Here is an amazing list of self-care activities. Feel free to add any other ideas in the comment section.
Maybe we can get the list up to 100!
(P.S. There are 49 comments with LOTS more great ideas!)
If you haven’t already, I’d love it if you joined me on
Facebook, where I share lots of other self-care ideas. Thanks!
Also, I have a new book coming out! You can read about that story here.
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Here’s the list:
going for a photo walk
going to the forest
a bath at the end of the day
going for bike rides
finding overgrown grass and putting my bare feet and it
lying in the grass on the hill and staring up at the sky
cooking a meal for myself and being really present
getting up early and reading inspirational books
walking with my dogs
going places–getting a change of scenery
trying new things in general
listening to books and music
face-to-face conversations with people
trying to live more authentically
not skipping sleep to get things done
trying to multitask less
scheduling time to myself every day
reading blogs from people who are honest
reading for pleasure
resting with my cat a few feet away
getting my hair done
getting a manicure
just for fun novels
being able to set limits for myself
asking for what I need
taking time for slow contemplative morning coffee
cuddling with my cats
taking my vitamins
waking up naturally–no alarm clock
eating when I feel like it–not by the clock
eating a fresh bagel at a local shop while doing a crossword puzzle
working with a life coach
paying attention to my breathing
gathering flowers from my garden
planting flowers in my garden for later gathering
stealing a few moments to lie on my bed when the afternoon sun is streaming in through the window
coffee at coffee shops
forgiveness of others so I don’t carry that stuff around
a glass of wine at the end of the day
creating a comfortable house that truly is my home
cuddling with my puppies
taking myself out to eat
move my body–dance, exercise, run
dress up in the way I want to feel
giving back with my time
being a tourist in my own city
lunch dates with good friends
learn to be with and accept my feelings
have adventures and drive to new places
spend less time on the Internet
read the newspaper on Sundays at a café
read poetry or inspiring quotes
Don’t forget to add any other ideas in the comments.
You might also like this article: 7 Types of Self-Care Activities for Coping with Stress
109 thoughts on “80+ Self-Care Ideas”
Drawing Zen Tangles! So absorbing.
Barb — great list. Would you mind if I link this post on my upcoming Nurturing Thursday post … my self-kindness series? 😀 Thank you!!
I don’t know why I didn’t see this earlier. Yes, of course you can post this on your blog!
Eating from the good china
Creating an Art Weekend and painting for two days with my best friend
Sitting outdoors by the firepit, watching the flames and listening to the night sounds
Walking for an hour while talking on a headset with my favorite twin cousin
Inviting friends to come for the weekend just so we can sit and talk
Reblogged this on Wholeheartedness and commented:
Great post, Barb…
Do nothing but relax for two minutes: http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/. Don’t touch that keyboard!
lying in a hammock
looking up – at the clouds, at the stars…
Since social ties are often the best medicine, I wonder if you may also add these: treat yourself to the NVC (non violent communication) approach to relationships. Builds on compassion and empathy. Or the What’s Gone Well today upbeat approach to closer connections through better questions with folks? Both highly recommended!
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As a chronic pain patient as well, I’ve been sitting here wondering how I’m going to manage a social engagement today when I feel so bad. For some reason, reading this list has given me a little more courage that I can do it. My only idea is to make a miniature or miniature fairy garden. It’s something on the level that I can accomplish, plus see from the front door plus because it’s at waist level, the rabbits won’t heat (like they have all of the annuals my hubs put in for me this year. Yes, and practice pay it forward.
I’m glad this list gave you some courage and inspiration. Good luck getting through your social engagement!
I love making fairy houses. My daughter or nephew and I would gather things we find along the trail on a nature walk, and then construct little house for fairies (per my daughter) or elf houses (per my nephew).
We will expand on this idea and add your fairy garden idea next time. What fun!!
I’m happy to have discovered your link, and thought you might be interested in some of the quotations and pictures on my FB page. This project all came about as I was trying to find ways to nurture myself when my husband’s Lymphoma returned this year, and he had to go through chemotherapy. https://www.facebook.com/InOthersWords
How about staying in bed 30 minutes after you wake in the morning, waking up slowly.
Coloring mandalas! I get lost in the process.
listening to running water
Looking at pictures of yourself when you were a child or baby. Focus on the innocent and beautiful smile and love you had then and is present now, it is quite exhilarating, and know you can re-kindle this self-love no matter what life situation you are in.
Excellent list – I love Vivienne’s classes!! Barb, are you thinking of taking her BYOB class in February? I’m planning on doing it again!
Hmmm…I will have to think about it. I am not good at taking pictures of myself. I have an idea of how I want them to turn out and then they don’t! I’m used to my husband taking pictures of me with his good camera. But I do adore Vivienne. I love her Montage Magic class but she’s not doing that anymore.
