5-Minute Self-Care

5-minute Self-care Ideas [30 Tips for a Quick Recharge]

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Looking after ourselves should be number one, yet we’ve often been taught that self-care is selfish. The thing is, how can you show up and be the best parent, partner, employee etc. when your tank is only ever half full?

I get it, life is busy. Sometimes we don’t have time for a whole afternoon of self-care. And sometimes, we just need to step away from the kids, family members or work for 5 minutes to recharge and fill our tank back up.

Self-care doesn’t always have to be about being silent and tapping out.

5-minute self-care can come in many forms:

  • Taking time out
  • Organising & getting your life in order
  • Looking after your health and well-being
  • Making time for fun
  • Relaxing

Here are 30 quick self-care ideas that can easily be done in five minutes. Don’t feel like you need to leave your self-care for another day purely because you don’t have enough time. If your glass is running on empty, you’re not going to be able to fully show up for yourself or for anybody else. It’s time to put yourself first, even in those small increments of time you have throughout the day.

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5-minute Self-care Ideas

Step outside into nature

Nature Walk

The easiest way to recharge yourself is to connect with the Earth. Step outside into nature and kick your shoes off if you can. Feeling the grass, sand or soil beneath your toes is so healing.

If you can’t get out into a garden or get down to the beach, even standing outside, feeling the wind across your face and looking at a tree will do wonders for your soul in just a few minutes.

Listen to music

When you need to recharge, turn on some calming music or your favourite song. You can use headphones if you’re not in your own space, but if you’re at home, turn it up and sing your lungs out!

Stretch your body

Stretching your body is really good for your physical well-being, especially if you sit down for most of the day at work. Stretch your arms up over your head, twist your body, bend down and touch your toes and move your head forward, backwards and side-to-side.

Gratitude list

Another nice 5-minute self-care activity is to sit down with a notebook and pen and write a list of all the list you’re incredibly grateful for. It could be the comforts of your home, your family and friends, your work, your ability to have clean water and plenty of food. Whatever gratitude looks like for you.

Read a book

Reading a Book

It’s always handy to have a good book on the go. That way, when you need a 5-minute self-care break, you can kick back and open up your book for a read. Whether you’re into fantasy, self-help, finance, romance, sci-fi or whatever else, as long as you’re able to tap out and relax for a little while.

Close your eyes and breathe

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, close your eyes and take in a big, deep breath through your mouth, then exhale through your nose. Repeat this at least three times. This is particularly good for anxiety, which is often heightened with short breaths.

Go for a walk

Walking has been scientifically proven to have many benefits for our mind, body and soul. Stretching your legs and moving will give you a moment to take stock, breathe deeply and step away for a few minutes. You can go for a walk down the street, do laps around your yard or find a park.


Sometimes we just need to get the thoughts that keep rumbling around inside our head, down onto paper.

If you don’t already have a journal, dedicate a notebook to being your private space to write whatever the hell you want. This is a place where you don’t need to explain yourself or tone yourself down. Let loose and express whatever it is that you’re feeling without apologies.

Browse journals on eBay.

Do something creative

Art Painting

Creativity is food for the soul. Do some colouring-in, drawing, painting, writing or play an instrument. Whatever your favourite creative language is, do that. Being ‘good’ at it matters not, it’s all about joy and feeding the soul.

Cuddle your kids, partner or pets

Cuddling someone that you love gets all of those happy endorphins flowing around your body. The longer the hug, the better! Not only is this 5-minute self-care practice good for you, it’s good for them as well.

Moisturise and massage your body

Give your body a bit of TLC. Grab a nice moisturiser or oil that you like and massage your feet, legs, arms, neck and hands. This is a simple way to relieve some tension and focus on you for a few minutes. Try and opt for a cruelty-free moisturiser.

Hot water bottle

If it’s cold or you have some tension in your body, heat up a hot water bottle or wheat bag and rest it on your body. Direct heat on your lower back, neck or feet can be so comforting in cold weather.



A great 5-minute self-care activity for mental peace and clarity is meditation. If you’re new to meditation or find that you can’t easily switch off, find a guided meditation on YouTube.

Close your eyes and take three slow, deep breaths. Imagine a column of light coming down from the heavens, going through your body and down into the core of the Earth. Imagine that light filling your entire body, from head to toe. Still the mind and focus on your breathing.

When you’re ready, come back to your physical body and relax for a minute of two before heading back into your day.

