The Mighty Logo

60 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

We’ve all had those days — days where you want to crawl into a hole and not move. Days when you can’t wait to get home and go to bed. I know I’ve had those days.

A few weeks ago, I was not having a good day at school. It started with the laminator going rogue on me and ended with me trying to hold back tears as I was grading math assessments that weren’t all 100 percent. In between those two events were a series of terrible things that occurred (which probably weren’t that bad but because I started the day off on the wrong foot, the incidents were horrible in my mind. It was like the adult version of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”) I kept telling myself to just breathe and I can fall apart in the car.

Which I did.

Self-care is important, especially around the holidays and in the winter months. Holidays can be a huge trigger for many people, for several reasons. The cold and dreary weather around this time of the year can make you feel unproductive and claustrophobic.

When you think of self-care, do you conjure up images of fancy spa days, with coffee and mani/pedis? I did as well until I learned from my therapist that taking a 20-minute nap is considered self-care.

In my quest to help better myself, I came up with a list of 60 simple ways to practice self-care, many of which don’t cost any money. It was super easy, and I’ll keep adding to the list as time goes on. These are all things I have done or things I am currently doing.

Here’s the list:

1. Read a book.

2. Write in a journal.

3. Nap.

4. Meditate.

5. Take a walk.

6. Take deep breaths.

7. Eat a healthy meal.

8. Dance.

9. Listen to music.

10. Color with crayons.

11. Organize your belongings. Donate items you no longer use.

12. Take a bath.

13. Sit next to a body of water.

14. Stargaze.

15. Go outside.

16. Call a friend.

17. Watch a comedy.

18. Pet an animal.

19. Turn off electronic devices.

20. Find a relaxing scent and inhale.

21. Exercise.

22. Garden.

23. Draw and/or paint.

24. Drink a glass of water.

25. Walk barefoot in the grass (if possible).

26. Go to bed early.

27. Surround yourself with supportive people.

28. Practice yoga (YouTube has some great yoga videos).

29. Go to the library.

30. Cry.

31. Treat yourself to your favorite meal.

32. Perform a random act of kindness.

33. Stop and smell the roses (or buy some and keep in your room).

34. Sing.

35. Forgive someone.

36. Choose your favorite quote, write it on a post-it and display it.

37. Cuddle up with a soft blanket.

38. Wear comfy clothes.

39. Make a to-do list and try to mark off at least one item.

40. Clean your living space.

41. Make a list of things you are grateful for in your life.

42. Buy something small for yourself.

43. Go for a drive.

44. Enjoy a cup of coffee or hot tea.

45. Wake up early and enjoy the silence.

46. Say no.

47. Brush your teeth.

48. Brush your hair.

49. Play a game with a friend.

50. Enjoy the sunshine.

51. Do a puzzle.

52. Diffuse essential oils.

53. Try a new recipe.

54. Take your medicine.

55. Stretch.

56. Combat negative self-talk with positive words.

57. Make a list of 25 of your best qualities.

58. Start a new hobby.

59. Make your bed.

60. Shower and put on fresh clothes (even if you return to your bed).

While getting a pedicure is something I like to do, I don’t need it to practice self-care daily. The important thing is to listen to your body, respond to its needs and go from there. Tune in to your feelings and take care of yourself, however you see fit.

Follow this journey on the author’s website.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty Images photo via BrianAJackson

Originally published: February 22, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home