Self Care You Can Do When You Only Have a Few Minutes

February 15 / Posted by Christi Hintz

As a nurse, you spend so much time taking care of others that sometimes you may just forget to take care of yourself. But you can’t pour from an empty cup, and it’s important to make time for self care even in your busiest seasons. If you’ve only got a few minutes to spare, consider some of these bite sized self care activities that you can fit in throughout your day.


Get Some Fresh Air


If you have a moment during the day, get out and take a short walk. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the open space and relative quiet that the outside typically provides. If circumstances don’t permit an actual walk, just getting outside and experiencing a change of environment can help you clear your head.

Take Some Deep Breaths


Only have a minute or two? Take a moment to stop and practice some deep breathing. Deep breaths help you to relax your body and stabilize your mood, so that you can face your next task with renewed energy. You don’t even need a proper break for this one, it’s something you can do whenever you need a quick pick me up in the middle of your day.


Read Something You Enjoy


If you like to read but just don’t have the time to sit down with your favorite book, make time for it in smaller ways. Read an article from your favorite online publication, something a friend shared with you recently, or a magazine. This should be something that inspires, invigorates, or relaxes you, because reading something that stresses you out isn’t going to contribute to self care.


Write, Draw, or Color


Keeping a notebook, sketchpad, or coloring book in your bag or pocket can provide a quick outlet for self expression during your day. All of these activities can help you clear your mind when you’re just feeling off at work or at home.


Call a Loved One


Taking time to nurture your relationships with the people you love is an important part of self care. A quick phone call to check in on your parents, spouse, children, or friends can brighten your day (and theirs!).

Learn Something New


This may go hand in hand with reading or even calling a loved one. With many methods of instant communication at our disposal, it’s easier than ever for us to expand our minds every day by learning something new.


Pick a subject that interests you and find a resource that gives you bite sized bits of knowledge every day. If you’re into language, there are a plethora of word-of-the-day apps that will fulfill your desire to expand your vocabulary. More into science? The series SciShow on Youtube provides excellent short videos every day. If you have time, listening to a podcast on a subject that interests you is a great way to take advantage of your daily commute.


What do you do to take care of yourself when you just can’t find the time? Leave your suggestions in the comments to help out your fellow travel nurses.

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