[Photo credit: Wonderfelle Media.]When we're feeling stressed, run-down or a bit delicate, taking care of our appearance can take a back seat - and I'm not saying that you have to put effort into your appearance if that isn't your thing, not at all! I'm simply saying that I find, and I know I'm not alone, that I feel better when I take care of how I look. So the first few ideas are kind of beauty-related...
01. Neaten up your eyebrows. Just a couple of minutes to pluck out any stray hairs can make all the difference!
02. Give yourself a facial massage. You can do this with your regular moisturiser or a nice facial oil - just spend a few minuts really massaging it into your skin, it's so soothing!
03. Remove tatty nail polish. Five minutes might not be long enough for a full-blown mani, but you can certainly remove chipped, beat-up polish - as long as it isn't glitter...
04. Apply your SPF! I'm the first to admit I'm hopeless at remembering SPF, even though I know how important it is. This is an investment in your health for the future as well, so it is something I'm trying to make more of an effort to do regularly.
05. Moisturise your legs. How many of us are guilty of skipping the body moisturiser!? Take a minute or two to rectify that one.
06. Apply a hair mask or deep conditioner. You can do this at bedtime then shampoo out in the morning for super soft, healthy-looking hair.
07. Wash a make-up brush or two. Maybe doing them all is a bit too much but cleaning just a couple of your make-up tools is better than none, and you'll be glad you did it next time you need them!
08. Use a body brush. Dry body brushing is supposed to help with cellulite, and I can't say I've noticed a difference in that respect, but I do find it very soothing and it makes my skin feel super-soft.
09. Use a lip scrub and balm. Bonus self-care points if they smell/taste amazing - I recommend Lush lip scrubs! ♥
10. Have a quick make-up cull. Throwing away those products that have been lurking for far too long, or you simply never use, can feel very cleansing somehow!
[Photo credit: From Roses.]11. Get some fresh air. This might mean talking a short walk outside or it might just mean opening a window for a couple of deep lungfuls in - either way!
12. List three things you're grateful for. No matter how big or small - check out my ideas for everyday things to be grateful for if you're struggling.
13. Take a few mindful breaths. There's plenty of evidence around mindfulness and just a couple of mindful breaths can be enough to really clear your head. Have a google if you're not sure where to start, there are lots of guided exercises and even apps you can use!
14. Keep a happiness jar. When something nice happens (no matter how small!), write it on a slip of paper and pop it into a big jar. Then you'll have a collection of happy memories to look through if you need it.
15. Listen to a favourite song. Most songs are only about 3-4 minutes in length, so if you have a special song that means a lot to you - you might be able to squeeze it into your day to cheer you up.
16. Change your sheets. Admittedly this might be pushing on the five minutes rule but we all know how lovely fresh sheets are!
17. Text a friend to say hi. Connecting with someone I haven't spoken to in a while can really give me a bit of joy on a tough day.
18. Wear matching underwear. Don't you just feel like you've got your life together when your underwear matches!? There's nothing quite like it, even if you're the only one who's going to see it.
19. Make a hot water bottle. Keeping yourself cosy can be a really lovely thing to do, and snuggling up with a hot water bottle is definitely up there on the ways to keep cosy list!
20. Make yourself your favourite hot drink, just the way you like it. Whether it's fancy coffee, or regular builder's tea, or hot chocolate with nine million marshmallows - spoil yourself.
21. Do something you've been putting off. Whether it's replying to an email or filing paperwork - putting things off just means we end up fretting about them and not having done them. Do it, it won't be as bad as you think, and it'll be a weight off your mind when it's done! (Obviously we're talking about little things here, not like, re-decorating your bedroom or whatever...)
22. Get yourself a glass of water. Hydration, girls and boys! A well-watered brain is a happy(-ier) brain.
23. Accept a compliment. How many times a day do we brush off the nice things people say!? Make a concerted effort to just say, "thank you" next time you're paid a compliment. They're not lying when they say nice things about you!
24. Take a silly selfie. If you can put a ridiculous Snapchat filter on it, so much the better!
25. Say no. I've saved this til last because it's the hardest one for me - sometimes you just need to say, "no" to other people. Whether it's one task too many at work, your kids driving you mad (no matter how much you love them!) or your partner failing to understand what's important to you - value yourself enough to say "no" when it matters.
Do you have any self-care shortcuts? What are your favourite ways to take care of yourself when you're tight on time? I'd love any additions to my list!