Self-care is often seen as a luxury, something that we can only afford to do when everything else in our lives is sorted. The truth is, though, that taking care of yourself is essential if you want to be able to show up fully for the other important people and things in your life.
But what does self-care actually look like? It can be hard to know where to start, especially if you’re not used to making time for yourself.
Here are 33 doable self-care ideas that will actually improve your life:
1. Get enough sleep
A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night, but many people don’t get enough.
There are a few things you can do to make sure you get enough sleep:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. This could involve taking a warm bath, reading a book, or stretching.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. Make sure there are no electronics in your bedroom that can disrupt your sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
2. Eat healthy foods
When it comes to taking care of yourself, one of the most important things you can do is to eat healthy foods. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely overhaul your diet and only eat kale and quinoa – although eating more nutrient-rich foods is always a good idea.
Instead, focus on adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your meals and snacks. And cut back on processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of saturated and unhealthy fats.
Making even small changes to your diet can have a big impact on your health. Eating healthy foods gives you more energy, helps improve your moods, boosts your immune system, and can even help you lose weight.
3. Move your body every day
A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for developing coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and various types of cancer. But you can lower your risk by moving your body every day.
Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity on most days. This could include brisk walking, dancing, swimming, or biking. If you’re pressed for time, three 10-minute bouts of activity throughout the day can also be beneficial.
In addition to reducing your risk of chronic disease, regular physical activity can also improve your mental health, boost your energy levels, and help you sleep better. So get up and get moving!
4. Try a new hobby
A great way to improve your life is to try a new hobby. It can be something as simple as taking up a new sport or learning a new instrument. Or it could be something more creative like painting or writing.
Trying new things can help to broaden your horizons and give you a new perspective on life. It can also be a great way to meet new people and make friends. And of course, it’s always fun to learn something new.
So if you’re looking for ways to improve your life, why not give a new hobby a try? You might just find that it’s the best thing you’ve ever done.
5. Start a journal
Starting a journal is a great way to improve your life. It can help you track your progress, reflect on your day-to-day experiences, and release any pent-up emotions. Additionally, journaling is a great way to get to know yourself better. You may be surprised at what you learn about yourself when you start writing down your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis.
If you’re not sure where to start, try setting aside 10-15 minutes each day to write in your journal. You can write about anything that’s on your mind – there are no rules! Just let whatever wants to come out, come out. Over time, you’ll likely find that journaling is a powerful tool for improving your life in many ways.
6. Read a book on self-care
Self-care is important for our mental and physical health, but it can be difficult to find the time or energy to implement healthy self-care habits. One easy way to make time for self-care is to read a book on the topic.
Here are a few of our favorite self-care books:
- The Self-Care Project by Jayne Hardy – This book includes 31 self-care challenges that can be completed in just a few minutes each day.
- The Little Book of Self-Care by Samantha Sadek – This book includes tips and tricks for incorporating self-care into your busy life.
- Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being by Brian R.
7. Learn how to meditate
Meditation is a great way to improve your mental health and overall well-being. It can help you learn how to control your thoughts, focus your attention, and relax your mind and body.
There are many different ways to meditate, so it's important to find a method that works for you. There are guided meditation classes available online or in person at many yoga studios and community centers.
Once you've learned the basics of meditation, you can practice it anywhere, anytime.
8. Listen to a podcast that motivates you to be the best version of yourself
There are few things more inspiring than listening to people who have "been there and done that" and come out the other side better for it. Listening to a motivational podcast can be just the pick-me-up you need to get through your day.
Here are 5 of our favorite podcasts that will leave you feeling pumped and ready to take on the world:
- The Tim Ferriss Show: Tim Ferriss is a self-made millionaire and best-selling author who interviews some of the most successful people in the world. His guests share their stories of grit and determination and offer insights into how they've become the best versions of themselves.
- The Tony Robbins Podcast: Tony Robbins is one of the most well-known life coaches in the world, and for good reason. His podcast offers a rare glimpse into the mind of this master motivator and will have you feeling ready for anything.
- The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes: Lewis Howes is a former pro football player turned entrepreneur who interviews some of the most successful people in the world. His conversations are quirky, funny, and usually full of amazing advice.
- The School of Life Podcast with Alain de Botton: Alain de Botton is the founder of The School of Life, a philosophy organization dedicated to helping people create meaningful lives and relationships. In his podcast, he interviews some of the most interesting people in the world and asks them to answer a fundamental question: “what’s your idea of a good life?
- The Tim Ferriss Show with Tim Ferriss: Tim Ferriss is a master of productivity, and he s also an avid self-experimenter. He takes curiosity to an extreme and often times conducts experiments on himself to test his limits. He s helped a lot of people improve their lives, and in his podcast, you can learn how to listen to your body, be a better writer, or discover the perfect career.
9. Spend time with people you love and who love you
The people we spend our time with have a profound effect on us. We are influenced by the energy and attitudes of those around us, so it’s important to choose wisely who we spend our time with.
Spending time with people who love us and who we love is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. When we are loved, supported, and accepted, we feel better about ourselves and life in general.
We all need to feel loved and appreciated, so make sure to take some time each day to be with the people who make you feel good about yourself.
10. Spend time with people you admire and who inspire you
It’s important to spend time with people who inspire you and make you want to be a better person. When you’re around people like that, you can’t help but be motivated to improve your life. Here are some ideas for how to do that:
- Spend time with family members or friends who are always pushing themselves to be better. They can provide great examples of what it means to never give up on your goals.
- Connect with mentors who have already achieved what you want to achieve. They can provide guidance and support as you work towards your own success.
- Join groups or organizations that focus on personal development. This is a great way to meet like-minded individuals who can help hold you accountable as you strive to improve yourself.
11. Take a break from social media
In today's social media-obsessed world, it's easy to get caught up in comparing our lives to others. We see people constantly posting about their fabulous vacations, new jobs, or exciting adventures and can't help but feel a twinge of jealousy.
It's important to remember that what we see on social media is often a highly edited version of reality. Taking a break from social media can help us to focus on the things that are truly important in our own lives.
Disconnecting from social media can be difficult, but it's important to take some time for ourselves every now and then. Even if it's just for a day or two, disconnecting from the online world can help us to recharge and refocus.
We can use this time to reconnect with nature, spend time with loved ones, or simply enjoy some much-needed alone time.
Disconnecting from social media doesn't have to be a permanent thing. It can be helpful to take some time off now and then, but we don't have to stay away forever. We can reconnect with social media when we're ready.
12. Spend time in nature every day
We all know that self-care is important, but sometimes it can be hard to find the time or energy to actually do it. One easy and enjoyable way to make sure you're taking care of yourself is to spend time in nature every day.
Just a few minutes spent outside can help improve your mood, increase your energy levels, and reduce stress and anxiety.
So go for a walk in the park, sit under a tree, or just spend some time looking at the stars. It doesn't matter how you do it, just make sure you take some time each day to appreciate the natural world around you.
13. Schedule an annual check-up with your doctor
Your health should always be a priority and one way to ensure that is to schedule an annual check-up with your doctor. This preventative measure can help catch any health concerns early on and get you on the road to recovery.
Plus, it’s always a good idea to touch base with your doctor and update them on any changes in your health or lifestyle.
14. Exercise (just a little bit) every day
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It’s been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. It can also help improve mental health and mood and reduce stress.
But with our busy lives, it can be hard to find time to exercise. The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours at the gym to see benefits. Just a few minutes of moderate exercise each day can make a difference.
So how much exercise do you need? The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week for adults. That works out to about 20-30 minutes per day.
15. Take a bath every day
A daily bath can do wonders for your physical and mental health. It can help you relax, improve your circulation, and detoxify your body. If you don't have time for a leisurely soak, even a quick shower can do wonders for your mood and energy levels.
Bathing has many health benefits beyond just feeling good. It can help relieve muscle pain, improve circulation, and detoxify the body. It can also help you get a good night's sleep.
If you're not used to bathing every day, start slowly by taking a few showers per week and working your way up to daily baths. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel when you make this simple self-care practice part of your daily routine.
16. Go somewhere where you can watch the stars or the ocean
There are few things as calming as staring up at the stars on a clear night or watching the waves crash against the shore. If you live in a city, it can be easy to forget about the natural world and all of its beauty.
Make an effort to get outside and appreciate the simple things in life. It doesn't matter if you take a drive to the beach or simply sit in your backyard – just make sure to take some time for yourself and clear your head.
17. Sleep in every once in a while
Sleep is one of the most important things for our health, and yet, many of us don’t get enough. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. But with our busy lives, it’s not always easy to get that much shut-eye.
That’s why it’s important to make time for sleep and make it a priority. Even if you can’t get 7-9 hours every night, try to sneak in a nap or two during the day.
Or, if you can, take a day off from work and just sleep in! It might sound like a waste of time, but your body will thank you for it.
