Self care seems like an impossible idea for many people to even consider. When they add up all the things they have to do at home, plus at work, not to mention scheduling things with family and friends, self care just doesn’t fit into the picture.

Part of the reason it gets tossed out the window is because there’s an all or nothing way of looking at the time you have or the energy that it takes to practice self care. You might assume that it means something like jetting off for an island getaway or relaxing by the pool for an entire afternoon.

When you think about it like that, if you have a packed schedule already, you dismiss the idea of self care needlessly. But the time it takes to make sure you get taken care of doesn’t have to take all day, half a day or even a full hour.

A simple five minute pause to enjoy something funny – to have a good laugh – can work wonders for you mentally and physically. Just taking the time to sit quietly and simply be in the moment can also count as good way to initiate self care.

So if all it takes is five minutes, then why aren’t more people doing it? Because self care is a matter of priorities. Everyone tells themselves that they’re so busy they don’t have time to take a walk, sit by the fireplace, or enjoy a drink with a friend.

They don’t have time to read, to sit on the porch, to laugh, to take a walk – and the list could go on and on. But look at your life. Check out all the things that you did make time for.

That coworker who talked your ear off. The neighbor who stopped to chat as you checked the mail. There are dozens upon dozens of five minute intervals sprinkled throughout your day.

They’re just all consumed by other things or other people and none of that matters more than making sure you get taken care of. Without you taking care of yourself, you end up stressed, overworked, mentally exhausted.

But that short time that you take to recharge yourself can change the course of your day. It can make you feel relaxed. It can ease that tension between your shoulders. It can make you feel happier and even more energetic.

You don’t need a lot of time – but you gain a lot in return. Just choose your priorities and make sure you’re one of them. Learn how to say no or end conversations with attention vampires who leech off of you.