53 Simple Self Care Ideas For the Mind, Body, and Spirit
Self-care is not just about bath bombs and ice cream. It is way more than that!
In fact, when I find myself crying, burnt out, and feeling lonely, I pour myself a goblet of wine and make a charcuterie board and post it on Instagram. I always feel so amazing afterward.
Okay, let me stop playing with you! That is definitely not what I do to practice self-care but it seems like it should be something I should do by the looks of self-care on social media.
Self-care seems to be all the rage lately, but what exactly is self-care? If we look to the media self-care is all about bath bombs, getting manicures and pedicures, going shopping, or buying your favorite ice cream.
Sure all of those things are great but self-care is so much more than that!
Self-care is exactly what it says, taking care of one’s self.
What Self Care Is (Definition of Self Care)
Self-care is all about making yourself feel great in ways that:
- Are familiar
- Help you to discover yourself
- Help you to find your triggers and how to overcome them
- Allow you to change your outlook on life when you’re down in the dumps.
Self-care are those little actions, those little mantras or quotes, taking time out of your busy life to be your own doctor.
It’s about checking in on yourself and seeing how you are doing, what you need to work on, and how you can be better.
Self-care is all about doing what makes you feel happy and important.
A loose definition of self-care is taking action to preserve one’s own mental, emotional, and physical well being especially during periods of stress.
Self-care is what you practice for times when you are down in the dumps or need something to motivate you.
It is your own personal bag of tricks that you know will get you out of a funky depressed mood and get you into the right headspace so you can be where you want to be or need to be.
My Top Secret Self Care Tips
for When You’re Stressed AF
Get the Self Care In 15 Minutes Guide for FREE so you can take care of yourself & stop the overwhelm!
What Self Care Isn’t
Self-care is extremely important when done right and for the right reasons.
What I mean by this is that the media portrays self-care as something trivial like let’s use an example of ice cream.
Sure getting ice cream is great but if you are like me and not that fond of ice cream, going to get ice cream isn’t going to make you feel better or get you over your hump.
Plus, getting ice cream isn’t the best for your health. If you tend to feel down a lot and ice cream cheers you up, you may overindulge.
Media also portrays self-care as using a bath bomb to take a bath. Well, that’s all fine and dandy if you have the time to take a bath. I, on the other hand, have 3 young ones and 2 dogs and I am a work at home mom.
We only have one bathroom, so getting 5 minutes alone in the bathroom is pretty much never happening!
Now, don’t get me wrong getting ice cream and using a bath bomb could be something that gets you in the right space. It could be something that allows you to focus on what’s really bothering you and to make a plan to fix it, or to let it go because it can’t be fixed.
But you see what matters most is knowing what it is that allows you to think things through, to relax.
Self-care is all about the setting or action that allows you to be with yourself and figure out what in the heck is bothering you and why.
Once you figure out the space that allows you to get into deep thought or makes you feel so comfortable that you can just be yourself, then you have truly found your self-care.
How Do I Know What Self Care Means To Me?
You will know what self-care means to you when you practice it.
I wish there was a short, sweet, answer and I can tell you that you need to do exactly this to feel better, but I can’t. Since we are all different, self-care is going to be different for you and for me.
What may work for you, may not work for me.
To get started with figuring out what self-care means to you, you could see a therapist, see a doctor or start with the basics.
Ask yourself some questions like:
- What do I like to do the most that relaxes me?
- What am I doing when I feel the most energy and full of life?
- When does my life have a purpose?
- What people am I around when I feel the happiest and lost in the moment?
Answering those questions will help you come up with a few ideas to put into your self-care routine.
How Do I know That I am Practicing Self Care Correctly?
When you feel down, hurt, empty, lost, depressed, anxious, abandoned, annoyed, angry, or just like a piece of crap left on the street for people to step all over, you know exactly
- where you need to go
- what you need to do
- who you need to be around
to pick yourself back up and get back to peace of mind.
If you know what things or people help you to get into a positive and motivated mindset again, then know that you are practicing self-care correctly.
Being overwhelmed and depressed is nothing to be ashamed of. We have all been there before!
I suffer from bipolar disorder.
Let me tell you when my hypomania is over and I start to experience depression is when self-care kicks in for me.
I learned various ways to help pull myself out of the darkness.
Most importantly I learned what triggers my depression so that I can combat it with the proper self-care techniques.
I wish I could tell you that you only need one self-care technique.
Truly, you may need 7, 10, 15, or even 50 depending on who you are.
I wish I could tell you that self-care is all you will ever need to get you out of the dumps, but you may need to talk to a therapist and/or visit a psychiatrist.
But, I can tell you that having your own arsenal of self-care activities on top of everything else you have going on can and will help when you find out in your times of need.
Why is Self Care Important?
First off, self-care is not selfishness. It is something that needs to be done to make sure you are ok. If you are not ok then you can’t be there for others. But before we get into everything let me ask you a few questions.
Do you always forget to take care of yourself?
Are you always doing for others and leaving yourself last?
Do you tend to feel unappreciated?
If, so these are signs that you need to take better care of yourself!
I know, I know, life gets in the way all the time! Which means you end up doing so much that the next thing you know you are crying feeling like dog poop wondering where did life go wrong?
I can tell you where it went wrong.
Between taking care of things at work, your family, friends, school, you forgot about you and your needs.
You forgot to do something to make yourself happy. So now the consequence is you sitting there doing nothing feeling sad, lonely, and depressed.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not passing judgment on you because guess what, I DO THE SAME THING!
