Man on phone talking with friends

Six quick pick-me-ups

Life moves pretty fast sometimes. From the very first moment we wake up to the time our heads hit the pillow late at night, many of us live life at one hundred miles an hour. Today we are all time poor and have any number of things competing for our attention. It can be hard for us to etch out the time to practice some self-care. So here at SuicideLine Victoria we’ve given this some thought and come up with some five-minute holidays to keep you on an even keel during your hectic day.


“Even a small pick-me-up can change your whole day.”


Slow your breathing down

Five minutes can fly past in a flash, or it can slow down to a snail’s pace, depending on whatever it is you’re doing. If you find yourself feeling rushed, an easy and very effective activity you can do from almost anywhere at any time is to slow your breathing right down. Sometimes when we’re rushing around doing this and that, our breathing can become shallow and short without our knowledge. Breathing in this way makes our heartbeat rise and our minds rush. To counter this, its important to slow down for a few moments and concentrate on our breath.

Here’s what you do:

  • Close your eyes
  • Take one really, slow, long breath in
  • Hold that breath for three seconds
  • Then let the air leak out of your lungs as slowly as you can
  • Repeat for 5 minutes.

After five minutes of that kind of breathing you will be ready to jump back into the hustle and bustle of your hectic life with a fresh approach.

Breathing exercise

Reduce levels of stress and anxiety by following this simple breathing exercise.

Eat chocolate

Seriously, eat chocolate. Not all the chocolate in the chocolate aisle of the supermarket but one small square of dark chocolate a day. It not only tastes great but has a proven positive effect on mood. In 2009, Swiss researchers [1] found that if you ate a small square of dark chocolate every day for two weeks, it resulted in lowered stress levels and anxiety.

This is an awesome five-minute holiday!

Did you know?

Dark chocolate is also a powerful source of antioxidants.

Call a friend

When we’re busy so many things fall by the wayside that we put in the ‘I’ll do that tomorrow basket.’ One of those things that we typically put there is calling our friends. Day and weeks can fly on by without us talking to some of our closest friends. What better pick-me-up is there then having a chat to one of your closest pals. So, pick up the phone and dial!


Hit the road

It’s not uncommon for many of us to spend the majority of our days stuck indoors. We might be sitting at a desk, or in a café or shop. Being in one environment for a long period of time can play a massive part in wearing us down. Being in a workplace is unavoidable. That doesn’t mean that throughout the course of your day you can’t carve out five minutes just for yourself to recharge your batteries. A nice and easy way to do that is to grab your headphones, put on your favourite song and go for a walk around the block. If it’s sunny out, by the time you come back to work you’ll feel like a whole new person.


Have a laugh

You’ve probably heard somebody say ‘there’s no better medicine than laughter’ at one point or another. While that might be a stretch, especially with modern life-saving medicine, having a good laugh, especially if you share that laugh with somebody, can change the direction of your entire day. So, if the day is getting the better of you just allow yourself to jump on YouTube, find a hilarious video and spend the next five minutes cackling to yourself. Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it can come pretty close.


Which organs does laughter directly effect?


Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.

An act of kindness

No matter what’s happened in your day or at what point in life you’re at, there is always somebody out there who is doing it tougher than you. Reach out to that friend, family member or work colleague and check in on them. It might a simple gesture like sending them some flowers, offering to help them out with something or even just sending a text message to see how they’re coping. It doesn’t have to be a big, grand gesture, but if you can make somebody’s else’s day a little better, you never know. It just might make your day better too.


If you or someone you know is struggling and want to speak to a professional counsellor, SuicideLine Victoria is available 24/7.

You can call us on 1300 651 251 or register for online counselling.



[1] Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects. Journal of Proteome Research, 2009; 091007113151065 DOI: 10.1021/pr900607v