How to Practice Self-Care for Good Health
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
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
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
FOUR WELLNESS TIP
Choose a few of the ideas above and add at least 15 minutes of self-care into your schedule each day. (More is great too!)
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