by Angelica M. / Nov 18, 2019


Asian woman relaxed with her eyes closed.

"Remember to take care of yourself. You can't pour from an empty cup." - Unknown

With the stress and craziness of modern day life, self-care can oftentimes be put on the back burner, even though it's usually what we need most to alleviate stress and make us happier and more efficient. I know you might be thinking "That sounds great and all, but I just don't have the time." It's actually much more attainable than you think! I've compiled a list of quick and easy self-care routines that take very little time but could make a huge impact in stress reduction and your overall well-being.

1. Get your move on!
Exercise truly does wonders. Being active helps to de-stress and clear your mind. Whether it's a short burst of intense workout at the gym, yoga, a practice of your favorite sport, or a run outdoors breathing in the fresh air, exercise can help you shed away stressful thoughts. Henné founder Laura's personal favorite is kickboxing.

African American woman sitting on bed and meditating.
2. Meditate and stay grounded
Taking as little as 5 minutes a day to unwind, recharge, escape, and free your mind can do wonders for ridding stress. Meditation is an excellent way of calming your worries and finding balance in your life. If that's not attainable, don't fret, there are alternative ways to meditate, even in the confines of your own home. I personally love using the app Headspace (digital service with hundreds of guided meditation and mindfulness trainings. Not an ad by the way). Clear your mind with just a few minutes a day.

3. Take care of your skin, take care of your stress
Dedicate some time to some good ol' loving skincare and watch your stress levels decrease. Whether that's a face mask (we recommend May Lindstrom The Problem Solver) or our very own Lip Mask, skincare is self-care. Your skin and mind will both thank you.

4. Unplug and unwind
Alerts, notifications, and an endless list of unread emails. The constant buzz of our phones can keep us frantic and frazzled. If you're feeling this way, a digital detox might be just what you need. Take a night to unplug from technology, and instead spend some quality time with loved ones, read a book, or cuddle your pets. Step away from technology, unplug and unwind.

5. Simple gratitude
With constant stress, it's easy to forget the simple things in life, particularly what we're grateful for. Take a pen and paper and start writing down things that you're thankful for. In doing so, hopefully, you'll gain a new perspective on what truly matters, and the stressful tasks won't seem as daunting as before. Making gratitude lists can help us find our way back to natural reflection.

6. B R E A T H E
Breathing exercises are a super quick way to help alleviate stress. I personally love the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. The 4-7-8 is simple, takes almost no time and is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous mind. Inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Lastly, exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. Repeat the cycle three more times. This breathing exercise is subtle at first but grows to be incredibly useful and calming.

A redheaded woman drawing with a colored pencil.
7. Get those creative juices flowing
It can also help to dabble in your own creative mind through various artistic activities. For me, Bob Ross' soothing voice and happy little accidents immediately take my stress away. Doodle, draw, paint, or color, whichever you prefer, getting those creative juices flowing can help you de-stress. Adult coloring books are readily available in many stores, which allows you to tap into your child-like mind and take the stress away from adult responsibilities. Color the stress away!

8. You are what you eat
Eat your worries away but in the most healthy way. There's a direct link between what we eat and how we feel. Some happiness-creating, mood-boosting foods include nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts), berries (such as blueberries, blackberries), and dark chocolate. Nuts are packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats. The antioxidants and folate in berries help boost your mood by making your brain produce more dopamine and serotonin. Dark chocolate helps the brain release endorphins and boost serotonin levels. So go nuts, eat those dark chocolate-dipped berries, and watch your mood rise.

9. Write, crumple, and throw away
Sometimes we need to translate our thoughts on physical paper to get those aggressions out and rid away our stress, literally. Write down what's weighing you down, crumple up the paper, and throw it away or rip it up. Participating in physical activity with your emotional burdens can help release aggression and help you let go.

10. Get lots of shut-eye
We've all heard it before, get your nightly beauty rest. Sleep is a natural antidote to so many things in life, stress being one of them. Put on a diffuser, play some soothing music, and tuck yourself in. If you still have trouble sleeping, make sure to unplug from technology an hour before getting into bed, and add a few minutes of meditation before bed to calm the mind and body.

11. Journaling is healing
Emotional healing and self-acknowledgment can reorganize the clutter in the mind. A vent, rant, or flow of consciousness can help lessen stress with a simple pen and paper. One popular way to organize the mind is bullet journaling. Track what you need to do, create daily goals, and make an outline of your priorities. That feeling when you cross off a task on your to-do list is a boost of accomplishment that can give you the confidence and motivation to tackle the rest!