If you take the time to look, you will find a million ideas for self-care. By definition, self-care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s health, well-being and happiness.” Essentially, self-care is anything you enjoy doing that takes your mind away from your stress. Below is a list of a few very common self-care ideas to give you a beginner’s list. There are many more forms of self-care than the activities listed here, but I wanted to include some of my favorites, or those that I know work for me.
Self-care activities to soothe your mind:
1. Read a book or magazine.
2. Go for a walk, or explore a new part of your neighborhood.
3. Try meditation or yoga!
4. Enjoy a cup of tea, or coffee if it is before evening.
5. Take a long, warm bath or shower.
6. Go see or watch a new movie or one of your favorites.
7. Spend time with a loved one.
8. Practice a mindfulness activity, even just deep breathing.
9. Write. About your feelings, about a creative fiction story, just write.
10. Try another creative outlet like painting, drawing or maybe sewing.
11. Declutter an area of your home.
12. Listen to music — loudly. Dance, too.
13. Write down things you are thankful for and that inspire you.
14. Let yourself cry occasionally if you need to, but try not to wallow in it for too long.
15. Head to your favorite spot in town to watch the sunset or sunrise.
16. Treat yourself to your favorite comfort food, and don’t feel guilty!
17. Watch some trashy reality TV, trust me it helps.
18. Plan a night out (or in) with your favorite people.
19. Skip your chores for a day and just relax.
20. Head to the gym (or your living room with a Youtube video) and sweat out the stress.
21. Cook or bake something you enjoy, try something new!
22. Do a puzzle or crossword.
23. Clean out your closet.
24. Take a 20 or 30-minute nap to recharge — but don’t let that trap you in bed all day!
25. Take a few hours, or a day if you’d like, away from social media.
26. Do something nice for someone without them knowing (for example, buy the person behind you in the drive-thru coffee).
27. Watch a TED talk on a topic you’ve been wanting to learn more about.
28. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
29. Look through old photos; focus on positive memories.
30. Cross something off your bucket list (or make plans to)!
31. Volunteer your time to something you believe in.
Just be gentle with yourself, and remember everything will be OK. Stay safe and take great care.
A version of this article was originally published on Tee Up For Mental Health.