The first step to proper self-care and 40 out-of-the-box self-care activities
Eat junk food • Eat healthy food • Schedule time to be in the sun • Take deep breaths • Talk to a stranger • Write in a journal • Give yourself a foot massage • Ask your partner if you can give each other massages • Call your mom • Call your brother • Call your best friend in college instead of liking their post on Facebook • Ask your local friends to meet you at happy hour • Walk your dog • Snuggle your pets • Watch a movie that makes you cry • Watch a show that makes you laugh • Notice what you’re feeling in this moment and why • Do something to forget what you’ve been feeling • Host a game night • Plant some seeds to nourish and grow • Savor the experience of a facemask • Put on your favorite song and dance • Plan a trip • Mindfully color • Paint without worry • Look in the mirror and tell your reflection you’re beautiful • Look in the mirror and compliment a recent achievement • Book a massage • Book a therapy session • Read a book • Join an intramural sports team • Pick a room (or surface) and clean it • Do something nice for someone • Finally do the thing you’ve been putting off doing • Purposefully do nothing you “should” do • Enjoy a cup of tea • Listen to a podcast • Go on a mindful walk • Take a nap • Ask yourself “what do I need right now?”
This last item of self-care is key to knowing your next step. Self-care is more than romancing yourself with bubble baths and a bottle of wine--but it certainly can be if what you are searching for is calm and relaxation. Self-care is ultimately about naming your needs, showing self-compassion toward those needs, and caring for yourself enough to meet those needs.
So frequently we are caught up in what your job wants of us, what our kids want from us, what our partner wants from us, that we lose sight of what our bodies and brain need. Do you need time with friends or do you need time to yourself? Do you need something to energize you or something to relax you?
Once you establish what you are going to do, do it fully. Be present in the moment. Experience both gratitude toward yourself for the gift of self-care, and self-indulgence-- acknowledging that you are fully deserving of this act to care for your own needs.