Self care ideas for when you need to reflect, when you need to be energetic, creative, challenged, or when you simply need to rest.
What self-care is
At it’s most basic, self-care is caring for oneself.
It’s making sure that you’re caring for your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Which is actually quite hard to do.
Especially with increasing expectations (from others and ourselves) and demands on our time.
What self-care isn’t
Self-care is not a ‘set and forget’ type thing.
It also shouldn’t be a burden or something that you absolutely dread. Because that completely defeats the purpose of self-care and becomes yet another chore in an already busy life.
Self-care is also not selfish or egotistical. It’s nourishing and ensures that you can operate at your best – for yourself and for the important people in your life.
Why is self-care important?
The Oxford Dictionary defines self-care as:
“The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress”.
Really getting to know what self-care activities work for you is essential to your happiness and general well-being.
In addition, effective self-care practices can also help to:
- Reduce stress,
- Get to know yourself better,
- Be a more calm and relaxed person,
- Be more productive,
- Build confidence and self-esteem,
- Reduce overwhelm and anxiety and
- Enjoy living in the moment.
The benefits are plentiful!
The catch is to find something that resonates with you personally.
But what will recharge your batteries? What will meet your individual mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs?
Here are 72 self care ideas. They include a range of ideas for when you need to reflect, when you need to be energetic, creative, challenged, or when you just need to rest.
Hopefully you can find at least a few that will allow you to re-energize, increase your happiness and nourish your self-care needs:
- Bake a yummy cake
- Learn a new dance routine (Beyoncé anyone?)
- Sit and watch the entire sunrise
- Sit and watch the entire sunset
- Write a list of all your accomplishments to date (a reverse bucket list!)
- Write a bucket list of things you want to see and do, now and in the future
- Find a simple stretching/yoga sequence that you can fit into your daily schedule
- Download a great meditation app, and then actually do it! (I’m loving the free Insight Timer right now)
- Drink more water
- Make a simple green juice and infuse your body with goodness
- Pick up the phone and call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to for a while
- Clear up an ‘incomplete’ on your to do list
- Put on your favourite upbeat song
- Read a beautiful poem
- Question your beliefs about yourself
- Download a joke or funny app (I’m loving What The Forecast?!! Weather app)
- Try a new dinner recipe
- Change your screensaver to a photo you love that makes you smile
- Search out and read positive stories about others
- Make meditation a daily practice (even for 10 minutes!)
- Declutter an area of your home that’s really been irking you
- Have a social media freeze (if only for one day)
- Unfollow the ‘Debbie Downers’ in your social media feeds (if it gets you down)
- Unfollow the ‘Pollyannas’ in your social media feeds (if they have a negative effect on you)
- Write down 5 amazing things about you
- Arrange to have the house to yourself for a few hours
- Dry-brush your skin before your morning shower and then coat yourself in a delicious smelling moisturiser
- Splurge on some pyjamas in your favourite fabric
- Try a new exercise (Dance? Body Pump? HIIT? Build up to running 5km?)
- Get some sunlight on you
- Try a new hobby (rock-climbing, pole dancing, crocheting?)
- Swim at the beach
- Take a nap
- Cuddle an animal
- Get down on the floor and play undistracted with your children
- Take the time to really chat with an elderly person who might want to tell tales about their past
- Smile at a stranger
- Watch a comedy
- Watch some funny short videos (this one always works a treat: Human Hungry Hippos)
- Think about something small you could do to really help someone (other than those inside your home!)
- Take the time to really plan out your outfit and hairstyle for an upcoming event
- Ask for help when needed
- Paint your nails or if finances allow, get yourself a mani/pedi
- Check out some hair and makeup tutorials online to get some new ideas
- Think about what gifts you need to buy for upcoming events – take the time to really think about what the person would really appreciate. Then gift wrap it like a piece of art!
- Get out some blank paper and doodle away!
- Organize a pyjama movie party with your best girlfriends
- Read a new book
- Sit. Just sit
- Soak in a beautifully smelling bubble bath, with candles and the works!
- Go for a walk
- Get creative! Is there something you want to try/make/write/draw/design/create?
- Go to a coffee shop, alone
- Create a vision board
- Go on a picnic
- Sleep in
- Go to bed the same time as the kids!
- Plan something exciting. An upcoming party/trip etc
- Have a digital detox
- Watch a new tv series you’ve been meaning to check out
- Write a thank you note (and send it) – even if it’s for something from a long time ago
- Sit and do a craft activity with your kids or an elderly relative (it’s amazing the lovely conversations that get struck up!)
- Write 10 things that you’re grateful for right now
- Organize a date night
- Organize a date day with your partner – include a new fun activity to try together
- Get aware of your financial situation to avoid any underlying financial stress – work out your financial net worth and consider ways to improve
- Create some big stretch goals
- Consider some new habits or routines that will simplify your life
- Start saying no to things you really don’t want to do
- If you’re time poor, carve out time and make use of the fringe hours to work on your passions
- Create new family traditions that make your heart sing – special handshakes, codewords, funny songs, quirky family birthday traditions.
- Express your gratitude to others, it will make their day as well as yours!
What’s important is that your self-care activities work for you.
Are you in tune with what self-care ideas work for you? If so, let us know in the comments below!
Check out the following posts for more tips on simplifying, creating balance and chasing big goals: