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Use these self-care ideas to improve your health and happiness, and help you feel brand new.
5-Minute Self-Care Ideas
1. Drink a Cup of Herbal Tea
So many of us constantly drink coffee and caffeinated drinks to get through the day. While the initial rush feels great, the crash that often follows is not good.
One of the small ways you can take good care of yourself is by substituting coffee with herbal tea. Herbal teas contain a little caffeine but are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
My personal favorites include peppermint, camomile & passionflowers, and lemon & ginger herbal teas.
2. Write in Your Gratitude Journal
Negative self-talk is a key driver in fueling our depression and negative emotions. A gratitude journal is an ideal self-care routine to practice more self-love.
Every morning or whenever you have 5 minutes, simply write down 5-10 things you are grateful for. This helps focus your mind on the positives, rather than the negatives.
Do this every day, and your journal can become one of your most powerful tools to improving self-care. It takes very little time, but the effects can be huge.
3. Play Your Favorite Song
Whenever you need a quick break for some self-care, play the song that brings a smile to your face. This can be your favorite song or simply a song that transports you to your favorite memory or place.
I personally love my tango playlist that transports me to the milongas in Buenos Aires, even if just for 5 minutes of daydreaming.
4. Find a New Favorite Inspirational Quote
Browse through self-care quotes, happiness quotes, quotes to stop you from overthinking, self-love quotes, quotes to overcome adversity, quotes for when you’re having a bad day, and other inspirational quotes, and find your new favorite amongst them!
Bonus points if you print and frame it or make it your desktop background image. Next time, you can just glance at it and feel inspired in just a few seconds.
5. Do a 5-Minute Abs Workout
Even a short 5-minute workout can help boost your energy and mood! Plus, if you do it every day, you’ll end up with amazing abs!
10 or 15-Minute Self-Care Ideas
6. Take a Quick Nap
Through the ages, from the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci to today’s CEOs, many successful people have sworn by regular naps.
If you often feel tired and stressed, it is worth giving it a try. Even 10 to 20 minutes of napping can help correct tiredness and boost your energy levels. Find a comfortable spot at work or home, and set an alarm on your phone.
7. Have a 15-Minute Stretching Session
8. Watch a Funny YouTube Video
9. Have a Nutritious Snack
10. Get Yourself a Stress-Relief Gift
30-Minute Self-Care Ideas
11. Draw Something
Drawing can bring so much calm and inspiration to your life. You can use our list of 100+ things to draw for ideas.
12. Create a Bucket List
Give yourself permission to daydream and create your ultimate bucket list. Whether it’s a summer bucket list, a spring bucket list, or a couple’s bucket list, write down all the fun, unique, and cool adventures you want to have!
Related: Bucket List Printable Templates
13. Read a Book for 30 Minutes
Reading can help calm your nerves, clear your mind, and even help you go to bed early.
14. Go for a Walk
Try to spend time outdoors by going for a leisurely walk, and enjoy the calmness the great outdoors can bring to your mind and body.
15. Make a List of Reasons Why You are Awesome
No one is going to blow your trumpet for you, so it’s down to you to be positive about yourself. Write down what you’re great at and why you’re a wonderful person.
Self-Care Ideas for the Day or Weekend
16. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Animals can have a huge positive impact on your physical and mental health. They say dogs are man’s best friend, and for good reason!
But beyond dogs, there is a wide range of animals that can have positive effects on humans. Not everyone has the time or space to own a pet, but volunteering at animal shelters can allow you positive time with animals, without the responsibility of looking after them full time.
Time spent playing with animals is time spent not thinking about the stresses of life. A long walk with a dog can do wonders for your well-being, and give you some much-needed outdoor time.
While spending the whole day with a beloved pet can often be idealistic, even a lunch break dog walk, or after work hour at the animal shelter can drastically improve the quality of life after a stressful day.
17. Plan an Afternoon Picnic
18. Have Date Night with Yourself
‘Me’ time is important, and sometimes, you need more than just 10-15 minutes to do the things you love.
Spend an evening doing the things you enjoy, whether that is watching your favorite shows, reading, visiting a gallery, eating at your favorite restaurant, or going to the cinema or theater.
If you want to stay in, run a hot bubble bath with essential oils. Put on a playlist with your favorite songs. Light your favorite candle and let the aroma soothe you. Read a good book.
This is an evening all about you, to do the things you love most. That way, you’ll be well on your way to taking better care of yourself.
19. Plan an Afternoon or Weekend Trip
While longer vacations may be months off, sometimes it can feel like an eternity since you last properly unplugged and took some time off.
Even short, fun trips, like an afternoon at a national park or a weekend camping, can be all you need to reset your mind and feel better about yourself.
