15 Ways to Give it 15 for Self-Care
I’m going to be honest with you: I used to think self-care was just a fad. The word kept popping up all over the place encouraging us to take time for ourselves. “Well, duh,” I thought, “why do we need to be reminded?”
Easier said than done, though. There is a LOT going on. All. The. Time. And more often than not, we find ourselves not prioritizing the things that we like to do and want to do because there’s so much else that we feel like we HAVE to do.
Sometimes the first thing we need to do to make self-care a priority is to give ourselves permission. Permission to take the time, to commit energy, to be selfish, to say no to other opportunities or even to stay open-minded to what’s possible when we Give it 15 to do what matters to us.
Now that you’ve got permission, what does self-care look like for you? What kinds of things make you smile ear-to-ear when you experience them? What activities fuel your energy and feed your soul? How do you like to relax? Interestingly enough, a lot of times we feel most fulfilled when we’re connecting and engaging with others - so think about who you would want to take time to be with, too.
How we take time for ourselves looks different for all of us. And it can seem like a big undertaking to really make it happen. So what if you started with 15 minutes a day?
Here are 15 ways to inspire you to Give it 15 for self-care today. Because when we prioritize things that make us happy and do things that bring us joy, that’s when we can truly, authentically live into the lives we want. Whether spontaneously in the moment or scheduled on your calendar, try to Give it 15 for self-care to create a slice of the the life you want in 15 minutes today.
Tip: if you are finding it challenging to maintain a daily Give it 15 practice, try putting a Sticky Note on your bathroom mirror, kitchen cabinet, or front door - somewhere that you will see it often - with a word written on it to remind you of the things that you want to give your time to. For example, this could be an emotion you’re wanting to invoke like ZEN, RELAX or FULFILLED or it could be an action you want to take such as CONNECT, MEDITATE or CREATE or it could even be an identity you’re wanting to live into, perhaps HEALTHY or FULFILLED.
15 ways to give 15 minutes to self-care
Wake up 15 minutes earlier. Create time just for you to enjoy the start of the day by yourself with no distractions. Watch the sunrise. Sit and look out the window while you enjoy your celery juice, coffee, tea or matcha. Cuddle up under a blanket on the couch and just let your mind wander.
Meditate. The Headspace app is an amazing tool to help you cultivate a meditation practice. Start small with 3 or 5 minute guided exercises and work your way up to 15 minutes.
Linger over breakfast. Talk about the epitome of luxury (for me anyway)! Create space to be able to fully enjoy your breakfast before the bustle and busy-ness of your day begins. You might be surprised how starting slow can make your entire day feel more mindful.
Stretch or do yoga. Find some space where you feel comfortable and tune into your body. Notice how you’re feeling physically and then incorporate some light movement to release tension. Needing some inspiration for stretching at the office? My friend Tara Laferrera is a personal trainer and she shares a ton of how-to’s on mobility exercises that you can do from the comfort of any chair, anywhere.
Take a walk. Set out on foot by yourself and explore. Get up from your desk/leave your office/your computer and walk around with no agenda or destination. Maybe even try a walking/moving meditation like this guided one from Headspace.
Commit to no-phone time. Have you utilized the new Screen Time feature on your iPhone? I encourage you to take a look to see how much “love” you’re giving your phone - perhaps there’s some time that could be used to Give it 15 for yourself instead…
Curl up and read a book. If you’ve said that you want to read daily but haven’t picked it up consistently yet, try one of these habit-creation techniques:
Every morning after you make your bed, place a book on your pillow so that when you go to bed at night, you’ll physically have to touch the book, which encourages a higher likelihood of reading.
If you’re like me and enjoy reading multiple books at once, you can make sure there is always one within reach that you’d like to pick up. Pack one in your bag/purse. Or leave various books around your apartment. I keep one in my entryway that I can dive into when I’m waiting for my boyfriend to be ready to leave (always waiting).
Download an e-reader app on your phone so that you have access to books at your fingertips wherever you are. Maybe even move this app to the first page on your home screen and make it the only app there so that when you unlock your phone, it’s the first thing you see.
Call your parents, siblings or a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. But don’t feel obligated to cut the conversation short to fit in the 15 minute-window. What matters here is making time and giving your full attention to connecting with the people you love.
Do a quick workout. You can do a super effective workout in 15 minutes. Try a quick core circuit or HIIT workout. I love the Nike Training Club App - they have hundreds of workouts to choose from.
Have a dance party (by yourself). Press play on some tunes that make you want to move. Then dance like no one is watching.
Enjoy a face mask. Talk about channeling that spa-day feeling! Take time to really indulge in applying your favorite face mask and then switch into relax-mode.
Write in a journal. It can be hugely therapeutic to get all of the thoughts rolling around in your head out onto paper. And I’ve found that having the 15-minute timer encourages me to keep writing, dig deeper and really get into the writing process. If you’re looking for some journaling prompts, here are a couple of my favorites right now:
Celebrate something that you did this week. Describe the emotions you feel around your win. What skills and strengths did you utilize to make it happen?
Reflect on a challenging experience you’ve recently had. What comes up for you when thinking about how it unfolded? If you could write a prescription for yourself to make yourself feel better about the situation, what would it say?
Jot down a dream you have - for your career, personal life, anything! Now spend 15 minutes listing all the possible ways that you can bring it to life. Sky’s the limit - anything is possible.
Plan your meals for the week. Although it seem like a chore at first-glance or something you “have to do,” what if you carved out time to make planning meals fun? Give yourself time to explore Pinterest, blogs, magazines, etc. to gather inspiration. Then craft yourself a list of dishes and meals you want to make. It can be hugely gratifying to do just one small thing today that will contribute to your overall well-being for the whole week.
Craft a “for fun” list. Spend time energetically listing out things that you’d love to do just for fun. The places you want to visit. The people you want to see and be with. The hobbies or activities you want to try.
Dolce Far Niente. Ah, the Italian state of Pleasant Idleness or Sweetness of Doing Nothing. What if you just found yourself with absolutely nothing to do or nowhere to be? Create this expansive space for yourself to just be.