What to do when you only have 10-minutes for self-care

In the ideal case scenario, you work on your homework and study for exams for most days of the week and then maybe take a Saturday or Sunday off to relax. But for most people, taking a whole day off just for looking after themselves can seem like a waste of time. The idea of not being productive for a whole day is terrifying. Many people even feel bad about themselves if they’ve overslept and missed out on making the most of their morning.

During such a tight schedule, it’s hard to make time for self-care. But it’s necessary! Even if you can just take 10 minutes out of your day to de-stress, it helps to make you a lot more positive and productive. So here are a few things you can do if you only have 10 minutes.

1) Follow a guided meditation

You’ve probably heard about the miracles of meditation. But spending some time without thinking? Or focusing on your breathing? Or staring intently at a candle flame? Sounds so boring! I felt the same way, which is why I put off meditating for years and years. Then came along my best friend, Youtube. These online guided meditations help you breathe deeper but they can also focus on specific issues you’ve been dealing with. Here’s a meditation if you’ve been feeling angry about something. Here’s another one to help you feel a little bit more present.

2) Wear a sheet mask

If you’ve been staring at a computer screen all day and need a little bit of a pick me up, putting on a sheet mask is a great way to take a 10-minute break. If I’m going to spend the whole day at the library I always carry a couple of sheet masks (and some candy off course). Recently I’ve been using this sheet mask, it is infused with green tea so the scent helps me wake up. Last month I also tried this sheet mask, the subtle rose fragrance is perfect to relax after a tiring study session.

3) Stretch, and then stretch again

A little bit of stretching can help your muscles move if you’ve been sitting on your chair for hours. Here’s a routine to follow if you want to stretch your whole body before you head to campus for a busy day of classes. For best results get out of the building and stretch in a garden or an open balcony, the fresh air will help you breathe deeper. Stretching is great if you want to take a break from a crowded, anxious academic environment (just after an exam!).

4) Listen to some calming music

If you want to take a small break but don’t want to go too far away from your computer screen, listening to a calming, soothing track can help you relax. What a coincidence that Chopin’s Ballad No. 1 in G Minor ends just under 10 minutes! Listen to this with your eyes closed and breathe slowly to calm down.