self improvement tips

30 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Day in 5 Minutes or Less

You’re a busy person. Your days are filled with meetings, project, deadlines, family issues, and many other urgent things. That leaves very little time for rest and rejuvenation. Over time you may begin to feel disillusioned. You may wonder “What is this all for?” But the thought goes away as quickly as it comes. You may say, “I’d love to take some time out to rejuvenate but I don’t have the time to sit for 30 minutes to an hour.”

Yes, we’re all strapped for time. It’s often difficult to find a moment to sit, reflect and rejuvenate your spirit. Instead, we push and push until we burn out from the effects of stress.

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to take 30 minutes out of your day to rejuvenate. You can do it in 5 minutes. I’ve got a few ideas to help you get started:

1. Smile

Yes, just sit (or stand) and smile. Truth is, you will begin to feel the effects of this simple activity within seconds. As an added bonus, you can do it while doing another activity. It seems downright silly to smile to yourself for no good reason but it works. Your mood and mindset will shift from being negative to positive. Don’t feel like smiling? Fake it!

2. Breathe

Take a second now to notice your breath. Two things will likely happen. You will observe how shallow your breath is and you will almost immediately begin to breathe more deeply. Actually, you’ll notice a third thing – you’ll wonder why you don’t breathe deeply more often. The physical and emotional benefits of deep breathing have been well documented. So stop what you are doing and breathe.

3. Silence

We’ve become so used to the constant noise around us that we are often unaware of how much it grates on us and increases our stress levels. We yearn for silence. Yet we still find it hard to be comfortable with it. Don’t run from silence. Learn how to harness its power.

4. Call a parent, spouse, or a friend

How many of us go for days or weeks before calling a parent or loved one because we couldn’t carve out 30 minutes to an hour? A quick call is far better than nothing. Not only is it good for your relationships, it can also give you a quick energy boost.

5. Take a walk

Feeling stuck on something that requires creative thinking? Get up from behind your desk and go for a 5 minute walk.

6. Watch a TED talk

Looking for a mental pick-me-up? Watch a TED Talk. These educational, entertaining, and inspirational presentations will connect you with your childlike sense of wonder. All these talks are less than five minutes.

7. Do a kind deed for a random stranger

See someone looking lost or distressed? Take a minute to see if they are ok. Picking up a big mac in the drive-thru? Pay for the person behind you. Learn to become more attentive to the needs of those around you and begin to act in small ways.

8. Stretch

The stress and tension we experience in our day to day lives often show up in or bodies in the form of tense muscles. Melt away the stress using these exercises.

9. Recite positive affirmations

You are what you think. We often take our thoughts for granted, not realizing how much they can affect our mood and well-being. Begin to exert influence on your thoughts by speaking speaking these affirmations aloud.

10. Pray

People pray to help them connect with the divine and to cope with life’s ups and downs. If you are inclined to pray, use it as an opportunity to let go of burdens and as a source of rejuvenation.

11. Write to someone who has made a difference in your life

Every once in a while our lives are changed profoundly for the good because of someone’s words or deeds. This person could be a teacher, mentor, clergy, our a next door neighbor. It could even be an influential person you’ve never met but experienced through their work. Write this person a quick note to thank them and let them know how much they influenced you for good.

12. Meditate on your favorite motivational quotes

Whenever you hear a motivational quote that speaks to you, write it down. Turn to them whenever you need encouragement.

13. Journal

Write about what’s happening to you right now. Don’t worry about writing a literary masterpiece. Simply write your thoughts and feelings.

14. Think of one thing you are grateful for

Try to hold a mental image of that thing for 1 or 2 minutes.

15. Start something you’ve been procrastinating on

Want to start a blog? Take five minutes to purchase the domain name. Need to write a paper or article? Take five minutes to sketch out a rough outline. Putting off yard work? Gather all the tools you need. You get the picture – regain your power by replacing procrastination with quick bursts of proactivity.

16. Listen to your favorite song

You’ll feel better instantly.

17. Read your personal mission statement

What? You don’t have one? Start writing yours today. Don’t worry about making it perfect. Just start now and edit over time.

18. Read a past journal or blog entry

If you maintain a blog or journal, reading past entries can be an amazing way to see how you have grown over the years. Seeing how far you’ve come can give you the mental and emotional boost you need to face today’s challenges.

19. Lie down

Set your timer for 5 minutes and lie down on a bed or comfortable sofa.

20. Play with your child

Tap into your child’s boundless energy by spending some time with them. This will only work if you are not distracted.

21. Write an apology to someone you have hurt

This will be hard but you will benefit from the sense of relief you will feel.

22. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is simply the ability to become fully engaged in the present moment. It is more difficult than it sounds since our minds wander effortlessly to past difficulties or future anxieties. We also frequently engage in day-dreaming and mind-wandering. Research has shown that our mind-wandering significantly contributes to our unhappiness. The good news is that we can learn to become more mindful.

23. Make a donation to a favorite charity.

24. Develop a morning routine

This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Developing a morning routine often involves waking early in order to spend an extended period of time focusing on self-improvement exercises to empower your day. Hal Elrod wrote about his powerful method he calls the Miracle Morning. Here is his 6 minute version that can be done during periods in your life when you are short on time.

25. Exercise

In addition to your established morning exercise routine, do these little exercises during the day while at work.

26. Snack on these fresh fruits.

27. Strike a “power pose”

Use these posture hacks to boost your confidence.

28. Watch pictures or videos of family and friends

Put those gigabytes of data to good use.

29. Disconnect from your devices

In an environment saturated with computer screens, tablets, smart phones, and flat screen TVs, it’s quite possible to spend your entire waking hours staring at glowing screens. Put them down for 5 minutes to rest your eyes and mind. You’ll likely be tempted to spend a few more minutes away from screens once you disconnect.

30. Clean your desk

You may not realize how much your disorganized desk is stressing you. Take a few minutes to dust and neatly organize your piles.

Once you experience the quick benefits of some of these action steps, you’ll find yourself squeezing in 5 minutes here and there throughout the day to do more. You’ll discover (or rediscover) what Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People calls the production/production capacity (P/PC) balance. It is hard to keep producing (income, results at work and home, etc.) over time without investing in your capacity to produce (yourself). So take 5 minutes today to start rejuvenating yourself so you can continue to produce good fruit in every area of life.

Cylon is a spiritual chaplain, musician, devoted husband, and busy dad of six. He blogs about practical spiritual tips for living well at Spiritual Living For Busy People – sign up and get his free guide 20 Little Tricks To Instantly Improve Your Mood Even If You Feel Like Punching Something (or Someone).

18 Responses to 30 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Day in 5 Minutes or Less

  1. halkun says:

    Can you provide the link to #26? I would like to check out the fruits :)

  2. Cylon George says:

    Thanks for letting me know….looks like a number of the links are not working. Will fix!

  3. Cylon George says:

    Links are fixed. Thanks again halkun :)

  4. Phil Janecic says:

    Simple, yet effective. Not bad.

  5. Tara Cajacob says:

    I love this. Easy to do– even when you are stressed. I especially liked #6 to watch a TED talk. Anything you can do to give you a fresh take! :)

  6. halkun says:

    Thank YOU, good sir :)

  7. ‘Silence – We’ve become so used to the constant noise around us that we are often unaware of how much it grates on us and increases our stress levels. We yearn for silence. Yet we still find it hard to be comfortable with it. Don’t run from silence. Learn how to harness its power.’

    It is amazing how much of an effect silence has on how your emotions and general well being. I was just reading this article recently about the effects of silence on the brain recently. Very interesting research.

    http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/this-is-your-brain-on-silence

  8. So Yussef says:

    (Y) Thanks :)

  9. Cylon George says:

    Wow! What a great article. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. Cylon George says:

    Thank you Tara. It’s good to have a few easy techniques to deploy in times of stress – doesn’t require much thinking, just doing. Love TED talks!

  11. Cylon George says:

    You’re welcome So Yussef :)

  12. Hoootenanny says:

    Take your dog for a walk! :)

    Mike
    http://www.calmthenerves.com

  13. EMS says:

    While
    reading through this list it struck me that when I do something on the list,
    like watch a TED Talk, I do feel
    happier after! For me, exercising, decluttering, and listening to a favorite playlist put me in a
    better mood the fastest. There is no doubt that listening to and doing
    something for yourself when you need a break is key to getting back on a
    productive streak.

  14. Ellen Bard says:

    Love these Cylon! Especially 15 and 30 :-)

  15. These are all excellent tips for rejuvenation. Did I miss “getting a foot massage”? That helps, too. :)

  16. What a lovely list of lovely things. I love #1 – as a friend once said to me, “if you want someone to smile at you, smile first!” Amazingly simple way of putting a spring back into your step :)

  17. Gilly says:

    Often the simplest ideas are the most effective. Thanks for compiling a great list.It’s so helpful to have them all in one place as a ‘memory jogger’ when you’ve only got 5 mins! I would add, ‘Give someone a hug.’ In order to give one, you invariably get hugged back! The benefits of that contact are instantaneous.

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