After the year we’ve all had, we could certainly use some radical self-care. But sometimes self care is misinterpreted to mean pricey massages and pedicures. Now, those are fine ideas, but self care ideas are infinitely more varied than that!
So, if you’re looking to take care of yourself, read on. These ideas for self care will have you feeling refreshed and calm in no time at all (and, best of all, they won’t break the bank).
35 Self Care Ideas Anyone Can Try
Self Care Ideas for Everyone
1. Journal Daily
Journaling takes practice, but over time it becomes a relaxing and inspiring daily habit. Skillshare instructor and writer/speaker Yasmine Cheyenne provides prompts to get you started on a journey of self-discovery. Her series offers 10 ideas for self care and gratitude discovery through journaling, and she explains how to turn ideas into actionable life changes.
2. Make a Turmeric Face Mask
One of the simplest self care day ideas to take care of yourself is to make a face mask with ingredients you have at home. Mix 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric. (Careful, it stains clothes!) Apply, sit back and relax while it works magic, and rinse off for glowing skin.
3. Stock Up on Healthy Food
One of the most commonly overlooked self care activities is food prep. Show your body you care by stocking up on healthy snacks like fresh fruit, crunchy veggies, hummus, almond butter, and whole grain crackers. Bonus: Prep smoothies so you’ll have something to grab all week long!
4. Buy Some House Plants to Nurture
Plants purify the air in your home, and the pop of green is a natural mood-lifter. Skillshare instructor the Plant Kween can help you figure out exactly where to place plants for ideal light exposure, and how to water and take care of them. This lifelong hobby will help you turn your home into a wonderfully green environment.
5. Give Yourself a Manicure in the Sun
Get some vitamin D while you paint your nails in the fresh air. Call it “home spa al fresco” and treat yourself to a tall glass of lemon water for the ultimate in self care at home ideas.
6.Take a Yoga Class
Skillshare instructor and yoga teacher Eva Schroeder teaches an easy Sun Salutation yoga class to start your day. Self care ideas for women often focus on external ways to care for ourselves, but in this yoga practice, take a few minutes to focus internally.
7. Video-Call a Friend
A phone call to a friend is great, but a video call is more fun—you’ll feel more connected to someone, even if you’re far apart. Bonus: call a friend who’s going through a hard time and cheer them up; it’ll make you feel better, too.
8. Do a Hair Mask
When you’re home alone or with someone totally non-judgmental, melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and mix in 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Rub it through your hair and let it sit for 30 minutes, then wash it out with shampoo. Your hair will feel softer and more nourished—and that 30-minute break will help you feel more relaxed, too.
9. Take a Self-Defense Class
Knowing self-defense moves boost confidence and feelings of security. Skillshare instructor and former bodybuilder Richie Smyth walks students through chokeholds and blocks that will help women defend themselves against a potential attack.
10. Create a Calming Nighttime Routine
It’s easy to watch TV after dinner until bedtime, then hit the pillow without making time to wind down. But a solid nighttime routine is important. You can meditate before bed; even just five minutes melts the day away. Take time for yourself before turning in—you’re worth it.
Self Care at Home Ideas
11. Practice Deep Breathing
Stress creeps up, but there’s a simple way to de-stress that doesn’t require any equipment: breathing exercises. Whether you’re at home, in the parking lot, or on a walk outdoors, take “breathing breaks” in your day to practice and calm down quickly.
12. Make a New Recipe
Cooking and baking are calming activities, and a home-cooked meal is a great way to treat yourself. Grab a cookbook you haven’t turned to for a while, see if a recipe inspires you, and make it!
13. Step Into the Sun
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins, and it’s available for free in the form of sunshine. Step away from work, chores, or whatever is keeping you indoors, and bask for 10 minutes of direct sunlight.
14. Change Your Bedding
Switching out your sheets and pillowcases freshens up your bedroom, and that simple change might even help you get a better night’s sleep. You don’t need to buy new sheets—just grab something that’s hanging out in the back of the linen closet. You’ll be surprised how nice it feels to crawl into bed.
15. Organize a Closet or Drawer
Skillshare instructor and professional organizer Tatiana Ambrose says that decluttering energizes and motivates us. Don’t do the whole house at once—simply start with a kitchen drawer or jewelry box. As you start to see the benefits, make time over multiple days to clean messy areas.
16. Open the Window or Curtains
In wintertime, our houses can feel dark and cold. Throw open the curtains or blinds and see how your spirits are lifted by the light that comes in, even on a cloudy day. If you can, open the window for fresh air. It will make even the dreariest day feel brighter.
