Self-care is essential for living a happy and healthy life, yet taking time to practice it can seem overwhelming when you’re already busy with work, family, or other obligations.
Fortunately, most self-care activities don’t require hours of time or costly investments!
We’ve compiled this list of 52 surprisingly simple ways to practice self-care – one for each week of the year – so that you can start taking better care of yourself this year!
What Is Self-Care?
Before we get started, let’s define self-care. Self-care is an intentional act of self-love and self-compassion that involves taking the time to do something that nourishes your physical, mental, and emotional health. This could be anything from reading a book to going for a walk to taking a day off to recharge.
Self-care can be broken into 8 areas: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, professional, environmental, financial, and social.
1. Physical Self-Care:
Taking care of your physical health is essential for your overall well-being. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and taking time to relax and unwind.
2. Mental Self-Care:
Mental self-care involves activities that help to keep your mind healthy and alert so you can think clearly and make good decisions. Reading, doing puzzles, taking walks, and meditating are all great ways to practice self-care in this area.
3. Emotional Self-Care:
Emotional self-care includes activities that help you to process and regulate your feelings. Examples of emotional self-care activities include journaling, talking to a trusted friend or therapist, taking a yoga class, listening to music that resonates with you, and spending time in nature.
4. Spiritual Self-Care:
Connecting with something greater than ourselves can bring us peace and purpose in life. Spiritual self-care activities include prayer, meditation, mindfulness, volunteering, and connecting with nature.
5. Professional Self-Care:
Taking care of your career and professional goals helps to bring balance and satisfaction to your life. Practicing self-care in this area can include participating in job training, networking, or learning new skills.
6. Environmental Self-Care:
Creating healthy and comfortable living spaces can greatly improve how we feel about ourselves. Activities like decluttering, decorating with plants or scents, or opening the windows for some fresh air are great environmental self-care practices.
7. Financial Self-Care:
Financial self-care involves taking the time to properly manage your finances and plan for your future. This could include setting a budget, tracking your spending, creating financial plans, and making sure you’re saving for the future.
8. Social Self-Care:
Social self-care is about cultivating healthy relationships and social connections. This can be done by having meaningful conversations with friends, family members, or colleagues, attending events and gatherings, or simply showing gratitude to those around you.
Now that we’ve established the basics of self-care, let’s get into the 52 self-care ideas to help you boost your happiness this year!
52 Self-Care Ideas And Activities To Try:
1. Get Some Sunshine
Sunshine is more than just a nice source of warmth and light – it can help boost your mood too. Take a walk and enjoy the sunshine, or just sit outside and soak up the sun’s warmth.
2. Create Something
Create something – a song, a poem, a painting, or anything else that comes to mind. Even if it’s not perfect, you’ll feel accomplished and have something tangible to show for your effort.
3. Spend Time In Nature
Take a walk in the park or explore a nearby hiking trail. Nature is an incredibly powerful self-care tool – it can help you reconnect with your inner self and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
4. Make A Gratitude List
Spend time compiling a list of things you’re thankful for – from the small to the big. Reminding yourself of all the positives in your life can help lift your mood and give you a more positive outlook.
5. Practice Meditation
Focusing on the present moment with meditation can help reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and even boost your self-esteem. If you’re new to meditation, there are plenty of guided meditations available online or use a happiness app designed for this purpose.
6. Take A Relaxing Bath
Light some candles, run yourself a hot bath, and do absolutely nothing but relax. Adding essential oils or Epsom salts to your bath can help enhance the self-care experience even further.
7. Put On Some Soothing Music And Practice Yoga
Calming music combined with yoga can help you release any stress and tension. If you don’t know any yoga poses, there are plenty of online tutorials and videos that can teach you the basics.
8. Treat Yourself To A Spa Day
Go all out and give yourself a full spa day complete with a massage, facial, and manicure. Even if you just do one of these treatments, it can still be a great self-care activity to make you feel refreshed and pampered.
9. Read A Good Book
Dive into a good book and escape from reality. Reading can help relax your body and mind, as well as provide you with an opportunity to self-reflect.
