self care ideas

35+ Easy 5 Minute Self Care Ideas For When You’re Busy

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Work, family, social life – it’s so easy to forget to pause, breathe, and give yourself the much-needed TLC you deserve. 

If you’re anything like me, you probably find it difficult to fit self care into your routine, but what if I told you that just five minutes could be a game-changer? 

I’ve tried and tested many self care wellness activities over the years and some of the best ones can be done in only a couple of minutes. 

So, if you’re looking to recharge or reconnect with yourself, get inspired by the 5 minute self care ideas I’ve put together. 

In this helpful guide, you’ll discover:

  • The best 5 minute self care and wellness activities to soothe your body, mind, and soul
  • Some extra mental health activities if you have 10 minutes or more to spare for your self care
  • Easy self care ideas to incorporate into your daily routine so that you don’t have to worry about burning out

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Quick 5 Minute Self Care Ideas

When you’re super busy and stuck for time, keep this easy 5 minute self care checklist at hand to take inspiration from. 

Start with your favorite self care activities and enjoy looking after your body and mind. 

Deep breathing exercises

Deep breathing exercises involve taking slow, controlled breaths in through your nose, filling your lungs, and exhaling through your mouth. By focusing on your breath, you can lower stress levels, reduce anxiety, and increase mental clarity. 

If you have a Fitbit, there are some breathing exercises on the app. 

Mindful meditation

Mindful meditation is the practice of focusing on your breath while allowing thoughts to come and go without judgment. 

By engaging in this practice for just 5 minutes, you can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. I like to use the Fitbit or Calm app, but there are also meditation exercises on YouTube you can use too. 

Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups throughout the body. By doing this, you’ll relieve physical tension and promote a sense of calm. This 5 minute self care meditation is a good one to try. 

Gratitude journaling

Spend 5 minutes jotting down things you’re grateful for in a journal. This helps to shift your focus away from negativity to promote a positive mindset. You’ll begin to appreciate the good things in life, leading to greater overall happiness. 


The soothing scents of essential oils, such as lavender or peppermint are well-known for aiding relaxation. By inhaling these scents from a candle or incense stick, within just 5 minutes, you can experience the calming benefits they deliver.

Listening to calming music

Take a 5-minute break to listen to soothing music or nature sounds. This sounds to work, but it really does create a sense of peace and tranquillity.

This Spotify playlist features rain sounds, ocean waves, a gentle thunderstorm, and more.

Positive affirmations

I love using positive affirmations for an instant pep talk. You can repeat affirmations to yourself for 5 minutes, focusing on your strengths and qualities. Try using affirmation cards or write them down on a sticky note and place them on a mirror close to your dressing table. 


Spend 5 minutes stretching your muscles to improve flexibility, reduce tension, and increase blood flow. Stretching also helps to prevent injuries and supports overall physical well-being. Just a quick stretching session can make a big difference to your body.

Mini yoga session

Engage in a brief, 5 minute yoga session to center yourself and unwind. Practicing in frequent yoga sessions helps to reduce stress, increase focus, and create a mind-body connection. Give this 5 minute yoga routine a try the next time you’re feeling stressed. 

Guided imagery

Close your eyes and imagine a peaceful scene or situation for 5 minutes. You can also listen to calming music while you do this. This quick and easy task is ideal for putting you into a positive mood, and you can do it while you’re in the bath or shower. 


Take 5 minutes to color in a coloring book or sheets. This is such a great idea for boosting your focus and calming your thoughts. I love coloring when I’m feeling stressed or down – you can pick up some cheap coloring pencils from Amazon or in your local grocery store.

Drinking herbal tea

Enjoy a cup of herbal tea, like chamomile or green tea, for 5 minutes. The warmth and soothing flavors instantly soothe the mind and body, promoting relaxation. A cup of green tea also boasts multiple health benefits too. 


Watch a funny video for 5 minutes to boost your mood. Laughter has been shown to improve overall well-being and promote a positive outlook on life.

Practicing self-compassion

Spend 5 minutes reflecting on your achievements and experiences. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your feelings and offering yourself kindness and understanding. You can write these in a journal or notebook and regularly reflect on your feelings. 

Connecting with nature

Step outside for a brief 5-minute walk, or simply sit and observe your surroundings. Connecting with others is a brilliant way to reduce stress and improve your mood.

Practicing mindfulness

Spend 5 minutes focusing on the present moment, being fully aware of your surroundings and sensations. Mindfulness can help to reduce stress, improve emotional regulation, and enhance your overall well-being.

Reading a motivational quote

Find an inspiring quote and spend 5 minutes reflecting on its meaning. You could write this down in your journal or phone, or repeat it to yourself for extra motivation. 


Use your hands or a massage tool to gently work on tight muscles for 5 minutes. Giving yourself a massage with a little coconut or almond oil has both skincare and therapeutic benefits. 


