We all know that it’s so important to practice self care and that it can help support our goals in areas like mental health, physical health, self esteem, and wellbeing. But how do you know which self care ideas to add to your routine to make that happen?
Today I’m bringing you a bumper guide of all the best self care ideas I can think of. There are SO many ideas here, so plenty for you to explore and try out.
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68 of the best ever self care ideas and self care tips to try
Sometimes I know I want to schedule in some self care time, but I’m not sure exactly how to spend it. That’s why I wanted to come up with a huge self care ideas list so we can all “shop” from it when we want to have a self care moment.
Work through this list of self care ideas top to bottom and consider which ideas to add to your list, or skip through and stop at any that really stand out to you. Think of this as your master self care ideas list that you can keep coming back to.
Let’s jump in!
1. Get enough sleep
The amount of sleep we get can really affect how we feel the next day. I know I definitely feel worse if I’ve had a super late night and an early start. Make sure that you’re getting enough sleep if you can, and find ways to adjust your schedule as much as possible to give yourself time to snooze.
If you’re finding it hard to fall asleep or that you’re not cozy, it might be that you need a new pillow. I know that when I start to feel “meh” about getting sleep, it’s time for me to refresh my pillow and/or bedding. I like to use a foam pillow* like this one from Emma Sleep.
2. Redecorate your space
Did you love changing your room around as a kid? Me too! Take some of that enthusiasm and joy from the past and give yourself permission to redecorate a space in your home. It can be a small area like a bookshelf, or a whole room — whatever brings you happiness. Add in some new things to freshen your space up too — like an essential oil diffuser, framed positive affirmations, or a scented candle.
3. Widen your music tastes
Listening to our favorite songs can be so comforting, but there’s also a joy in exploring different genres and artists and finding something new to listen to. Take a look through your Spotify and look through related artists to find a new gem, or try a completely new genre to see if it sparks an interest.
4. Find a type of exercise you love
I spent so long thinking I hated exercise, and couldn’t get into a good habit. That wasn’t true — I just hadn’t found the perfect activity yet. Try and find a form of exercise that you enjoy, so that working out doesn’t feel like a chore — and instead it becomes a fun self care idea. Research shows that physical activity (this type of self care) can help lower blood pressure, so it’s a great way to check off some physical and mental wellbeing at the same time.
5. Experiment with a new recipe
We all have our tried and true recipes or foods that we enjoy, but sometimes it’s fun to branch out a little. Look for inspiration online or ask family and friends to recommend a new-to-you recipe. Order in the ingredients or head to a market to make it more of an experience, then head home and cook up something delicious in the kitchen. I’m excited to try these cinnamon sugar pretzel bites for sure!
6. Watch a new-to-you movie
Have a favorite movie you always watch on repeat? Me too! It’s just as exciting to try something new though. Load up Netflix or Amazon Prime Video and search for something a bit different to watch. Most online streaming services will recommend movies or TV shows they think you’ll like, which can help cut down on decision fatigue.
7. Create a gratitude list
There’s SO much to be thankful — even when it feels like things are more difficult than ever. Take a step back, give yourself a few minutes, and make space to write down what you’re grateful for. Starting a gratitude list can be a really powerful way to reflect on all the good things in life and is an excellent activity to add to your self care routine. If you fancy something a little different, this gratitude calendar* from Ban.do is a super fun idea!
Ready to get started? See my guide on how to create a gratitude list.
8. Take some time off from alcohol or caffeine
Drinking the things we enjoy is a form of self care itself, but sometimes it’s handy to take a break from them — especially things like alcohol, energy drinks, or coffee. Use this as an opportunity to discover a new drink that you might really love — like a refreshing fruit tea or homemade juice.
9. Plan your dream self care day
Adding in self care activities to our daily or weekly routines is a must-have, but sometimes you need a more in-depth fix. That’s where a self care day comes in. It’s an entire day dedicated to taking care of yourself, filled with self care ideas and activities designed to help you feel refreshed and re-energized.
