When we think of what it means to be “healthy”, most often the first things we think of are things like working out regularly, eating a nutritious, well-rounded diet, limiting alcohol, or avoiding harmful substances.
All of those things are great, but we often overlook a critical piece of the health equation: self-care.
Self-care is a cornerstone of mental health and it deserves to hold a regular, sacred place in your life.
In fact, your health and happiness depend on it.
After all, if your body is in top shape and you’re eating a perfect diet, but your mind is in constant chaos, and you live in a state of stress and anxiety, this can be more detrimental to your health than anything else.
What is Self-Care & Why Do I Need It?
There’s been a lot of hype lately about the importance of self-care and the fact that we need to be taking time out for ourselves more.
It seems everywhere we look, we’re inundated with messages to make time for self-care—which is great—but what does that vague term really mean?
And what kind of concrete outcomes can practicing self-care have for your health?
Self-care is an activity we choose to engage in for our mental, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual well-being—the result of which creates a shift in our mental energy. Learn more about the different types of self-care.
Benefits of self-care include:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased energy
- Improved productivity
- Increased immunity
- Greater patience
- Greater resilience
- Improved mood and emotional well-being
- Improved physical health
- Greater self-compassion and self-awareness
- Greater ability to care for and be present for others
It’s critical to ensure you’re engaging in activities that regularly fulfill all seven forms of self-care.
But don’t worry! Contrary to popular belief, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive and time-consuming. Check out this article on 12 self-care activities you can do in 10 minutes or less here.
60 Self-Care Ideas To Try Today
At its core, self-care is about being kind to yourself, honoring your needs, and caring for yourself so you can function at your very best. But one person’s idea of self-care isn’t necessarily someone else’s cup of tea. To help you start a health self-care regimen, here are 60 self-care tips for you to choose from. Try at least one, or several, throughout your week to keep your mind, body and spirit feeling refreshed.
- Pick an affirmation to meditate on that resonates with you (e.g. “I am worthy of taking the time to take care of me.”) Sit with your intention for several minutes and repeat the affirmation over and over to yourself, allowing it to really sink in.
- Take a luxurious bath or a pampering shower. Pull out your favorite skincare products, lights some candles or diffuse some essential oils, and play some relaxing music that makes you forget your cares. (We LOVE Pandora’s Classical for Studying station.)
- Go for a walk. Whether it’s an envigorating hike or just a few minutes around the block, getting your endorphins pumping will flood your brain with calm vibes.
- Journal. Getting your thoughts out of your head and down on paper is a great way to work through whatever’s on your mind and alleviate anxious feelings.
- Do something creative. Draw, paint, color in an adult coloring book, scrapbook, knit, or do something else creative. There’s something incredibly therapeutic about engaging your hands in a mindless activity!
- Enjoy a cup of your favorite tea. ‘Nuff said.
- Have a spa night. Check out some healthy, homemade DIY recipes here.
- Meditate. People tend to think of meditation as something time-consuming; but you can achieve great benefits from meditating for even just a few minutes. If you’re new to meditation, apps like Calm offer TONS of 10-minute meditations on a variety of subjects. In fact, they have an entire collection of self-care meditations to choose from.
- Take a nap. Sleep is one of the purest and most essential forms of self-care we can give ourselves. So draw the curtains, hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your doorknob, and catch some precious Z’s.
- Call a loved one. Sometimes the best form of TLC is to connect with the people closest to us. So give someone special—a friend, your mom, your old roommate from college, your work wife or husband, Grandma, whoever makes you feel calm and brings a smile to your face—a call just to catch up.
- Write a letter. Piggybacking off of #10, write a letter to someone you care about and send it to them. Who doesn’t like to receive something other than bills and spam in their mailbox?
- Collect shells, rocks, or glass on the beach. Put what you’ve collected in a mason jar or other pretty container and keep it somewhere special so you remember that day and are reminded of the importance of self-care.
- Read a book (or magazine). Check out Goodreads for some recommendations.
- Order groceries. Skip the store and have your groceries delivered—or schedule a pickup. This little luxury will give you time back you can use to relax.
- Do some yoga. Go to a class, take an online class, or find a YouTube channel you like to zen out. (We recommend Yoga with Adriene’s channel → try her Fill Your Cup workout.)
- Go exploring with no destination in mind and no Google Map. You never know what amazingness you’ll stumble upon.
- Try a new hobby. You know that thing you’ve always wanted to try? The self-care gods say “do it!”
- Garden. Gardening has been shown to lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and boost happiness. So get digging and start smelling the roses!
- Cook a relaxing and lavish healthy meal for yourself. Turn up the music, pour yourself a glass of wine, and take your time enjoying the process of preparing your meal. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode for limited distractions.
- Listen to a podcast. Need some inspiration? Check out our Better Than Ever podcast episode on the importance of self-care!
- Visit a local museum. Spend a few hours roaming around an art gallery, history center, botanical garden, or even a zoo.
- Listen to your favorite album. Our go-to guy for upbeat vibes is Flo Rida…we dare you to put him on and not crack a smile!
- Book a retreat. If you need a serious self-care session, consider treating yourself to a silent retreat or weekend getaway where you can decompress, rejuvenate, and focus on getting back to you.
- Declutter/tidy your living space. Self-care has many different forms and this is one not to overlook. Our living spaces are an extension of ourselves and when they’re chaotic, they can create mental chaos for us as well. So give your physical space a clean sweep for a quick mental reset.
- Treat yourself to dinner out at your favorite vegan/vegetarian/farm-to-table restaurant. Taking a night off from cooking and dishes might be just the kind of self-care you need.
