walk

Getting a little exercise and enjoying some fresh air is a great form of self-care that doesn’t cost a penny and can also have health benefits.

These include:

  • Improving circulation REF#2570
  • Helping with coordination and balance REF#2570
  • Supporting healthy weight loss goals REF#2570
  • Improving mood, cognition, and memory REF#2570
  • Helping with sound sleep REF#2570

Practically anyone who is physically able can add a 10-minute walk into their daily life. Take three 10-minute walks, and you’ll quickly hit the recommended daily allowance for cardiovascular exercise.

6. Listen to Something Uplifting

Being surrounded by stress can leave you feeling stressed, too. Whether you live in a bustling household or work around others who are negative or loud, switching your audio input for ten minutes can help you get relief. 

Try throwing your earbuds in and tuning in to a positive podcast or listening to ten minutes of an audiobook. You can also create a “zen” style playlist to listen to help transport your mind elsewhere. Bonus point for listening to your playlist while taking a walk! 

7. Prepare for Sleep Properly

Getting enough sleep has a huge impact on both our mental and physical well-being.REF#2571 Most adults need between seven to nine hours of good, quality sleep each night. If you have trouble getting to sleep, it could be because you aren’t practicing good sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene refers to the ways you prepare your body, mind, and environment for sleep. Ten minutes of unplugging, lowering the lights, listening to soft music, or reading a book can help relax your body and get you ready to sleep. 

8. Make It a Self-Care Morning

Whether you take ten minutes to treat yourself to a healthy breakfast or do ten minutes of light stretching before you start your day, carving out a little self-love in the morning can set the tone for your entire day. Try one of our healthy, herbal recipes for a delicious smoothie or latte to start your day on a good note.

Prevent Burnout With Self-Care

Sure, you’re busy — but you probably have ten minutes to practice some self-care activities to help you avoid burning out. Self-care protects our emotional and physical health and can even encourage others to practice their self-care habits, too. 

So take ten minutes to yourself. Your mind and body depend on it.


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