If you want an in depth guide to how to take these self care ideas and make a day of your own self care plans, you’re in luck — I’ve written a super detailed (yet approachable) guide on how to plan your own self care day.
10. Catch up with a friend or loved one
When life gets busy, or when we’re overwhelmed, it’s hard to stay in touch with people — even if we love them dearly. Take some time out to schedule a quick meeting or coffee date with someone you care about. Head to your favorite local spot, or try somewhere new for cake and coffee or cocktails and dinner, and catch up like you always do.
11. Improve your morning routine
How we start our day can have a big impact on how the rest of it follows. I always feel better when I’ve got into a really positive morning routine. Rise gently, open your curtains and blinds, and drink some water. Follow with a nourishing breakfast, and create a routine that works. That might include gentle exercise or going for a walk, or you might prefer to jump into your work to-do list with a fresh cup of coffee. You might even like to try creating your own slow morning routine for days when you want some extra time to unwind.
12. Try a craft activity
Schedule some downtime to try a fun new craft activity. Even if you don’t think you’re creative or craft isn’t normally your thing, this self care idea can be a good way to unwind and focus your brain on a different type of activity. A craft subscription box is great for this!
13. Compliment someone
It doesn’t take a long time to compliment someone, but it can bring you both that warm fuzzy feeling. If someone’s done something incredible for you, or you’re grateful for their presence — tell them! It could mean the world to them, and it’s a lovely way to give back and share the love around. This works on yourself, too. Show some self-compassion, practice positive self talk, and pay yourself a compliment every now and again.
14. Book a day off work
We all experience burnout, and it’s no surprise when many of us spend so much of our time at work. Take this as your reminder to book a vacation day and spend it however you want to. Forget your to do list and plan a day of self care ideas, DIY, exploring, rest, or watching TV. You deserve it.
15. Go for a scenic walk
There’s something so refreshing about heading out into the world and walking somewhere beautiful. Whether it’s by the sea, up on a mountain, or simply around a local park filled with flowers, a scenic walk can be all you need sometimes if you feel in a rut. It’s a reminder to be in the present moment, to enjoy the sights and scents around you, get some fresh air, and feel grounded.
16. Organize your digital photos
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have thousands of photos on your phone and computer that just don’t get looked at. Take some time to do a digital declutter of your photos and organize them, so you can better appreciate all the lovely photos and memories you have. Make this self care idea a regular habit and you can stay on top of your photo collection more easily.
17. Up your water intake
Most of us don’t drink enough water throughout the day. It’s easy to forget when you’re busy, after all. It’s recommended that you have six to eight glasses of fluid per day, ideally. This can be water, but it can also include other drinks like tea, milk, or juice. Wherever you’re at now, moving closer towards the goal is a great step.
18. Watch a coworking stream
This is a new discovery for me, but it’s a great one. If you struggle to stay motivated, watching a coworking stream can be a great self care idea. The faster you can complete your work, the faster you can jump into an activity you enjoy. I’ve found watching these streams helps me stay focused, productive, and find more joy in my work day. I recommend heading over to the Coworking Crew on Twitch to find someone you enjoy watching.
19. Volunteer your help to someone
It’s easy to get stuck in our own lives and forget that there’s a whole world and community just outside our front door. If you have the time and energy, volunteer some of this to help someone out. You could take up a weekly shift at a local charity shop — like I did a few years back — or use your skills to support others. This could be as simple as replying with helpful comments in a Facebook group, or offering your time to help people learn how to use their technology.
20. Join an interest club
Clubs might feel like something you’d sign your child up for, but this self care idea can also be a great way for us adults to meet people that we might have something in common with. Places like Facebook are a great place to find clubs and groups with a shared common interest. There’s endless options here — from a local fitness club to an online group that’s passionate about building a passive income. You’ll find something that’s perfect for you somewhere.
21. Shop your wardrobe
There’s nothing like an amazing new item to give you a little boost of self confidence. You don’t have to go shopping to find something incredible in your wardrobe, though. Give yourself some time to enjoy this self care idea and take a look through your wardrobe and drawers, then ‘shop your closet’ to create a fun capsule collection of fresh outfit combinations.
