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Looking for some new ideas for practicing self-care? Here are 100 self-care ideas that are sure to boost your mood and leave you feeling refreshed.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is defined as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress”.
In simple terms, self-care is exactly what it sounds like. Taking care of yourself – mentally, emotionally, physically.
For many of us, self-care has become less of a natural practice with the hustle and bustle of today’s busy society.
This doesn’t mean it should not be a priority – it means you may need to be more intentional about practicing self-care.
Making time for self-care is not only a healthy practice, but it is essential. Here’s why.
Why We Need Self-Care
Self-care is essential.
When we hear the term “self-care” many of us picture bubble baths and face masks. While this is one form of self-care, it is so much more than that too.
Self-care is getting enough rest. It is feeding yourself nourishing foods. It is tending to your mind and your mental health.
Without self-care, we cannot function properly.
We tend to put emphasis and focus on the external things in our lives – work, relationships, money, material things, etc. but when we don’t take proper time for ourselves, the other areas of our lives pay the price too.
Self-care is not selfish, it is essential.
The 6 Types of Self-Care
When looking at self-care as a whole, it can be roughly divided into 6 main categories:
- Emotional: Tending to or expressing your feelings and emotions.
- Mental: Working your brain through mind-focused activities.
- Physical: Tending to your body or external/physical being.
- Social: Activities related to your connections and relationships.
- Practical: Caring for yourself in practical, everyday ways.
- Spiritual: Tuning into and fostering your spiritual connection.
100 Refreshing Self-Care Ideas
Whether you’re looking for at-home self-care ideas, free self-care ideas, relaxing self-care ideas, or fun and adventurous self-care ideas, this list is bound to have some activities for you!
- Go for a walk
- Take yourself out for coffee
- Cuddle with a pet
- Have an at-home movie night
- Listen to an uplifting podcast
- Bake your favorite dessert
- Take a relaxing self-care bath or self-care shower
- Have a solo dance party
- Create a vision board
- Do a puzzle
- Create art
- Make friendship bracelets
- Call a friend
- Write a letter to a loved one
- Paint your nails
- Have an at-home spa night
- Do a face mask
- Buy yourself flowers
- Start a new hobby
- Enjoy your favorite snack
- Go for a drive
- Do some yoga
- Turn your phone off
- Take some deep breaths in nature
- Take a nap
- Wear your comfiest clothes
- Read an inspiring book
- Read a for-fun fiction book
- Binge-watch a TV show
- Order takeout
- Make a to-do list for the week
- Set some new goals for yourself
- Play a game
- Look through old photos and reminisce
- Write a letter of encouragement to yourself
- Tidy up your space
- Practice grounding techniques
- Visit a park
- Watch a TED Talk
- Make a fun bucket list
- Go secondhand book shopping
- Visit the library
- Make a fort
- Watch the sunrise/sunset
- Savor a good cup of coffee
- Get a massage
- Send a ‘thinking of you’ text to someone you love
- Visit a museum or art gallery
- Get dressed in something that makes you feel confident
- Do your hair and/or makeup
- Change your sheets
- Tackle a household chore you’ve been putting off
- Give a compliment
- Make someone smile
- Watch cute dog videos online
- Clean out your social media
- Brain dump anything on your mind into a journal
- Buy yourself a gift you’ve been wanting
- Educate yourself on something you’re curious about
- Light your favorite candle
- Plan a dream getaway/vacation
- List 10 things you are grateful for
- Write down 5 things you love about yourself
- Write down 5 things you love about life
- Stock up on fresh, nourishing groceries
- FaceTime a friend or family member
- Make a homemade dinner
- Take yourself out for ice cream
- Rewatch a comfort movie or TV show
- Hug somebody
- Drink water
- Give a gift to a loved one just because
- Take photos of things you love
- Lay in the sunshine
- Read uplifting quotes
- Go to therapy (TRY TALKSPACE HERE)
- Learn to sew, knit, or crochet
- Organize your desk/workspace
- Take a trip to your favorite store
- Read poetry (SEE MY FAVORITE POETRY BOOKS HERE)
- Volunteer or donate to a cause you support
- Listen to an Audiobook
- Get cozy in a blanket
- Play a sport you enjoy
- Allow yourself to sleep in
- Make a DIY self-care kit
- Join a book club
- Speak kindly to yourself
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How to Get Started with Self-Care
Beginning a consistent and sustainable self-care practice is one of the best things you can do for your health, mindset, productivity, and overall well-being.
Here are 5 tips for getting started with a self-care routine:
- Discover What YOU Love: If you don’t love the aesthetic, stereotypical ideas of self-care you see online, then don’t do them! There is no one “right” way to practice self-care. Discover what you love and what makes you feel good – then do that.
- Make Yourself a Priority: Just as you’d prioritize showing up for an important meeting or a friend’s birthday party, start to prioritize showing up for yourself. Don’t expect self-care to naturally happen. Make it happen.
- Plan It Out: Getting a self-care planner is the best thing I ever did for my self-care practice. Setting aside specific times for self-care makes it way easier to actually make happen. Make it a plan. Write it down. Follow through.
- Something Is Better Than Nothing: A quick 5-minute self-care activity is better than nothing. You don’t have to spend hours on self-care. Something small and simple is better than nothing.
- Tune In to Yourself: Your needs will look different every single day. Tune into your mind and body to decide what you need at that moment. Maybe you need a workout, but maybe you need rest. Maybe you need some social interaction or maybe you need some self-care alone time. Your needs will change constantly. Learn how to identify and honor them.
A Note on Self-Care
Remember that self-care doesn’t always look glamorous. Sometimes self-care is just pulling yourself out of bed to take a shower or brush your teeth. Sometimes it’s sleeping until noon or allowing yourself time to cry.
Self-care doesn’t have to be face masks and expensive spa days.
At it’s core, self-care is caring for yourself in whatever form YOU need. You deserve to be cared for and have your needs met.
Self-care is not a luxury, self-care is a necessity.
Never forget that self-care is your right at all times. You are not selfish for taking time to care for yourself. You never need to make excuses or apologies for that.
Take good care of yourself. You deserve it.