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Self Care Sunday: How To Plan Your Perfect Day of Self Care

Woman reading new month affirmations from a book

I’ve been working on this guide for a while and I’m excited to share it with you. It’s all about how you can plan your own ‘self care Sunday’. A day where you can relax, be creative, indulge yourself, and refuel for the days ahead. 

Below you’ll find plenty of ideas for your next self care Sunday. There’s lots of ways to practice self care in here, so there’s something for everyone – whether you love baking, running, learning, drawing, or something else. 

Let’s jump in by taking a little look at self care and why self care Sunday is a great idea.

Table of Contents

Why self care?

The real question is… why not?

To live our life the way we want to, we have to take care of ourselves. That doesn’t mean endless trips to the gym or nail salon, but it does mean taking time out to refresh our physical health, emotional health, mental health, and wellbeing.

Self care has a reputation for being indulgent. Let’s forget that right now. Self care means looking after yourself. Spending time on your self care is essential in our modern lives. We need time and space away from the pressure of everyday life to just ‘be’, to avoid burnout, and to de-stress or learn something new.

Why Sunday?

For a lot of people with traditional schedules, Sunday is a day to rest and unwind at the end of a long week. It’s a day where you’re probably at home, with fewer pressing obligations, and more time to yourself.

Of course, that’s not always true. Some of us work on Sundays or follow a different schedule or work week. Others might have caring commitments and need to check in with a relative, or a day of following the kids around from activity to activity.

If your life isn’t traditional (whose is these days?), think of Sunday as representing the best day of the week for a little break. Maybe it’s Tuesday. Maybe it changes every week, depending on your shift patterns. That’s okay – the actual day itself doesn’t matter, it’s the concept that counts.

What should you do on your self care Sunday?

Honestly, for me, half of the battle when it comes to relaxing is deciding just what to do. We’re so overwhelmed with choice these days that sitting down to watch a show on Netflix means we’re presented with endless options.

To help narrow things down a little, I’ve put together this list of ideas for Self Care Sunday. Use these to build your very own self care day plans.

Some of these things might resonate with you more than others. Maybe you’re more likely to curl up with a new book than head out to explore your local area.

And remember, doing nothing is also a completely valid choice – so don’t feel under pressure to pack your Self Care Sunday full of activities or to make it the perfect day. Rest is good, and progress is where it’s at.

51 Self care Sunday ideas to inspire you

Ready to create your own self care Sunday routine? Let’s get planning a day full of self love with these self care activities and self care tips.

1. Wake up gently

Allow yourself to wake up naturally with a simple slow morning routine, if you can. Rise as the sun does and let the natural light wake you up in a gentle way. Take a few deep breaths and wake up slowly. Worried about sleeping in? Set an alarm for a time that makes sense for you instead. 

2. Enjoy a good breakfast or brunch

Plan some delicious meals for your self care Sunday, and start with a tasty breakfast. Enjoy your favourite hot breakfast, or fresh fruit from the local farmer’s market, with a juice or cold water for hydration. The choice is yours. Eat slowly and savor the moment, or take a chance to scroll through your social media favorites.

3. Try a short yoga session

Whether you start the day with some gentle stretches or carve out time in the afternoon for a yoga class, yoga can be a simple and effective way to feel relaxed and get your body moving. New to yoga or want to follow a series? Try this 30 day yoga journey from Yoga With Adriene. 

4. Write a gratitude list

Self care Sunday is the perfect opportunity to give yourself some space to rest, think, and reflect on the world around you. Use some of this time to write a gratitude list all about the things you’re grateful for in your life.

5. Go for a run

Head outside and get your body moving at a good pace with a short, simple run. Challenge yourself to beat a personal best, or take a more relaxed run along your favourite route instead with a playlist or podcast you really vibe with. New to running? Try the Couch to 5k programme – I think it’s brilliant! And don’t forget to hydrate.

6. Enjoy a relaxing shower or bath

Person running a relaxing bath

Used to hopping in and out the shower in your busy daily routine? Give yourself a little extra time and make it even more relaxing than usual. Look for a calming bath soak or shower gel – I love the cozy, sleepy feel you get after using a lavender scented shower gel or essential oils body scrub. Want to take it a step further? Create your own luxury spa experience at home with a self care bath.

7. Doodle or colour

Find colouring and doodling relaxing? Add this to your to-do list for your self care Sunday! Sit down with a great colouring book or a sketchbook and your fineliners. I recently picked up a 365 days of drawing book after seeing it on @katie_ellison’s feed and it’s great for encouraging you to draw if you’re not sure what to do. 

8. Declutter your home

If you want to add something ‘productive’ to your self care Sunday, decluttering a space in your home is a great place to start. I love the feeling of having an area clean and tidy – even if the rest of our home isn’t. Not sure where to start? Choose one of the activities on my 12 days of decluttering guide! 

9. Print out photos and create an album

Is your phone full of photos? Print some of them out (or order some prints online), then put together a photo album when they’re ready. I got a Canon Selphy photo printer for Christmas and absolutely love it! Having an at-home printer makes it so much easier to print off memories from your phone. 

10. Listen to a podcast

Learn something new, find fresh inspiration, or work on your personal development by listening to a podcast. I love listening to podcasts about business, blogging, and freelance writing – but for you it might be true crime, wellness, or music. Not sure where to start? Here’s Stylist’s round up of the best self care podcasts to listen to. 

11. Enjoy a leisurely walk

Escape outside for some fresh air and get some of that self care goodness in at the same time. Don’t try and go for a super long walk – instead focus on being present, slowing down, and being with your thoughts for a little while. Try this early on a Sunday morning for a refreshing start to the day, or pair it with a delicious meal at a local restaurant instead on a Sunday afternoon.

12. Bake your favourite sweet treat

Clean kitchen surfaces

Got the ingredients in for your favourite brownies? Bake them! If you enjoy baking and want a fun self care idea, this is perfect for you. If you can, prepare an extra batch and pop them in your freezer – that way you have extras for a busier moment in the future. Develop this habit further and get into meal prep, so you have lunch and dinner options ready in advance too.

13. Binge watch a new TV series

Don’t feel the pressure to ‘do’ on your self care Sunday – instead get cosy on the sofa with a cup of tea and Netflix if you feel like it. Put on the series that everyone’s talking about to see what the deal is, start a cult classic from scratch, or set aside time to dive into a new drama.

14. Make some fun plans for the future

Sometimes life gets so busy that we don’t get a moment to think about our plans for the future. Give yourself some time to step back, sit down, and find ways to make your big dreams become reality. Create a bucket list, give yourself some goals, consider a new hobby, or just think about how you’d like your life to look in a few years’ time. 

15. Read for fun

It’s not always easy to sit down with a good book and really relax and read. Pick up an unread book from your pile or download something new to your e-reader (mine’s a Kindle) and allow yourself to get lost in a chapter or two. 

16. Try a gentle, pampering skincare routine

Give your skin some extra TLC by indulging in a skincare routine. Start your day with a gentle cleanse and tone, or save it for your evening instead and add a super nourishing face mask and overnight moisturizer too. Not sure where to start? Here’s a guide to help you find the right skincare. If a routine is too much right now, try a mini spa day instead. 

17. Paint your nails

Having your nails painted can make you feel extra ‘polished’ or cozy. I love the feeling of having freshly painted nails! Go for something seasonal, or pick out your most-loved nail colour and get painting. If you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with some nail art along with your manicure. 

18. Create a digital mood board

Want to get planning but in a creative way? Make your own mood board or self care vision board to help you plan a vacation, room makeover, or your outfit ideas. I love Pinterest for building collections of images and ideas I want to try out, but you could create your own digital mood board using a graphics tool like Canva too. 

19. Re-watch a favourite film

We talked earlier about settling down with a new TV series, well how about re-watching a favourite instead? Whether it’s a hilarious comedy or a moving drama, watching a movie you know and love can feel really comforting.

20. Read a personal development book

Book, mug, and glasses on a bed

If reading fiction is hard for you, try a personal development book instead. I love reading about productivity, mindset, and running a small business. A book I’ve loved recently is Company of One by Paul Jarvis. It was a nice reminder of the benefits of staying solo vs. building a big agency. 

21. Join an online class

Learning a new skill or trying a new technique is a fun activity idea for your self care Sunday if you want to get creative. I love Skillshare for this. It has classes on everything from SEO to illustration.

