What exactly is self care? The short definition is that self care is an action that you do for yourself for your own personal physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental needs.
You’ll find more and more that your time and energy is being split between too many things that are pulling you many different directions.
You’ll feel frayed and on edge because you feel like you never get time for yourself.
That’s a tough place to be, but that’s precisely why self care is vital to your well-being. You need these self care activities to give yourself a moment to recharge and carry on.
Taking the time to find small ways to improve your quality of life by following this list of self care possibilities will be just enough to get you started.
- 101 Self Care Activities that You Can Use to Improve Your Life -
After doing a ton of research online, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of what we believe is a fantastic list of self care activities.
Choose one or two to work into your daily life as a healing ritual, and then add in more over time, or, whenever you need some extra time to refresh your mind and soul:
1. Allow yourself to feel pampered with a manicure or pedicure. The time for yourself is well worth it.
2. Book an appointment for a massage and actually go get it. A massage is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy some time for yourself.
3. Read a book on a topic you’ve always wanted to learn about or read about. Even if you’re not learning, read just because you want to! The latest romance novel available from Johanna Lindsey is a nice place to start - do it and don’t feel guilty about it!
4. Make it a point to schedule time for yourself. Use a calendar or a planner if you have to, but schedule some downtime for yourself and stick to it.
Music can be very healing. Listen to the music with your eyes closed and just delve into some quiet time.
5. Take a break and listen to music that is meaningful to you. It can be fun music, a soundtrack you love, or something instrumental.
6. Make a list of things you’re grateful for and put it somewhere you will see it on a daily basis. By seeing it regularly, you’re going to focus more on the positives in your life instead of the negatives.
7. Purge the excess from your life. If that means cleaning your closet out of clothes you haven’t worn in next to forever, then let it go. If it means cleaning out your kitchen of nonessential items, do it, and have no regrets.
8. Make a donation to a charitable organization. That donation doesn’t have to be monetary. It can be donating your time, or maybe just donating everything you just purged from your closet.
9. Smile at a stranger every so often. You never know how much that smile can mean to someone. You could be the person responsible for raising their spirits.
It feels nice to be noticed, especially when you’re not trying, so be the person that pays attention and just says something nice.
10. Give an honest compliment to someone else. It could be on their hair, makeup, clothes, personality, or whatever strikes you.
11. Buy someone else a cup of coffee while you’re in line waiting for your latte. You can even do it anonymously if you’d like, and hand the barista an extra $5 or $10 with instructions to apply it to the next person in line.
12. Call your friends or family just to say hi. Not a text. Not an email. Actually pick up the phone and dial the number with the intention of hearing the voice on the other end.
13. Pack a few extra goodies in your car that the area homeless will appreciate. Women especially love getting feminine products, and you can never go wrong with snacks to hand out.
14. Learn a new skill just because you can.
15. Surprise a loved one with a care package. It doesn’t have to be big – it could even be a hand-written letter. You don’t see those much anymore, so it will be treasured by the recipient.
16. Learn how to budget and track your spending. Knowing where your money goes makes you feel like you’ve got control over your life because you’ll be able to make informed decisions.
17. Turn off technology. Seriously. Turn it off and step away from it. Even if it’s only a few minutes or an entire day, taking a break is incredibly freeing.
18. Do something nice for someone else without any intention of being recognized for the random act of kindness. It could be as simple as paying for someone else’s parking meter.
19. Prepare a tried and true meal at home - from scratch – if you have the energy.
20. Have someone turn the lights off while you’re in the shower. You’ll be forced to slow down, but first, make sure you have nonslip mats in place so you don’t fall over.
21. Take the time to rearrange your furniture in a different way. A change can clear the energy in your space.
22. Call your spouse, partner, or other loved one, at a time of day when you know there is no chance they will answer and leave a message that will make that person smile.
23. Watch a movie you want to watch and watch it without any interruptions, all by yourself.
24. Breathe deeply for a few minutes with your eyes closed. Relax.
25. Bake some brownies or cookies with the express purpose of giving them to a neighbor.
26. Even if you don’t need to, attend a support meeting and simply listen as a way to show support to others.
27. Listen to a new podcast from someone you’ve never listened to before or from someone you know and love.
28. If you have pets, talk to them. Tell them your deepest secrets so you can finally get those off your chest and know you’ll never be judged by them.
29. If you don’t have pets, write down your deepest secrets and then burn the paper. Use the experience as a metaphor to let things go.
30. Have a proper picnic on a blanket in a park or in your own backyard.
31. Don’t be afraid of comfort food. Indulge occasionally and don’t feel guilty about it.
32. Give yourself a compliment. Recognize that you are doing the best you can and accept it as truth with no ifs, ands, or buts.
33. Post only positive stories and memes on your social media networks.
34. Do something you enjoy regardless of whether or not you’re good at it.
35. Listen to music that you haven’t listened to since you were a kid and reminisce about the good times.
36. Create playlists that reflect your various moods so you have something ready to listen to when you need it.
37. Acknowledge that some things that come easy for you don’t come easy for others. Congratulate yourself for seeing these things and realizing that not everyone can do the same things the same way.
38. If you like stargazing, make it a point to learn a new constellation. Try to find it.
39. Learn how to play a game you’ve never played before.
40. Take the time to learn about the history where you currently reside.
41. Visit the local animal shelter. Even if you don’t adopt a pet, the animals still enjoy your company. You might even find that you want to volunteer or donate!
42. Search for a new hiking trail in your area and pick a day to hike it.
43. Jam out to your favorite tunes in your car and sing or dance like no one is watching. Even if they are watching, choose not to care about them.