22. Plan your dream vacation
If you love to travel or want to tackle your bucket list one day, why not spend some time planning your dream vacation? Think about where you want to visit, what kind of accommodation you want to stay in, what sights you want to see, and delicious foods you want to enjoy. You could even take it a step further and turn your dreams into a concrete plan, with goals to help you get there.
23. Order takeout
Cooking from scratch is great, but sometimes you want someone else to do the hard work. Pick up the phone or head online and order your favorite takeout. Treat yourself to your most loved dish, or try a different restaurant and order something totally unexpected. Combine this self care idea with a movie night with friends to create a real feel good evening.
24. Play a video game
One of my absolute favorite ways to relax is to play a video game. It’s absolutely a self care idea! It’s a great way to refresh your brain — especially if you’ve been working all day. Get cozy on the sofa with a console game, or boot up your PC and play a much-loved classic instead.
25. Celebrate your recent successes
We don’t celebrate what we do often enough — even if we do it for the people we love. Gather your thoughts and think about what you’ve done that went well recently. This can be anything from college, work, family life, personal goals, travel, or habit forming. There’ll be something you can celebrate, and even better if you can get others involved in it alongside you.
26. Do a quick yoga video
Yoga can be a wonderful way to relax and de-stress. You get to move your body in a gentle way, work on progress by perfecting your poses, and practice deep breathing skills. I don’t do a lot of yoga myself, but when I do my go-to is Yoga with Adriene.
27. Simplify your life with automations
This might sound a little out there, but if you study or work a lot you might be able to find ways to streamline what you do to save some time. That time can then help free up some mental space for you, or give you pockets of time that you can spend on relaxing hobbies or interests — making it a self care idea or hack. Think about simple ways to start with — like setting up automatic payments for bills — or take a look through this list of automation ideas to help you out.
28. Find a mentor or motivation buddy
Sometimes we can lose motivation for something, even if we really want to achieve it. A great self care idea is to find someone that can help you through a slump so you can achieve your goals. Finding a mentor or motivation pal isn’t always easy. Start by asking in any Facebook groups or communities that you’re in — you never know, you might encourage a whole movement!
29. Get close to animals
There’s something super calming about getting close to animals, which is why I love this as a self care idea. Whether it’s at a petting zoo or cuddling up with your best friend’s cat, spending time with animals can really feel like it’s improving your quality of life. Look for opportunities to spend a day out somewhere watching or cuddling animals for a fun self care idea.
30. Watch TV guilt free
Some people might say watching TV isn’t self care. I disagree! I think if you want to sit down and watch the entire series of Emily in Paris at once, then go for it. Load up Netflix or Disney+, find a show to watch, and sit down with a cup of tea and a blanket. For extra coziness with this self care idea, bake some tasty cookies or make your own hot cocoa.
31. Make a donation
Self care doesn’t always involve physically doing something for yourself — you can also do things for others to give yourself a mood boost. Donating is a great way of contributing to the world around you in a positive way. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount, either — every pound or dollar helps.
32. Find your community online
Having a supportive community around you can make a huge difference to your everyday life and how you navigate the world. Give yourself time to find a place where you belong online and throw yourself into participating in your own way. A great place to find groups is Facebook, but you can also find niche communities on Twitter and Instagram. While you’re there, curate your feed and unfollow accounts that you don’t feel aligned with any more.
33. Bake something delicious
If you enjoy being in the kitchen or simply have a favorite dessert, baking can be an amazing self care idea. I love this sugar cookie recipe. It’s so simple, but the cookies come out delicious and they’re also fun to bake with the kids — so great for a little family self care moment.
34. Write someone a letter
Writing a letter might sound a little old fashioned these days, but the experience of doing it can be really relaxing and rewarding. Think about who you want to write to, then sit down and pen a letter straight from the heart. Make it a fun new hobby between you and a friend, or use it as a sweet way to surprise a relative with some happy mail. It’s an excuse to use all that stationery you’ve collected, if nothing else!