22. Go on a photography walk

Want to add something extra to your usual daily walk? Bring your camera along or take your phone out of your pocket to snap photos as you go. Take notice of trees changing, birds, the clouds, and anything else you see on your travels. 

23. Listen to your favourite records 

There’s something about that record player sound that creates a cozy or uplifting atmosphere, so put one of your favorites on. If you don’t have a record player already, pick up an affordable one and start building your collection.

24. Play video games

Sometimes you just want to chill on your self care Sunday. If you love video games as much as I do, feel free to pack your schedule with a few hours of game time. It’s such a great form of self care if you love to game. So many people rave about Animal Crossing, but I like to build on The Sims 4 to relax. If you don’t have The Sims 4 already, you can try it for free on the Origin store — or watch streamers play it on Twitch.  

25. Start a new journaling habit 

Woman writing in a journal

If your head feels full, try noting some of your thoughts down in a journal. You could start a fresh notebook and simply write down your thoughts every morning, check out some journal prompts or affirmations, or create a specific type of journal. A gratitude journal is a great way to reflect on things you’re thankful for. Or, you could start a manifestation journal instead.

26. Try a digital detox

For the ultimate refresh, step away from your phone or computer on your self care Sunday. Give yourself half a day or the whole day away from distracting tech, and focus on you. If your digital detox showed you there’s too much distraction on your phone or computer, try my digital decluttering guide to help you simplify things.

27. Plan for the week ahead

Use your self care Sunday as a springboard for a good week ahead by getting some planning in. Create a rough schedule for the week ahead, with some goals, to-do items, and me-time you want to achieve, as well as personal tasks like catching up with your best friends or loved ones. Make sure you plan in some free time. This is a good self care routine to get into so you can start Monday feeling ready and fresh. 

28. Have a lie down

It’s exhausting being up and doing stuff all week. Take a well-earned rest to lie down and watch the world go by. Take a nap, or simply rest on your bed and daydream — whichever sounds more appealing to you.

29. Get up and dance

Maybe lying down doesn’t appeal to you, and you’d rather be active? Me too, sometimes! Be inspired by your desire to move and get up and dance around your home. Put your favorite song on the speaker and dance about, or play a game like Just Dance for some extra competitive fun.

30. Plan a coffee date

Make plans to spend time with someone you care about and organize a coffee date for the two (or more) of you. Whether it’s a friend, family member, coworker, or group, a coffee shop is the perfect place to meet up to chat and enjoy each other’s company.

Woman looking at phone, considering a digital declutter

31. Tackle a home DIY project

If you have a home DIY project you’ve been putting off “until you have time” then maybe now is the ideal time. Reserve some time on your self care Sunday for a little home DIY project like putting up shelves, decorating your closet, or painting your bedroom.

32. Make a meal plan

If you’re anything like me, trying to figure out what to cook every day for dinner gets exhausting. Simplify some of that process and make it feel more enjoyable by spending some time on your self care Sunday making a healthy meal plan. Decide what to eat for the week ahead, then grocery shop based on your must-have ingredients.

33. Try a digital detox

It’s tempting to spend time online when we get a chance — especially if it’s related to your work or you just love catching up with what’s new on social media. Sometimes it can bring inspiration, but sometimes a break from the digital world is just what you need. Try a digital detox where you avoid digital devices for the whole day and see how it goes.

34. Visit a farmer’s market

There’s nothing quite like picking up freshly grown produce or homemade treats from a farmer’s market. Get up early one day to scope out the best pickings at your local farmer’s market, either alone or with a friendly face.

35. Take an art class

Exploring your creative side can be lots of fun, and is a great thing to try out on a self care Sunday. Be inspired by this and book an art class, either in-person or online, to try out a new technique or ease your way back into a hobby that you used to enjoy.

36. Meditate

If you’re a spiritual person or want some breathing space, meditation can be a great choice. Add some time for meditation into your morning routine or evening routine, and see whether it helps lift your mood and change the way you approach the world around you.

37. Visit an animal park or zoo

If the last time you visited a zoo was when you were a kid, maybe it’s time to go again. Seek out a local animal park, zoo, or sanctuary and make plans to visit. Explore the exhibits, take photos of the animals, and immerse yourself in the world of conservation and animal care.