You would think I would know by now to take care of myself, but I always come up with excuses as to why I can’t. Such as I don’t have time. (This line seems to be my favorite excuse and my go to.)
I have 3 kids, a husband, I work part-time, and I am starting a business! So time is precious!
But, I am learning what matters most, MYSELF!
I need to start prioritizing myself first even if it is just for 5 minutes a day. You too, need to do the same. If not, you will find yourself feeling drained, alone, needing a break from your demanding schedule more often than not.
Also, you will look to others to make you feel important, loved, and cared for, when you should be looking to your own bag of tricks to make you feel this way and more.
If you felt what I was saying in your soul, then you need this list of self-care ideas for the mind body and spirit. These 53 self-care ideas will help you attain bliss.
So, let’s make a pact?!
The pact is that we will take at least 5 minutes out of each day to do what we want so that our moods stay positive and we can experience bliss.
My Top Secret Self Care Tips
for When You’re Stressed AF
Get the Self Care In 15 Minutes Guide for FREE so you can take care of yourself & stop the overwhelm!
How to Start a Self Care Routine
To get you started in your own self-care routine, here is a list of self-care activities for your mind, body, and spirit.
This is an introduction to help you figure out what may work and what doesn’t work. Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of every self-care tip out there known to mankind.
This is just a list of some that I use and some that my friends and family use as well.
Can you guess what two are on the list?
If you guessed bath bombs and ice cream, you are right! See, I told you I was only using them as an example and not making fun of them.
Now, let’s jump into 53 ways to practice self-care and feel more energized.
Self Care Ideas for the Mind, Body, and Spirit
Self Care Ideas For the Mind
1. Read a book
Have you ever tried reading a book for pleasure?
I know it may be a silly question for some of you bookworms, but considering the fact that I have met people who have said, “I can’t stand to read”, yet, they never sat down and read something that’ll interest them.
They read books because they were assigned to them, but not books that will pique their interest. To me, reading a book that interests you makes a world’s difference. Reading is amazing!
It can take you back into time or the future.
It can take you to far away or imaginary lands.
It can put you in the middle of a war or famine.
It can teach you how to eat, meditate, pray, or how the endocrine systems works.
The topics around books are endless.
Reading a book can take you away from your immediate problems or it can teach you how to deal with them in a positive manner.
I challenge you today to read a book on a topic that truly interests you.
Not a book that someone recommends or tells you should read. Actually, go to a bookstore or library, and take a look around.
Read the synopsis so that you can see whether it will be something you like.
Take a look at the cover and see if it draws you in, or speaks to you.
Once you find your book, take it home and make time to read it. Reading a book is very therapeutic and can take away all of your negative energy away.
“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
2. Have a mini date
It astonishes me how many people are afraid to be alone.
I am not talking about alone as in never having a significant other and turning into a cat lady.
Instead, I am talking about being able to be in a room by yourself.
I am talking about going to the movies by yourself.
I am talking about going to eat by yourself.
Sometimes you need to get out of the house to ease your mind. Sometimes, your friends, spouse, or family is not going to always be able to go with you.
Usually, if you can’t go with anyone, you stay in the house and wallow in self-pity. Having no one to do with you should not be a reason to stay in the house when your mind needs to let go of the negativity.
Why not go out by yourself and enjoy the same things?
I mean at the end of the day the one person you spend the most time with is yourself. So why not treat yourself to a mini date of something that you enjoy.
Take yourself out and tell yourself how handsome or beautiful you are, how smart you are, how that souffle you baked was amazing.
You are amazing!
You should be treated that same way by others but most importantly by yourself.
“Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” — Charles H. Spurgeon
Be VIP for FREE!
3. Journal to release thoughts
There’s something to putting your thoughts on paper. Just actually seeing it does something.
It allows you to actually know exactly what is going on and why.
When you end up writing down your thoughts it helps you to sort them out.
Journaling improves mental clarity and allows you to focus.
Journaling helps to keep you accountable.
Journaling helps you to connect more with your values and goals. Writing down what you want to achieve makes it more likely for you to accomplish it.
When you write down what you want to accomplish or how you felt in the past, you can go back and read where you were at and compare to where you are now.
You can read your past problems and realize that most of the time your problems were a bit trivial.
“Your Journal is like your best friend, You don’t have to pretend with it, you can be honest and write exactly how you feel”
― Bukola Ogunwale
4. Practice gratitude
In this world where we love everything at convenience, we end up taking things for granted.
With the increase of social media, we see people in loving, amazing, relationships, eating the best foods, going on the best vacations, having amazing cars and houses, having the best families, etc.
When we are constantly bombarded with those images, we become jealous and envy them.
We look at our lives and compare how amazing their lives are to our boring, mundane, and dysfunctional life and become depressed.
We wish we could have just a little part of their lives.
We wish that we could be that perfect all the time.
The thing is we don’t think about the parts that they don’t show us.
Instead, we believe everything they put in front of us has to be real.
Therefore, is we always want more, more, and more. We want what they have and believe we deserve it.
All of these negative feelings could be gone if we looked around and showed gratitude for what we do have.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
5. Go on vacation
I know that going on a vacation is nearly impossible for some of us, I included. But, that doesn’t take away the fact that going on a vacation is a perfect way to practice self-care.
On vacation you do exactly that, you vacate.
You leave all of your problems behind so that you can immerse all of your senses into creating amazing memories.
Going on vacation allows you to see how little your problems actually are and matter in this vast world.
It gives you a mental break where you can fully relax and not worry about what you left behind.
That work assignment that is a pain, forget about it!
