Ah, self-care. It’s my drug of choice. In my book, there’s nothing better after a loooooong, annoying week than popping on a face mask, grabbing a good book, and curling burrito-style into a massive down comforter. But, too often, self-care is delegated to last on our War and Peace-sized to-do list. Guilty.
Here, I’m outlining 11 things you can do for yourself that take practically no time at all (i.e., 15 minutes, the agreed upon amount of time you can refer to as “no time at all!”). You can thank me later.
1. Try power poses.
Start the day off on a confident foot by trying power posing — basically standing like Wonder Woman — for a quick two or three minutes before you pop out the door. Embrace the awkward, recognize that no one is filming you in this moment (I promise), and be bold about your stance. You could even recite a mantra if you’re feeling really gung-ho that morning. (Too silly? I, a registered sarcastic, completely understand.)
2. Sit down and drink a full glass of water.
Pour yourself a tall drink of (really, really cold) water and sit down and drink the whole glass. You don’t have to slam it like a tequila shot (unless you’re into water like that), but try not to do anything else — i.e., check Instagram — while you’re drinking it. It’s a moment of reflection that also knocks something off your endless to-do list. Assuming “drink more water” is on your to-do list as it’s on mine, right under “bump casually into Kit Harington.” You know, regular, normal people tasks.
3. Do a faux “Get Ready with Me” makeup tutorial for yourself (and your pets, because they’ll be ~riveted~)
I usually wake up already at least 30 minutes behind schedule, so it’s slapdash makeup at best. But I relish the times when I can really put effort into each step. The next morning you’re running suspiciously early, try going through your makeup process as if you were presenting your own “everyday makeup” tutorial (because you’ve been getting so many requests). It’s a little bout of whimsy that will put you on a high for the rest of the morning and ensure your makeup is #flawless.
4. Do a quick facial massage
Facial massage is hella good for your skin — it drains your lymph nodes (gross but necessary) and de-stresses you overall. You can get a fancy roller like this one, or just use your plain ol’ fingers. This tutorial is aces and super easy to follow.
5. Try guided journaling on your lunch break.
I’m a pen-to-paper girl, so journaling speaks right to my soul. A guided journal (this one is killer) is perfect for your lunch break because you don’t have to spend any time thinking about what to write about. You can open to a page, follow the prompt, and take off from there. It’s also a great tension reliever when you need to vent about an annoying work situation — you can dump all that bad mojo into a journal and return to work ready to put it behind you (or at least fake smile your way through the rest of the afternoon — you’re only human).
6. Go for a walk with your earbuds in and pretend you’re in your own movie.
Movie montages are the best thing in the world. I’ve been waiting for my montage moment for years (still waiting), so I create my own mini-musical-moments whenever I can. Lunch breaks or midday is a great time to get out of the office or house and go for a quick stroll with your earbuds in and an empowering song blaring. Memorable movie moments I recommend recreating: the “you don’t own me” stroll from the end of First Wives Club, the (epic) Legally Blonde “I’m smart, watch me” montage, and the “it’s fall in New York” opening from You’ve Got Mail.
7. Watch a quick YouTube clip guaranteed to make you smile.
Puppy videos. That is all.
8. Take 15 unconnected minutes.
Turn the TV off, put your phone down and just be for 15 minutes. It’s (way) harder than it sounds. After about five minutes, your fingers will be literally itching to reach for that phone. Resist! Try going for a walk and enjoying the sounds of nature for a change. Or try meditation. Whatever it is, make sure technology is nowhere to be found.
9. Pop on a face mask before you shower.
I’m a nighttime shower-er, and my self-care method of choice is always a face mask. I have a face mask collection that rivals any beauty blogger worth her salt, and I love making a spa-like ritual out of the whole thing. Grab a super soft makeup brush and apply your mask with that, then put on some soothing music, light a candle, and just close your eyes for a few minutes. UTTER BLISS.
10. Read a short story or essay before bed.
I love propping myself up on some decadently soft pillows and diving into a really good story before bed. I recommend a book of short stories or an essay (this one is classic and so, so good) to ensure there’s a timeline and a satisfying ending, so you don’t get sucked into your novel and end up propping your eyelids open at 4 am to get to the last chapter. Learned from experience…
11. Do the dishes (trust me).
Sometimes even the most menial of household chores can be an act of self-care. First, you’re getting something done that will only stress you out more and more as they days go by and the dirty plates, bowls, and cutlery coalesce into a giant mound of stinky ceramic. Second, you can easily make the process a lot more fun by cranking a really good playlist (I recommend this one) and singing and dancing your butt off. Use your soapy fist as a microphone, twirl in your stockinged feet in front of the sink, scrub to the beat of your heart… whatever makes you smile in the moment. Don’t lie to me, I see you having fun over there.