Going to a parlor for a new haircut.
Attending a class that you like to learn is also therapeutic to keep yourself busy
Snuggling under a cozy blanket. Wonderful post, I linked it on my blog Journey to Wellville.
I am snuggling under a warm blanket right now! Thanks for linking to this… I appreciate it!
I paint my toenails. This wouldn’t be surprising except that I am male and not gay. Work and father don’t know but everyone else sees when I wear sandals. Nobody needs to understand – I don’t.
Sometimes we don’t have to understand everything 🙂
I love that you do this for yourself! I always have my toenails painted a bright color. That way when I am feeling down I can look down at my toes and get a little lift.
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Thanks for linking to my post!
Thank you for this wonderful list! I recently wrote a blog post about self-care on my occupational therapy blog. I linked to your site. http://otthrive.com/2014/03/31/memo-to-parents-prepare-a-self-care-list/
Thanks for linking to my post!
I’m so glad to see prayer on the list.
So many of these things are on my list of “Artist Dates”. This is where I take myself (an artist) on a date. I allow the artist in me to really experience my creativity and all of the world around me that inspires my creativity.
I would add to the list,
Go to the park and play on the swings, see-saw, and slide.
Go see the ocean and bury your feet in the warm sand.
Fly a kite.
Do a puzzle.
Write a love note to yourself.
Start a pen-pal correspondence.
Do some crafting…. (Sculpting with clay is a lot of fun … or create some jewelry…)
Do some gardening and play in the dirt
Draw a picture…. I like to do pencil drawings…
Write some poetry….
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a pedicure is a wonderful thing! Just did that for myself this morning
Stroking a friendly cat and hugging your own cat
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sitting on my back deck watching and listening to the birds at my feeder.
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singing my favourite list songs…it takes off the stress…..
walk in the park
Walks in nature
Shirodhara, Ayurvedic oil treatment
Keeping fresh flowers in the house!
Reblogged this on Little Cheesehead on the Prairie and commented:
In light of the death of Robin Williams, it’s a good time to remember that we all need to practice self-compassion. Wonderful things happen when you cut yourself some slack. If the coverage is overwhelming for you and you’re afraid that it might trigger something, turn off the TV, get off of social media and do whatever you need to do to get yourself back to center.
I do many of these things when I feel overwhelmed or feel anxious or feel depressed. It’s not a waste of time, nor is it selfish. YOU matter and how you are feeling matters. You have every right to do what you need to do to make yourself feel better in a healthy way.
Hugging your loved ones !
Definitely a good one!
Watching and listening to rain
Watching clouds and sky
Hugging trees and caressing leaves
Cuddling with a friend under a fluffy blanket and sipping some nice herbal tea
Making a self-neck-n-shoulders massage or self-reflexology session
Rolling on a tennis ball for a tennis-ball massage (I just thought maybe any ball is good? the edge of a sofa must work too, cats do that… haha)
Reading helpful articles
Learning something new, like: a language or going to a theater class for fun or taking a nice course on coursera
Doing something old in a new way, like combine yoga with hip-hop hhhh
Surrounding myself with beautiful objects and flowers
Filtering my stuff to get rid of what is not self-caring and self-nurturing
Crying and hugging myself telling it is ok and that I love you… me…
Going with a friend for a fun-day, like for a facial, massage, dinner and movie!
Spending time with somebody I really love
Making sure I do all the necessary things so I feel good in the end of the day, that I took care of myself well today
Realizing something for myself
Learning a new skill or tool to deal with some old problem
Crawling on the floor/ground/land
Dancing silly on parties where everybody is serious and laughing
Home parties, alone, with a partner or a friend
Filming a funny video and then watching a laughing
Cutting those toe-nails once in a while hhhhh
Cooking something new without a recipe and trying new combos
Watching videos that make me feel good (ballet, yoga, inspiring or funny videos, or helpful)
Buying myself a pretty notebook for diary
Using only things that make me feel good and that I really like (clothes, shoes, pens, paper, towels, plates, etc)
Being true and real with myself and people
Excluding anything that is not benevolent, good, self-caring, and just whatever doesn’t feel right and good to me from my life (people, music, movies, objects I use in everyday life, job, facebook friends or posts, phone, socks hhh)
Making myself a 33 years and 9 months birthday sugar-, wheat- and dairy-free cake! 🙂
Going for a ride on a bike and feeling that wind and feeling freeeeee and purified
Traveling without a map
Writing lists of where I got better and deal with life better.
Writing lists of what I can improve and how
Writing lists of what makes me happy
Writing lists of ‘to do’ and including only fun things that I love, the whole day!