“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.” – Earl Wilson
6. Make an effort to look good so you feel good
I know this may seem silly but I promise you it’s not.
Do you remember that last time that you really got dressed?
Like did your hair, put on your favorite outfit and shoes?
I bet you walked out the door feeling so confident and ready to take on the world, right?
So why not try looking your best when you feel down? I bet it helps. Just give it a try.
When you feel good, you look good. And vice versa: When you look good, you feel good. -Christie Brinkley
7. Help someone in need
You ever hear the saying that if you want to feel good, do good!
There really is something to that then it just being a saying.
Helping someone in need allows you to make a connection which in turn creates a happier society.
Giving to someone whether it be money, your time, or an idea makes you feel good because it allows you to show empathy and experience which is called the helper’s high.
Helper’s high is when your brain releases feel-good chemicals that make you want to do more good deeds.
If you want to feel good, you have to go out and do some good. -Oprah Winfrey
8. Try a new routine
You ever get asked, “How’s everything?”, and you reply, “Same as always”. (Seriously this is my life! Especially with littles.)
The days seem to always be the same when you do the same thing, the same way every day.
Your life becomes predictable and you become bored. So why not switch things up a bit?
By not changing your routine or trying new things, you are limiting your choices!
Plus, you can change your routine by doing simple things like, driving a different way to work, starting a new hobby, working out a different gym or at a different time of day.
You can try something you haven’t tried for a meal before, read a book, or do a puzzle before bed.
By making tiny switches here and there it will add a bit of excitement which gives you something to look forward to.
Then maybe the next time when you are asked, “How’s everything?”, you will have a different answer to give.
If I feel like things are getting into a routine, I want them to be different. I need to keep improving and keep moving forward. -Joe Bonamassa
9. Schedule “Me” Time
When you have a demanding job and/or a family, it can be pretty hard to make time for you.
Which is why you will need to make it priority and schedule time for yourself.
Scheduling “me” time is not selfish at all. It is much needed and needs to be a priority on your list.
Me time can be anything that you like to do that does not harm you in any way. It could be napping, reading a book, watching tv, going to get a haircut, shopping, taking a bath, journaling, paint, volunteering at a local shelter, etc.
It is time that you get to spend by yourself to do exactly what you want to do.
It gives you time to relax and take a break from everything that you are called to do and to be.
It allows you a time to be yourself and reconnects with you and what you love.
“We need solitude because when we’re alone, we’re free from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.”
― Tamim Ansary, West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story
10. Reward Yourself
The thing about life is that we don’t celebrate the good times enough. But we do the exact opposite when things go wrong.
When something goes bad we make sure to tell ourselves how much we suck or how we can never get anything right.
We should take the same energy we use when things are negative and do the same when things are good!
For example, did you get to work on time today? If so, give yourself a pat on the back!
Did you eat healthy today? If so, give yourself a pat on the back!
Did you not cuss anyone out today? If so, give yourself a huge round of applause! (By the way, cussing someone out in your head doesn’t count)
Honestly, when you do well, no matter how big or small it is, congratulate yourself and reward yourself appropriately.
Sometimes it’s okay to give yourself a pat on the back and say, ‘That was cool. That made me feel good.’ Sebastian Stan
Accumulating things over the years, keeps you stagnant and stuck.
Decluttering allows you to get rid of stuff you no longer love and no longer bring you joy.
Getting rid of stuff allows you to feel relief and lightness and allows your mind to feel free.
Having a lot of stuff takes a toll on your mind.
The more we own, the more we have to maintain. Things break, things need to be cleaned, and things need a place in your house. Getting rid of clutter frees your mind and puts it at ease.
When your home is free from clutter, you no longer think of all the things you need to do when you get home.
Decluttering takes a lot of responsibility off your plate. You get more time to do what you want because you no longer have to spend the weekend catching up on cleaning or putting things away.
Instead, your home is organized and functional.
“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”
― Joshua Becker
12. Listen to Your Favorite Podcast
There are a lot of podcasts out there.
You can listen to inspirational and motivational podcasts, news, music, marketing, real estate, murder, cults, witchcraft, storytelling, religious, whatever you want to hear about, I am pretty sure there is a podcast out there for you.
Listening to podcasts when you need something uplifting is a great idea!
I personally enjoy listening to ones that make me laugh. It takes so much weight off my shoulders when I laugh. Podcasts are great for that.
No matter what you are feeling you can find podcasts that resonate with you and uplift you. Listening to a podcast is like being with friends except you don’t feel the need to participate in the conversation.
You get to sit back relax and still feel great afterward.
You get to be entertained for free! T
he great thing about them is that if you have chores, homework, or some task that you don’t want to do you can listen to a podcast to make it feel as if your task is going by fast.
You can learn about anything you want, when you want, whenever you want.
“Listening to a podcast, reading a book, listening to an audiobook and watching films isn’t a waste of time. It’s how somebody becomes wise!”
― Deyth Banger
Be VIP for FREE!
13. Hang out with a friend
As we get older, I notice that we tend to pull back from relationships that keep us grounded and happy.
We get consumed with raising our families, working, and being someone who “we should be”, that we tend to forget about who we really are.
This conflicts with our notion of happiness. We get so caught up with what the world taught us to be that we forget who we really are, and what makes us happy in the first place.
When this occurs, we create an imbalance in our lives and a struggle in our conscious.
We begin to fight within ourselves because we are being pulled in two different ways when all we want to do is to be happy.