The beauty of short trips is that they are much easier to book and schedule. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with clearing an afternoon and driving to the coast for some much-needed downtime.
20. Take up an interesting hobby
Whether you have just an afternoon a week or a whole weekend to dedicate to a hobby, you can most likely find something that will pique your interest on our list of 100+ best hobbies to try.
Free Self-Care Ideas
21. Spend 15 Minutes Decluttering
Studies show that cluttered environments can make you feel stressed and less in control of your routine and day-to-day life.
Spending even 15 minutes a day tidying and decluttering one room of your house will help relieve a little inner stress and free up your mind to focus once again.
22. Three-Minute Meditation
Meditation does not have to take up big chunks of time in your day. Even just being present for a few minutes can be the reset you need to switch your mindset from negative to positive.
Try mini-meditation for three minutes. Use this format to guide you:
- First minute: be aware of your thoughts and feelings
- Second minute: be aware of your body and its energy
- Third minute: focus on deep breathing
23. Go for a Quick Jog
If the effort needed to put on workout clothes or head to the gym is preventing you from working out, try dropping short, simple jogs and walks into your daily routine.
The great thing about short walks and jogs is that you don’t need to change into specialized training gear. Even a few minutes of physical activity can help boost productivity and relieve stress.
Your body needs plenty of water to function properly. Dehydration can cause low blood pressure, confusion, and dizziness, so you need to stay hydrated.
If you forget to drink water regularly, keep a water bottle next to your desk. That way, you can constantly remind yourself to take a sip or refill it once empty.
Get a vacuum-insulated water bottle like the Hydroflask that will keep the water cool and refreshing.
In time, you’ll slowly build the habit of drinking more water throughout the day, without thinking about it. It’s a simple but effective self-care idea to build.
Laughing goes a long way to switch your mindset from one of negativity to positive thoughts, an amazing form of stress relief.
You can laugh with friends and family. Or, find a quiet spot and have a good old chuckle to yourself with some of your favorite memes or YouTube videos.
Physical Self-Care Ideas
26. Improve Quality of Sleep
It’s one thing to get enough hours of sleep, but the quality of sleep is even more important. Getting quality sleep is arguably one of the best ways to practice self-care, but it will definitely take time to implement.
Getting ready for bed is one of the self-care activities many people overlook. Reducing blue light after a certain time works wonders. You could also try putting your phone on airplane mode, getting an alarm clock, and stopping caffeine consumption after midday.
Aim for as much deep sleep as possible and align your body clock to the cycle of the sun as best you can. If you go to bed late, try blackout curtains to ensure you get enough sleep and don’t get woken too early.
Quality of sleep will have a significant impact on daily life, help keep mental health issues are bay, and allow you to deal with stress management in a much more efficient way.
27. Track Sleep
You can’t get a good night’s sleep if at first, you don’t know how much sleep you need. Both for physical health and mental health, enough sleep is one of the most important things in daily life.
The number of hours of sleep we naturally need varies. Either use a sleeping track app to monitor your sleep or fill in a sleep tracker printable before you go to bed and first thing when you wake up.
It won’t take up a lot of your time, but it is an easy way to understand how much sleep you’re getting and how much sleep you need.
28. Make One Positive Change to Your Diet
Overhauling your diet and stopping your favorite foods cold turkey can very quickly demotivate you from creating change.
We can all eat a little better, but that doesn’t mean it has to happen overnight. Keep things simple, by changing just one thing about your diet every week or every month.
This could be switching to plant-based milk instead of animal milk, adding an additional portion of vegetables to meals, or simply drinking one extra cup of water a day. You could even try a healthy new recipe every week.
These small changes can be made easily and will help you make healthy dietary changes over time.
29. Have a Hot and Cold Shower
While for many of us, there’s no taking away our hot, soothing showers, cold water actually has greater health benefits.
At the end of your showers, switch to cold water for up to thirty seconds. This quick blast of water will jolt your body into action, improving your circulation and boosting your energy levels.
It’s one of the best ways to develop a self-care habit and can easily be worked into your morning routine.
30. Book a Restorative Massage
While being pampered and soaked in oils is soothing and relaxing, restorative massages are designed to specifically relieve tension in muscles and address imbalances.
Often, stress, soreness, and headaches are a result of poor posture and inactivity. Even if you book one every several months, such massages can do wonders for both your physical and mental health.
Emotional and Mental Self-Care Ideas
31. Spend More Time Outdoors
Where you can, be sure to get some fresh air and spend even 15-20 minutes outdoors, doing something as simple as walking.
Fresh air and natural surroundings help ease any stress you have and help you feel free and connected to nature’s energy.
