There might be affiliate links in this post. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. Read my disclosure policy here.
You might have heard of self-care activities.
No eye rolls, please.
Or, maybe you like the whole concept in theory . . .
but you just sigh because you can’t figure out how to make time for one more thing given all of your current commitments.
Whether you’re stressed about adjusting to a new normal, work, school (or insert any other valid reason) prioritizing self-care right now is crucial.
Luckily, I’ve come up with some strategies to help that are backed by research.
I’ll also share the benefits of self-care and some of my top self-care activities that you can implement quickly without a ton of preparation.
Find Self-care Activities by Being Open-minded and Exploring Your Interests
That’s it, Ms. Blogger?
Trust me. I understand it sounds oversimplified, but there’s science to back it up. I’m not saying I always have the perfect thing to do at the perfect time.
But over time, I’ve discovered how to get unstuck.
What the heck is self-care anyway?
Self-care is a trendy term. However, it’s a concept that’s been around for some time. Self-care is a conscious activity that we do to deliberately take control of our mental, emotional, and physical health.
Caring for yourself in this manner can be triggered by events in your life that may cause stress or overwhelm. Or, you may have a regular self-care routine that you like to maintain no matter what.
Self-care activities can range from extremely mellow endeavors like doing absolutely nothing to more energizing ones that require more thought or doing something physical.
The main goal behind self-care is to improve your overall wellness. I believe one of the best ways to ensure that you do this is to create a consistent routine or schedule and add it to your calendar.
Why is self-care so important?
There are numerous benefits to self-care. Here are just a few of them:
- It gives you something to look forward to
- It can elevate your mood
- It can help you balance the different areas of your life
- It ensures that you’ll take a break to avoid burnout
- It can help reduce/manage stress and anxiety
- It makes life more meaningful
There are many ways to practice self-care. There are a multitude of self-care examples on the internet. The key is to find what works for you. It shouldn’t feel like work or extra tasks to do on your to do list. Try to choose something that deeply interests you.
Using general ideas for inspiration can also help you develop your own effective self-care routine. Keep exploring until you find what works for you. Also, keep in mind that it shouldn’t be another way to compare and measure ourselves against what others are doing.
List of sample self-care ideas
Give yourself a mani pedi
Make fancy coffee
Take a walk
Watch a docuseries on Netflix
Read a book or article
Journal about your day
Make an elaborate meal
Listen to music
How to Self-care at Home
Ideally, I love getting facials, massages and other obvious examples of relaxation in paid form, but it isn’t always easy or practical to do so. For this reason, I had to broaden my definition and create a list of things I can do at home to sneak in time for myself that are often just as relaxing.
Spend time in nature
You may have heard this before, but it bears repeating. Getting outside can work wonders. Listening to birds, hearing leaves rustle in the wind or just getting some fresh air can be very refreshing.
For those of us who like scientific reasons, it can also help with getting enough Vitamin D. According to WebMd.com, “It’s important for your bones, blood cells and immune system. It also helps your body absorb more of certain minerals, like calcium and phosphorus.”
If you’ve been cooped up or haven’t had a chance to go outside for whatever reason, it can’t hurt to sit on a porch, in your backyard or any other space that can allow you to get some fresh air. Do whatever fits your living situation and current circumstances.
Okay. I said moving because many people want to run away instead of on a treadmill when they hear the word exercise. Don’t hate me for that one.
I know that exercising sounds like the generic cure for all of life’s problems. However, given its track record of positive benefits, sometimes you just have to surrender and get moving in any way possible. Walking works wonders and is easier to stick to.
There are even walking videos on YouTube. You can also informally learn to dance. Try out some country line dancing, salsa or even learn to dance like Beyonce. If you don’t want any structure to follow, you can always just blast music and freestyle on your own even if you’re not the best dancer. I won’t tell.
Friendship has its benefits
Mark Twain once said, “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” It turns out that having social ties contributes to living longer and enjoying better physical and mental health.
According to research, it can also “boost brain health.” Make time for friends. Whether you FaceTime together or hop on a Zoom call, it can help you feel connected and score brownie points for your health.
Become a book nerd
Whether you pick out an old classic, biography or a bucket list book for fun things to do at home, reading can capture your interest and allow you to escape and relax without even having to leave your home if you don’t want to.
I personally like it because it’s an activity that I can chip away at for 10 minutes or devote a whole half hour to, depending on how much time I have. I try to incorporate it as my End of Day Ritual ™ (more on that in the next section) just to squeeze in a little more ME time.
What is a health and wellness planner?
If you’re wondering what self-care activity you should do every day, I’ll show you an example for a health and wellness planner I use.
Here’s a routine that I follow daily. I try to do “all the things” that research says improves your well being. To start my day off on a good note, I turn to YouTube. I usually watch a video from someone who inspires me or listen to something funny like a snippet of a comedy show.
I’ll fully admit that I needed to do something that doesn’t require me to get out of bed right away. It works for me. I call it my Start of Day Ritual™. This is a cute way of saying a fun thing that I do to start my day.
Other times, I’ll read an article that focuses on a personal goal such as fitness, home improvement or learning another language. It’s up to you.
Then I’ll take a minute to think about what I’m thankful for. Another one you’ve heard before for a reason. It works. Acknowledging and expressing gratitude helps you shift your mindset from lack to abundance.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have along with any stress or overwhelm you’re experiencing, you can start to focus on what you can be grateful for. Focusing on the good and positive is one of the best practices for a healthy mindset.
Sometimes it’s as simple as acknowledging a sunny day or giving a shout out to clean bed sheets. I try not to drone through it as though it’s a chore. It keeps the positive vibes going.
I then make sure I cover the other basics of wellness by eating a healthy breakfast, taking my vitamins and drinking water. I know that might sound boring, but those are easy wins.
It’s not the most glamorous part of my wellness tracker, but I know it helps keep me functioning optimally, so I do it. The morning can be a crazy time. It’s easy to get distracted. I often completely forget to take my vitamins and drink water if I don’t check my wellness planner.
I think of it like a daily self-care checklist of sorts, meal planner and schedule all in one. Outside of the Start of Day Ritual ™, End of Day Ritual ™ and a few other activities that lend themselves to certain times of day, I have some flexibility as to when I carry out what’s on this printable.
Practicing self-care can be affordable and also done at home. In fact, you can’t afford not to practice self-care and take advantage of all the benefits it provides. Consider narrowing down what activities and practices help your mental, emotional, and physical health. Create your own self-care routine to follow so that you create some good habits.
If one iota of this blog post resonated with you, please share it on social. Helping others can count as a form of self-care. 😉