- Get a massage. Massage promotes relaxation, eases stress/anxiety/symptoms of depression, and improves sleep, just to name a few things. A couple of our favorites include reflexology, Thai, and hot-stone.
- Go for a bike ride. Better yet, pack yourself a healthy lunch and have a picnic once you reach your destination.
- Play a game. Break out the solitaire, do some Sudoku or a crossword puzzle, or have a board game night with friends.
- Write a poem. Poetry is not a lost art. Give it a try if you need another outlet to express yourself.
- Practice gratitude. Writing down what you’re grateful for is an easy happiness booster. Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for and why. Bonus points for making this a daily practice.
- Meet with a Health Coach or Life Coach. We think one of the greatest forms of self-care out there is giving yourself the gift of coaching. A coach is like a sounding board, personal cheerleader, mentor, and accountability partner all rolled into one, and can help you create space for self-care so you honor your needs and desires.
- Dance to your favorite song. Dancing is often an overlooked form of self-care, but we want to inspire you to bring sexy back by taking a dance break whenever you’re feeling meh.
- Make yourself a batch of infused water. We can’t overstate the importance of hydration! According to WebMD, even mild dehydration can dampen our moods and make us feel crummy. To make water consumption tastier, whip up a nice big pitcher of infused water combining your favorite fruits, herbs, and other healthy ingredients.
- Watch a TED Talk. Get ready to be motivated in 10 minutes flat.
- Fix yourself a healthy smoothie or snack. Sometimes all you need in a healthy treat to snap you back into feeling good.
- Start a compliments file. Make a practice of saving every compliment you receive in a folder where you can reference them when you need a little pick-me-up.
- Start a healthy habit. Habits are the foundation upon which our lives are built, so pick a simple habit to start that will support living your better-than-ever life. Here are a few ideas: drink 8 oz. of water with lemon immediately upon waking, go for a walk after dinner every night, or start a “no technology within an hour of bedtime” rule. Which leads us to….
- Unplug from your devices for an hour. Turn off your phone, TV, and other devices, and enjoy the freedom of being completely out of touch with the world.
- Purge your social media of negative or toxic people. Go through who you’re friends with and following on social media, and then ask yourself: Does this person/account bring me joy? If the answer is no, unfollow or defriend them. Life is too short for toxic influences.
- Be still and do absolutely nothing. Find a grassy spot outside or relax in a chair and just…let your mind wander.
- Breathe in an uplifting or calming essential oil. Lavender, peppermint, wild orange, and grapefruit are some great options.
- Soak up some sun. Our bodies depend on regular sun exposure to function their best. So slather on some sunscreen and enjoy some time in the sunshine. Just 15 minutes will give you a feel-good boost and nice dose of vitamin D.
- Cuddle with a pet or visit a local animal shelter. Spending time with furry friends boosts feelings of happiness, offers comfort, and lowers blood pressure.
- Make a happy box. Find an old shoebox and fill it with all the things that make you smile. Then take it out and open it whenever you need a reason to smile.
- Treat yourself. Maybe you’ve been eyeing a new pair of sneakers or you’ve been wanting to check out the latest flick. Whatever it is, splurge on something just for you.
- Watch a comedy special. They say laughter is the best medicine for good reason. So put your favorite comedian on and get some belly laughs in.
- Go to bed early. Give yourself the gift of a good night’s sleep so you can conquer tomorrow like a champ.
- Pick or buy yourself flowers. There’s no shame in buying (or picking) yourself flowers. They’re an instant mood booster and can quickly brighten up you day.
- Take a mental health day. Take a day and do all the things that nourish your soul.
- Watch a sunrise or sunset. There’s just something about waking up with the sun and taking a few moments to enjoy the sunrise that sets your day off on the right foot. The same goes for enjoying a sunset, and reflecting on the good things that happened that day.
- Take an online class. Check out learning platforms like Skillshare, Lynda.com, and The Great Courses, and sign up for a class on a subject you’ve been wanting to learn more about.
- Write a love letter to yourself. Pretend you’re writing to a dear friend to tell them everything you love about them…only make the sender you. What are some qualities you possess and talents you have that you love about yourself?
- Take a breathing and stretching break. The simple act of breathing and stretching can calm an anxious mind and relax a tense body in no time.
- Get your binge on. We believe in “everything in moderation”, and that includes the occasional guilty pleasure. So go ahead and lose yourself in a Netflix show or your favorite YouTuber.
- Create a vision board. Get crafty and create a vision board to hang in your office, bedroom, or closet…or create a digital version on Pinterest for your laptop screensaver.
- Simplify your schedule. Spend some time reviewing your calendar and see where you can cut any obligations or activities that aren’t necessary or are depleting your energy. Remember, “No” is a complete sentence.
- Define your core values. Create a personal value system for yourself that outlines what you stand for and why. Knowing this will help you make better decisions and help you get clear on what matters to you.
- Take a new exercise class. Spin, pilates, Zumba, kickboxing, CrossFit, Orange Theory, body pump…there has to be something new you’d love to try.
- Purge items you no longer need. This is one of the most underrated forms of self-care out there. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter, freer, calmer, and happier you feel just by letting go of the physical objects in your living space that you don’t need or enjoy.
- Fill out our self-love worksheet.
Check out and download our FREE daily self-care checklist: 30 Days of Self-Care.
We hope these self-care ideas gave you some motivation and inspiration to take care of the most important person in your life—YOU. Remember, when you show up for yourself and you feel good inside and out, you’ll be able to show up better in all areas of your life. If you’re ready to find out how you can become a health coach in as little as six short months, you can get started with us here today.