58 Self-Care Ideas for When You Need a Boost
Self-care… we know it’s important, but do we always make it a priority? What does self-care actually look like for each of us?
We are all unique, so our self-care prescription should reflect that. Sometimes when we’re struggling with life it can seem almost impossible to get back to that place where we are feeling good and hopeful for the future.
We often put the needs of our families, friends and jobs before our own. Or, we might mentally hit a rough patch and find we are not doing kind and nurturing things for ourselves. We might even turn to — or get stuck in — destructive behaviors as a way to reach for a better feeling.
Strategies that have worked for us in the past — or strategies we have yet to try — can help build us up again so life starts to feel more manageable and as a result, more enjoyable.
We’ve asked some of our R U OK? Ambassadors to give us examples from their own self-care regimes that help them regain their sense of wellbeing and peace-of-mind.
They’ve come up with 58 ways they take five, recalibrate and show themselves a bit of TLC.
We can also share these self-care strategies with other people in our world who might be going through their own tough times. Share them around and see if they help you and your loved ones.
Community Ambassador Jake Gablonski:
1. “I pull out the guitar and play some songs that make me happy.”
2. “I go for a walk to the park with a mate to kick the footy around and have a chat.”
3. “I’ll call my family just to hear their voices and find out what they’ve been up to.”
Ambassador/musician James Van Cooper:
4. “I do my ironing. It’s something I don’t have to think about when I’m doing it. I can just be there in the moment.”
5. “I’ll call a friend and talk to them about absolutely anything else but what’s going on. Just laugh and tell jokes or funny stories from the past – so I can laugh at myself. For me, I can be too serious and forget to laugh at my situations sometimes.”
6. “Go out to a cafe, get a good coffee and something sweet to eat. One of my biggest weaknesses are sweet things and good coffee. So going to one of my favorite cafes and getting something indulgent always feels like a good idea and it can give me a little burst of energy.”
Ambassador/TV host/former NRL player Brett Finch:
7. “I am a big believer in the benefits of exercise and how it effects my mood in a good way.”
8. “I’m all about getting plenty of sleep — lack of sleep can really mess with your mental health.”
9. “A fridge full of foods you love is good self-care for us. Fruits, vegetables and lots of water.”
Ambassador/ Country music artist Travis Collins:
10. “Disconnect from digital devices and instead focus on physically being present with a friend.”
11. “Take a walk, or rest, in serene environments like the bush or at the beach or go fishing.”
12. “Exercise. A big old sweat, gets the blood and oxygen pumping.”
13. “Hang out with my dogs, play ball and fetch. I appreciate their unconditional love and always feel better for it.”
Community Ambassador/Founder of The Happiness Co Julian Pace
14. “I’m huge on writing and journaling what I think, feel and behave to really understand the emotional triggers I have. Awareness precedes change.”
15. “Focus on what I really want. I’ll usually put some music on and get creative and work on being proactive. Making progress in life is vey much linked to my happiness.”
16. “A big one for me is self-love days. These can include things like spending time with family, getting a massage, a sauna, going for a run or to the gym. It’s about making sure I’m filling up the ‘me’ bucket. It’s an important way I stay on track.”
17. “Doing nice things for others, showing kindness, care and compassion.”
Ambassador/performer/singer/actor/ Musical Theatre Barry Conrad:
18. “Make sure wherever I’m staying (whether at home or on tour) is clean and in order. I find that the less clutter there is around me, and the more organized I am, the clearer I think.”
19. “For quality ‘me’ time, I’ll light some candles and listen to (or write) music. Or I’ll go on a Netflix marathon of my favorite shows, along with some of my favorite treat food of course.”
20. “Keep the lines of communication open with the people in my world. Isolation and shutting the people I love out is never healthy when I’m going through a tough time.”
Community ambassador/Founder Just Be Nice Project Josh Reid Jones:
21. “Leave my phone at home and go read and enjoy a good book on my own.”
22. “Write a list of things that need to be done, tick a couple off straight away.”
23. “Crank some good tunes and get a sweat on at the gym, again, leaving the phone at home!”
Ambassador/ performer/ singer G.R.L. Natasha Slayton – G.R.L.
24. “Dance! It releases endorphins and serotonin, ups my breathing and gets me in a meditative zone!”
25. “Working with a Reiki healer or other spiritual healer who helps release emotional, physical and mental pain and blocks. I work with a few who have inexplicably transformed my entire life.”
