A Life Less Complicated

Self-Care in Under 15 Minutes: 65 Ideas

Do you ever find that you’ve got 15 minutes to yourself but can’t think what to do with it? I’m here to tell you that the answer is self-care!

Self-Care and Mental Load

Self-care plays an essential role in managing mental load and here’s why:

Self-care reduces stress

High mental load is stressful! Your brain is overloaded, flitting from one thought to another and from one task to another with no let up. Practicing self-care helps you to slow down and turn your mind off, giving your brain a much-needed break from all of that noise.

Self-care promotes emotional wellbeing

Many self-care activities provide an outlet for emotional release – allowing you to offload the feelings of burnout and overwhelm which may be building.

Self-care increases your resilience

Regular self-care enhances your ability to cope with the challenges of life. It allows you to develop skills such as emotional regulation, stress management, self-reflection and rest and recovery, all of which feed into your ability to bounce back from adversity

Self-care improves your cognitive function

When your mental load becomes overwhelming, it can negatively impact your cognitive abilities such as memory, focus and decision-making. Engaging in self-care activities help to repair those functions, allowing you to think more clearly.

Self-care improves self-awareness and self-reflection

By taking time for yourselves, you’ll learn to better understand your needs, desires and limitations, allowing you to make wise choices when it comes to managing your mental load.

Convinced? Great! But what does self-care actually look like and how can you fit it into your busy day? Here are 65 self-care ideas that will take you less than 15 minutes – so there are no excuses!

65 Self-Care Ideas 

Here are 65 ideas for self-care ideas that will take you less than 15 minutes each:


  1. Give yourself a full body moisturise
  2. Do a face mask
  3. Enjoy a foot soak
  4. Give yourself a mini massage


  1. Watch 15 minutes of that trashy program you never manage to watch
  2. Make up a plate of your favourite treats and enjoy them guilt-free
  3. Listen to a podcast or chapter of an audiobook
  4. Make yourself a fancy drink
  5. Put a feel-good outfit on and pose for yourself in the mirror

Get Creative

  1. Doodle
  2. Sketch something
  3. Draw something without looking at the page
  4. Draw something without lifting your pen off the page
  5. Finger paint
  6. Lego print
  7. Do some rubbings with crayons
  8. Do some colouring in
  9. Start a sewing project
  10. Look at home décor inspiration
  11. Write a limerick

Soak Up Nature

  1. Listen to nature
  2. Sit under a tree
  3. People watch
  4. Cloud watch
  5. Star gaze
  6. Stand barefoot on some grass
  7. Take photos of nature
  8. Do some gardening
  9. Pick some flowers
  10. Take a nature walk, taking note of the beauty in nature around you

Get Physical

  1. Make a mini dance routine
  2. Create a mini indoor obstacle course
  3. Have a glow stick rave
  4. Do a quick outdoor workout
  5. Do a 15-minute yoga session 
  6. Do a quick circuit session
  7. Stretch

Get Playful

  1. Give laughter yoga a go
  2. Have a bubble wrap popping session
  3. Grab your kids’ slime or silly putty and play with it
  4. Corn flour gloop sensory session
  5. Make a pillow fort
  6. Play with clay or play dough
  7. Have a silly selfie photo shoot
  8. Have a bubble wand session
  9. Build something with Lego

Get Mindful

  1. Mindfully eat something
  2. Mindfully prepare some food
  3. Mindfully clean something
  4. Meditate
  5. Journal

Get Musical

  1. Have a mini karaoke session
  2. Create a playlist of guilty pleasure songs and listen to it
  3. Play some soothing music
  4. “Drum” along to a few songs of your choice

Use your Brain

  1. Do some puzzles 
  2. Do 15 mins of a jigsaw
  3. Play solitaire

Take Care of Your Emotions

  1. Write a rant letter – get your frustrations out
  2. Recite some affirmations
  3. Practice gratitude
  4. Free writing – pick up a pen and write non-stop for a few minutes with no aim in mind

Animal Therapy

  1. Cuddle your pet
  2. Play with your pet
  3. Teach your pet a new trick


Building self-care into your daily routine you can help to offset the challenges of mental load. It doesn’t need to take long or be very involved – just take the time to give your brain a break from the stress of everyday life. With these 65 ideas, all you need is 15 minutes…which one will you try first?

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Hi, I’m Lesley

I'm the blogger behind A Life Less Complicated. I’m passionate about simplifying busy lives and reducing your mental load. Keeping on top of modern life doesn’t have to be so hard - stick around to find out how!

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