10. Write Your First Entry In A Journal
Journaling is a great self-care activity to help you process your thoughts and feelings, as well as explore self-improvement. Writing in a journal can be incredibly therapeutic and cathartic. Getting started is usually the difficult part so take that first step and write your first entry.
11. Balance Mindful Online Engagement With Tech Detoxes
When you’re online, be mindful and use the internet for self-care. Seek resources like guided meditations and support groups and engage with content that uplifts your spirit.
However, it’s equally vital to take a breather from technology whenever you can. When you disconnect from the virtual world and social media, you can reconnect with yourself and focus on your mental health and well-being.
12. Try A New Hobby
Pick up something new, such as photography or pottery. Trying out different hobbies can help you explore different creative outlets and give you a sense of accomplishment.
13. Bake Something Delicious
Baking can be incredibly therapeutic, especially when you’re creating something with your own two hands. Plus, you get to enjoy the delicious result afterward!
14. Go For A Run Or Workout
Take some time to get your heart pumping and your body moving. Working out is great for your mental and physical health, and it can help reduce stress.
15. Have A Movie Marathon
Grab some popcorn and settle in for the night. Watching a movie or TV series can be a great way to relax and unwind after a long day.
16. Take A Nap
Put on an eye mask and get some needed rest. Taking a nap can help you feel more energized and revitalized.
17. Spend Time With A Pet
If you have a pet, take some time to play and bond with it. Pets are known for their therapeutic powers and can help reduce stress and anxiety. If you don’t have a pet, consider volunteering at an animal shelter.
18. Clean Up Your Space
Clean up your home and office so that you can be surrounded by a clutter-free environment. Tidying up your space can help you relax and be more productive.
19. Buy Yourself A Gift
Buy yourself something nice or indulge in your favorite treat – self-care doesn’t always have to be selfless! Treating yourself can make you feel special and appreciated.
Here’s our list of self-care gifts to get you started.
20. Take A Trip Down Memory Lane
Look through old photos and reminisce about the good times. It can be a great self-care activity to reflect on the past, reconnect with your memories, and feel a sense of nostalgia.
21. Cook Your Favorite Meal
Take the time to cook your favorite meal. Then, savor every bite!
22. Take A Long, Hot Shower
Take a long shower and let the hot water wash away any stress you may be feeling. Make sure to rub some soothing body wash or scrub all over your skin for an added self-care boost.
23. Take A Self-Care Day
Schedule a day putting yourself first. Whether that means sleeping in, getting a massage, or going for a long walk, take the time to do things that make you feel good.
24. Reflect On Your Accomplishments
Take a moment to look back on what you have achieved. Reflecting on your accomplishments can help boost self-confidence and remind you of how far you have come.
25. Reach Out To Friends, Family, Or Colleagues You Haven’t Talked To In Awhile
There’s a direct link between relationships and life satisfaction. Connecting with your loved ones can lift your spirits and help you feel supported. Plus, it’s enjoyable to catch up with old friends.
26. Wake Up 15 Minutes Early And Savor Your Morning Routine
Wake up a bit early and savor the moments before beginning your day. This self-care activity can help you feel more refreshed and energized for the day ahead.
27. Schedule A Regular Checkup
Visit your doctor, dentist, or any other healthcare provider for a regular checkup. Paying attention to your health can help you take better care of yourself, prevent any issues from developing, or catch anything early.
28. Pamper Yourself
Put on a face mask, give yourself a manicure/pedicure, or get a massage. Taking some time to pamper yourself can be incredibly beneficial and help you relax.
29. Buy Yourself New Sheets or Pillows
Invest in new bedding and pillows to make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep. When you sleep better, you’ll feel more rested in the morning and have more energy throughout the day.
30. Express Gratitude
Write a thank you letter or express gratitude to someone who has made a difference in your life. Showing appreciation for others can help you cultivate your relationships and make you feel more positive.
31. Enjoy Some Laughter
Watch comedy specials, listen to podcasts, or read a humorous book. Laughing can help you relax and distract yourself from the things that cause you stress.
32. Indulge In A Guilty Pleasure
Indulge in something you love to do, even if it’s not considered productive or “good” for you. Whether it’s watching reality TV or playing video games, give yourself permission to enjoy your guilty pleasure and have some fun.