26. “Working with sage, crystals and nature therapy. Being in nature is a phenomenal medicine for me. The energy of the Earth is undeniable.”
27. Extra credit: “Taking the right nutritive supplements, keeping on a plant-based/organic diet and drinking ample amounts of water works absolute wonders for me.”
Ambassador/performer/singer Jazzy Mejia – G.R.L.
28. “Getting all dressed up, spending extra time on my make up, getting my nails done, etc., and getting out of the house. Feeling pretty boosts my confidence and makes me feel better on the inside.”
29. “Writing in my journal helps me organize my thoughts and feelings. It also helps me get to the root of the problem of why I’m feeling down and helps me to let it go.”
30. “Spending time in nature (specifically the by the ocean) helps calm my mind.”
Ambassador/business woman Elli Johnston:
31. “I drink lots of water.”
32. “I’m huge on getting plenty of sleep and rest.”
33. “And lots of exercise, but out of these three, decent, sound sleep is by far the most important for my wellbeing.”
Ambassador/ F45 gym/model/sportsman Daniel Conn:
34. “Get out of my own bubble. Get some fresh air and some form of exercises light or high intensity. That’s the best medicine for me.”
35. “Spend some time with animals — I borrow my friend’s dog every now and then just get outside for a walk, away from my own head noise.”
36. “Spending time or talking to my sister’s kids… they put it all in perspective about what is important in life and that can highlight the negativity that can often creep into our lives.”
Ambassador/Bondi Lifeguard Bruce ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins
37. “I enjoying going for a long ocean ski paddle to clear my mind.”
38. “Go surfing, sitting out in the ocean is very calming.”
39. “I love going for long walks along the coastline, it helps me think and puts things in perspective.”
Ambassador/ actor/ filmmaker/producer Steve Bastoni
40. “Go to the gym or for a surf. Exercise helps to change the way I feel if I’m in a rut.”
41. “Wash my car or mow the lawn… I hate doing it but it does lift my spirits in that it gives me a sense of accomplishment.”
42. “Treat myself to a massage, hot springs or a nice lunch.”
43. “Call someone to discuss whatever is going on for me. It’s true that, “a problem shared is a problem halved,” and the other person appreciates the call so it’s win/win!”
Ambassador Radio/ TV personality Bianca Dye:
44. “For me true self-care lies in learning to say ‘no’ because I’m a yes and a do person.”
45. “When I have a clear diary for 48 hours all my anxiety drops.”
46. “Taking a picnic blanket to the park with a turmeric latte and listening to my audiobook in the sun guarantees I’ll feel a million bucks after an hour…”
47. “I know it’s cliché but a one or two hour walk (with no phone!) always makes me feel incredible and I like to be as close to the ocean as I can get.”
48. “Even when my anxiety is at its worst and I really feel like being alone, if I force myself to go and have coffee or lunch with one of my authentic friends that I can truly be myself around I always come away with a higher vibe…”
49. “And lastly a magnesium bath with amazing essential oils while watching Netflix on my iPad always winds down my monkey mind.”
Ambassador/ author/model/student Natalia Siam:
50. “There is evidence to show eating a balanced diet improves your mood. Throw in some veggies! Treat yo’self!”
51. “Take a power nap with a heated blanket, tea and aromatherapy. For those days where a calming atmosphere is required.”
52. “Cuddle session with the pets. It boosts your mood to spend time with the creatures who love you most!”
53. “Dress up, do your hair/makeup and make yourself feel fabulous! Ask a few friends to come over and make it a makeover party! Its always best to share a fun time with others.”
The R U OK? team:
54. “Reconnect with a loved one or mate you might have lost touch with. Catch up for a chat, a laugh and a cuppa. Enjoy being around someone who knows you inside-out and likes you anyway.”
55. “Laugh! Grab a mate and watch a funny movie together. Whatever it takes to make your cheeks ache from LOLs.”
56. “Make a feel-good playlist. Be strict – only songs that genuinely make you feel uplifted or get you dancing. Music can really shift and lift a mood.”
57. “Take care of business (bills/commitments) before they swamp you…”
58. “Try cutting out alcohol for a while — your sleep/anxiety/mood will improve.”
Now it’s your turn:
Write a list of 10 things that get you back to a better place and commit to doing them this month.
Keep a journal or just tick them off in your head and see if your self-care prescription is just what the doctor ordered.
For more information on how to help family and friends who might be struggling go to www.ruok.org.au
Check out the HELP section if the conversation feels to big for you to handle.
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