18. Eat ice cream every once in a while
We all know that self-care is important. But sometimes, it can be hard to find the time or energy to actually do it. That's why we've compiled a list of 33 doable self-care ideas that will actually improve your life. And one of them is eating ice cream every once in a while!
Yes, you read that correctly. Eating ice cream can be a form of self-care! It can help you relax and de-stress, and it's a great way to treat yourself when you've had a tough week. Plus, it's just plain delicious.
So next time you're feeling stressed out or down in the dumps, reach for a pint of your favorite ice cream. You deserve it!
19. Go to the movies or watch Netflix alone some nights
There's nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself and enjoying a movie or show by yourself. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable to have some uninterrupted time to watch whatever you want without having to worry about someone else's preferences.
If you're finding that you don't have much time for yourself lately, try setting aside a few nights each month to just relax alone. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it!
20. Plan a trip at least once per year
One of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health is to plan a trip at least once per year. This doesn't have to be a luxurious, expensive vacation - even a simple weekend getaway can have significant benefits.
Taking time away from your everyday surroundings can help you to relax and recharge, giving you a much-needed break from the stresses of daily life. Even if you can't manage to get away for an entire week, taking a few days to yourself can make a world of difference.
If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of websites and travel magazines that can give you ideas for both local and international destinations. Once you've decided on a place, start planning what activities you want to do and what sights you want to see.
21. Get a pet and take care of it
A pet can provide companionship, love, and support—all things that are essential for good self-care. But choosing the right pet and taking care of it properly can be daunting tasks. Here are a few tips to help you find and care for your new furry friend.
When considering a pet, it’s important to think about which kind of animal would fit best into your lifestyle. If you live in a small apartment, for example, a large dog might not be the best option. Once you’ve decided on a type of pet, do some research to make sure you understand the specific needs of that animal.
Caring for a pet requires time, patience, and effort, but the rewards are more than worth it.
22. Buy yourself flowers or something you like as a treat
It may seem like a small gesture, but buying yourself flowers or something you enjoy can be a form of self-care that can brighten your day. This act of kindness towards yourself can be a reminder that you are worth taking care of and can help to boost your mood.
If you’re not the type to buy flowers for yourself, there are plenty of other ways to treat yourself. Maybe you prefer to splurge on a new book or piece of jewelry, or maybe you like to pamper yourself with a manicure or massage.
Whatever it is that makes you feel happy and loved, make sure to give yourself that gift every once in a while.
23. Go to an art gallery and admire the paintings, sculptures, or whatever they have on display
There's something about being in the presence of art that can make you feel more connected to the world and yourself.
Maybe it's the way that looking at a beautiful painting or sculpture can take you out of your own head for a moment, or how seeing someone else's creative expression can remind you of your own.
Whatever the reason, taking some time to admire the art in a local gallery is a great way to give yourself a little boost. Plus, it's usually free!
24. Take a self-defense class
Self-care is important, and one way to practice self-care is to take a self-defense class. There are many benefits to taking a self-defense class, including feeling empowered and learning how to defend yourself.
Self-defense classes can be a great way to feel empowered. When you know how to defend yourself, you feel more confident and secure in your ability to protect yourself. This can lead to improved mental health and overall well-being.
In addition to feeling empowered, taking a self-defense class can also help you learn how to defend yourself in a variety of situations. You will learn techniques that can help you escape from an attacker, as well as what to do if you are attacked.
This knowledge can give you peace of mind and help you stay safe in any situation.
25. Take a cooking class
One of the best things you can do for your well-being is to take a cooking class. It may seem like a simple task, but learning how to cook healthy meals can have a profound impact on your health. Not only will you be able to eat healthier, but you'll also save money by avoiding processed and unhealthy foods.
In addition to improving your physical health, cooking can also be a great way to relax and de-stress. The act of chopping vegetables or stirring a pot of soup can be therapeutic, and the end result is a delicious meal that you can enjoy with family or friends.
So if you're looking for a way to improve your health and well-being, consider signing up for a cooking class. It's an investment in your future that will pay dividends for years to come.
26. Eat out somewhere nice once per month (not fast food)
If you're looking to improve your life in small but impactful ways, consider adding a monthly nice dining experience to your routine. This doesn't mean breaking the bank every time - there are plenty of affordable restaurants with great food and ambiance.
Eating out is a treat that can help you relax and recharge, and it's a great way to catch up with friends or family. Plus, it's an opportunity to try new foods and expand your culinary horizons. So go ahead and treat yourself - your life will thank you for it.
