A Self-Care Break

With everyone moving at the speed of a New York minute nowadays, you can be surprised if you have a little extra time to yourself in the day. How can you use those spare minutes to your advantage?

If I have a random 10 minutes to myself during the day, I choose to listen to a podcast or my favorite playlist while I read, write, doodle or research things online that make me happy (usually dog videos or shoes).

Before I do anything, though, I have to check my to-do list to ensure I can take some time off without missing a deadline or meeting. I have my obligations scheduled down to the minute; and before I start my day, I go over the things I have on the list for that day. It’s good to prepare your mind for whatever lies ahead. If you know you’re going to have some time here and there, it’s best to have a few possible ideas of how you could spend that time.

If you have a rough day scheduled, use your extra time to be mindful — check in with yourself and your wellbeing. Go pop a squat in the lawn outside and drink a tea or coffee. Use this time to not be on your cellphone or laptop, and just be in your head. If you have a busy day and don’t take some time to calm down, you’re gonna be crawling into bed at night not remembering a single thing you did that day. Take time to be grateful, reevaluate, destress and be thoughtful.

If you have a super low-key no-big-deal kind of day, spending all your time watching Netflix, sending emails, or completing house chores or errands won’t feel rewarding if you don’t take time to breathe. It’s good to be in your head, otherwise simple days pass by with no significance whatsoever.

Personally, I love making myself a latte or green tea and unwinding on my patio for just 10 minutes each day. I don’t want my weeks to fly by in a blur. I want to appreciate and really experience every day.

I know Mondays are my days from hell. From the moment I leave my apartment to the moment I crawl back inside at the end of the day, I’m busy. I realized that if I use my time walking or driving from point A to point B just thinking, I remember a lot more of my day and appreciate the simple pleasure of letting things go still and quiet.

I’m not saying you have to be a total mindfulness guru, but taking 10 fingers’ time to let the world drift out of sight and out of mind can do wonders to your mental health and overall mood.

If I’m eating dinner, I just eat. I don’t scroll through Instagram with my phone in one hand and fork in another. I use the time to just eat. I savor my food and acknowledge the nutrients going into my body, fueling me for the next day I have ahead of me.

If I’m showering or doing my makeup, I have calm, pleasing music playing in the background so I’m not distracted from reevaluating my thoughts and emotions. I save my dancing to Travis Scott for when I’m cooking. Keep some mundane tasks for yourself. For the leftover tasks, you can multitask and stick to your usual running around like a bat out of hell.

Practice these mindfulness tips for a week and see how your mood and attitude change. Good luck with your 10 minutes of self-care.