Micro self-care could be your key to a happier and healthier 2022.
Micro self-care consists of easy, simple things you can do during the workday to replenish your energy and brighten your mood.
“These self-replenishing practices are simple, free or inexpensive, and doable,” says JD and licensed psychotherapist Michael Kahn, the guest speaker at Alta Pro’s December 2021 wellness webinar. “Include a prompt or trigger to make them routine habits. The emphasis is on repetition.”
Here’s an example: try the 20 x 20 x 20 exercise. Say you’re working at your computer on a long, difficult project. Every 20 minutes, look out your window at the scenery 20 feet away. Spend 20 seconds just taking in the view, letting your attention soak in the details. You’ll feel replenished when you return to your task.
As you add micro self-care to your well-being toolbox, ask yourself the following questions, Kahn suggests:
- What are your personal energy expenditures? Consider roles, tasks, spouse/partner, time of day, friend(s), kid(s), etc.
- What are your personal energy replenishers? Consider friend(s), spouse/partner, kid(s), roles, activities, time of day, etc. It can be “little” things (waking up early, music, going outside, yoga, breathing exercise, time with a pet).
- What are your professional energy expenditures? Consider particular clients, time of day, roles, tasks, meetings, work relationships, location etc.
- What are your professional energy replenishers? What are your healthy “go tos” for soothing yourself? “Little” things (cup of tea in a favorite mug, walk outside, looking out the window, colleague) Who helps soothe you?
- Do you anticipate times when you will be depleted and have a plan? Do you schedule energy replenishers?
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10 Micro Self-Care Practices of 5 Minutes or Less
The following comes from Danika Brysha and the My Self-Care Society.
- 2 Minutes: Make bed first thing when I wake up
- 5 Minutes: Journal (Brain Dump) – release any racing thoughts and get them on paper first thing in the morning, freeing my mind for a new day
- 3 Minutes: Write down 3 things that I’m presently grateful for
- 3 Minutes: Practice focused meditation or breathwork
- 3 Minutes: Dance in front of the mirror for the length of one song
- 1 Minute: Make intentional plans to connect with a friend or family member that day (just to check in; email, text, call, etc.)
- 5 Minutes: Tidy a specific area to create space and clear clutter. Donate items that no longer serve me
- 2 Minutes: Set up or adjust tomorrow’s checklist to start off my morning intentionally
- 5 Minutes: Always go to sleep with a clean kitchen
- 1 Minute: Charge my phone away from the reach of my bed before going to sleep (to avoid mindless scrolling and get me moving first thing tomorrow)
Sources: My Self-Care Society
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