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There is nothing relaxing about your Saturday morning. It’s a race between soccer games and birthday parties. You stop at Starbucks for a much needed caffeine infusion and something for your daughter to snack on en route to pick up the rest of the team. As you wait for your Americano and your daughter’s hot chocolate you see HER out of the corner of your eye.

A woman sits alone by the window with a grande cup of something and a copy of Real Simple. She’s reading a story, savoring it and a sip of whatever is in her cup.

She’s not rushing. Her phone isn’t fighting for her attention. Before you can think about it any further your name is called and your daughter bounds to the car, hot beverage precariously in hand. You buckle up and drive off to make the rounds.

The sun is gloriously warm this morning. You sit with the other mothers, cheering in all the right spots and taking photos for Facebook. Again, someone apart from the others catches your attention. You see the goalie’s Mom off behind the bleachers with a yoga mat in Downward Facing Dog. You watch her flow through a few sun salutations before pausing for Shavasana. After a few minutes she rolls up her mat and takes her place beside her husband on the bleachers.

I could NEVER do that, you think to yourself.

Yet it appears no one else noticed but you. No one rolled their eyes. Her husband didn’t appear annoyed at being left alone. Her daughter still managed to block a kick.

What if you had the courage to claim 10 minutes of calm for yourself?

10 minutes is all it takes to practice a little self care to boost energy, improve mood and reduce stress. The only thing really stopping you (most of the time) is YOU.

I’ve given you two ideas already: read a story or two in your favorite magazine or stop for a round of sun salutations. Both can be done almost anywhere. 10 minutes can often be found waiting in the pick up line or the doctor’s office waiting room. You can reclaim a little time while they are at dance class or before you leave the office and start the commute home. The commute home can be a time for renewal when you get to do it solo. Stop scrolling mindlessly through Facebook and instead practice one of these self-care rituals that take less than 10 minutes.

  1. Meditate (Try the Buddhify app for guided meditations that last just a few minutes.)
  2. Take a lunchtime or post work walk.
  3. Brew a cup of matcha.
  4. Write in a journal.
  5. Dance to your favorite song. (I love to talk a dance break to “Hang Loose” by Alabama Shakes on particularly stressful days.)
  6. Scroll through photos from your last vacation.
  7. Listen to a book on Audible.
  8. Savor one piece of REALLY good dark chocolate for the whole 10 minutes.

Sometimes in our crazy world it’s easy to forget how much we need to stop and breath. It feels selfish and indulgent to look at pictures of last summer’s Maui trip when the laundry needs to be folded. I promised you that it is not. Taking moments for yourself makes you more present for all the other moments of your day.

Where can you reclaim 10 minutes for YOU in your day?

What’s your favorite quick self care ritual?

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