We've all experienced those busy, non-stop work days where things are completely overwhelming. You barely have enough time to do all the tasks on your list, let alone take care of yourself.
While self-care may be the last thing on your mind during these times, it's important to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy in order to perform your best. Fortunately, self-care doesn't have to take up too much of your time.
Even if you have just five minutes in your day, try these eight tried-and-true wellness activities recommended by successful entrepreneurs.
Make a checklist.
For many people, those feelings of overwhelm creep in when they are unorganized and feel like everything is piling up at once. That's why Syed Balkhi, co-founder of WPBeginner, says it helps to create a checklist and to organize what you have to do.
"You can then prioritize your tasks and cross them off," Balkhi adds. "Creating a checklist can make a mountain of work seem manageable and can reduce your stress levels."
According to Colbey Pfund, co-founder of HUGS Wellness, you truly only need five minutes to reap the benefits of a quick meditation session.
"Close the door to your office, turn off all devices, close your eyes and focus on your breathing," says Pfund. "Meditation has transformed my life. In those overwhelming moments, I take five minutes for myself and feel completely refreshed afterward."
Listen to your favorite music.
Music has a way of lifting your mood, even when you're at your most stressed. Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms, recommends playing music that makes you feel calm, relaxed and free of worries.
"You can create a separate playlist to house this music for those moments when you need a breather so it doesn't take long to find," Wells explains. "Music is one of the easiest ways to help me get outside of my head and concentrate on more positive things."
Do breathing exercises.
We're all breathing constantly, but when was the last time you stopped to actually pay attention to your breath? Alfredo Atanacio, co-founder of Uassist.ME, advises taking five minutes to do breathing exercises.
"You shut out the world for a while and you focus on your breathing, closing your eyes and counting to 10," Atanacio says. "Personally this helps me recharge my energy and face the rest of my day in a calmer and more focused way."
Send gratitude to someone you love.
While getting into lotus pose at work and meditating sounds nice, just stepping out to send a nice message to someone you care about can also take your attention away from your own stress, says Matt Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Under30Experiences.
"Telling a friend you are grateful for them is nice for them, but it is also scientifically proven to bring physiological change to you," Wilson adds. "Make this a habit and destress your life."
Get some fresh air.
When Kristin Kimberly Marquet, founder of Marquet Media, LLC, is feeling overwhelmed at work, she takes a step outside to get a breath of fresh air and calm down.
"It's a great way to clear my head without taking a lot of time from my day," says Marquet.
Enjoy a hot beverage.
Like many of the activities on this list, taking the time to savor a cup of hot coffee or tea is all about mindfulness. It's about taking yourself out of the busy workday and sitting still in the present moment. This is what Jared Weitz, CEO of United Capital Source Inc., does when he's feeling overwhelmed.
"Instead of guzzling my tea down before heading into my next meeting or task, I sit quietly and drink the tea without any other demands," Weitz says. "I remove all the multitasking and distractions to focus on one simple task: drinking a beverage. It slows the mind and gives me just the right amount of calm before heading back to focus on work tasks."
Remind yourself of what motivates you.
When you're facing constant demands on your time and attention, it's easy to lose sight of your bigger goals and motivations. Chris Madden, co-founder of Matchnode, likes to take time to think about why he does the work in the first place.
"I think about my family and my employees," Madden says. "I consider the real difference the business makes to their lives. It takes only a few minutes and afterward I feel reinvigorated."