38. Have an at-home spa day

Sometime the best way to spend a Sunday is by relaxing with your feet up and a good face mask on. If that sounds lovely, plan an at-home spa day. Gather supplies so you can have a manicure, pedicure, face mask, and any other treatments that make you feel amazing.

39. Go on a solo date

We don’t need someone else by our side to have a good time. That’s the idea behind solo dating — where you take yourself out on a date for the fun of it. Head to your favorite restaurant, explore the city, or enjoy a movie night with snacks.

40. Make a self care vision board

You’ve maybe heard of a vision board when it comes to planning out your dreams, career goals, or maybe even your home decor. Why not try a self care vision board too? Instead of planning out your career, fill the space with inspiration to guide you on a journey of self care and self love.

41. Watch something motivating

I love relaxing on a self care Sunday, but I also like to feel motivated and inspired too. A great way to achieve this is by watching a motivating TV show or documentary. I personally love watching shows about home organization and how to live like a minimalist, but you can choose anything that personally motivates you towards your goals.

42. Organize your clothes

We all have items of clothing that we just don’t wear. Instead of opening up your closet or drawers to a sense of disappointment, schedule in some time to go through everything and have a good decluttering session. Keep what you love, and donate or recycle what you don’t.

Woman making the bed as part of a morning cleaning routine

43. Sing a song

We’ve talked about dancing around your room, so here’s something else you can add on at the same time — singing! Most of us don’t sing a much as we’d like to, so maybe spend some time on your next Sunday and let your heart sing out.

44. Visit a museum

I don’t visit museums often, but every time I do I’m amazed and learn something new. Be inspired to seek out a new museum or gallery and visit their latest exhibition. Spend time reading about every item and imagine what they might have looked like in their time.

45. Make a reservation at your favorite restaurant

Most of us have a favorite restaurant and usually a favorite dish, but we don’t get to enjoy them nearly as often as we’d like. Take this as a hint to make a reservation for your favorite place, either alone or with someone else, and soak up the atmosphere, your favorite meal, and the self care moment.

46. Take care of your houseplants

While taking care of the plants in your home should probably be on your weekly schedule anyway, for some of us it’s easy for this to slip past us. Consider this a reminder that they might need some extra love and attention, and now is a great time to do it.

47. Try a new hairstyle

If you’re anything like me, your hair is probably in one of three styles almost all the time. Be inspired to try something new and experiment with your hair — whether that’s an updo, curling it, or trying a new color or cut out completely.

48. Get a manicure

If your at-home spa day doesn’t do the trick, head out of the house to get a professional manicure. Choose a color you love or ask the expert for their recommendation, and walk home with shiny, beautiful nails.

49. Read a self development book

We’ve talked about reading for fun, but reading for productivity or growth can be just as calming and relaxing. I love to read books that inspire me to be a better business person, run my freelance empire more effectively, or simply inspire me to try a new approach to habits or my lifestyle.

50. Sit down and do nothing

Sometimes the best thing to do is… nothing! I find doing nothing really hard, which is maybe a sign I should try this one more often, but if you love to relax on the sofa then do this guilt-free on your next self care Sunday.

51. Go to bed early

Finish off your self care Sunday by getting plenty of sleep. It’s tempting to stay up late sometimes, but every now and then an earlier night can help you feel really great. Combine your early night with an evening skincare or a relaxing shower or bath for a lovely way to end the day.

Want a reminder of these self care activity ideas? Download my free checklist!

It’s tough trying to remember everything… so you don’t have to!

I’ve put together this super simple self care checklist that features some of my favorites from the ideas list above. Download, print out, and check off the hearts when you’ve finished the activity.

Download your free self care checklist. (No sign up required!)

Plan the perfect self care Sunday

Daily life can leave us feeling tired, bored, or lacking in something. Give yourself an opportunity to feel refreshed and gain new energy with the kind of self care Sunday you deserve. 

Plan in plenty of rest, relaxation, and also creativity if you crave it. Get cozy on the sofa with a good film or book, or head out for a run followed by a skill class instead. However you plan it, give yourself space, time, and headspace to enjoy it fully. And don’t forget to plan a self care Sunday as often as you like – you’re worth it. 

You don’t have to do your self care Sunday alone, either. Why not rope in your kids, partner, or a close friend for a girls’ night in or similar? Even better, take some of the ideas in this list to create a Sunday routine so you can embrace self care a little every week.

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