Healthy Buffs: Self-care ideas to fit your schedule

Self-care is a way to say here’s how I help myself feel better. It doesn’t have to be an investment of time or money (and definitely shouldn’t add more stress to your plate). Here’s our list of ways to start feeling better right away—add your own ideas, too!

If you only have a few minutes:

  1. Jot down a list of things you’re grateful for.
  2. Stretch it out: touch your toes, reach for the ceiling and breathe deep.
  3. Plug in your headphones and turn on a happy song.
  4. Leave post-it notes with positive affirmations (I am smart, I work hard, I can do this) on your mirror, computer or notebook.
  5. Find a funny video and let yourself laugh.

If you have a little while:

  1. Text a friend or family member and have a quick conversation. Consider making plans to get together.
  2. Get out into nature for a short walk, bike ride or just find a quiet place to sit and let your mind wander.
  3. Look up photos of places you’d like to go and enjoy the view.
  4. Take care of your needs. Have a glass of water, take a shower or squeeze in a 20-minute power nap.
  5. Try out a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, word search or other mind-engaging game. Most are available as free apps!

If you have plenty of time:

  1. Pick up your favorite book, watch your favorite movie or listen to your favorite album.
  2. Make yourself some comfort food. Nachos, spaghetti, chana masala, whatever it is, the acts of cooking and nourishing yourself go a long way.
  3. Dedicate time to a hobby (or find a new one) like drawing, writing, martial arts—anything you can enjoy doing without feeling stressed.
  4. Take care of your space. Pick something that makes your environment feel less overwhelming (like putting away the dishes or organizing your desk) and check it off the to-do list.
  5. Create a self-care toolkit. Collect the things that help you feel better and keep them together for your next self-care day. Need ideas? Grab your puzzle book, hobby supplies, an affirmation note, even a gift card to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant.

The Healthy Buffs series is brought to you by Wardenburg Health Services. Visit us online at www.colorado.edu/health