Make yourself a healthy snack

Speaking of feeding the soul, feed your body with some healthy food. It could be a snack, a drink or an entire meal. Whatever you’re feeling, put the time into what your body is truly craving in the way of nutrition.

Get out into the garden

If you have a green thumb, take a 5-minute break and get out into the garden. Pull some weeds, water the plants and get your hands into the soil. This is a fantastic method for grounding and connecting with the Earth.

Take a power nap

Curl up under a blanket, close your eyes and just let your mind drift away. You might slip off into a micro-sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, or you may just doze, allowing your mind and body to fully relax.

Tip: you might need to set an alarm for this one.

Light a candle and incense


Create a beautiful, relaxing zone for yourself by lighting a candle and some incense. Open a window so that the scent can drift through the room without being overbearing and put the candle someplace where you can see and appreciate.

View candles on eBay.

Do your nails

Trim your nails and put a few coats of nail polish on. Your hands will feel so nice with a bit of pampering and a fresh pop of colour.

Do some yoga stretches

Stepping away from life to do some yoga stretches is a great 5-minute self-care practice. If you don’t know any yoga stretches, there are plenty of beginner videos on YouTube, which can walk you through some basics.

Declutter a space

The act of organising and decluttering a space moves around the energy, clearing out any stagnancy. Whether it’s a drawer in the kitchen, your desk or a full room, you’ll feel so much lighter and more energised after a quick declutter.

? Declutter Clothes →
? Declutter Shoes →

Eat some chocolate

Eating chocolate

Yep, eating some chocolate is most definitely an easy and enjoyable 5-minute self-care activity everyone can get into.

Now, I’m not suggesting you down a whole big block in one sitting, but grab a small portion and go for it!

Freshen up the decor

Give your bedroom or lounge room a freshen up by changing around the pillows, throws, tablecloths, plants, ornaments etc. You don’t need to go out and buy new items, just mixing up what you’ve already got will add a spark of fresh energy.

“A change is as good as a holiday!”

Chat with a friend

What better way to take care of yourself than connecting with a friend. You can pick up the phone and have a chat or do a video call. Even if messaging is the most accessible way for both of you, it’s still super important to stay connected to your network.

Have a tea or coffee

There is always something so soothing about holding a hot beverage in your hands and just sitting and sipping away. Make yourself a tea or coffee and step away from the riff raff of life for five minutes and savour it till the very end.

Put together a nice outfit


Head to your wardrobe and spend some time putting together a nice outfit. Maybe you’re going out later in the week or just need some inspiration for the season. Try on lots of different combos in front of the mirror to see which ones look the best on you.

Take a photo of each outfit that you love and create an album in your phone for future inspo.

Let it all out and cry

Sometimes, we just need to cry. One of the most healing 5-minute self-care things you can do for yourself is to sit with your emotions and completely let them out. Most people feel a sense of relief after a good cry.

Organise your finances

Okay, so this may not sound like a self-care activity, but trust me, it is. Keeping your money in order is the make or break between a life of freedom or one of stress.

Create buckets (dedicated accounts) for all of the different categories that you need and make sure to allocate the right amount to each bucket as you get paid. This way you will always have the money that you need and won’t have to stress.

Set up as many bills as you can to be paid via direct debit out of a dedicated ‘Bills’ account, so that they’re “set and forget.”

Have a browse of your spendings and make sure you’re not blowing money on junk you don’t need. There are many benefits to having a budget, but mostly so you can have financial freedom.

? READ: Organise your money with the Barefoot Strategy >

Create a meal plan

Along with organising your money, organise your food.

Write up a list of meals for the week based on the ingredients you’ve already got. Then you just add the extra ingredients to your running shopping list on the fridge.

With a meal plan you’ll eat healthier, have one less thing to think about at the end of the day, plus save money on sporadic groceries and eating out.

Take a shower


Jump into a nice hot or cold shower (depending on your climate) and let that water wash over your body. Wash your hair and shave for some extra bodily TLC.

Did you know that Earth is still using the same water that it’s used since the beginning of time? It’s always being recycled through the waterways and rain clouds, then used all over again!

Water is one of the most cleansing and healing elements.

? READ: Low-waste Hair Removal >

Step away from technology

And lastly, but most importantly for self-care in this day in age… step away from all of the technology. Turn your phone onto silent, close the laptop, switch off the TV and just be in the world.

Technology is a constant drain on our energy. It’s constantly pulling at us, wanting us to consume and engage more and more information.

The ultimate self-care tip for the 21st century is to turn it all off and relearn how to be present in the physical reality around us.

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