Are you someone that lives life according to a schedule? Do you schedule time for self-care every day? If not, let me recommend you start doing that. The fact is, you don’t need to spend a lot of time on self care to reap the benefits. Even some simple 15-minute self care activities can make a big difference for your mental health and well being.
If you’re ready to start incorporating some simple self care ideas into your daily life, then you can use this 15-minute self care guide to start your own wellness routine. I challenge even the busiest woman to carve 15 minutes out of her schedule to meet her self-care needs. You’re so worth it!
This site may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website at no extra cost to you.
Women are natural nurturers, so it probably comes as no surprise that we find it harder to practice self care regularly. We spend so much time taking care of other people and ensuring that everything around us is okay that we often neglect our own needs. With so many people and things vying for our attention, it’s a constant battle to find the time for self-care.
I spend lots of time advocating for women to take time for themselves, and I love sharing tips and tricks for squeezing self-care into our daily routines. Self-care activities should not be reserved for special occasions, but rather they should be habitual. That way, we’re less likely to be stressed out or overwhelmed when life throws obstacles our way.
So, if you are someone who uses the excuse, “I don’t have time for self-care” frequently, this list of self care activities is for you!
The Ultimate 15 Minute Self-Care Guide
Here are 15 quick self-care activities you can practice daily, even if you can only spare 15 minutes per day.
1. Enjoy a cup of coffee (or your favorite drink).
If you’re like me, you’re notorious for making a cup of coffee, sitting down with it, and then starting to work on answering emails or other tasks that keep you from enjoying the nice drink that you made for yourself.
Then, it’s off to the microwave two or three times to warm up the same drink and then possibly not even taking more than one sip of it before pouring it out because you don’t even want it anymore because it’s gotten too stale! Just me?
For one of the simplest 15-minute self care activities out there, take time to enjoy your coffee or tea, possibly in silence! As soon as this pollen clears, I’m going back to my routine of making my coffee and then sitting on the deck to enjoy it! Just me and the birds chirping. It’s such a great way to get the day started and can really have an impact on the rest of your day.
2. Take a walk.
When it comes to movement, no amount is too little! A brisk 15-minute walk can have so many health benefits. Don’t underestimate the power of taking a walk. Rocky Mountain Health Plans lists some surprising benefits of a quick walk. A short walk around the block (perhaps with a favorite podcast or just the sounds of nature) is one of the easiest self care activities you can add to your day.
3. Read a devotional
Reading a devotional can be a great way to refocus your mind when you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. My favorite devotional is Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling. This 15-minute self care idea can even be combined with drinking that hot cup of coffee or tea to start your day.
4. Eat a healthy snack.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed, we sometimes grab unhealthy snacks which may make us feel worse after we finish them. Next time you’re down in the dumps (and you feel the urge for a snack), try grabbing a healthy snack like a piece of fruit or veggie strips. These choices are a great, no-guilt alternative to their sugary alternatives.
For even more self-care benefits, don’t eat your snack on the go or while multitasking. Instead, sit down at a table and really focus on what you’re eating. Spend 15 minutes truly enjoying your food and you’ll feel more relaxed and more satisfied.
5. Find a 15-minute workout routine on Youtube.
There are so many quick and fun 15-minute workouts on YouTube. I like to use these when I feel stressed out or when I want to do a quick workout in the mornings before heading to work. Search Youtube and save some of your favorite workouts to a playlist so that you will have them at your fingertips when you’re ready for a quick way to relieve stress. This 15-minute self care activity is perfect for reducing stress and boosting health!
6. Do some stretches.
Stretching is a great and effective self-care activity. Simple stretches can sometimes do the trick to relieve the tension you may have in your neck or shoulders.
This simple self care idea is also a great way to take a quiet moment for yourself during the day. While stretching can be incorporated into a morning or bedtime routine, it’s also a great way to get up and take a break during a work day or day with kids.
7. Read a chapter or two of a book.
Reading books is a great way to relax and temporarily escape your world, which is often just what you need to regroup before going on with your day. Find a good book and indulge in a chapter or two to help you regain focus and relax.
This 15-minute self care idea can even be incorporated into the busiest of days. If you’re on the go all the time, download the Kindle app to your smartphone and you can read no matter where you are!
8. Write in a journal.
Journaling helps me to release some of the millions of things that are going on in my brain. Journaling can be very organized, or it can be as simple as jotting down ideas to help you dumb the clutter from your brain. Journaling is one of the best quick self care activities to help relax an anxious or stressed mind.
9. Put your cell phone away for 15 minutes.
I’m preaching to myself with this one. There are so many studies that support the benefits of putting your phone away, even for a short period of time. This is something that I am working on! It’s easier said than done, but just may be one of the most powerful 15-minute self care ideas you can try.
10. Call or text a friend.
We all know that one person that we can call or text will just brighten our day. Take some time to call or text that friend when you need a quick boost to your mood. It’s so nice to talk to someone who will put a much-needed smile on your face when you feel overwhelmed. And it’s one of the best self care activities because you’ll boost relaxation and feel more connected to your friends.
11. Read a magazine.
Looking through your favorite magazine is a great self-care activity. I love reading magazines and looking through advertisements to create wish lists and get inspiration for outfits and makeup.
Don’t feel like you need to read anything too complicated to reap the self care benefits. A celebrity gossip magazine can provide just as much relaxation (if not more) than a publication filled with more serious articles.
12. Buy fresh flowers for yourself.
Fresh flowers liven up a room. Even the simplest bouquet can add calming scents and colors to a room, helping to relax and calm you and even put a big smile on your face. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on flowers, either. I usually pick them up when I’m at the grocery store. If you’d rather have them delivered, Amazon has a beautiful selection of fresh-cut flowers that won’t hurt the wallet too badly.
13. Listen to your self-care playlist.
A few weeks ago, I reached out to my Instagram community for help curating a self-care playlist. If you don’t have one, you can borrow mine until you make one of your own! I highly recommend listening to music for self-care. If you choose the right songs, you’ll feel empowered and ready to tackle whatever your day may bring.
Listening to music is a simple 15-minute self care practice that you can add to many other self-care activities, such as going for a walk, journaling, working out or enjoying a hot drink.
14. Take a power nap.
I’m not sure if this one needs commentary. A good power nap is a great self-care activity. My day work day doesn’t really allow for a power nap, but on the weekends, I try to sneak one in as often as I can!
15. Sit outside for some fresh air.
Last year, we remodeled our deck and we’re still working on sprucing up our outdoor area. I spend a lot of time out on my deck sipping coffee and listening to the birds. It’s so peaceful. It’s nice to get some fresh air and clear my mind of all of the things that jumble my brain from time to time.
It doesn’t matter if you live in a rural area or downtown in a big city, stepping outside for a bit of sunshine and fresh air does the brain good!
Get Started with 15-Minute Self Care Ideas
Don’t underestimate the power of 15-minute self-care activities. Taking a quick break when you begin to feel overwhelmed could help you to approach the day differently.
I hope that you have found an idea or two on this list of self care activities that you can work into your busy schedule. Combine some of these ideas for even more mood-boosting benefits. Try coffee outdoors with some calming music. Or listen to an audiobook while going for a walk followed by some brief stretching. Read a book before taking a power nap.
However you incorporate these activities into your day, you can be confident you’re doing something valuable to take care of yourself. Regular self-care is an essential component of you being your best self!