One of the best ways to go about being yourself again and fulfilling that need is to make time to hang out with a friend. Not just any friend, but a friend that has known you for a while and knows the depth of you.
They know your past and what’s going on now.
They know who you are and will make you feel comfortable to let your guard down so you can just be yourself.
Being with a friend like that allows you to be in a space where you can let go, relax, be yourself, and not have to worry about being judged or having the false impressions that people press upon you.
Being with friends allows you to be free.
You can vent, shout, yell, cuss, whatever you need so that you can mentally pick yourself and feel connected to your true self.
“True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.”
– David Tyson
14. Watch your favorite show or movie
Yes, this is a time when you can binge watch your favorite show on Amazon Fire or Netflix, and no one can give you crap about it!
Watching your favorite show or movie can make you laugh and put you in a joyous mood.
Hello Grace and Frankie, anyone? (That show is hilarious and puts me in a great mood every time).
To relax, I love sitting back and turning my brain off and watching TV. Aja Naomi King
15. Call a friend
For some reason, we believe that that we have to be sad all by ourselves. We won’t reach out to our friends or family for help.
I am not certain why this is.
Maybe we like to keep a facade that everything is perfect or we don’t want to bear our burdens on someone else, or maybe we were taught to deal with everything by ourselves.
In my family, I was always told to pray about it and not concern anyone else with how I am feeling.
I am not saying that those concepts are wrong but reaching out and letting someone know how you’re feeling and getting it off your chest helps a lot.
You may just need a friend to listen or you may want someone to help you figure out solutions.
Remember two heads are better than one. Give calling a friend a try and I bet you will feel better getting it off your chest at least.
“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.” — Jim Morrison
16. Spend time with family
Getting up and out of the house and around people is always a great idea!
It may be hard if all you want to do is avoid your problems, lay in bed, and sleep the days away, (believe me, I’ve been there and still struggle), but once you get around people, their emotions tend to rub off on you.
Next thing you know you will be giggling and contributing to the conversation as well.
Plus, it’s your family so who else better to be around and be yourself completely.
“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there” -Barbara Bush
17. Learn a New Skill
Okay, okay, hear me out, learning a new skill sounds like a really dumb thing to do because it’ll be one more thing on your list for you to worry about. But the thing is that with learning a new skill, it has to be something you always wanted to do!
Do not pick something that you wanted to do because you saw someone else do it or someone else told you to do.
Make sure it is a new skill that you have a passion for.
That way when this will make it the perfect self-care activity for when you feel down or need to lift your spirits.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” – Zig Ziglar
18. Cut the Cord
Remember growing up and your teacher told you that you needed to learn how to do math because you will never carry a calculator with you everywhere? Well, boy, they were oh so wrong!
Not only is your phone a calculator, but it is also a lifeline to everything around you!
It carries your calendar, bank information, social security number, credit cards, bills, health information, contacts, social media accounts, EVERYTHING!!
This little electronic has so much power and it has so much power over us!
Which is why we all need to take a break from our phones and disconnect from the digital world.
Cutting the cord allows us to not feel the pressure that our phones put on us.
We will not worry about getting likes, about people calling or texting us, emails will be gone, and so will some of our worries for this short digital-free vacation.
Don’t believe me, I bet you will after you try it for a while.
“The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other. ” –JR
19. Watch the sunrise or sunset
Watching the sunrise or the sunset each day is the perfect self-care activity that you can do to help yourself distress.
Sitting and watching the beauty that happens naturally, is the perfect time to unwind, and center your mind.
It’s the perfect time to be.
It allows for your everyday stressors to melt away and a chance to realize that all of the problems that you are feeling may not really be as troubling.
Watching the sunrise or sunset is the perfect self-care activity because it reminds you of how small you really are in this vast world. Which in turn, makes your problems seem minuscule.
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
― Jo Walton
20. Use your imagination
As we got older, for some reason, we believe that we shouldn’t use our imagination.
I don’t know why that is because using your imagination is a perfect self-care idea.
Imagining what you want out of life, not just sitting there and thinking about it, but truly using our imagination to envision the smells, the feelings, who will be there, the interior of the place, what you will say, etc., when you reach your goal, will help to motivate you more.
Imagining gives you a sense of realness and optimism.
It makes you feel that your goal is attainable.
Anytime you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take some time out of your day and use your imagination. This will help you to feel much better.
“Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” — Stephen Covey
21. Vision Board
Creating a vision board is a simple self-care activity that leads to self-reliance easily.
A vision board creates a gateway to the life we want to have by not only using our imagination but also envisioning it.
Creating a vision board helps you to plan and take time out for your goals and what you know you can achieve.
It is a gateway to show that your future can be and will be brighter.
It gives you hope, belief, and affirmation, that you are worth planning and thinking about in a positive way.
“Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
22. Set goals
Many times when we are down or overwhelmed, is because we envision our lives to be better than what it is.
We don’t want to go through the same actions of waking up, going to a boring job, getting home, eating, sleeping, and then doing it all over again day after day after day.
We know that there has to be more to life.
A perfect way to uplift yourself from your worries, stress, and mundane life, is to set goals.
Write down what you will like to accomplish and why.
Set up S.M.A.R.T goals, and keep them somewhere where you will be reminded of them daily.
Setting goals give you hope, focus and belief that life can and will be better than what it is currently.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
– Albert Einstein
23. Visit a new neighborhood
Getting out of the house is one of the best self-care tips I can give.
One way to get out of the house is to visit a new neighborhood.
You can take time out of your day to discover a new neighborhood so that it gives you a feeling that you are on a vacation.
You get to explore different shops, delis, and restaurants.