Spend 5 minutes visualizing your goals, dreams, or aspirations. Give yourself a sense of purpose by understanding where you want to be, or what you want to achieve. Write down a couple of steps on what you need to achieve your goal. 

Drinking water

Take 5 minutes to hydrate by drinking a glass of water. Staying properly hydrated can be a good mood booster, and it’ll prevent you from getting dehydrated. 

Writing a thank-you note

Write a thank-you note to someone who has positively impacted your life. This act of gratitude induces positivity and good feelings in both parties. If you feel uncomfortable giving a note to someone, write it down in your journal instead. 

Gazing at the sky

Looking at the sky, and observing clouds or stars instills wonder, awe, and amazement. You could even learn a little more about star formations and identify those that you can see. 

Repeating a personal mantra

Choose a personal mantra and repeat it to yourself for 5 minutes. This simple task boosts self-confidence when you need it. 

Practicing loving-kindness meditation

Spend 5 minutes sending love and kindness to yourself and others. This type of meditation promotes positive emotions and enhances your overall well-being. Here is one you can do within a spare 5 minutes. 

Savoring a healthy snack

Take 5 minutes to mindfully enjoy a nutritious snack, focusing on the taste and texture. Something like a handful of nuts, banana, yoghurt, or protein source improves your energy levels while warding off hunger pangs.

Petting an animal

Do you have a pet? Spend 5 minutes petting your pet and enjoying their company. If you don’t own a pet, why not head to your local petting farm or nature reserve? You’ll get the added benefit of being outdoors in the fresh air. 

Watching an inspiring video

Watch a video that inspires or motivates you to give yourself a fresh perspective on life. I personally enjoy watching the Dodo animal videos as the feel-good vibe helps to perk up my mood. 

Decluttering a small space

In just 5 minutes, you can declutter a small area of your home or workspace. This creates a sense of accomplishment, making you feel more organized and refreshed. 

Practicing a hobby

Do you have a hobby you enjoy, such as knitting, painting, or playing an instrument? Doing something you love is a great stress-buster, even if you only have a spare 5 minutes in your day.


Spend 5 minutes intentionally smiling, even if you don’t feel like it. Look into a mirror and smile at yourself – don’t worry if you feel ridiculous! This quick self care activity can make a massive difference to how you feel so give it a try. 

Journaling your thoughts

Take 5 minutes to write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. Keeping a daily journal helps you to process emotions, gain clarity, and promote self-awareness.

Lighting a scented candle

Enjoy the calming fragrance of a scented candle for 5 minutes. Soothing scents like vanilla, fresh linen, rosemary, and chamomile can improve your mood and outlook. Try lighting a scent while you do your housework chores or take a bath. 

Walking barefoot on grass or sand

Walking barefoot on grass or sand is known as grounding or earthing. Not only does this fuel a sense of connection with the earth, but it also enhances the flow of energy around your body to provide a better sense of well-being. 

Enjoying a piece of dark chocolate 

Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and even support heart health. By taking the time to savor each bite, you can practice mindfulness and enjoy a delicious, guilt-free treat at the same time!

Focusing on your senses

Spend 5 minutes engaging your senses by noticing the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and physical sensations around you. Be aware of the present moment, thinking about nothing else but where you are right now. 

This mindfulness activity gives you a sense of belonging, and it’s particularly effective if you tend to struggle with anxious thoughts. 

Got a little longer? Try these 10 minute self care ideas

This list of 10-minute self-care ideas is perfect for recharging your batteries. 

  • Engage in a longer meditation session. Dedicate 10 minutes to a more in-depth meditation practice, focusing on your breath, a mantra, or loving-kindness meditation.
  • Exercise. Engage in 10 minutes of physical activity, such as walking, jogging, or doing a quick home workout. Exercise can help to improve mood, reduce stress, and support overall health.
  • Take a warm bath or shower. Enjoy a 10-minute warm bath or shower to soothe your muscles and calm your mind.
  • Engage in deep conversation. Spend 10 minutes connecting with a loved one or friend through meaningful conversation, discussing your feelings, experiences, and dreams.
  • Listen to a podcast or Ted Talk. Choose an interesting podcast or Ted Talk and spend 10 minutes listening and learning something new.
  • Perform a small act of kindness. Take 10 minutes to do something kind for someone else, such as writing a nice note or helping someone in your community.


What are some easy self care ideas?

Some easy self-care ideas include staying hydrated, practicing gratitude, spending time outdoors, and keeping a daily journal.

What are five things you can do for self care?

Five simple yet effective self-care activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and connecting with loved ones and friends. 

Try These 5 Minute Self Care Ideas Today

These easy 5 minute self care ideas are proof that nurturing your well-being doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated.

By incorporating these quick practices into your daily routine, you’ll establish a powerful self-care ritual that helps you to face life’s challenges with resilience.

Remember, self-care is not a luxury; it’s an essential investment in yourself that enables you to show up as the best version of yourself. So, embrace the transformative power of these easy self-care ideas and start a journey towards a more balanced, fulfilling life!

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