33. Plan A Trip
Planning a trip, even if it’s just to see a spot in your own city that you’ve never been to, can help you look forward to something and break up your daily routine.
34. Learn Something New
Learning new things can help you expand your horizons and feel more self-confident. Listen to a podcast, take an online course, or pick up a book on a new topic.
35. Decorate Your Home With Items That Bring You Joy
Fill your home with items that make you feel happy. Whether it’s a cozy blanket, framed photos of friends and family, or plants, surround yourself with items that bring you joy and comfort.
36. Take Part In Volunteer Work
Giving back to your community can be incredibly rewarding. There are so many ways to be kind. Look into local volunteer opportunities and find something that resonates with you.
37. Write Self-Love Affirmations
Write self-love affirmations and post them around your house or in places where you can see them daily. Reminding yourself that you are worth loving and caring for can have a positive impact on your sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
38. Create a Self-Care Playlist
Create a self-care playlist filled with happy music that makes you feel good. When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, put on your self-care playlist and let yourself feel the music.
39. Write Out Your Five-Year Plan
Take some time to write out where you want to be in five years. Doing this self-care exercise can help you stay motivated and focused on your future self and the goals you want to achieve.
40. Fix Something That’s Broken
Take a few minutes to fix something that’s broken around your home or in your life. Whether it’s a leaky faucet or an issue with a family member, fixing things can help you restore balance and order.
41. Be A Child Again
Spend some time being a kid again. Whether it’s going to an amusement park, playing tag, or just having fun, doing something that makes you feel like a kid again can help you remember how to enjoy life.
42. Watch The Sun Rise Or Set
Go outside and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the sunrise or sunset. Watching the sky change colors can be incredibly calming and serve as a reminder of the beauty in the world.
43. Make A Self-Care Kit
Put together a self-care kit filled with items that make you feel relaxed and calm. This could include anything from your favorite cozy blanket to a self-care book or journal. Whenever you need some self-care, you can take out your self-care kit and get to work.
44. Donate To A Cause You Care About
Find a cause that resonates with you and donate to it. Giving back can help you feel more connected to the world and make you feel good about yourself.
45. Dance To Your Favorite Music
Turn up the music and get your body moving. Dancing to your favorite songs can be a great self-care activity, as it allows you to express yourself, have fun, and get some physical activity.
46. Go Over Your Finances
Take time to review your financial situation and make sure everything is in order. Having a good understanding of your finances can give you peace of mind and help you plan for the future.
47. Enjoy Your Coffee (Or Tea)
Find a cozy spot and take time to enjoy your favorite cup of coffee or tea. Savor the flavor and drink slowly, savoring the moment.
48. Take A Day Trip
Go somewhere new and explore. Take a day trip to another city or town, or just drive around your own area and find some new places you’ve never seen before.
49. Plant Something
Plant a flower, herb, or vegetable in your garden. Watching something grow can be rewarding and serve as a reminder that you too are capable of growth.
50. Write Your Future Self A Letter
Write a letter to your future self and tell them what you want for yourself in the upcoming years. Doing this self-care exercise can help you create a vision for your future and keep you motivated.
51. Make A Vision Board
Put together a vision board with pictures and quotes of things that make you feel motivated and inspired. Hang the vision board somewhere in your home where you can easily see it, as a daily reminder to stay focused on your goals.
52. Smile At Yourself In The Mirror
Taking a few seconds to smile at yourself in the mirror is an easy self-care activity that has big rewards. It might seem silly, but self-acceptance and self-love are important self-care practices that can help you feel better about yourself.
Self-care is an important part of living a balanced and healthy life. Taking time to practice self-care can help reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve your overall well-being.
Hopefully, the self-care ideas listed above will inspire you to create your own self-care routine that works best for you.
Make sure to schedule time for self-care and stick to it, as self-care is just as important as any other task. With self-care, you can be sure to have enough energy and enthusiasm to tackle any challenge that comes your way.
For more great resources on how to take care of yourself and live a happier, healthier life, visit the a little dose of happy blog. We’re here to help you take care of yourself and find your daily dose of happiness!