Five Minute Me-Time Activities
When you have a chronic disease like psoriatic arthritis, life revolves around scheduling doctors’ appointments, taking medications, easing pain, worrying about flares, new symptoms, old symptoms, insurance problems, and so much more. That said, it is still important to your health to take some time just to focus on you - just you. Not your disease, not your family, not your job. Just you.
While I’m a proponent of mini-vacations and spa days – who doesn’t like to be pampered? – I know these types of me-time activities may be expensive and eat up valuable time you might not have. Carving out five minutes each day is usually attainable and also quite beneficial. Here are some of my favorite five minute me-time activities to help you de-stress and find some peace in a busy or painful day.
Watch the sun rise
Grab your comfy blanket and slippers and head out to your deck, balcony, or yard to watch the sunrise. A few minutes of watching the sky and feeling the warmth of the sun overcome you can be just what you need to start the day out right. And if early mornings aren’t for you, try watching the sunset and end the day on a high note.
Listen to your favorite song
Build in an extra five minutes to your morning commute or routine to park your car and listen to your favorite song. Turn up the beats and don’t be afraid to belt it out. This is a great way to relieve the stress of the commute and start the workday with a smile on your face.
Furbabies and even scaly critters are great ways to get grounded. Take an extra couple of minutes of just you and your pet. You might have to hide out in a bedroom to get pet cuddles just for you, but it’s worth it.
Take a few minutes to write in a journal one good thing that happened to you that day or one thing you are thankful for. Do this for six straight days. On the seventh day, reread your entries for the week and feel hopeful for the days ahead.
Inspirational quotes or messages
I remember the days when my mom would make my school lunch and include a note to make me feel special or give me a boost of encouragement. I can replicate this by sending myself a scheduled text or email to myself with a note of inspiration for the day ahead.
If you have a massage chair or hand-held massager, use it. Whether you prefer a light setting or deep massage, relax your muscles and feel your stress melt away. My dad always gives me a good back rub with “the thumper” when I go to his house. I enjoyed it so much that he gifted me one for my birthday.
Read some silly jokes, watch a goofy commercial, or scroll through funny anecdotes on social media. The only requirement is to actually laugh out loud. Laughter has great benefits to relieve stress, so find some deep belly laughs and reap the benefits.
Soak your feet
Psoriatic arthritis often affects the tendons in your feet. I often don’t have time for a long, hot bath, but I can find five minutes to soak my tired feet and enjoy the warmth of the water. You can even try adding scented oil to the water. Lavender is my top choice.
When all else fails, just breathe. Tune out all sounds and breathe in and out, focusing on the sound of the air entering and leaving your body. Focus inward. Be mindful of what you can control and learn to let go of what you cannot. Five minutes of deep breathing can help you reset after a stressful day.
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?