8 Ways to Get 5 Minutes to Yourself

By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC


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There may be so much going on in your life that it can seem impossible to get even five minutes to yourself, much less a day. So, let’s discuss ways to get just five minutes to yourself that can help you make it through your day, and/or help you avoid a meltdown during your day.

1. Get Up Early – All you really need to do to get five minutes to yourself is to get up a couple minutes before everyone else. Get on your robe, go out on your deck and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Breathe in the fresh air and think positive thoughts.


2. Take the Long Way – When you go to work, there is nothing saying you must take the shortest route. Instead, leave enough time in advance to get there early if you don’t have carpool duty. That extra five minutes of driving, assuming you can find back roads that aren’t as busy, can be very cathartic and relaxing. You can also take this advice at work if you need to run an errand or you need to get to another office. Take the long way; take your time. No one will care as long as you are on time. Another way to get time alone is to get to the office before everyone else. This can be a very productive time of the day.


3. Run to the Store – If you’re home and everyone is bugging you and won’t leave you alone, announce that you must go to the store. Make sure it’s a boring store so that no one wants to go with you, or just do it fast so no one can come with you. Enjoy the trip; enjoy the solitude. Take your time.


4. Offer to Do the Lunch Run at Work – If people often run out for food for everyone else at your place of work, volunteer to do it. You can drive alone, giving you that extra time to listen to something positive on your way there and back.


5. Take Up a Hobby – This is really directed mostly toward women. Men are good at having hobbies. But, women can have them too. Take up a hobby you like such as jewelry making, painting, sewing or even yoga, something else that is mostly solitary, and take it seriously. Set times for it and don’t back down from doing it. No one else backs down from their hobbies, right?


6. Meditate – Taking up a meditation practice can give you time to yourself on a regular basis if you make it a priority. You don’t have to meditate for an hour at a time; you can do just five minutes. Go to a quiet place, sit in a comfortable position, and just block out the world. Use happy music or earphones to block out interruptions.


7. Listen to Music – A great way to get time to yourself even in a room full of kids is to turn on the music. Turn it up, and just listen to it. Demonstrate listening. Close your eyes and the kids will eventually join in with you.

8. Speak Up – The thing is, everyone deserves time to themselves. You shouldn’t have to sneak around to get it. Ask for it; demand it. You’re worth it. People will adjust.


It’s important to ensure that you can take time for yourself every day, if not many times a day. If you want to avoid burnout and overwhelm, you must take care of yourself first before you take care of anyone else.