You can check out the scene in the local coffee shops, boutiques, and just realize that the world has so much to offer right in your own backyard.
Visiting a new neighborhood helps you to free your mind by giving you something else for your mind to focus on and allowing you to feel delighted.
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” — Eddie Cantor
24. Go visit your dream home or test drive your dream car
Do you have a dream home or car?
Have you ever seen it in person?
Why not do a self-care activity and go see your dream home or car in person. Even better, you should take a house tour or test drive your dream car!
Going to see your “soon to be”, (see I am already claiming it into existence for you), car or house in person makes the possibility of owning it one day even more real.
It makes you feel more confident and self-assured.
It lets you know that you can get there with a little more focus and determination.
It uplifts your spirits because no longer is this your dream car or house, you now know that this property really exists.
You now have enough hope to know that this car or house is what is yet to come.
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” — Gail Devers
25. Say no
A lot of the reasons why we may need a self-care day is because, for some reason, we don’t have the ability to say no anymore.
We tend to take on extra projects at work, extra chores and errands at home, helping out our friends and family, even though we mentally and physically can’t afford to.
We want to be looked at as reliable, a great friend, family member, and an excellent coworker, but guess what who is going to take care of you?
I want you to practice with me for a second. Hey, can I borrow $20? (Say NO aloud.) NO!
Hey, can you help me complete this email for our client today? NO!
Hey, do you want to hang out at this bar later on? NO!
(By the way, I don’t really think you said no aloud, so I need you to go back and try it again. Thank you!)
Learning to say no, when your plate is full is an amazing way to take care of yourself.
It allows you the freedom to know that you don’t have to say yes all of the time.
You can actually say no, and guess what, if those people are not using you and truly, genuinely, want to be part of your life, you won’t hurt or offend them at all!
26. Take a day off work
Society tends to put work above all else. Above family, friends, and our own lives. Which isn’t cool.
Work can be your passion but it shouldn’t be your everything.
Working all the time is not good for anyone.
Work comes with stress, stress, and more stress. Taking a break from work to take care of yourself is alright!
Your assignments, emails, and voicemails will be there when you get back, I promise.
Take a day off and do your favorite thing.
You can sleep in, watch tv, go see a movie, hang out with a friend, go on a day trip, the possibilities are endless.
Take a day off and enjoy life before life passes you by.
“Taking a break can lead to breakthroughs.”
― Russell Eric Dobda
27. List of things you love about yourself
Sit down and write a list of at least 10 things you love about yourself. Then put this list someplace you will see it every morning.
When you see it, say the 10 things aloud.
This way you will start your day with love in your heart and kindness for yourself.
“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
28. Do a brain dump
If you have a tendency to build up tasks, procrastinate, then get overwhelmed, a great self-care idea to help you, is a brain dump.
A brain dump is when you have a lot of things to do and don’t know where to start or what to do next.
Some of these tasks may be personal, some you have been putting off for years, some may need to be done within the next hour.
Having a lot of things to do can be paralyzing to the point where you don’t want to do any of it. So you end up wasting time.
Doing a brain dump will help with all of this! It will help with the feelings of anxiousness and being overwhelmed.
A brain dump is when you write down everything, EVERYTHING, down.
When you do a brain dump, you don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, or prioritization.
You write down what comes to mind when it comes to mind.
It helps you to face the facts and it’s a release. When you do a brain dump the perfect way to go about it is to:
- Write everything down that is in your brain8
- Organize your list into categories
- Add what’s on your list into your categories
- Prioritize whats in each category
- Pick the order of the category that needs to go first, second, third, and so on.
- Circle what you can get done that day and then check them off as you complete them.
- Next, pick what you can accomplish the next day and so forth until your brain dump list is complete.
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
— Louis L’Amour
Be VIP for FREE!
29. Find inspirational quotes
Sometimes self-care is something as simple as reading an inspirational quote. Something that inspires you and gives you a little pick me up does wonder.
Quotes speak wonders because reading them and knowing that someone else believes in you and knows you will achieve great things is just what’s needed to get over the hump of not wanting to do anything at all.
The meaning of words radiates and impacts us to do positive things and inspires us to take action.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
― Maya Angelou
30. Check in on yourself
Sometimes we are on autopilot for so long that we tend to feel numb.
What I mean by numb is that we are just going through the motions without any emotions whatsoever.
We don’t feel angry, anxious, sad or happy.
We are just there doing what we need to do to get by.
We are not making memories.
We are just existing.
If this is you then you need to take a day and check in on yourself.
You need to take a break and do something that brings emotion out of you.
Something that makes you feel human and connected with the world.
You need to sit back and check in with yourself. What is going on? Why do you feel numb? What is hindering you from experiencing things that life has to offer?
Try to answer these questions and then make a list of what you can do to get out of this mood.
You need to be able to feel more than just numb.
Maybe watch a movie that makes you have the feels, hang out with a friend, have a conversation with a stranger, or listen to music.
Take notes of what works so next time you feel like this, you know what to do to feel again.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
Self Care Ideas for the Body
31. Take a Long Warm Bath
Taking a warm bath is very relaxing.
With the warm water surrounding you, some mellow tunes in the background, and a glass of wine, it is an amazing place to unwind and release your thoughts and negative energy so they no longer consume you.
In the bath, you can think about what is going on within you and be your own best friend.
You can comfort yourself. You can give yourself great advice that you tend to give to others.
But most importantly, you can actually listen to that advice and implement it.
