If the number one antidote to stress is self care, how do you make time for self care when the reason you're so stressed out is because you don't have time for anything? Sometimes, when someone suggests we slow down and focus on self care in times of great stress, the response usually involves an eye roll and a "Right, well, I'll definitely stop by your meditation circle when I have time, which is never, but thanks!" It's exhausting trying to find time to be less exhausted.
If you're so busy that even thirty minutes on the treadmill feels like time you can't get back, maybe try these small acts of self care that don't take time away from the things you have to do.
1. Try a meditation app.
We love the Breathe meditation app. Not only do guided meditations take away the "WTF am I doing?" element that sometimes accompanies mediation, but the woman's voice who narrates the meditations is really soothing to listen to. It's kinda like ASMR but way less creepy. Listen to a 10-minute guided meditation in your headphones while you ride the bus, walk to lunch, or wait in your car for your Tinder date to show up.
2. Sheet mask and drive.
This sounds dangerous, but we totally saw Jenna Dewan driving to set wearing a face mask in the car, so you know it's legit. A girl's got to multitask, and so do you! Slap on some under eye masks while you drive to work — you'll look and feel refreshed and won't have wasted any time.
3. Follow inspiring Instagram accounts.
If you like the end your day with some light Insta-stalking, turn that experience into an aspirational one. If you like looking at a feed of beautiful images, follow a bunch of cool style bloggers. If you want to see positive affirmations, follow Instagram accounts that provide that. If you like a light chuckle and some badass lady power, follow cool female-run meme accounts. Spend the time you'd normally spend mindlessly scrolling into a mindful one.
4. Take a bath.
Seems simple enough, but it's amazing how soothing it is to truly sit down and take a bath. If you've gotta get clean anyways, swap out your standard rushed shower for a relaxing drawn bath. Throw in some bath bombs and just chill TF out.
5. Smell some scents.
Have lavender, peppermint, or whatever other essential oil you like to give yourself a midday cool down. Keep a vial at your desk or by your bed to take a whiff of whenever you need it. It takes no time at all, but it's crazy how instantly zen you can get simply from inhaling lavender for 10 seconds.
6. Take an animal video break.
Search YouTube for "funny puppy videos." You think we're joking? Try it right now. How happy are you now? And it took, what, one minute? You're welcome.
7. Treat yourself.
Treating yourself doesn't take any time at all. Spring for that artisanal ice cream at lunch. Get that shirt in the window you always walk past. Upgrade to the five minute foot rub at your pedicure. Just do it, treat yourself. We're not suggesting you buy a new car, but a small splurge that will always leave you feeling worth it.