How often do you take time out for yourself each day?
Are you 110% go, go, go for everybody and everything else, forgetting to take out even 5 minutes for yourself?
Are you non-stop from the second you wake up until the second your tired head hits the pillow at night?
Excuses for not taking time out for self-care:
- “There just isn’t enough time in the day to do something for me.”
- “Self-Care?! Pfftt…Who has time for that?! I don’t have time to sit in bubble baths.”
- “I can’t afford to get a massage or go to the spa every week.”
- “If I stop for me-time then other stuff won’t get done. Somebody’s gotta do it!”
- “I feel guilty when I spend time on just me.”
This used to be me. For years. YEARS, I tell you! And I burnt out a long time ago.
So, what did I do?
I kept going 110%….for everyone and everything else.
My mental health suffered tremendously. I was grumpy and irritable to my family and really, anyone who crossed my path. I just wanted everyone to go away so I could crawl in a corner, alone, and just sit in silence!
That feeling of “everyone just leave me alone” was my body telling me it needed a break. It needed some self-care. Keyword: NEEDED
But I’m a mom, a wife, a human who has crap to do! And, I’m supposed to be able to handle it all, ya know. I’m supposed to be able to do allllll the things and do them gracefully with a smile on my face, damnit!
But that’s just not reality. Reality is, you need to take time out for yourself.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. And if you try and keep pouring from that empty cup, you end up grumpy, irritable, and wishing everyone would just leave you alone.
Plus, your anxiety will only get worse.
And nobody wants to be around someone like that. #ToughLove
What is considered self-care?
Self-care is simply taking a moment or few for yourself. Doing something that makes you feel good. Something that can calm your mind from the chaos of the world around you and give you a sense of recharge.
It is doing something just for YOU. Nobody else.
But, self-care doesn’t necessarily mean bubble baths and spa dates.
Taking time out for yourself is completely subjective. Meaning you are the one to decide whether it is something that makes you feel good.
One person’s version of self-care can be completely different from someone else’s.
For example, my husband doesn’t like getting massages. He’d much prefer to get lost in a video game instead. His version of “me-time.”
For me, I have zero interest in video game playing and would much rather light a candle or two and write out my to-do list for tomorrow. My version of “me-time.”
Self-Care Ideas For A Healthy Mind
Here is a massive list of self-care ideas for you to try out! Again, what works for one may not work for another. It may take some trial and error to find what feels best for you. BONUS if you find multiple things that help you recharge!
- Do a guided meditation – (Here’s my favorite one that I listen to every day on YouTube.)
2. Write out a list of things you are thankful for (Click HERE to download and print your free ‘My Daily Gratitude’ worksheet!)
3. Write out things that make you happy
4. Sit in a quiet place for a few minutes – alone, with no distractions
5. Practice your favorite hobby (Don’t have a hobby? Or looking for a new one? Here’s a list of 50+ hobby ideas!)
6. Make a new playlist of all your favorite songs – including ones from when you were much younger!
7. Read a book
8. Write out to-do lists (this can include packing lists, tomorrow’s to-do, monthly to-do, seasonal to-do, home projects you want to do, etc.)
9. Watch pointless, mindless videos on Youtube – aka…Get lost in a Youtube rabbit hole!
10. Take an Epsom salt bath – (Great for sore muscles!)
11. Read a self-help/personal development book
12. Listen to a self-help or inspiring podcast
13. Take a nap
14. Sit on your porch and listen to nature
15. Practice 5 Senses Grounding (Read how in this post)
16. Write 3 “I Am” affirmations and practice saying them for the rest of your day
17. Listen to music and dance and sing like no one’s watching!
18. Go for a short (or long) walk
19. Diffuse your favorite essential oil (Click HERE For help getting started with essential oils.)
20. Exercise – and not boring gym exercise (although gym is great if that’s your thing!) Do a fun exercise that you enjoy, such as a bike ride, dancing, climb a rock wall, etc.
21. Look up a 1/2 mile hike in your area and go do it!
22. Color a page or two in an adult coloring book (Download and print 6 FREE adult coloring pages HERE!)
23. Read some easy poetry
24. Take a quick personality test – Then learn something new about your personality type
25. Social media detox – No social media for an entire day! BONUS if you can do it for an entire week! (I’ll betcha a dollar you will be much more productive without even trying on the day(s) you do your social media detox!)
26. Pay it forward – someone does something nice for you and, in turn, you do something nice for someone else. You will feel amazing knowing you made someone else’s day!
