Self-care; everyone keeps talking about it, but is anyone actually practicing it? When you say no to those busy weekend plans, or another bar night with your buddies, say yes to something that will actually better your self and calm the stress you’ve felt all week. There’s no one way to practice self-care, but here are some various, easy self-care rituals you can start practicing as soon as you want.
Nothing too strenuous, just a nice stroll around a park or your neighborhood. Being outside and going for a walk can improve your mood and it’s good exercise. A little bit of sun and fresh air can really make a difference and reduce some of that stress you’ve been having during the work week.
Plus, for all you creatives, going for a walk outside just 30 minutes a day can improve your creativity if you’re feeling stuck or aren’t getting any new ideas.
This may sound stressful at first or seem like a chore, but cleaning out parts of your house or apartment can have significant mental health benefits. Studies have shown that there is a connection between a clean house and a healthy life.
Whether that’s cleaning out your garage or your closet, even the smallest bit of tidying up can help you feel better. Don’t let it overwhelm you; turn on your favorite music, open a bottle of wine, put on our comfy clothes and make tidying up something enjoyable.
I find this one to be incredibly helpful. Grab a pen and a journal and write down some of your thoughts from the week. This can be calming and cathartic. It’s good to reflect on little victories, lessons learned and things that made you smile this week.
Therapists even recommend using journaling to help lower stress levels and anxiety. You can even allow yourself to get creative; write a short story or a poem.
Get creative! Paint a picture, use some crayons, buy a big canvas and try finger painting! Live out your kindergarten dreams. Don’t set expectations either, just use whatever colors you want and let your mind wander while you draw whatever you want.
You don’t have to be an artist. Don’t cancel this one out just because you think you can’t draw; art should be fun and freeing. They even have adult coloring books that give you everything you need so you can relax and create something new.
I never did this as a kid, but as an adult, I find it quite relaxing. Just laying on my back in the shade, watching the clouds move is very calming.
It’s a little harder trying to figure out what the clouds look like, but it’s still fun and calming to just watch them float across the sky. Give it a try, it’s the simple self-care treat that can make you smile.
If you don’t have one of your own, ask a friend who has a dog or cat or any other kind of pet! Petting an animal can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Plus who doesn’t love petting a fluffy animal? You’ll feel better and your pet will love you all the more.
This is not just for ladies; a self-care spa day can look like whatever you want, no matter who you are! Pluck those eyebrows, paint your nails, do a face mask, take a nice bath with a bath bomb, light a candle. To each their own.
Treat yo’ self. You deserve it.
Sometimes starting something new can be intimidating, especially if it’s in big groups, and if it’s expensive, that’s another big turn off. You don’t have to pay a ridiculous amount for an awesome yoga class. All you have to do is go on YouTube!
Do a 30-minute yoga class of any kind; stretch out your muscles, calm yourself and spend some time meditating.
I’ve tried this tutorial at home in my living room and found it very relaxing and it only took a little over 20 minutes! Give it a try, you might find a new favorite type of exercise.
Laughing is the life’s most natural remedy to your worries. Everyone laughs at different thing so find something that works for you. Netflix has some awesome stand-up comedy bits. If you’re not into that, search up some videos on YouTube of some silly pranks. Anything Ellen does is usually funny so that’s a good start.
Find anything that makes you laugh or smile and just enjoy the sound of your own laugh, snorts and all.
Read anything! A comic book, a magazine article, your favorite book, some poetry, a news article.
Take your time, enjoy what you’re reading and try not to get distracted. Reading isn’t for everyone but if you do consider yourself a reader, sit down and soak in that book you’ve been wanting to read for a long time.
When’s the last time you got a letter in the mail, or sent a letter to someone? It’s one of the best feelings to get a handwritten letter in the mail but unfortunately it is a rare occasion.
Send one to your mom, your best friend, an old roommate. An unexpected letter in the mail just to check in on someone can really make their day.
Get some sticky notes and get ready to compliment yourself. Write motivational phrases or things that will make you smile or laugh. Hide them throughout your house in little places, some obvious, like your bathroom mirror or your fridge. Get creative and hide them in places you might forgot so when you do find them, it will be a sweet surprise.
You’ll thank yourself later when you find these kind notes, especially on the hard days when you just need a little pick me up.
Turn on that music that you might be embarrassed to play in front of all your friends (for me it’s the “Mulan” soundtrack) and blast it as loud as you want. Dance around your living room. Bust out your best, or worst moves and just let loose!
Plus, dancing is good cardio. It’s a win-win!
There are some awesome playlists on Spotify and YouTube that can guide you into mediation. Find one that works for you and that makes you feel calm. Some focus on breathing while others just play ultra-calming sounds.
Even just five minutes of listening can really calm you down and clear your head for the rest of the day.
A cup of coffee doesn’t have to be thrown into a tumblr and chugged before work. Tea doesn’t have to burn your tongue because you can’t wait for it to cool. Smoothies don’t have to be messy and careless.