Writing a book or a story in a funny way and then throwing it away
Recording myself singing and making funny noises on the phone and then laughing at myself
Caressing myself on a head, hugging myself, tapping myself on a shoulder
Talking to myself and encouraging myself to get up, wash face, do yoga, drink my smoothie and get out of my apartment to work to do what I love and then feel better later, when if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to do any of that.. like be my best, most helpful, encouraging and loving friend
Telling myself how great I am doing even if I have managed to do very little, like eat and sleep all day hhh
Finding something good in what is going on, always
Building sand castles
Swimming in the sea and watching the sparkles on the water
Going someplace silent and quiet, to be alone and enjoy quality time with myself
Hair-cutting myself a bit and then going to a hair-dresser after to fix the mess hhhhh
Surfing buses (like riding bus, standing and not holding anything, but being close to grab something just in case)
Waking up at night, not being able to sleep, and instead of getting frustrated, going and writing a journal, or watching something fun, some series or some inspiring videos, or reading a book
Finding ways to comfort or calm myself down when I am sad or angry
Making funny faces in front of the mirror, better with a friend
Laughing at everything all day, even when sad, making people laugh
Talking to myself loud, like a real conversation with two people, or write a dialogue with myself in a diary (two people again)
Playing a musical instrument without having a clue
Playing cognitive games on Lumosity
Doing something nice for somebody I love and enjoying it
Having that truffle I love, even though it has sugar in it! LOL
Deciding to surprise myself, finish work early and have a date with myself, go have fun
Wow! Thanks for the great additions to this list!
Going to a museum or exhibition
Going to a concert just by myself
Getting known new people
Go to a backpack tour
Put a pin on the map and visit the place
Go to the beach on a cold day to listen to the roar of the wind and the murmur of the waves
Take a day of or two from work
Go to shopping
Finding a new hobby
Learning about art, music, design, fashion, or anything that interest me
Testing different perfumes every day
Dressing upp nice just for myself
Dressing upp on a Sunday afternoon and having some ice cream, cake or coffee in town
Wearing high heels
Watching cartoons and animations
Wearing thick and warm socks after a heavy feet creaming
Repainting the walls
Reorganizing my place, the kitchen, or other wardrobes
Collect my old clothes and other stuff and take them to charity
Getting things done
and so on 😀
Wow! Thanks for adding so many great things to the list!
Enjoy the rain… either walking in the rain or enjoying through the window with a cup of coffee… 🙂
Join a quilting club.
Wonderful list! Thank you for sharing. Just to add few; ..few might seem crazy.. 🙂
Sketch or paint
Go to garden or kitchen yard and gaze on one particular thing, like a flower or bud
Follow a butterfly in the garden/nature
Hug a tree tightly and look up and breath deeply or shout if its okay in that situation
Feel like a child and act like him/her, like crawling, moving your limbs ; Walk like a child – like hop, jump
Follow the moving clouds
Giving yourself a new look
Siting in a temple and listen the bell ringing
Chanting, doing religious rituals
Having coffee in roadhouse cafe and observing people moving or in children park watching children play
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Reblogged this on MAKE BPD STIGMA-FREE!.
all of these suggestions bring joy to my heart. wish I could print off the list
Just a reminder to keep in mind accessibility in these lists. Not everyone has a lot of leisure time, time away from kids, money to pay for childcare, a home of their own. Is there a list you can write for those w/ more barriers? Thank you!!
Hi, I just wanted to compliment you for the list but also wanted to point out that it’s not exactly geared toward those who have less to almost no leisure time due to childcare, working parents, or even parents homeless for various reasons. Do you think you could write an additional list of things that are more accessible for people with a lot of barriers to do? Thanks!
(I work at a shelter, so I was thinking about those things when I was reading this list.)
This is a really good point.
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This is really great ideas. I will certainly follow some of these in coming days. thanks for this wonderful list
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Thanks for sharing! I found this list really helpful.
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I like to spend time with my beautiful daughter , doing anything , just being together and talking
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Go to the beach and stay all day,
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Thank you Barb for doing such an amazing job!
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Great list of tips !!!
