Self-care is a trendy term these days, and for good reason. Self-care is the healthy practice of building intentional habits that improve mental, emotional and physical health. There are an endless number of ways to practice self-care, from yoga to reading and cooking to chatting with a friend.
While self-care is important to build into your routine, most people would say they’re already stretched thin and adding self-care to cramped schedule may be more stressful than helpful. That’s why we’ve complied these easy five minute self-care ideas to help you in recovery, plus, some reasons why it’s important.
A five minute mini-workout
Getting up and moving has dozens of proven benefits for your mind and your body. According to Mayo Clinic, regular exercise, even in small increments, can improve your mood, boost your energy and make you feel better in your body.
Try a five minute workout a few times a day. 20 squats, 20 pushups, 20 burpees and 20 sit ups is enough to get your heart rate up and is easily doable in under five minutes. If you can, up the number of reps or the amount of times you do a mini-workout in a day. You’ll find recovery is easier when you grow in discipline in all areas of your life.
Exercise is a great self-care idea for men, or anyone who finds that movement also improves focus and creates an outlet for energy during the day.
2. Call your sponsor
A five minute check-in can work wonders for your psyche as you face the tough mental challenge of recovery. Each day you’re sure to face triggers, especially in early recovery, so regularly scheduled (or even spontaneous) phone calls can be an important tool for coping through tough days.
Your sponsor can offer you words of wisdom, knowledge of recovery or a valuable distraction from the day’s cravings, disappointments and emotions. You’ll find that an important conversation is more about the quality than the length of time, anyways.
3. Breathing exercises
There are various breathing exercises that you can try to help you in recovery. Square breathing, breathing meditations or visualizing your breathing can all be done in short span of time and have a wonderful effect. This self-care day idea works for everyone because it increases oxygen flow in your brain, making you feel more in control and more calm.
4. Step outside
An interesting study published in the journal Issues in Mental Health Nursing found that even 10 minutes outside during the daytime was shown to decrease depression and improve mood by boosting levels of Vitamin D. It’s worth a brief walk, lounging in a hammock or sitting on the porch to start feeling happier.
What’s even more fascinating is that alcohol inhibits absorption of vitamin D, so while you’re recovering from alcohol addiction, you’ll want to replenish your body and soak up all the natural vitamin D that you can by getting that sweet, sweet sunshine.
One of the best self care ideas for women is to journal. Journaling can help you to process and reflect on emotions and experiences, and you’re guaranteed to have plenty of need for that in recovery. A substance use reflection journal, specifically for expressing your journey to freedom can be an awesome tool that doesn’t require a lot of time to use.
6. Do something creative
If you’re looking for self-care ideas for women, look no further. Embracing your artistic side has major perks for decreasing your stress level and overcoming addiction. Many treatment programs capitalize on the purpose-giving and reflective aspects of making art.
Creating something beautiful doesn’t have to take long, either. Doodle, write poetry or make music. Even if you have one big project that you work on for five minutes a day, over time you’ll realize that it was well spent and maybe make a few sacrifices to squeeze more craft time into your routine.
Planning self-care day ideas isn’t complete without acknowledging the power of a good book. According to the journal Science, reading increases a person’s ability to empathize with others, a skill that is crucial in achieving life-long sobriety. Reading also offers some distraction on hard days in recovery.
Self-care reduces stress
The aim of self-care is to reduce stress and improve health, and both of those have major benefits for your in recovery. Starting small, even with five minutes a day can offer plenty of perks, like restoring meaning to your day, allowing an outlet for creativity and expression and improving physical health.
Each of these areas of growth will, in turn, impact your recovery. These self-care ideas and others will make the journey smoother and more meaningful— something every person yearns for.
Start addressing the stress in your life and embracing recovery at the same time, in just minutes. Make the first phone call to Rehab After Work to start with professional treatment. Call today to schedule an appointment.