17. Take a Watercolor Challenge
Try your hand at this five-day watercolor course aimed at calming stress. This is one of those self care day ideas that seems childish, but the act of stepping away from our screens and trying something analog can be soothing. Skillshare instructor and artist Caitlin Sheffer leads students through painting exercises to practice affirmation, gratitude, relaxation, and laughter. Pick up a paintbrush and give it a try!
18. Plan a Trip
Remember that childhood game where you would spin a globe to see where you’d live? Try it now—and wherever your finger lands, that’s where you’re taking a (fantasy) trip. Pick a dreamy hotel, make plans for day trips, choose restaurants, or pick up a book that’s set in that destination. Imagine yourself in a new place, even if you never go.
19. Visit a Museum Virtually
World-famous museums now offer virtual tours, and they’re amazing. With the click of a mouse, you can ogle ancient Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre; stare at Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” at New York’s MoMa; or check out dinosaur fossils at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
20. Clean up Your Social Media
Take an ax to your social media accounts and unfollow people or entities that don’t, as Marie Kondo would say, “spark joy.” If you struggle with scrolling, culling accounts can help. (If this means muting some extended family members, so be it!)
Affordable Self Care
21. Take a Photography Stroll
Get out in nature to rest and recharge. Skillshare instructor and photography teacher Tabitha Park explains how to capture inspirational images of the outdoors. She says, “Give yourself an excuse to get outside and explore with your camera,” but a smartphone will work just fine.
22. Soak Your Feet
A warm foot bath is quicker than a full bath, but it’ll relax you just the same. It can even be done while you work at your desk! All you need is warm water and some bath salts.
23. Give Yourself a Massage
Here’s a self care activity you can do anywhere: massage your neck, shoulders, and hands. Follow the advice of masseuse Yadah Kock for a world-class hand massage that will drain stress and tightness out of your body.
24. Take a Screen Break
Turn your phone off, close your computer, turn off the TV—any device that might make a noise. Then be fully present in an activity: bake bread, do a puzzle, or take a brisk walk. No distractions.
25. Go to the Library
Most towns have a local library that’s stocked with books, magazines, and DVDs, so stop in and pick up a new read. Many libraries offer apps as well, which makes this activity Covid-friendly!
26. Do a Quick Workout
Exercise is proven to improve your mood. No home gym? No problem. Let Skillshare instructor and certified personal trainer Jack Wilson lead you through some bodyweight workouts. You don’t need any equipment—just the willingness to sweat!
27. Spice Up Your Java
Spice up your coffee with a dash of your favorite spice: cinnamon, cardamom, even cumin! A tiny pinch in the grounds can transform a plain ol’ cup of joe into something spectacular and exotic.
28. Make a Backyard Bouquet
You don’t need florist-perfect flowers to make a beautiful bouquet—some leaves, grasses, or whatever you find in your backyard is perfect! Follow Skillshare instructor and florist Kaylee Young’s principles to make a gorgeous, hyper-local bouquet. She explains the structure of a proper bouquet and how to hold it in your hands as you create and build.
29. Say No to Extra Obligations
Some days, the best way to take care of yourself is to just say “no” to every invitation, meeting, call, and event. Take a day just for you. Clear your calendar. Don’t pick up the phone. Bask in the peace and quiet of your own mind, without the distractions that outside obligations can introduce.
30. Take a Meal to a Neighbor
Self care can mean taking care of others. Double a recipe and pack it up, then drop it off on the porch of a neighbor who could use a little pick-me-up. Bonus: include a plate of home-baked cookies.
31. Pick up Trash
Americans celebrate Earth Day in April by picking up trash around their neighborhoods. But greening-up activities don’t have to happen just once a year. Grab a plastic grocery bag and walk the street, picking up trash. It’s not glamorous, but beautifying your neighborhood is good for the environment and the soul.
Grab a pen and paper and follow along. Skillshare instructor and illustrator Mandy Ford teaches a drawing session that helps you produce a wacky doodle. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, doodling is for everyone. The journey is the destination!
Incorporate a short stretching routine into your day for increased flexibility, blood flow, and concentration. Felix Harder has stretching routines to improve your posture. Go slow and stick with it!
34. Rearrange Your Furniture
Freshen a room by moving the furniture around. Rearranging is relaxing, free, and productive, and it can make a tired room feel new.
35. Embrace Your Authentic Self
Listen to best-selling author Chidera Eggerue talk about believing in yourself: “The best way to become the person that can go for it is to just believe that you are worth trying…Invest in yourself. Spend time with yourself and time on yourself, without feeling guilty. Investing in yourself…is a continuous process.” Heed her words about self care: “Your mind is where everything starts and ends, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that you create a mental territory where you have enough resources that you can pull from, without relying on anyone else.”
Start Your Self Care Journey Today
Revolutionary Self Care: Embrace, Nurture, and Grow Your Authentic Self.