Take your time making your coffee, tea or whatever your favorite drink is. Use your favorite mug. Enjoy the smells and flavors slowly. Have fun making a new smoothie. Learn to love the process of making these beverages. Sip slow and savor it all.
Write down little and big things that you are grateful for from this week. Reminding yourself of what you are thankful for can bring positivity and peace when you take the time to acknowledge where you’re at and how far you’ve come.
Even if it was a hard week, there is always something to be thankful for. Find it and let it remind you that even in the darkest moments, there is always something to be thankful for.
Although this may not seem like self-care, taking care of others can make you feel better. Take a few minutes to write out a thoughtful text or email to one of your friends, relatives or coworkers. Be encouraging; send good vibes their way. This can really make their day and they may need a compliment more than you know. Spread kindness like it’s confetti!
Those polka-dot fuzzy socks your grandma got you? The striped turtleneck sweater you only wore once? Those sweatpants you’ve had since high school that lasted you longer than most of your relationships?
Put them all on, who cares what you look like! Wearing fabrics that feel good on your skin can bring you some serious relaxation. Enjoy the way they make you feel, embrace the fabric, wear it to feel good, not to look good!
I just found out what this is and I am officially hooked. It’s so weird but so relaxing and I am not ashamed to call this one of my favorite self-care rituals.
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s usually described as a sort of tingly feeling that comes from watching or hearing something that is satisfying to your senses. It’s triggered by different things and every trigger doesn’t always work for every person. Vice calls it “the good feeling no one can explain” and that’s a pretty accurate description.
The recent ASMR trend is cutting bars of soap or playing with slime. Sounds weird, but don’t knock it until you try it. There are many different versions of ASMR; do some research and find some that you like. Just a few minutes of watching or listening to ASMR clips can really calm you down.
Organizing parts of your life is a great self-care habit to have. Organize your desk space, your shoe closet, your drawers, your tupperware pantry (that’s a good one) or your wallet.
Being organized reduces your stress and makes you have a little bit more control over your week and save you time in those hectic mornings.
Just close your eyes. Grab your favorite blanket and just rest for half an hour. Even if you don’t fully fall asleep, laying down and letting your heart rate slow a little can calm you down. Don’t rush onto the next thing, just enjoying laying down with your eyes closed and maybe your favorite candle.
There are two types of people in this world: those that love lists and those that fear them more than anything. If you’re the first type, this one can be a great self-care tip.
Create lists of things you need to get done this upcoming week, or things you’ve accomplished this past week. Both help you celebrate yourself for all the little and big things. Plus, it’s so satisfying crossing things off that list.
Find some new music or go through your old music and make a new playlist for yourself. That morning commute will go by much quicker if you can listen to awesome music and you might find your new favorite artist along the way.
Wherever. Whatever. We won’t tell anyone.
Some personal grooming can make you feel clean and confident. Take your time, use that fancy shaving cream. Moisturize after. Get your glow on.
It’s healthy to cry. Seriously. Doctors say so. It’s an awesome way to release toxins and hormones in your body that build up because of stress. Holding in emotions can actually be very unhealthy for you.
Turn on your sad music, watch those military homecoming videos or look at pictures of puppies. Whatever does it for you.
You should never be ashamed of your emotions, no matter who you are. Letting out a good cry every once in a while can feel pretty amazing, whether you’re sad or not.
Okay, don’t get too crazy with this one, but again, treat yo’ self.
Buy a book online, get that new wine bottle opener, order those socks with the pugs on them. That’s the beauty of online shopping; no one has to know but you and Amazon.
This one takes a little bit of practice and can be slightly intimidating, but it really does save time later in the week. Even if it’s just for the first two days of the week, lay out some snacks or breakfast options to make your morning routine go by a little faster.
This one isn’t glamorous, but not all self-care rituals are Instagrammable. But being financially stable is sexy and your bank account will thank you.
Manage your money, take note of how much you are spending throughout the week, see how you can take better care of your finances the rest of the month. Check your credit score. Cutting down on your coffee runs or eating out less can really save a good chunk of cash.
Write it all down, do some math, keep it real with yourself.
It seems like you can’t have self-care without telling the whole world that you are practicing self-care. This isn’t true and sometimes kind of defeats the purpose of self-care.
If you go for a walk, leave your phone. When you toss that bath bomb in, you don’t have to Snapchat it. Don’t force yourself to have perfect self-care routine so you can take pictures of it and tell your friends.
Self-care can be messy and won’t make the perfect Instagram picture. Sometimes the best type of self-care is the kind you keep to yourself.
Self-care should be about you and sometimes that doesn’t look like what’s on this list or what your friends are doing. Do what makes you happy, find what works for you and don’t have guilt or shame if others think it’s weird.
Be you, tend to your needs and make sure you feel like you are actually caring for yourself, not just doing something that others tell you will be relaxing.