Being in a bath with a bath bomb if you’d like, will create an instant atmosphere of pleasure and relaxation that can help to relieve you of stress.
“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”
― Sylvia Plath
32. Go for a walk
Going for a walk is not just a great form of exercise, but it is also a great way to clear your head.
When we are sad or stressed, it is because we are overwhelmed by our own thoughts and to do lists.
Going for a walk allows you to be able to prioritize your thoughts and find resolutions to your problems. This helps to relieve stress and mental clutter.
It allows you to feel free and have more space in your mind for things you love.
It is also is a great form of exercise.
Exercising releases endorphins which in turn, are natural mood enhancers.
Going for a walk kills 2 birds with one stone.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
I know, I know, you hear that yoga is the cure for everything.
I mean it has so many physical benefits and mental benefits like (Source)
- increased muscle strength
- protection from injury
- reduces chronic stress
- sharpens concentration
But there is a reason why there is so much talk about yoga and so many different variations.
Yoga helps so much when it comes to reducing stress and relaxing the mind and body.
Plus, a great thing about yoga is that because there is so much craze around yoga you can probably find a free class near you.
“Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength, and beauty to body, mind, and soul.”
34. Get a hug
Physical touch means a lot!
Did you know that touch can ease pain and lift depression?
It is also something that we are lacking since we do most of our communicating behind screens.
Touch is so important.
Babies who do not receive touch will just stop growing and eventually die even if they are fed the proper nutrition. (Source)
Touch shows that someone else cares about us and shows empathy.
So if you ever feel like you are down in the dumps, go and hug someone. It will lift your spirits.
“That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable.”
― Deb Caletti
Not going to lie this is definitely one of my favorite self-care ideas.
Going out and feeling the beat takes you to a whole nother level physically and mentally. Dancing allows your problems to melt away.
Which makes sense because dance is a form of self-expression and exercise.
Exercise releases endorphins which are the feel-good chemicals in your brain.
Dancing helps to reduce the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body.
Dancing makes you feel good even when you are feeling gloomy because it makes you feel alive.
“If you hit a wall, climb over it, crawl under it, or dance on top of it.”
Are you starting to notice that a lot of these self-care ideas deal with some form of exercise? Hmmm…it might be a great idea to implement some time to workout into your schedule.
One of these ways could be hiking.
Hiking is a great way to get your heart racing and get those feel-good chemicals released into your bloodstream.
Hiking is not only a good way to work out but also a good way to release stress.
Hiking helps you to get rid of rumination because your mind starts to take in the scenery. Rumination is going over a stressful or embarrassing event over and over in your head.
Hiking also improves your memory.
As you are hiking you have to remember certain places so that you will know how to get back.
Most importantly, hiking allows us to reconnect with ourselves in a world where we are so disconnected.
“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.”–Mary Davis
The act of drawing allows you to focus on something else besides your problems. It shifts your concentration to something productive.
It helps you to silent your mind and just be one with your drawing.
Drawing is a great activity to work on self-care.
It allows you to express your emotions on paper. Whether you are angry, sad, or happy, you can allow it to all come out on paper.
Creating something especially when you are a creative person, allows you to rediscover the uplifting power that drawing has.
“One must always draw, draw with the eyes when one cannot draw with a pencil.” –Balthus
Be VIP for FREE!
Have you seen those adult coloring books or the new adult color and sip parties?
There is a reason why these are becoming so popular. Coloring puts you back in a childhood like state of mind, that allows you to feel at ease with yourself.
You no longer worry about your problems or stress.
You are free from your burdens.
You are back in a child’s place where all that matters is if the color you want is available to you.
Coloring reduces your stress and anxiety. (Source) It allows for the fear center in your brain to relax.
“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” ~Wassily Kandinsky
39. Drink Water
I know, I know, how in the heck is drinking water a form of self-care you are wondering huh?
I mean, it is pretty obvious that you need to drink at least 8 cups of water a day right?
But, the question is, do you actually drink 8 cups of water every day?
Yes, the concept is easy but you have to put it into practice to actually get the benefits.
Yes, drinking that much water daily seems like a huge task. It’s even hard for me to do.
But there are some easy ways to help instill that you drink enough water.
You can keep track of your water intake by using a bottle that has measurements.
You can switch out a few of your non-water drinks.
You can schedule times for you to drink water so that you keep on track.
The benefits of drinking water are immense and some of them you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
Some benefits of drinking the recommended amount of water daily are:
- Increased energy
- Helps aid with weight loss
- Improves your complexion
- Reduces headaches
- Flushes out toxins
- Improves your complexions
- Maintains regularity
- Boosts immune system
- Prevents cramps and sprains
- Regulate body temperatures
- Prevents backaches
- Helps bad breath
- Improves your heart health
- Takes the edge off of hangovers
- Improves your mood
“Thousands Have Lived Without Love, Not One Without Water.” – W.H.Auden
40. Get a massage
Getting a massage has huge benefits for your body and mind.
Getting a massage improves circulation in your body which helps to reduce
- Muscle tension
- Helps you to sleep better
- Ease symptoms of depression
- Makes you feel cared for, comforted, and connected
“Massage is not just a luxury. It’s a way to a healthier, happier life.” –Unknown
One way that I can tell when I am overwhelmed is how tight I usually feel. The muscles in my shoulder and back become so tense and sore.
Having a lot of stress restricts the blood flow throughout your body.
By stretching, you are stimulating the receptors in your nervous system to decrease the stress hormones that they are being pumped out. (Source)
Stretching helps with mobility, elasticity, and helps to quiet the mind.
