Five 5-Minute Wellness Ideas
I feel like I have an adrenaline hangover. The constant fear and uncertainty during the early COVID days has kept me on edge for almost three months, functioning in a state of furious reactive motion. Waking up everyday with a, ‘what’s it going to be today?’ mentality has been exhausting and draining.
Now, I feel like I almost have time to breathe again. And while we are still dealing with the pandemic, I can look back and reflect on those early days. I learned that I could survive without my favorite yoga studio; that our neighborhood has so many really nice people that I had never met (although we have lived here for 22 years!); and I really DO enjoy doing puzzles with my family.
With daily schedules changing as quickly as the news stories, I also figured out how to squeeze in some simple self-care practices in quick bursts. Here are a few of my favorite ‘5 Minute’ activities that can be done to help you stay on track when the overwhelming feelings start to take over:
In yoga, instructors constantly remind us to ‘go back to our breath’ when the outside feelings start to creep in. The same can be done off the mat. Whenever you start to feel on edge, step outside, sit in the car or escape to a quiet room and simply breathe. Start by closing your eyes and then inhale for the count of five. At the top of your breath, hold for a second, and then slowly, start exhaling to the same count in a controlled manner. Try doing this 3-5 times and you will be amazed at how quickly the tension begins to subside.
Make a list of five things that you are grateful for right at that minute. On some days, it’s hard to come up with five so you may need to stretch a little. Jot them down on a post it note and put it on your bathroom mirror, the car dashboard or on the cover of your planner so that you refer back to it throughout the day. Be sure to transfer the list, or just move the post it note, to your journal at the end of the day to remind yourself of all that you are grateful for.
Get some Cardio
Even a short five minute walk in the fresh air, around the block, can do wonders for your mood and stress levels. Just get outside, take a deep breath and walk quickly. If you can’t go outside, try doing several yoga sun salutations or a few sets of 50 jumping jacks. Notice how quickly the burst of activity gets your heart pumping and clears your mind.
I can’t explain the scientific basis for this practice, but it works! Whenever one of my daughters had a bad day, we would get on the internet and google ‘puppy’ pictures. Simply viewing the images always brought laughter and smiles to our faces. The stresses of the moment seemed to magically melt away
At the end of the day, this is hands down my favorite way to relax. I love to swirl the new Thymes’ REST Himalayan bath salts with lavender and cedar in a hot tub for a relaxing soak (another benefit -- it gives your skin a healthy glow!) Just five minutes in the warm, soothing water does wonders to calm the mind to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
As a side note, be sure to check out the New THYMES Wellness collection. The Refocus, Rest and Revive products combine performance with mindfulness and tranquility to inspire a healthy lifestyle. These great products are made with plant-based ingredients and natural fragrances and can be used throughout the day to bring you back to a clear-headed state.
Hope these simple ideas help to remind you that taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be an all-day event. The quick activities, squeezed in throughout the day, can have just as much impact as an hour long workout. Your family and friends will thank you!