27. Cut out sugar today. Did you know that eating sugary foods is an addiction and that those with anxiety and stress are at an increased risk of developing a sugar addiction? Cut them out and within a week you won’t even crave the sugar anymore! (I just did this as I just started the 21-Day Fix portion control “diet” and I am surprised at how much I don’t even want sugary foods anymore! Even on my “cheat days!” Yay!)
28. Go to bed early tonight – at a time that will allow you 7-9 hours of sleep
29. Write a letter to your demons – “Dear Anxiety” or “Dear Depression” or “Dear Negative Thinking” etc.
30. Write a letter of forgiveness to someone who has done you wrong in the past. Then either save the letter for your own keeping to review whenever you need to, or, rip it up and throw it away. Or if you’d like, send the letter to that person.
31. Do some simple yoga – even if you suck at it! Check out the video below that is Yoga For People Who Hate Yoga lol. Right up my alley, haha!
32. Spend quality time with your pet. Dogs – actually take them to the park and play with them, for example. Cats – get on the floor with them and make them chase a kitty toy or laser light, as an example. And don’t forget the cuddles. Pet cuddles are THE BEST therapy!
33. Cook your favorite meal or dessert. Then eat all of it and share none of it. LOL kidding! (kinda)
34. Binge-watch a show on Netflix. I am currently watching Stranger Things! I also recommend Girlfriends Guide To Divorce, You, Orange Is The New Black, The Umbrella Academy, 13 Reasons Why, Luke Cage, The Haunting of Hill House, The Office, The Fosters, All of the Planet Earths, American Horror Story, Shameless, The Vampire Diaries, Reign, Gossip Girl, Bates Motel, Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Parenthood (LOVE!), Once Upon A Time, Amanda Knox, Chambers, & The OA
35. Do a puzzle
36. Get in some water! – pool, hot tub, bath, lake, beach – Have you ever tried Float Therapy at a Float Spa?!
37. Go see a movie by yourself – and here’s why you should!
39. Go for a bike ride
40. Stretch for 5 minutes (remember to practice deep breaths while stretching!)
41. Practice deep breathing for 5 minutes – Deep breath in through your nose for a count of 3, hold for a count of 2 or 3, then slow breath out your mouth for a count of 4. Take a normal-breathing break for 30-60 seconds after 3 deep breaths
42. Watch your favorite childhood movie. Mine is The Lion King! (not the new one that’s currently out. I mean the old-school Disney animated one!) I literally know every line and can sing every single song lol
43. Do a random act of kindness – hold the door open for someone, take the cart off a mom trying to juggle groceries and kids into the car and offer to put it in the cart rack for her, pay $5 bucks towards the coffee bill of the person behind you in the Starbucks line, etc.
44. Schedule a sleep in! – If you have kids, especially little ones, tell your partner the night before that you’d like to sleep in tomorrow and for them to handle the kids in the AM
45. Go for a long drive to nowhere. Preferably drive somewhere outside the city. Country roads with minimal stop-n-go are great for clearing the mind!
46. Call a long-distance friend
47. Have a cup of your favorite tea or coffee – why do warm drinks feel so good?!
48. Make a point to sit outside tonight and watch the sunset
49. Hug someone that you know needs it
50. Call and vent to your bestie
51. Enjoy that treat that your current weight-loss “diet” doesn’t allow – Just this once! I won’t tell!
52. Do your hair, clothes, and makeup as if you are about to pose for a photoshoot. Look good, feel good!
53. Write out your to-do’s for the upcoming season
54. Light some candles and then turn off all the lights
55. Organize rocks – Weird? I know! Read how to do this and where I got this idea HERE.
56. Try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping to relieve anxiety
57. Organize something – The largest obstacle in this just getting started! But once you get started and get on a roll, it feels great to get the organization project completed! Decluttered home = decluttered mind.
Organization tip: start small. If you look at the big picture – your entire house – then you’ll just feel overwhelmed and lost on where to even start (and then will probably skip the whole idea entirely). Instead, pick a small space to organize – such as your desk, your nightstand, or under the sink cabinet in your bathroom. The feeling of accomplishing the smaller task will keep you motivated to complete another. From there it’s simple addition! All of the small tasks = completing the large task (whole house being decluttered)
58. Cuddle with your partner and/or kids
59. Write a “Dear Self” letter – Examples: Dear Younger Self or Dear Future Self
60. Cry – Yep CRY! Tears are healing. Release your emotions instead of trying your hardest to hold them all in. (Doesn’t work by the way – you’ll eventually burst, lashing out on people who likely don’t deserve it.) It’s ok to cry. And yes, that means you too, men!