44. Go kayaking or canoeing with a friend. Don’t forget to prepare properly before spending some time out on the water.
45. Get a new haircut that you would not have ever gotten before even though it would absolutely go perfectly with the shape of your face.
46. Upon waking up, let your first thought be positive and have a goal for yourself. It could be as simple as getting yourself ready a few minutes earlier than usual.
47. Cut or purchase some fresh flowers that you can put on display to enjoy.
48. Take an afternoon nap on a Saturday or a Sunday. Don’t feel bad about it – just do it.
49. Learn a new language. There are many FREE apps and websites for this, and it would only take a few minutes per day.
50. Find a local music venue and enjoy a performance. You might even find someone to listen to in a coffee shop or a local restaurant.
51. See if there is a comedy club near you and laugh the night away.
52. Go on a drive without any particular destination in mind. Spice it up by flipping a coin. Tails, you go right, and heads, you go left.
53. Listen to an audiobook a chapter at a time instead of watching television. Let your mind wander and visualize what you hear.
54. Sleep in every so often and accept that your chores aren’t going anywhere. Putting them off for a little while doesn’t hurt anyone.
55. Try a new restaurant.
56. The next time you go through a drive-thru or pay for a meal at a restaurant, pay for someone else. If you’re in line, pay for the person behind you. If you’re in a restaurant, pick a table and offer to pay for them.
57. Get a room at a hotel either in your town or in another town. Go spend the night and enjoy knowing you don’t have to do a thing.
58. Search for a few local wineries or distilleries and go for a tasting. Many offer free tastings, so it’s a great way to get out of the house and not have to spend too much to enjoy yourself.
59. Learn how to skip rocks if you don’t already know. If you do know, see how many skips you can make your rock do and try to beat your record.
60. Ask for help if you need it. Don’t be ashamed for asking. Be proud for recognizing your limitations and knowing when to reach out for a helping hand.
61. Voice your needs to your partner. You may be pleasantly surprised at how happy they are to help you!
62. Start your very own blog and write about anything your heart desires.
63. Do something messy and artistic all at the same time like a tie-dyeproject!
64. Visit an antique shop and ask questions about the pieces you see. You may find something you just have to have. At the very least, you could be in for some interesting conversations.
65. Consider going camping to get away from civilization. Spending time in nature could be just what you need.
66. Schedule a date night for you and your partner, or your entire family. Make them all a priority in your life by planning and following through with these nights.
67. Make s’mores over a fire in your backyard fire pit. Make sure it’s safe for you to do so and have water nearby in case you need to extinguish your fire in a hurry.
68. Have a staycation at home and make it a point to not do a darn thing except for binging on Netflix or your favorite movies.
69. Learn how to say “no” to others when you need to and accept that it’s okay to tell someone you can’t do something or attend an event. It matters for your own well-being.
70. Look up funny cat videos on YouTube. You know they’re great to watch and are a completely enjoyable way to spend your time.
71. Have a glass of wine, a beer, or some other concoction. Remember to keep it in moderation so you don’t overdo it and feel miserable the next day.
72. Exercise because it releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy, therefore exercise can make you happy, too.
73. Meditate for a few minutes or an hour. Do it for as long as you need to as a way to reduce your stress.
74. Learn a few new time management techniques to help you prioritize your needs, goals, and ultimately the way you handle time.
75. Take a moment to reflect on your inner emotions. Accept that they are there and come up with a way to cope with negative emotions in a healthy way. That could mean journaling or kickboxing. Your pick.
76. Tackle something that has been sitting on your to-do list for way too long.
77. Savor a cup of your favorite coffee.
78. Remember what it was like to be a kid and jump in a few puddles with complete abandon.
79. Stare up at the sky on a cloudy day and find animals among the heavens.
80. Color in your favorite images. It could be on an app or in an actual coloring book.
81. Light a candle and enjoy the way the flame dances in the dark.
82. Explore Pinterest and find something you want to try to do. It doesn’t matter if you can do it well – just do it for the experience.
83. Paint something – a picture, a collage, or try a new class.
84. Spend some time with a friend over a cup of coffee.
85. Watch the sunset from the best view point you can find.
86. Get up early, watch the sunrise, and see the world come alive before your eyes.
87. Wear an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. Forget about haters and judgmental people – wear it for yourself and no one else.
88. Google some funny memes that reflect the kind of day you’re having.
89. Give up the toxic people in your life. Don’t keep them there to save their feelings. Instead, place yourself as a higher priority and just let them go.
90. Reward yourself with something for an activity or a goal that you met. Or if it’s a Tuesday.
91. Be spontaneous and go out when you weren’t planning to.
92. Learn to play an instrument. If you already play, learn a new song.
93. Make your bed. Even if you don’t do it every day, when you do make it, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.
94. Pick out a jigsaw puzzle and work on it over time.
95. Do something just because it brings you joy and makes you happy.
96. Make daily goals that you can actually stick to and follow through with.
97. Throw away the bathroom scale if it makes you upset.
98. Get up and stretch when you can.
99. Take a long shower and let the water run all over you. If you have kids and you can get away with it, lock the door so they don’t bother you.
100. Cook a fancy meal just because you want to try something new.
101. Visit a local farmer’s market and see what is available near you. You’ll get out and show support for local businesses.
Getting on Track
Self care works to prevent issues as well as acting as a way to get yourself back on track. They can help you maintain your inner strength in the face of a challenge.
If self care activities aren’t enough to help you through, consider finding a therapist to help you find the best path forward so your life can be better. Asking for help is the bravest thing you can do.