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53 Self-Care Ideas {List of Ways to Take Care of Yourself}

The importance of self-care cannot be understated. And having some good self-care ideas and activities on-hand will help you develop your own self-care plan.

Practicing self-care is extremely important to improve your quality of life, and has many emotional and physical health benefits.

So what are some good ideas for self-care?

There are many different types of self-care, and you have to identify what self-care means to you! 

Some good ideas for self-care could be focused more on your physical health, your mental health, finding a new hobby, or even becoming more aware of the time you spend with others.

Below are simple self-care ideas that will hopefully help you take better care of yourself when you’re full of negative emotions or just looking to create healthy habits.

17 Physical Health Self-Care Ideas

First things first, a good way to lower your stress levels is by addressing your physical needs in various ways.

This includes regular exercise, eating healthy foods, and listening to your bodies own needs.

Not only are these activities a great way to practice self-care, but these ideas will certainly improve your overall quality of life.

Physical Health Self-Care Ideas, man and woman standing next to bicycles.
  1. Take a leisurely walk
  2. Do yoga or tai chi 
  3. Take a dip and go swimming
  4. Hike in nature
  5. Have a stretching session
  6. Take a nap or ensure you get 7 hours of sleep
  7. Start a skin-care routine 
  8. Exercising in whatever way you see fit
  9. Plan healthy meals (and actually eat them!)
  10. Get a massage
  11. Drink some water
  12. Take a hot or cold shower (cold will help your immune system!)
  13. Enjoy some herbal tea
  14. Go for a quiet bike ride
  15. Eat a healthy meal (heart disease is no joke, man!)
  16. Try out acupuncture
  17. Look for a 30-day challenge to start

These physical health ideas are simple self-care activities that will help you make small steps towards take good care of yourself.

Take care of your body! You only get one!

man and boy walking through dark woods

17 Mental Health Ideas for Self-Care

Mental health is often an overlooked form of self-care, but is probably the most important type of self-care.

Again, below are simple ideas that will have a big impact on your emotional well-being.

Emotional self-care may not b something e in your comfort zone right now – so you may even need to consult professional help. (which is always okay!)

"Mental Health Ideas for Self-Care", Woman with a hat sitting in long grass and sunshine
  1. Begin to meditate
  2. Practice positive self-talk
  3. Start a gratitude journal
  4. Unplug from your phone and reduce your social media use (aka a digital detox)
  5. Get “dolled up” / wear a nice outfit
  6. Spend quality time with a friend or family
  7. Take a random mental health day off work (or even school) for no reason
  8. Light some candles and relax in a bubble bath
  9. Consider speaking with a therapist, clinical psychologist, or counselor
  10. Read a good book
  1. Sit in silence to enjoy the present moment, for a few minutes
  2. Write some positive affirmations about yourself
  3. Get some sunshine
  4. Hug someone you care about
  5. Listen to some of your favorite music
  6. Research essential oils to diffuse or wear
  7. Set healthy boundaries – it’s okay to say “no” sometimes

10 Fun Self-Care Practices

Enough of the serious self-care ideas! Let’s have some fun!

Having fun and getting enjoyment out of life can come in many different forms.

But having fun will always have a positive impact.

Fun Self-care ideas, person getting a massage
  1. Make your favorite meal or create a new recipe
  2. Go to the spa
  3. Setup a vacation with family members
  4. Play your favorite video game to relax
  5. Take a drive around town for no reason other than to get out of the house
  6. Get some laughs – see a comedian or go to a comedy movie
  7. Hang out at your favorite coffee shop
  8. Draw or color an adult coloring book
  9. Find a new hobby to try
  10. Write a bucket list

Check out our great guide for inspiration on things you can do when you’re bored.

Things to do when you're bored, child flying kite after riding bike

9 Social Self-Care Ideas

Human beings are social creatures by nature. Even people that tend to be more reserved or introverted.

Having a good friend to spend time with, or joining groups of people to converse with, is one of the best ways to help yourself stay engaged in the present moment and satisfy that need (whether you realize it or not) to interact with others.

  1. Go down to your local library and join a book club
  2. Go dancing with some friends
  3. Have a fun night out with friends
  4. Attend happy hour with friends
  5. Volunteer at a local event
  6. Bust out a board game and have a game night
  7. Take care of others (family member, friend, or even volunteer at the local hospital)
  8. Chat up your best friend or a family member
  9. Host a BBQ or fun dinner night
people, family, party, community

While spending time with others is an important aspect of self-care, you can also be spending too much time with others as well. 

If you feel overwhelmed by someones presence or you think you’re feeling obligated to spend more time with someone than you’d like – set a healthy boundary. 

The Best Self-Care Activities (in my opinion)

Alright, so I’m going to share the self-care activities I would choose if I had to only decide on a few ideas to impact my life in (at least!) small ways.

To me, the best self-care ideas, are easy self-care ideas.

When you’re looking for something new to do, finding something easy will help you stick with it.

Remember – KISS! (keep it simple stupid)

Get outside, any way you can

This might be taking a walk. Even a short one.

Sitting outside to watch the clouds or enjoy the wind on your face.

Taking a drive around town just because. (bonus points: listen to a relaxing podcast!)

Maybe start a garden?

Getting sunshine and fresh air has been shown to be an important part of the overall health, and is recommended for any daily routine.

animated sunset and tree, person reading under tree

Spending Time with People / Social Self-care

You don’t need to be around a lot of people, but it’s an important thing to do to help your social self-care.

Find your best friend, a loved one, or even developing a healthy relationship with a coworker or acquaintance are good things for your emotional health.

Spending time with people is a small change, but doesn’t take much time and is a good idea for any self-care routine.

Avoid Negative Self-talk & Practice Positive Affirmations

Do you know what impost syndrome is?

Well, it’s a negative emotion that makes you feel like you’re not good enough.

Negative emotions will always contribute to having a bad day and avoiding these will have an important impact on your mental self-care.

Instead of telling yourself you aren’t good enough, one of the best ways it avoid negative self-talk is by take some deep breaths and reminding yourself of all the things you’re grateful for.

Maybe even make it part of your morning routine first thing in the morning! Grab a cup of coffee, (or an herbal tea) and tell yourself something positive.

It’s quite literally one of the easiest self-care tips you can try in your daily life.

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