Want to take this self care idea digital? I love sending digital thank you cards* and notes via Greenvelope. It’s super easy to set up, and you can customize your card and what you write inside. There’s a free trial too, which is always a bonus!
35. Listen to a podcast
While you absolutely shouldn’t feel any pressure to fill all your quiet time, sometimes having a podcast on while you’re walking or commuting can create a mini self care moment for you. I love to listen to podcasts about business and content marketing (as that’s what I’m passionate about!) but there’s a show out there for every interest and niche. Browse through Spotify to find a new podcast series to enjoy as part of your daily, weekly, or Sunday routine.
36. Find a side hustle
Starting a side business isn’t for everyone, but if it excites you then don’t forget that this also counts as a self care idea. You’re creating something for yourself — something that’ll help build skills, and hopefully provide a financial safety net into the future. I actually turned my hobby (blogging) into a profitable freelance writing career, but love experimenting with side hustles too. I also sell trading cards online and have opened a new self care Etsy store!
37. Meal prep for the week ahead
Meal planning and meal prepping can be an awesome way of giving your future self a break — time that you can use for another self care activity, side hustle, or to spend time with family. If you’re new to this self care idea, check out my beginner friendly guide on how to meal plan. It’ll help you come up with ideas and put together a weekly menu plan, so you can start prepping your meals in advance and free up some valuable time on weekday evenings.
38. Plan a weekend away
I always think it’s nice to have something to look forward to and get excited about — even if it’s not happening any time soon. Spend some of your downtime, with a partner or friend if you fancy, planning a weekend getaway. It doesn’t have to be extravagant — the idea is to come up with a practical weekend away that you could actually book when finances and schedules allow.
39. Reflect on your budget
Looking at your money situation can be a huge trigger for negative feelings. I’ve been there, and it sucks. If you’re comfortable with it, reviewing your budget and savings can help you build positive habits and fresh motivations around your income and outgoings. If you want to get into the habit of saving money, I’ve recently added a cute new 52 week savings challenge printable to my Etsy store! Use it to help you stay motivated to reach your savings goals this year.
40. Go to a local meetup or event
So many of us spend so much time behind a screen. In these times, that’s to be expected, but when you can try and find a meetup or event that you can enjoy — either solo or with a friend or family member. This is a self care activity I’ve been meaning to do for a while now — just gotta build that confidence!
41. Take a digital detox
Maybe going to an event isn’t your thing, but an afternoon, day, or even week away from your digital devices can be a really refreshing self care activity. Head outside and explore your local area, go out for dinner with a friend, or schedule an afternoon of reading that book you’ve been meaning to finish. Embrace the slowness of life for a little while, before heading back to your usual routine.
42. Try gardening
Being outside in the garden can be really relaxing and rewarding — especially if you love the idea of curating a flower bed, or growing your own fruit and vegetables. Don’t worry if you’re into this idea but don’t have a garden, as you can make it happen with an indoor garden. I personally find the idea of keeping a garden overwhelming, but I can definitely appreciate the love and effort that goes into it.
43. Join an online class
I always think that one of the best ways to learn something or jump into a new hobby is with an online class. Head to an online class site like Skillshare or Udemy and explore different topics and skills until you find something you’re excited about.
44. Take a bubble bath
For some people, a cozy bubble bath is the ultimate in relaxation. It’s a chance to unwind with a book or podcast, or reflect on your hopes, wishes, and goals. If that’s you all over, open up your favorite bubble bath, light a candle, and relax. Want to make this even more relaxing? Take a look at my guide on how to have the ultimate self care bath for your own mini spa day experience.
45. Comment on someone’s social media posts
This might sound like an unusual self care idea, but it’s really not. Most of us love to feel noticed and receive a compliment, but giving them can be just as rewarding. As you scroll through your social media feed, like someone’s post or leave a thoughtful or encouraging comment to give you both a feel-good moment.
46. Arrange a coffee or dinner date
It’s easy to end up stuck inside the house for weeks on end — especially if you work from home. Make plans for a coffee or dinner date with a friend or loved one so you can enjoy a change of scenery, great company, and delicious food all in one place.
