Your moments matter.
Think about all the time you've spent watching T.V., scrolling through social media, or reading pointless Buzzfeed articles. Do you think that's been well spent, or has it left you feeling drained, discontent, and bored? How much time have we wasted doing those things? Ten minutes? Twenty? Or has it robbed you of precious hours, not minutes, of your life?
Our time on this earth is a gift. We should be spending time doing things that cultivate that gift -- things that bring us joy and encourage our physical and mental well-being. That's where I came up with these six 10-minute-habit to help us spend our time wisely. These six habits inspire me to become a better person -- a more present wife and mother and daughter of God. In order to accomplish this goal, I set aside ten minutes increments in my day to get it all done. Ten minutes doesn't seem too scary does it? Some days I have more flexibility than others where I can spend more time in one or more of these areas, but I always always have ten minutes here or there to devote to the things on this list.
I believe you can accomplish anything if you are consistent and persistent in pursuing it. By committing ourselves to small things each day, it will result in big positive changes over the years if we keep them up. These small yeses to healthy habits are the best kind of #selfcare -- caring for self doesn't just mean bubble baths and chocolates (read THIS article to see just what I mean), but choosing how you spend your time to better your mind, body, and soul.
Your moments matter.
No.1 | 10 minutes of PRAYER
Of course, prayer always comes first. Lean into silence, fill your heart with gratitude for another day on earth, and rest with our Lord for at least ten minutes a day (or longer!). If that seems too uncomfortable, try praying five minutes in the morning and five in the evening. It helps if this is the first thing you dedicate yourself to each day. If you are new to prayer, expect some bumps (restlessness, dryness, and distractions are all normal and are all things even saints struggled with!). You will quickly discover that when committed to this ten minute resolution, the Lord will repay you abundantly. He will fill your day with such peace and will personally show you how desperately eager He is to pour out grace on receptive hearts. If God willed us into existence and gave us His son to give us life, the least we can do is give Him ten minutes of our hearts in return.
no. 2 | 10 minutes of movement
Staying consistent with exercise is difficult for this busy mama...as much as I would love to devout an entire hour to a class or a long run, it just doesn't happen as often as I'd like. You can still get an effective workout in ten minutes. By establishing a goal of getting at least ten minutes a day of exercise I am not only staying on top of my physical health but my mental health as well. My days become more productive, I have more energy, and I am happier all around whenever I have these few minutes to myself to get my body moving. My favorite escape is doing a quick Pilates workout with Robin from the Balanced Life, or doing ten minutes dance cardio with my pretend personal trainer Tracy Anderson. Pier even joins in on the fun and loves to run around in circles while mama does her "x-er-schiz".
no. 3 | 10 minutes of creating
Sneak in ten minutes every day doing something that is life-giving to you. Whether that is sewing a dress, writing a blog post, baking bread, crafting with your kids, knitting a blanket, or something art related like calligraphy or water coloring -- make time for it! Doing something creative every day gives me a huge boost in my mental wellness.
no. 4 | 10 minutes in nature
In Sweden they have a saying that has quickly become one of my favorite motos: "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes". Swedish children spend at least one hour a day outdoors year round, rain or shine. Isn't that amazing?! It's easy to spend all day outside when the weather is perfect, but when it's too cold or wet or sticky? Nope. I wish I was better at it! It seems like every time it rains or snows I just want to curl up inside with a cup of something warm and a good book. But spending time outside -- even in yucky weather -- really does make a difference in my day and it makes a huge difference in my children's day as well. Unfortunately, in our culture kids spend more time indoors than out (usually sitting in front of a TV or a video game if we're being honest). I want to be a parent who is enthusiastic over the beauty of a rainstorm...who isn't afraid to get mud on her clothes...who believes that the backyard is the greatest entertainment there is! It's something I continue to work on, but spending at least ten minutes outside with my children (or sneaking away by myself) is manageable to me.
no. 5 | 10 minutes of reading
I try to either read ten pages or for ten minutes each day, whatever comes first. I need some type of intellectual stimuli to get me thinking -- thinking is good! -- and reading is the best way for my dusty mom-brain to become less mom-brain-y. I want to not only be a life-long learner, but I also want to instill a love of learning in my children too. By making time to read either a spiritual book or a work of fiction, I'm not only bettering my mind but also setting an example for my children to make literature a priority.
no. 6 | 10 minutes of cleaning
I call this the power clean. I try to make it as enjoyable as possible by lighting a candle, listening to some music or a podcast, diffusing some essential oils, and if I'm being honest, putting my toddler in front of the iPad so he stays in one spot (ten minutes of Netflix won't ruin him for life guys). Then I set the timer for ten minutes (or longer if I have the energy) and get to work doing a quick pick up, sweep the kitchen, tackle the dishes, or put away the laundry. It's just a small dent in the larger mess that is my life but it feels so good once the timer goes off and my house is a bit cleaner than it was before I started. I feel like I clean all day long...a task that would take me five minutes usually takes me five hours when both the kids are awake and needing me...so I like the ten minute power clean because I can get a lot done in such a concentrated amount of time.
All these totaling up to ONE HOUR out of a daily twenty-four. That's sparing ten minutes here or there among the chaos of life to check in with your own well-being. Try it and let me know if you've noticed a difference in your day!