27. Be mindful of your thoughts and emotions
A lot of mental health issues are caused or exacerbated by stress, anxiety, and depression. These feelings can make it difficult to concentrate on your work and stay productive throughout the day.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and emotions without judgment. It can be helpful to be mindful of your thoughts and emotions in order to better understand yourself and manage stress.
Here are some tips for being more mindful of your thoughts and emotions:
- Pay attention to your breath. Taking a few deep breaths can help you to feel more present and focused.
- Observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment. Simply notice them without trying to change or fix them.
- Accept your thoughts and emotions as they are. This doesn’t mean that you have to like them, but try not to resist them either.
- Practice gratitude. Shift your focus from what’s wrong in your life to what’s going right by practicing gratitude.
- Be kind to yourself. Put an end to negative self-talk, and replace it with a more positive outlook on life.
- Let go of perfectionism. Understand that you don t have to be perfect in order to be happy.
- Practice self-love. Treat yourself with the same love, care, and compassion that you would offer a friend or loved one.
- Laugh more often. Laughter is a powerful tool for stress management and happiness. We like to think of it as a natural stress reliever with no side effects!
28. Read an inspirational book
In a fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget to take care of ourselves. One way to slow down and recharge is to read an inspirational book. Whether it's a self-help book, a novel with an uplifting message, or even just a feel-good memoir, reading can be a great way to improve your mood and outlook on life.
If you're not sure where to start, ask your local librarian or bookstore employee for recommendations. Once you've found a book that speaks to you, make some time for yourself to curl up with it and escape into another world.
You might be surprised at how refreshed and motivated you feel afterward.
29. Go to therapy once per month
Therapy is a great way to improve your mental health and well-being. It can help you learn how to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help you work through personal issues and problems.
Therapy is typically done on a weekly basis, but it can also be done on a monthly basis. Monthly therapy can be just as effective as weekly therapy, but it may take longer to see results.
If you are considering therapy, talk to your doctor or mental health professional about what option would be best for you.
30. Read for at least 30 minutes every day (non-school related)
It's no secret that taking care of yourself is important. But sometimes, it can be hard to find the time or motivation to do so. If you're looking for a simple way to improve your life, try incorporating some daily reading into your routine.
Just 30 minutes of reading each day can have a major impact on your mental and emotional well-being. It can help reduce stress, ease anxiety, and boost your mood. Additionally, it can improve your memory and cognitive skills. And if you're looking for ways to be more productive, reading can also help with that!
So if you're looking for a self-care activity that is both enjoyable and beneficial, pick up a book and start reading! You might be surprised at how much of a difference it makes in your life.
31. Go to a museum or art exhibit once per month
There are many benefits to making time for art in your life. For one, it can help you to de-stress and unwind. Art can also be a source of inspiration, or simply a way to enjoy the beauty in its various forms.
So why not make it a goal to visit a museum or art exhibit once per month? It doesn't have to be anything fancy - even your local art gallery will do. Just make sure to set aside some time each month to explore and appreciate the world around you.
It's a great way to get out of the house and explore new things. Plus, it's an activity that you can enjoy solo or with friends.
If next time you're feeling overwhelmed or in need of some creative motivation, consider spending an afternoon at your local museum or art gallery. It just might be the perfect pick-me-up you need.
32. Learn something new (Spanish, how to play guitar, etc.)
Learning something new can be a great way to improve your life. It can help you become more well-rounded and knowledgeable, and it can also give you a sense of accomplishment.
There are many different things that you can learn, so it is important to choose something that interests you.
If you are looking for something to improve your Spanish skills, consider taking a class or using an online program. If you have always wanted to learn how to play guitar, there are many resources available to help you get started.
Taking the time to learn something new can be very rewarding and is definitely worth considering if you want to improve your life in some way.
33. Write someone letters or postcards every couple of months
A simple act of writing letters or postcards to friends and family can brighten someone's day. Taking the time to send a handwritten note is a thoughtful gesture that let's the recipient know you're thinking of them.
For many of us, snail mail has become a thing of the past. With the advent of email and social media, writing letters has become increasingly rare. But there's something special about getting a letter in the mail from a loved one. It's a more personal way to stay in touch than sending an email or text message.
If you're looking for a way to improve your self-care routine, why not commit to writing letters or postcards on a regular basis? You can set up a monthly or bi-monthly letter-writing date with yourself, or make it a goal to write one letter or postcard per week.