61. Laugh – Watch a hilarious movie or a stand-up comedian (tons on Netflix and Youtube!) Call a friend or family member that you know always makes you laugh. And allow yourself to.
62. Research something you’ve been meaning to learn more about
63. Volunteer for something you feel passionate about. I once volunteered at a humane society because I love animals and they always make me feel happy!
64. Smile at a stranger – and not in a creepie way lol
65. Take breaks – at work and at home
66. Get up early tomorrow and actually eat a nice breakfast – And no, 3 cups of coffee doesn’t count as breakfast!
67. Drive in silence and let your thoughts wander
68. Have sex – Be the one to make that first move with your partner!
69. Compliment a stranger. Read my story HERE on how a random compliment from a stranger completely changed the rest of my day!
70. Social media clean up – delete people from your social media that you barely know or cause too much drama and negativity. Tip: On Facebook, for family members you don’t really want on your friends list but feel you must because they’re family, you can always “unfollow” them. That way you are still their “friend” but their posts won’t show up on your newsfeed.
71. Look at old pictures – Old photo albums of me as a child, in my early 20s, pics of my parents when they were younger, pics of my kids when they were little babies, etc. automatically put a smile on my face.
72. Write out your To-Do list for tomorrow
73. Say “no” to negativity – be conscious of your thoughts today. When your thoughts start to focus only the negative, make a conscious effort to turn it into a positive.
You’re never alone. 🙂 Find us on Facebook! Join our Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders Talk And Support Group.
74. Write out all of your anxiety triggers. Then go through your day mindfully noticing when you have been triggered. Make a conscious effort to take a step back from the trigger and practice deep breathing before coming back to it.
75. Get a new haircut or hairstyle
76. Plan and go on a solo travel trip. (Travel anxiety keeping you at home? Here are 40+ ways to manage travel anxiety!)
77. Visit an art gallery or museum
78. Paint your nails your favorite color, no matter how loud and wild they look! (Mine are currently hot pink!)
79. Do a deep condition treatment on your hair – here’s the deep conditioner I use on my SUPER curly hair from Ouidad – The Curly Hair Specialists
80. Do a DIY at-home foot soak
Quick and easy foot soak recipe:
- Fill up a water basin or bathtub with enough warm water to cover your feet
- Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and stir until dissolved
- Add 3-5 drops of Lavender essential oil for a wonderful, calming aromatherapy experience!
- Grab a cup of your favorite hot herbal tea or wellness tea and just chilllllll 🙂 – (My favorite caffeine-free tea is this Lavender Lemon!)
- Be sure to moisturize your relaxed feet when done soaking
82. Make a vision board
83. Give yourself credit
84. Screw the chores and plan a fun day out!
85. Look yourself in the mirror and name 3 physical features you love about yourself
86. Watch a funny YouTube video – this video of these newsmen off-script belly laughing has me busting up, crying with laughter every single time I watch it!
87. Experiment with your makeup – There are about a bajillion makeup tutorials on YouTube!
88. Declutter your email –
- Unsubscribe from all emails you never open. (Open them up and scroll down to the bottom of each email and click “unsubscribe”)
- Delete everything from your inbox that you have no intentions on reading.
- Delete all read emails or move them to appropriate folders
- Your goal: to have and keep your inbox at 0 messages!
89. Plan a weekend getaway – alone – and stay in a nice, affordable Airbnb. Your getaway doesn’t have to be filled with hour-by-hour itinerary. Keep it simple – bring a book, head to the local coffee shop, go for a walk, etc. Just enjoy your own company.
90. Staycation! Get an Airbnb or hotel room right in your own town and enjoy some time alone (and order room service!)
91. Try out a new restaurant
92. Slow down and be present
93. Find a DIY project on Pinterest and actually attempt it!
94. Get rid of 5 things in your house that you never use
95. Eat your lunch outside
96. Buy or pick yourself a bouquet of flowers
97. Go star gazing tonight from your porch
98. Create a new bedtime routine that you’ll be able to stick with. Here’s mine. By the way, did you know, having a calming bedtime routine can reduce insomnia? Here are 6 ways to reduce anxiety-related insomnia.
99. Change 1 thing in your day that you know will improve your anxiety
100. Identify a bad habit you have and write down ways you are going to work towards stopping it
101. Write out a list of things that you know make you feel better at times of a meltdown. Then post to your fridge so you can reference it when you are in the middle of an anxious spiral.
102. Attend 1 therapy session – even if you feel you’ve got it all figured out, or that therapy is pointless, or “they can’t help me,” or you don’t like talking your issues to strangers. What’s 1 session going to hurt?!
What else? What is something you do that’s just for YOU? Comment below!
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