How often do you feel tired? Stressed? Low energy or un-inspired? Though there are many lifestyle and mindset factors that play into each of these feelings or experiences, there’s often one key thing that’s missing from the equation: self-care.
Self-care is any activity that contributes to your overall physical and mental health by offering relaxation, detoxification, inspiration, or increased connection to yourself and your loved ones.
Regularly practicing self-care activities is hugely important for maintaining your overall physical and mental well-being. Though it’s not always consciously intended as “self-care,” making time for activities you enjoy helps to create a fulfilling life in which you are better able to cope with any stress, overwhelm or sadness that may come up.
Certain times of your life may necessitate more emphasis on self-care to stay in balance, but in general we recommend aiming for at least 15 minutes of intentional self-care activities each day. That could be 15 minutes of yoga before work, an episode or two of your favorite TV show in the evening, or a special nightly beauty routine before bed. Your idea of self-care could even include a long run every weekend or a spa day each month—those are great options too, though we still recommend a small effort of self-care each day as well.
Don’t feel that there are specific things you need to do to relax or rejuvenate—it can totally vary by person, and self-care is only effective if it’s something you personally enjoy and find fulfilling. So, if you don’t like yoga or you don’t find it relaxing to sit still and meditate—no problem! Maybe going for a run or taking a boxing class is more your style.
Check out the list below for ideas that may work for you. This list is by no means exhaustive, so go ahead and incorporate other self-care activities if you prefer!
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
SELF-CARE ACTIVITY IDEAS
Here are a range of ideas for self-care activities you may enjoy—take a look, try out a new option, and see what feels good to you!
- Listen to a guided meditation from an app like Headspace
- Attend a yoga class
- Follow a guided yoga practice from an app like Daily Yoga or Down Dog
- Listen to a relaxing Spotify playlist
- Plant and take care of a garden (or houseplants!)
- Take a nap
- Spend time crafting: knitting, crochet, embroidery, etc.
- Burn a (naturally-scented!) candle
- Clean your home
- Get a massage
- Go to bed early or sleep in
- Sit on your porch, stoop, patio, or a bench in the park… and just be still and enjoy your surroundings
- Switch all of your devices to airplane mode and unplug for one hour
- Play with your pet
- Hug someone you love
- Go for a walk or run
- Enjoy a hot cup of tea
- Sit in “legs up the wall” pose for 5-20 minutes
- Try an alternative therapy like acupuncture or chiropractic
- Create (or add to) a Pinterest vision board
- Read a good book
- Read an inspiring blog on a topic of interest
- Listen to your favorite feel-good music and have a dance party
- Watch a funny movie
- Go to the park and play on the playground—be a kid again!
- De-clutter a space in your home
- Look through your favorite cookbooks or food blogs and plan out an amazing menu for the week
- Cook and enjoy a fancy meal
- Have a picnic in a beautiful park
- Go to a museum
- Enjoy some quality in-store or online shopping
- Write in your gratitude journal
- Write down compliments you’ve been told and things you love about yourself
- Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about
- Spend time with a mentor who inspires you
- Practice creative writing
- Enjoy your favorite comfort food
- Paint or draw something
- Play a game you enjoy
- Go on a walk around your neighborhood and take pictures of things that intrigue or inspire you
- Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and catch up
BEAUTY & PERSONAL CARE
- Paint your nails (non-toxic nail polish, of course!)
- Give yourself a facial
- Dry brush
- Take a detoxing bath with Epsom salts
- Floss your teeth
- Use a cleansing mouthwash
- Use a tongue-scraper
- Lotion your skin
- Roll out sore muscles with a foam roller
- Go through your personal care products and switch them out for non-toxic alternatives