32. Reward Yourself More
Rewarding yourself is one of the most overlooked self-care ideas. Often it feels like we live in a society where you have to keep working and keep moving, no matter what.
So take some time to feel good about yourself. Put on an outfit you feel beautiful in. Have a slice of cake or a glass of wine.
Life can’t just be about working hard and accomplishments. You need to indulge in the good things in life, in moderation.
33. Have a Real Conversation with a Friend
34. Create a Vision Board
35. Have a Zero Social Media Day
Beauty Self-Care Ideas
36. Create a Skincare Regimen
There are a number of simple ways you can improve your skincare. Plenty of water, exfoliating scrubs, and moisturizing anti-aging creams can easily become regular self-care ideas.
37. Give Yourself a Facial Massage
38. Have a Foot Mask Pedicure at Home
39. Have a Mani-Pedi at a Salon
40. Try a New Haircut or Color
Self-Care Ideas at Work
41. Follow the Rule of 20
We spend large amounts of time staring at our screens every day. That amount of exposure to blue light from phones, laptops, and TV sets, in the long run, is harmful.
So, take a break from your screen every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
In time, you can build this habit to help you take breaks and take greater care of your eyes and mental well-being.
42. Take 10 Minutes and Organize Your Work Desk
Related: Best Desk Organization Gadgets
43. Learn to Say No and Set Boundaries
44. Have Lunch with Your Favorite Coworkers
45. Look up Exercises You Can do at Your Desk
Self-Care Ideas at Home
46. Have a DIY At-Home Spa Day
Spa days are perfect for an afternoon of unwinding and relaxing. But if getting to a spa is proving expensive or difficult, why not bring the spa day to your own home
Use a hot shower to create a relaxing sauna. Take a soothing bath in essential oils. Exfoliate with a body scrub, or treat yourself to a mani-pedi.
47. Learn a New Skill
Have you always wanted to cook gourmet meals? Maybe you’ve always loved the idea of dancing salsa? Or maybe you’ve been eager to improve your photography skills?
It’s never too late to learn a new skill online and make those daydreams a reality.
You can dedicate a small amount of time to learning your new skill every day. Over time, you’ll improve and potentially open yourself up to new communities and opportunities.
48. Plan Your Dream Trip Around the World
49. Be Creative and Paint Something
50. Rearrange the Furniture in the Living Room for Your Comfort
More Self-Care Ideas
51. Schedule More ‘Me’ Time
If you’re running a business, caring for your children, or looking after your family, you often find you put your own needs on the back burner.
Doing this will only lead to exhaustion and feeling as though you are losing your identity.
So be sure to schedule in even 15 minutes for personal time, to do what you want to do. Drink tea, watch a show, or simply enjoy some peace and quiet.
52. Be More Selfish
Make sure you do at least one thing every day that makes you happy, no matter what you have scheduled.
Once a day, put yourself at the top of your priorities list. Think about your own health, body, and mind.
53. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It is very easy to fall into a repetitive cycle of work and commitments and feel like we’re stuck in a rut.
So when you can, take yourself out of your comfort zone. Force yourself into new situations to meet new people, or do something that scares you a little.
This will help stimulate your mind and give you new challenges to overcome. Plus, you could potentially uncover a new passion or make new friends.
54. Take a Cooking Class
Related: Online Cooking Classes
55. Find a Sitcom to Watch that Makes You Laugh
56. Create Your Signature Cocktail or Mocktail
57. Do a Healthy Meal Prep for the Week
58. Create a Photo Album with Your Favorite Memories
59. Organize and Tidy up the Master Bedroom
60. Go to the Movie Theater and Watch a Comedy
61. Get the Girls or Guys Together for a Girls Night or Guys Night
62. Catch Up with an Old Friend
63. Make Your Own Self-Care Plan
Need help keeping track of all these small changes? Why not plan and track your own self-care plan, to better help you understand the importance of self-care.
Related: 30-Day Habit Tracker Printables
Even implementing just a handful of these self-care ideas into your everyday life can help you feel happier, healthier, and more positive about yourself.
Self-care has to start small. If we focus on the end goal too much, we can quickly become overwhelmed and frustrated at our progress.
Self-care is all about making small, manageable changes in your day-to-day life, which, over time, will lead to better things and happier times.
You Might Also Like to Read:
- 10 Underrated Self-Care Rituals that Only Take a Few Minutes
- Morning Routine: 10 Excellent Habits That Will Improve Your Life
- Evening Routine: 10 Excellent Habits You Need to Develop
Eager to add some of these self-care ideas to your daily routine? Keep this article for safekeeping, by pinning it to your Self Care or Self Improvement Pinterest boards.