47. Rework your daily routine
If you struggle to stay on top of your self care goals, a daily routine is the way to go. A routine makes it easier for you to keep up those positive habits and helps you reach your goals. Maybe your daily routine features an in-depth morning skincare routine, or maybe you head to the gym after work. It’s all about finding the self care practices that work for you, and building a habit around them.
Want to help your future weeks start off the right way? Take a look at my guide on how to create a Sunday routine to help you feel focused, refreshed, and organized!
48. Shop for something for yourself
Most of us have something on a wishlist that we’ve been meaning to treat ourselves to. If finances allow, give yourself the freedom to finally pick that wishlist item up. For a smaller self care idea treat, buy yourself your favorite coffee while you’re out, order a takeout, or buy some cute yet affordable homewares for your space.
49. Start a blog
I’m obviously super biased, but starting a blog is one of my favorite self care ideas. Not only does it help you learn new skills and practice existing ones, but you can also use it as an avenue to reach your goals — whether that’s career, personal, or income goals. The self care element comes with the joy that comes from coming up with ideas, writing, designing, and sharing what you’ve made with the world.
If you’re interested, I’d recommend checking out this guide on how to start a blog. I often revisit Ryan’s blog to pick up ideas and tips, even though I’ve been blogging for years.
If you do decide to start a blog, you’ll need a great hosting company that won’t let you down. I wholeheartedly recommend Lyrical Host* — they’ve always been incredible and I wouldn’t be without them.
50. Check out some adorable animal photos
Starting a blog obviously takes a lot of time and energy, so here’s a simple way to get in some self care — looking at adorable animal photos. Head over to YouTube and find a feel-good cat or dog video playlist, or hop over to Instagram and see what you can find over there. If this self care idea works for you, follow some of the accounts you see so you can always have a go-to list for the future.
51. Doodle or draw
We love getting out the watercolors and having a mini art session at home. Focus on enjoying the process and laughing along the way, rather than creating a masterpiece. I’ve added some great coloring book and notebook ideas to my self care stationery ideas* list on Amazon, or you can head to your local art or grocery store to pick up some affordable supplies.
52. Complete a random act of kindness
Self care can extend to those around us too, and random acts of kindness are a lovely way to share that ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling with someone else. Surprise a family member with some freshly baked brownies, offer to help someone with their shopping, or pay for someone’s order at a coffee shop. Random acts of kindness don’t have to be big or expensive — it’s all about those small moments that can really make someone smile.
53. Plan and cook a cozy meal
Lots of us have a favorite dish or recipe that always makes us feel good. For a cozy self care idea, plan, prepare, and cook that dish for yourself or your family. If you find that cooking makes you feel anxious (like me), this can be a great way to settle in and enjoy the process of planning, making, and eating.
54. Tidy up your home
The idea of spending time tidying up doesn’t spark joy for everyone, but it can be a refreshing self care idea — especially if you always feel better when your space is clutter-free. Pick a space in your home and tidy things up, dust surfaces, and declutter anything you don’t need.
If you’re not sure where to start, try my simple decluttering challenge. I’ve designed it to be really approachable, and you can stop and start when it makes sense for your schedule and energy levels.
55. Talk about how you’re feeling
Our emotional health is super important, and a great self care idea to help you make it a priority is to talk to someone about how you feel. Maybe you’re going through a tough time, or you have tons of ideas racing around in your head and you want to share them with someone.
Call up a friend, text a family member, or head to an online support group or forum to share your feelings with someone. Say whether you’re looking for someone simply to listen or give practical advice, and embrace the support that comes your way.
If you’re not sure who to contact or want to reach out to a professional, try this list of mental health support services. There’s always someone to listen and support you.
56. Pamper yourself
Dig out your box of pampering self care favorites and treat yourself to a mini spa treatment at home. Enjoy a luxurious face mask, do a DIY manicure or pedicure, or take extra time over your skincare routine. You could even treat yourself to a self care kit* from Talking Out Of Turn for your pamper day. If pampering = self love for you, make this a regular part of your self care routine.
