A Habit Change Expert’s 2-Minute-a-Day Guide to Self-Love - Women's Health

A Habit Change Expert’s 2-Minute-a-Day Guide to Self-Love

Five quick ways to practice self-care.

By Dr Gina Cleo

Practising self-care can be challenging, with many of us forgetting to pause and take a moment for ourselves or a break. 

According to NESCAFÉ research, 3.5 million Aussies admit to not taking a single break in the day, despite 91% of us believing a short break helps to get back to our best self. 

Habit Change Expert Dr Gina Cleo advocates that “self-care” doesn’t have to be complicated or overly indulgent, but rather a short break (whether that’s two minutes or ten) in your day to do something solely for yourself. 

Here is Dr Gina’s guide to practising 2 minutes of self-care each day: 

1. Regular Positive Affirmations 

You can practice self-care by recognising yourself for the positive things you have achieved. For example, list three things you did well, write them down and sit with them at the end of the day. If you’re struggling to identify daily positive affirmations or achievements, acknowledging your worries can also help clarify, rationalise, and put things in perspective. 

2. Time for a coffee break

Who knew that the practice of making your daily cup of coffee could be an effective way to rest your brain and be present for a few moments? According to NESCAFÉ Café Creations research, making a coffee is the go-to for most Australians’ quick hit, self-care moment, with three in five (61%) of us finding our moment that way. So instead of grabbing a coffee on the run, slow down and give yourself time to make a brew at home – take time to acknowledge your breath and when your breathing rhythm is calm, drink your cuppa without distractions.

3. Surround yourself with your furry friends

An easy way to practise self-care is to spend time with people or something you love – whether that be a quick mid-day catch up with your partner, housemate, or even a furry friend. It has been said that pets can help de-stress and calm your mind – how could you not be tempted to take some time out with your little mate.

4. Jasmin hand massage 

For those constantly working on a computer, you’re using your hands regularly. Treat yourself to a 2-minute hand massage to relax your muscles and prevent repetitive strain injuries. Try using a Jasmin scented hand cream as the scent can impact the brain’s central nervous systems, calming the nerves and soothing your anxiety levels. 

5. Break a sweat

Virtually any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever. Whether it’s a HIIT session or a Pilates ab workout, who said you can’t break a sweat in two minutes?

If you’re looking to de-stress your mind, bring the intensity down to incorporating long soothing breaths and stretching out your body instead. Try these simple ones: 

  • – Childs pose – great for gently stretching out your hips, pelvis, thighs, and spine. It claims to calm the brain and relieves stress and fatigue
  • – Cat Camel – a gentle exercise that stretches and strengthens the muscles that stabilise the spine. 

Although these are simple actions, if you practice them daily, they could significantly impact your well-being over the long term; taking the time to yourself can affect your productivity, stress levels, and mood – everyone has at least 2-minutes in their day to spare, it’s all about when you take it and how you use it! 


About the author:

Gina is one of the world’s leading experts in habits and is passionate about translating scientific evidence into simple, actionable strategies to help improve health, wellness, mindset, lifestyle, and business-related habits – long-term. Gina has a PhD in habit change, is an Assistant Professor at Bond University and is an Accredited Dietitian. When she’s not geeking out on new habit research, Gina is running courses through her Habit Change Institute and obsessing over chai lattes. 

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