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5 Minute Mental Health Self Care Challenge!

I get it, life is busy. Some days it's hard to finish the day to day tasks, yet alone make time for recovery and personal growth. Let's face it, some days, free time is a luxury that we just don't have.

Our days are filled with work, stress, taking care of our kids, pets, homes, parents, etc. So, when the heck are we supposed to make time for ourselves? Well, you've got 5 minutes right? Of course you do.

Now let me put a disclaimer out there, self care is extremely valuable and should make up a much larger part of your day! But, for those days where we are struggling and free time is few and far between, I challenge you to dedicate just 5 minutes a few times per day to yourself!

5 Minute Mental Health Self Care Challenge!

Minute 1 - 30 Count Nose/Mouth Breaths

- This is pretty simple. The goal is to count to 30, breathing in through the nose on the even odd numbers and breathing out through the mouth on the even ones. Each breath should take 2 seconds.

Minute 2 - 1 Minute Gratefulness journal

- Next, spend a minute writing down 5 things that you are grateful for. If you get all 5 with time to spare, spend the rest of the time reflecting on the things you wrote down. If you don't get all 5, no big deal! Just move on to the next minute.

Minute 3 - 1 Minute Daily Affirmations

- A while back I wrote a blog post on something I call my Dirty Dozen Daily Affirmations. These are 12 statements I read to myself every morning. (Check that post out here!)

Minute 4 - 1 Minute Silent Meditation

-Though it seems pretty simple, one minute of silence may actually be pretty difficult for most people. The idea is quite simple, just set a timer, close your eyes and allow your mind to clear. This will be pretty tough at first. It takes some time to learn how to not let every little though flood into your head. Don't worry, eventually it gets easier!

Minute 5 - 30 Count Nose/Mouth Breaths

-Almost done! Just finish with the exercise you started with!

That wasn't too tough, was it?! SO, what did we just do?

Deep breathing calms the body and mind by stimulating something called the parasympathetic nervous system, triggering a relaxation response. This is EXTREMELY important seeing how we are constantly discussing calming the "fight-or-flight" storm! A body functioning in a stressed state is focused on staying alive, not healing and thriving. By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, you are able to help shift your body into a resting and recovery state.

Deep breathing is also shown to increase the amount of oxygen available to be taken into the blood, resulting in more energy!

Meditation and mindfulness exercises, even in short intervals, have been shown to control anxiety, reduce stress, promote emotional stress, reduce memory loss, improve concentration and even help you live longer!

Gratefulness exercises have been proven to have numerous benefits as well. Check out this article in psychology today: 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude.

So there is it, my 5 Minute Mental Health Self Care Challenge! I hope you enjoyed the content and find some benefit from it! Please feel free to share with your friends and family!

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