“The keys to health and weight-loss: stress reduction, sleep, deep breathing, clean water, complete nutrition, sunshine, walking, stretching, meditation, love, community, laughter, dreams, perseverance, purpose, humility, action.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life
42. Get rest
When we are overwhelmed, we tend to forget about one simple thing…getting enough rest. You will be surprised at what getting the right amount of sleep can do for you.
Having a good sleep routine can help you with
- restoring the body
- regulating your mood
- Helps you with judgment and decision making
Without the proper amount of sleep:
- You have less energy,
- Can’t concentrate
- More emotionally reactive.
Getting the proper amount of rest is a great and simple way to take care of yourself.
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”
― Ernest Hemingway
Be VIP for FREE!
43. Do Something For the First Time
Is there something that you have been wanting to try but for some reason you haven’t had the time to do it?
Well, why not do it as a self-care activity? This way you have no excuse.
I mean doing for something for the first time is amazing! It gives you the feelings of giddy nervousness and excitement.
Doing something for the first time allows you to put yourself as a priority.
It stirs up feelings of happiness and how you are finally accomplishing something that you want to do.
Plus, who knows doing this one thing for the first time may lead you to find your passion or purpose.
“Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.” –Viktor E. Frankl
Self Care Ideas for the Spirit
44. Listen to your favorite album
Music speaks volumes.
Wait did you read that correctly? I just noticed the music and volume correlation! I never noticed it.
Now it makes even more sense. Pretty clever huh?
Sorry, sometimes I tend to amaze myself.
Anyways, music speaks to the soul on many levels. When you hear a song, it instantly reminds you of a time in your life whether good, bad, sad, or happy.
You remember what happened, how you felt, sometimes even what you ate and smelled during that moment.
Music catapults you back into time and when you listen to new music you create new memories for the future.
So, if you are feeling down and want to make yourself feel better, play some music that takes you back to good memories.
Maybe memories of a great birthday party, a great night out with friends, your first kiss or love, the song you walked down the aisle too, or when you bought your first car.
No matter what you are going through there is a song that will correlate and give you the advice to help calm you and put you in a much better mood.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” ― Billy Joel
45. Meditate in a quiet place
There’s something about being alone with yourself.
Some people don’t like it because they are their worst critics. They constantly tell themselves what they can and can’t do.
They belittle themselves and rant on and on about their flaws. (FYI, if this is you meditating me just be something you need to do.)
Meditating and being by yourself allows you to hear what you are actually saying to yourself. But most importantly correct it.
The thing is, we spend the most time with ourselves so what we say to ourselves matter most.
If you call yourself an idiot or ugly all the time, guess what is going to be ingrained in your subconscious and it will begin to affect your everyday actions.
That’s right, you will begin to be subconscious about everything you put on because you think you are ugly.
You will begin to not speak up even when you know the answer or want to contribute an important factor to a conversation because you think you are stupid.
The things we say to ourselves affect us all the time.
Meditating makes us listen to what we say to ourselves so we can learn to speak better.
We can consciously make an effort to treat ourselves better which changes our subconscious and then reflects in our conscious.
Meditation also helps you to sort your problems.
Ever notice that a lot of our problems end up being about possibilities or stories we have made up in our head?
When we meditate, we can sort through and reflect on what is going on and either figure out how to make a plan to fix it or realize that there’s nothing we can do to “solve” it. So why stress over something that you cannot change or fix?
Meditation opens pathways to resolve and undo deep conditioning and resolve problems in your life.
Meditation allows you to move through your thoughts and emotions so that you become more aware and won’t get stuck in them.
This way you feel less stressed and overwhelmed about life. (Source)
“The more regularly and the more deeply you meditate, the sooner you will find yourself acting always from a center of peace.” J. Donald Walters
Seriously, nothing gets you out a funky mood faster then laughing.
Not those superficial chuckles either, but a good hearty, belly laugh.
You can watch your favorite comedy, comedian, show, listen to a funny podcast, hang out with a friend, whatever it takes for you to have a great time full of laughter.
I am telling you 100% of the time you will feel way better than how you felt before you laughed
“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
― Audrey Hepburn
47. Practice deep breathing
When you start to pay attention to your breathing, you realize how many short, shallow breaths you take. I bet you majority of your breaths are like that.
Which means you are pretty much tense all the time.
By practicing deep breathing techniques, you are able to lower stress in your body. Deep breathing allows you to relax, reduce tension, and reduce stress.
The best part of all, breathing exercises are easy to learn, very effective, you can do them wherever and whenever, and they are free!
Want to learn how to do some deep breathing exercises for a self-care technique to use in the future, check out the University of Michigan Stress Management Breathing Exercises for Relaxation.
“I have so much chaos in my life, it’s become normal. You become used to it. You have to just relax, calm down, take a deep breath and try to see how you can make things work rather than complain about how they’re wrong.” –Tom Welling
48. Forgive others and yourself
A lot of time we carry extra weight that we shouldn’t.
We are angry or sad about our past.
We feel terrible about what we did to ourselves or what someone else did to us.
This makes us vulnerable.
We need to let that weight, stress go, so we can lead fulfilling lives. To do this we must forgive.
We have to forgive ourselves completely and forgive the person who hurt us.
The thing about forgiving someone else is that the person may not have apologized and you have to be okay with never getting that apology.
In the end, the forgiveness you give to that person is not for the person at all.
It is one million percent for you!
It is for you so you can let go and live a happier less stressful life.
“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” –Marianne Williamson
Be VIP for FREE!