Get eyebrows waxed
Funny movie/videos on YouTube
Inspiring Ted Talks
Videos of laughing babies
Visit the miniature donkeys (there’s a farm nearby with donkeys that come up to just a over my knees)
Feed the ducks
Visit a waterfall
Eat my favourite foods
Send a card or letter in the mail to my daughter even though I see her all the time bc she only lives 30 minutes away
Go to the library and browse magazines. Pick a book to take home
This is a wonderful list! I have something to add to it. This is a great blog post. I have been struggling with personal issues for 10 years and have found reaching out online to seek the advice of others has helped me through the good and bad time. I have always had relationship issues and have started to follow the advice of Dr. Robi Ludwig. I saw her on a tv show once and I really appreciated her take on current psychological issues. She has written two books but my favorite book is “Your Best Age is Now” I have read it and loved it! I highly recommend it to anyone out there struggling. Here is a link to her book: https://www.amazon.com/Robi-Ludwig/e/B001HD07NE
Here a little different angle, possibly useful for people with lots of responsobilities or dealing with crisis:
Dancing with yourself or close ones
Starting new day with ‘old’ people as a clean page forgiving them & myself for yday, learning lessons & adjusting behaviour
Learning to focus
Keeping commitment to a task on hand (ie child, disabled, elderly care) even when it’s hard
Letting go of non essential thoughts behaviours tasks & people
Realising that if I’m not well I can’t take care of anyone else however urgent it may seem, like with putting your oxygen mask first then helping children on the plane
Allowing yourself to cry – it brings healing to the soul
Noticing unusual events, people, behaviours, natural occurrences, especially those that you’ve never noticed or experienced before and thinking what they could mean or if they are a sign (ie to slow down, speed up, be warned, see beauty)
Waiting for 3 days before responding to an attack, angry email etc
Deal with issues of conflict in a business manner in writing rather than directly (face to face or on the phone) as it helps to control emotions, can be more thought trough & it doesn’t take a person so much by surprise like being put on the spot, it also is a lasting evidence (ie with your employer, landlord, ex-partner) and can be used at proof.
Having courage to set boundaries for myself and others
Observing what presses out buttons and triggers our unhelpful feelings & responses, when we know this than we can practice stopping ourselves in the next situation of that kind and not reacting (however awkward it may feel), it helps to ask a question inside our mind – what do I do now? What can I do differently? I usually i don’t know the answer on the first try, but this still is a shift from our old behaviour and even from the first time can bring dramatically different, better response from the other person. Practice the same until new ideas start coming in or until the problem disappeared.
Training our patience muscles
Seeing life and events in life as parts of a bigger process and not singled out/disconnected/unrelated happenings
Slowly but surly making steps in the right direction/making progress – all this effort is worth and the life becomes better
Spotting areas of lack/needy thinking & acting and learning how to replace them into loving & abundant mindsets & behaviours
Catch us beating ourselves up in our heads or out loud, zip it, forgive ourself & recognising how challenging/complex our circumstance is & giving ourselves pat on the back for all the things that we did right or tried to do differently that normally.
Listening to smooth.fm
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I saw it written by others in the comments but I didn’t see any mention in your initial list, of being touched with loving intention by another human being. There was touch mentioned with animals, but I didn’t notice any such touch mentioned with people. I know there are people who don’t always have access to this on a regular basis but I still think it has a vital quality.
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Hello, thank you for sharing these ideas. I’m a bit concerned about the suggestion to take pain killers, especially when this country is in the midst of an opioid epidemic that is killing hundreds of people a day, at unprecedented rates. I work on a program that encourages self-care as a way to manage stress, pain and suffering, and to avoid prescription opioids if possible. This aligns with the CDC guidelines for chronic pain management. Opioids change the chemistry of the brain and actually end up making people more susceptible to pain. They are also extremely easy to become dependent on and addicted to, not to mention the risk of overdosing. I agree that coping with pain is extremely uncomfortable, frustrating, and can affect one’s mental health (I’m currently recovering from a broken foot, I know how miserable living in pain is!). But I’d suggest people try alternatives to opioids to manage pain, such as acupuncture, yoga, massage, meditation, mind-body healing, floating, or even virtual reality games. For acute pain, a combination of 500mg of acetaminophen with 200mg of Ibuprofen taken together has actually been demonstrated by research to be MORE effective for pain than opioids. I would just hate to send the wrong message about opioids, which are very very harmful. Thank you.
Very good point. I hadn’t looked at this post in awhile and I will edit that out. I hope your foot heals soon!
Wonderful works and thanks alot Barb…iam lucky enough to go through your list. Like the saying goes….
It’s better late than never that I had found your work so helpful for me to cope with stress and mentally harassed that’s what I feel .
To share some ….
1. Go through old family album
2. Leave everything aside sometimes, dress up and visit your childhood friend and recall fun filled days,cherish memories
3. make tea and call all family whoever is home and share funny jokes
5. Listening instrumental music Or your favorite all time singer
Hope it will work for some …..
Rocking a baby to sleep (grandchild or other). Singing quietly while rocking is a plus for the both of you.
Snuggling with your grandchild (or other beloved child) and reading favorite stories at bedtime.
Playing card games or doing crossword puzzles with family or friends.
Teaching a child to sew/cook/knit/scrapbook/woodwork/paint, etc.
Attending church services/programs together with loved ones.