Self-Care; breathe;
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Discover the Power of 5-Minute Self-Care: Transform Your Day with Simple Moments

Let’s chat about time – something we all seem to be chasing, right? Why can’t we find 5 minutes for self-care? People often say to me: “I’d love to do more yoga , but I’m swamped with family life, running errands, or work! Yet, I’m so stressed and in need of yoga, I’ve got to get back to class soon!” Sound familiar?

It’s a common story, and it got me thinking. Why do we struggle to find 5 minutes for yoga, or any self-care for that matter? We’re all guilty of it. When we need yoga the most, we tend to drop it from our schedules in favour of more pressing tasks. But why? Why don’t we prioritise ourselves and say, “You know what? I need yoga the most right now. I need to put my well-being first?”

Instead, we push aside the very things that keep us grounded – yoga, exercise, going to the gym. Then wonder why we’re so stressed and overwhelmed. We miss the opportunity to release stress and feel endorphins coursing through us. All because we’re too busy running around, putting everyone else’s needs before our own.

So why do we do it? Is it because we don’t value our own needs? As women, we often find ourselves at the bottom of the list, scraping for whatever time and energy is left over. And then wonder why we struggle to cope with the demands of everyday life.

But here’s the thing – we need to prioritise ourselves. Time is precious, and yes, we’re all busy. But we shouldn’t use being busy like a badge of honour. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to stop and rest. It’s okay to take a break, to slow down, to prioritise our own well-being.

I see it in my classes all the time. People can initially feel apprehensive at the idea of lying down and resting at the end of a session. But soon enough, they realise the incredible benefits of this simple act of self-care, even if it is only 5 minutes. And as they prioritise themselves, they become happier, more grounded, and more connected.

And the beauty of it is, this positive energy doesn’t stop with them. It ripples outwards, affecting their relationships and interactions with others. So, let’s make a commitment to taking 5 minutes for ourselves – to prioritise self-care, to make time for yoga. Let’s create space for happiness and well-being in our lives. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

According to J.R. Tolkien, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”. Many of us believe that we must dedicate an entire hour to yoga or engage in lengthy exercise routines. But the reality is quite different. You don’t need an hour; you could simply take 5 minutes to pause what you’re doing and breathe. You could also take five minutes to sit down, have a cuppa, and gaze out the window, and immerse yourself in the moment. Concentrate on the taste and aroma of the tea and appreciate the view. Regardless of your view, taking a few moments to be present with your cuppa can provide peace of mind. I understand that for many of us, pausing in this way can be challenging. We think we don’t have 5 minutes to spare, but once you start prioritising yourself, you will gain more time!

Maybe we don’t feel we deserve to have time to ourselves. It’s linked to our own self-worth and self-value! But why wouldn’t we deserve it? We’re often so busy looking after everyone else that we forget to look after ourselves. If we don’t prioritise ourselves, nobody else will, as they assume we’re coping just fine. Time is indeed a priority for all of us, and I struggle too to squeeze my practice into my schedule. At work, we prioritise our time by organising our schedules and identifying the most important tasks. What’s holding us back from doing the same in our personal lives?

So, how can you find 5 minutes for self-care daily?

Perhaps you could wake up earlier in the morning and enjoy a cuppa in peace before the hustle and bustle begins. Or you could spend 10 minutes sitting quietly with your feet on the floor, focusing on your breath. Or, take a few minutes to listen to the birds, look out of the window, and appreciate the day, regardless of the weather. This will help set a positive tone for the rest of your day.

Starting your day with gratitude, can have a profound impact. Whether it’s being thankful for the roof over your head or the food in your belly. If you don’t have the capacity to write a gratitude list, acknowledging what you’re grateful for can a difference. Once you’ve taken those few minutes for yourself, you can start your day, get the family up, and get things going. It only takes a few minutes, not an hour. Trust me, starting your day off in this way can set the scene for a more relaxed and grounded approach to life. So, my first piece of advice is to get up in the morning and breathe. Take a few deep breaths, feel the earth beneath your feet, and give it a try.

Perhaps yoga isn’t your cup of tea, and that’s alright. Maybe hitting the gym is more your style. You could enlist a buddy to keep you motivated and hold you accountable. Having someone to encourage you and keep you on track can make a world of difference. Sometimes, the fear of going it alone holds us back, but we don’t have to do it solo.

What more can we explore?

The best place to start is where you are right now! In the beginning, you might find 5 minutes for self-care means some breathwork, some gentle movement, or a short meditation. But to carve out that time, we need to start valuing ourselves more. We need to practice saying no to others’ demands and truly assess our own needs. Do we really need to take on that extra workload at the office? Why are we afraid to decline? And why do we often feel like our needs aren’t as important as everyone else’s?

It’s worth taking a moment to consider the emotional load we can bear and recognising when we’ve reached our limit. It takes courage to put ourselves first! Even if it means saying no to a family member, staying late at work for the boss, or taking on extra tasks for a friend. We often end up people pleasing, prioritising others over ourselves. This leave us feeling resentful, annoyed and burnt out. How then, do we flip the script? How do we become our own number one supporter?

Yoga is more than a physical practice!

In yoga philosophy, there’s a concept called Tapas, one of the Niyamas, which is all about self-discipline and becoming the best version of ourselves. It’s about committing to our own well-being and showing up for ourselves day in and day out e.g. taking 5 minutes for self-care. It’s all about taking that first step, even if it means stepping out of our comfort zones and facing our fears. Nothing changes if we don’t make changes ourselves.

But alongside self-discipline, we must also embrace self-compassion. In yoga philosophy, this is known as Ahimsa.  Ahimsa is a beautiful concept from yoga that’s all about kindness and non-violence. It’s like a gentle reminder to treat everyone and everything with love and respect. So, practicing Ahimsa means being nice to others, animals, and ALSO to ourselves. It’s like spreading a warm, fuzzy blanket of compassion wherever we go.  Our thoughts shape our actions and, in turn, our lives. So, let’s tweak our inner dialogue, catch those negative thoughts and treat ourselves with the same kindness we’d offer a friend. Practising self-compassion allows us to navigate change with grace, forgiving ourselves when we falter and encouraging ourselves to try again.

Let’s make self-care a priority, like brushing our teeth or washing our face. Let’s schedule it in our diary, set reminders, and treat self-care as non-negotiable. Join my private Facebook page The Healing Flow Kula for support and advice. And if we stumble along the way, let’s pick ourselves up with kindness and start afresh. Are you ready to show up for yourself like you would for a friend? If not, let’s explore why and make the necessary changes. If you liked reading this, why not head over to my Blog Page

Self-Care; breathe;
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About The Author
Jacqueline Toner

loves to help women over 40 regain vitality, energy and find their sense of self again using Yoga, Mindfulness and Breathing Techniques

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