49. Positive affirmations
This one…this one…THIS ONE..needs to be on everyone’s to-do list.
The way we talk to ourselves is horrendous and the way that we make situations worse than what they really are in our minds is terrible as well. This is why positive affirmations are necessary.
Positive affirmations are an integral part of having a self-care routine.
Affirmations are everything we say and think to ourselves over and over again.
By creating positive ones, we learn to love ourselves, trust ourselves, and most importantly believe in ourselves.
“My favorite affirmation when I feel stuck or out of sorts is: Whatever I need is already here, and it is all for my highest good. Jot this down and post it conspicuously throughout your home, on the dashboard of your car, at your office, on your microwave oven, and even in front of your toilets!” — Wayne Dyer
50. Watch a Ted Talk
TED talks are short concise talks that get straight to the point. These impactful talks cut out any extraneous ideas and get the message out straightforwardly.
Each talk has a different message to convey.
TED talks cover a huge amount of topics from science, business, global issues, motivation, whatever you name in over 100 languages.
These talks can and will inspire you to do better and be better.
They will uplift your mood and encourage you to keep striving and keep going.
A TED talk is a perfect self-care activity because it gives you hope.
“I hope you remember that if you encounter an obstacle on the road, don’t think of it as an obstacle at all… think of it as a challenge to find a new path on the road less traveled.”
― Hyeonseo Lee, The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story
51. Leave negative relationships
Whew! Just reading that takes my breath away!
I have to pause for a few seconds and get these thoughts together.
I am not certain as to why we stay in relationships that hurt us.
I don’t care if it’s your friends, family, or significant other, if all you feel is beaten down, walked on, and when you are around them you would rather be somewhere else, or if they literally suck everything out of you when you are around them, you get agitated when they call, etc, you need to get out.
Staying in a negative relationship hinders you.
I get it you love that person and remember when things were good or you see the potential in that person. The thing about that is, that you only see it. If he or she doesn’t see it, then there will be no change in that person.
You are unhappy and you only have one life to live.
Why have a relationship with someone when all it does is suck the life out of you?
Getting rid of negative energy will help you in so many ways!
You realize how much more potential you have when that person is gone.
You will feel like you don’t have a weight on your chest.
You will feel so relieved.
Plus when you leave that negative situation behind, you will start to realize how toxic that situation really was!
“It makes no sense to try to extend a friendship that was only meant to be a season into a lifetime.”
― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
52. Let your emotions go, cry it out
Being tough nowadays means never crying.
It means cutting people off without warning and not letting people in.
To me, this is not being tough.
Instead, it is building a fortress around you which can only lead to loneliness and incompetence when it comes to dealing with stress.
Instead, a great self-care day is to let your emotions out.
If you need to cry, then cry.
If you need to tell a friend how she hurt you, let her know.
We have to experience these feelings and have these conversations with ourselves and one another so that we know how to handle situations like these in the future.
You should not always suck it up and move on like it was nothing, because it wasn’t anything.
It hurt and guess what that’s ok.
Feel that emotion.
Think about what exactly hurt your feelings and why.
Go into that emotion and allow yourself to feel it so you can heal.
It is healthy!
The point where it becomes unhealthy is if you can only feel that emotion and can’t escape it.
When you let that emotion define you and affect your mood all the time and when you can’t let what happened to you go, eventually, then that is when it is unhealthy.
Remember it was only an experience and although you feel like dog poop right now, new and better experiences will be happening soon to replace the bad ones.
“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”
― Steve Maraboli
Be VIP for FREE!
53. Light a candle
Do you have a favorite scent that stirs warm feelings inside of you or brings about fond memories?
If so, when you are not feeling your best, mentally, physically, and/or emotionally, you should light a candle with that scent, so it takes you to a better state of mind.
It will help to immerse you in great memories and remind you of all the great times you have experienced.
It will remind you of how great of a person you are.
Lighting a candle with a significant scent to you is not just lighting a candle. It is setting a mood so that you can change your current mood and uplift yourself.
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
― Anne Frank
Common Questions/ FAQs about Self Care
How do I get into self-care?
- You get into self-care by making time to put yourself first and doing something that makes you happy. You get into self-care by making sure that you are meeting all of your needs both physically and mentally so that your cup is full and remains full while helping others.
How important is self-care?
- Self-care is important if you want to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and not always seem stressed out, overwhelmed, and worried. Self-care helps to keep you feeling happy, boosts your confidence, and assures you that you are more than enough.
What does self-care involve?
- Self-care is reflective of what you like. It can involve as little as taking 5 minutes out of your day to think of some positive things and take in the scene that surrounds you. Or it can be really involved like taking a vacation. It is all up to you.
Why is self-care good?
- Self-care is good because it means that you are putting your health first. It means that you realize your needs need to be met so that you can put the best you out into the world.
What is the purpose of self-care?
- The purpose of self-care is to make sure that you are putting your mental and physical needs first so that you can be all the things you need to be to all the people who need you. It helps you to reduce your stress and keep it at bay.
Conclusion: The Last Thing You Need to Know about Self Care
As you can see self-care is essential to everyone’s life. It is not something that should be skipped or taken for granted.
Self-care is important for your mental health, physical health, and social health, which affects every aspect of your life.
This means that you need to make time to take care of yourself so that you can stay sharp at all times.
Plus, you need self-care so that you can experience happiness, bliss.
If you like the self-care activities I described above, do me a favor and share this article on social media or pin it using the pin below.
Since this Ultimate Self Care Guide is pretty hefty, you can pin it for future reference.
Remember to Spread Bliss,