26 Self Care Ideas For A Happier & Healthier Life

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Use these easy 26 simple self care ideas to improve your health and happiness, and help you feel brand new.

self care ideas for a happier life

1. Spend 15 minutes a day 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.

2. 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

3. Blast yourself with cold water at the end of a hot 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.

4. Go for a five minute walk or 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.

5. Drink more water

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.

6. Make one change to your diet every week

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 in plant-based milk for 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.

7. 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 wellbeing.

8. 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.

9. 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 all be about working hard and accomplishments. You need to indulge in the good things in life, in moderation.

10. 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.

11. Laugh at least once a day

Laughing goes a long way to switching 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.

12. 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.

13. 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

With a few smart tips and some at-home spa day gadgets, you’ll be amazed at how easily you can have a spa day from the comfort of 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.

14. Take better care of your skin

There are a number of simple ways you can improve your skincare. Plenty of water, essential oil baths, and regular foot scrubs can easily become regular self care ideas.

However, there are plenty of quick and easy skincare products on the market. Watching a movie with refreshing and nourishing face masks is one way to take better care of your skin with minimal effort.

15. Have date night with yourself

We’ve already mentioned how ‘me’ time is important in this list. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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 your physical and mental health.

21. 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. So 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.

Sleep Tracker Printables to Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep

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.

22. Improve quality of sleep

It’s one thing to get enough hours of sleep, but 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.

23. Volunteer at 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 are 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 good time spent not thinking about the stresses of life. A long walk with a dog can do wonders for your wellbeing, 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 quality of life after a stressful day.

24. Drink herbal tea

So many of us constantly drink coffee and cafinated drinks to get through the day. While the initial rush feels great, the crash and long term effects to our health are not good.

One of the small ways you can take good care of yourself is by substituting the coffee with herbal tea. Herbal teas contains a little caffiene, but are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidents.

Studies show, for many, the ritual of making a hot drink is more important than the drink itself, so next time you crave a hot cup of coffee, try a tea instead. It will help lower pressure, lower stress levels, and still help you get through the rest of the day.

25. 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, when you wake up, simply write down 5-10 things you are grateful for. This helps focus your mind on the positives, rather than negatives.

Do this first thing every morning, and your journal can become one of your most powerful tools in improving self care. It only takes a little time, but the effects can be huge.

26. 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.

Using a daily tracker or habit tracker is a great way to do this. These little things, when added up, will go a long way to improving your personal life and self-care.

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.

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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.

Self Care Ideas to Help You Feel Brand New

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