Before we get into the list, let’s just get one thing straight: there is nothing wrong with enjoying a face mask or bubble bath. It’s just that not everyone enjoys them or finds them as life-changing as Instagram might have you believe.
Personally, I don’t enjoy taking baths. Maybe if I had a giant bathroom with proper ventilation and at least one window for natural light (and also for ventilation), I’d feel differently. But—like many people—I’m working with a small bathroom with no windows that steams up like a sauna after a few minutes of running the hot water. Plus, I share this bathroom with a roommate, so I feel weird about putting my bare butt on a shared surface (even though I sit on the toilet without any issues…).
I’ve digressed. Anyway, the point of self-care is to find something that brings you joy and recharges you so that you can be your best self afterward. And having “self” in the term is super important because only you can decide for yourself what your true forms of self-care are. Whether you’ve never practiced self-care or want to add another activity to your practice, here are some ideas to help you discover what truly recharges you.
Psst: This post contains some affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you purchase something we recommend.
1. Order your favorite meal via a food-delivery app.
And don’t feel guilty about it! There’s no shame in not wanting to grocery shop or cook for a night. And there’s certainly no shame in limiting your interactions with people by ordering via app and having your food delivered.
2. Go to your local dog park for an hour.
Even if you don’t have a dog (it’s not weird like going to a playground without a kid). And if you do have a dog, it’s a great way to tire yours out so you can enjoy a little peace and quiet at home later. Also, it’s scientifically impossible to be unhappy while surrounded by dogs. That’s a fact.
3. Read a book (or some form of printed material).
Dive into a book you’ve been meaning to read, flip through a magazine (don’t call it a “guilty pleasure”; no shame in this game), or read through some articles you’d been “saving for later”.
4. Listen to a podcast episode while doing absolutely nothing else.
How often do you get to sit down and just immerse yourself into a podcast? Probably not often. If you’re like me, podcasts are reserved for while driving or at work—which means I never get to fully concentrate on what’s being said. And if your podcast faves include self-help/wellness talks or murder cases, then you’re gonna want to pay attention.
5. FaceTime a friend you don’t get to see very often.
Self-care doesn’t have to be time spent alone. Maybe you’re an extrovert and recharge when you spend time connecting with others.
6. Get to know yourself a little better…
…if ya know what I mean.
7. Go for a run (or a walk) outside.
As many times as I’ve tried to convince myself otherwise, I hate running. But I can get some of the same benefits—exercise, fresh air, an excuse to wear my old-but-practically-brand-new Nikes—by taking a long walk around the neighborhood or along the beach.
9. Write down your goals and dreams for the near and distant future.
Give yourself something to work toward and look forward to. Write everything in a list, create a vision board, or just scribble on some Post-Its—just put those ideas out there.
10. Get yourself organized for the coming week.
Plan your grocery list, decide on daily meals, order more toilet paper or dish soap, get your laundry done… Okay, none of these things is really great in the moment, but with everything taken care of or prepped at once, you’ll be much less stressed and overwhelmed during the days to come.
11. Take a nap.
When was the last time you let yourself doze off in the middle of the day?
12. Create something.
Make a dreamcatcher. Write a poem. Craft a melody. Paint a picture. Do something that gets your creative juices flowing and turns your focus to the present moment.
13. Give meditation a try.
It’s not as hard as you might think.
14. Treat yourself to a massage or spa day.
Or get yourself a body massager for at-home stress relief.
15. Buy yourself something just because.
Maybe it’s a bouquet of fresh flowers. Maybe it’s a new outfit. Maybe it’s a kitchen appliance you don’t really need, per se, but you think it’d be cool to have. Treat yourself to a gift just because it feels good.