57. Dance around your home
Sometimes there’s no better way to make yourself smile than to dance alone in the kitchen to your favorite playlist. Dancing offers lots of great health benefits too, so you can feel good and take care of your body at the same time.
58. Turn off notifications
This is one of my favorite self care ideas and one that’s permanent in my daily life — switch off your notifications. Only leave on the notifications that you truly need, and create a habit of checking in with other apps and tools as and when you need to. This helps you create space between your work and personal life, and means you can be proactive about your daily routine instead of reacting to notifications.
59. Book tickets for a day or night out
The last few years mean we’ve spent more time indoors than ever before. This means that those moments where we do head out for dinner, a show, a movie, or a night out feel even more special. Treat yourself to a guilt-free experience, gig, or date night — you deserve it!
60. Learn a language
Learning a new language can be really rewarding. Whether it’s just for fun or to help you reach a goal of living somewhere else, it’s a useful skill to master. For a super easy way to get started with learning a language, try Duolingo. For more fun ideas, watch movies in your chosen language, take an in-person class, or join a group to find friends that you can learn alongside.
61. Watch an inspirational or motivational video
When I’m feeling a little out of place, I love watching a video to help me feel more grounded and motivated to continue with my good habits and goals. Recently I’ve done more of this and it’s helped me be way more productive, and I get that feel-good self care moment from sitting down to watch the videos too.
A popular go-to for inspirational or motivational content is TED Talks, but you could also tune into the latest video from your favorite productivity or motivational YouTuber.
62. Host a virtual event for your friends or family
For a great self care idea for more than just yourself, host a virtual event, party, or celebration for your friends, family, or online community. I love this as a way to create happiness at scale, and there are tons of great themes, ideas, and games you can choose from. If you’ve never hosted before, check out this guide on how to host a virtual event. When it’s time to invite people to your party, do it in style with these virtual party invites* from Greenvelope.
63. Find new social media accounts to follow
If you’re anything like me, sometimes you’re scrolling for a while and only see the same faces — or you’re just not engaged with what you see. Maybe it’s time to freshen things up and find some new social media accounts to follow. Look through suggestions related to your favorite follows, explore recommended accounts, and see what stands out to you.
64. Write a bucket list
Most of us have some goals and things we want to check off, but they’re usually just floating around in our heads. Gather all your thoughts together and create a master bucket list of everything you want to do, see, experience, and achieve. I love using Notion for stuff like this — it’s a really simple way to organize your thoughts.
65. Print and frame photos
I love looking back at photos and smiling at the memories. If you do too, use this self care idea to help you display those gorgeous images all around your home. My partner and kids got me a Canon Selphy photo printer as a gift a couple of years ago and it’s perfect for printing off and displaying photos at home. We like to sit around, choose photos, then watch them print together!
66. Pick up a new self development book
Reading or listening to books is a great way to not only level up your skills or increase your self awareness, but enjoy a productive self care moment. Self development books are ideal, or you could try something skill based or related to running a business. One of the best ways to listen to self development books on the go is with Audible audiobooks. If you haven’t used it before, you should also be able to take advantage of a free trial period.
67. Send a digital thank you card
Gratitude can be a really rewarding self care practice. Explore that further by sending a digital thank you card, note, or email to someone. Make your note specific to make it feel more personal and special. When I want to send a digital thank you card*, I use Greenvelope! They have tons of lovely designs that you can customize, and there’s even a neat ‘open’ animation.
68. Write in a gratitude journal
Take your gratitude habit a step further by starting your own gratitude journal. Use this as a place to write a daily or weekly gratitude list, where you express your thanks for all the good things in your life. This is a really healthy habit to adopt for your overall wellbeing as it helps you to focus on the good.
Which of these self care ideas is your favorite?
I love finding fun new ways to add a little self care into my daily or weekly routine. I’ve definitely picked up an idea or two from this list — how about you? What’s your favorite self care idea from this list? Check in and let me know in the comments!