What is Self-Care?
I like to think of self-care as doing something to help out my future self. A lot of the things I do for self-care really aren’t that fun and usually includes things like grocery shopping for the week, talking to my therapist when something comes up for me or exercising every day. However, I try to make time to do self-care activities that are fun too. These activities help me stay inspired and help me build up some positive energy. Here are some of my favourite fun self-care activities but you can really do anything that you enjoy that helps you get in a good mental space. Need some ideas? Come chat with us over in the RTP Mental Health Support Facebook group!
Fun Activities for Self-Care
Movie Marathon: Sometimes self-care means letting yourself slow down and have a lazy day. I have to be careful with this because spending too much time laying around can cause my depression to get more difficult to manage. However, there are definitely times where I need to rest and a movie marathon is in order. Last week I was exhausted from travelling and from a really intense work week. I spent the day curled up on my couch resting and watching movies. The next day I felt fresh and ready to go. When I want to rest for self-care I always ask myself “is resting going to give me more energy or less energy?”. This helps me figure out if it is really a good move for my mental health or now.
Go to the Library: I’ve been doing a no-spend challenge and the library has been a big part of that. It gives me somewhere to go to work, hang out and read that is beautiful and free. The libraries where I live are all really nice and I love spending time in them. Reading is one of my favourite self-care activities and spending the afternoon choosing the perfect book to read is really relaxing.
Declutter: I’ve been obsessed with decluttering everything in my house lately. It’s so easy to accumulate a ton of extra stuff that you don’t actually need and I always feel like my junk drawers, closets and cabinets are filled with extra junk I don’t actually use or need. Cleaning and organizing my house makes me feel calm and relaxed. I like to burn candles and play music while I organize everything and it really gives me the feeling of a fresh start. I have a guide to decluttering for mental health you can check out.
Do some Yoga: I love going to the yoga studio where I live but if I don’t have the time or money to make it to a class I will just do a quick Yoga workout from YouTube. Yoga helps me manage my mental health and gives me a healthy way to cope with stress. I also love to do an easy ten-minute yoga routine before bed.
Go for a Walk: I’ve been really loving taking my dog for a walk around my neighbourhood every morning. It’s a great way to start the day and I usually find an inspiring podcast to listen to. I like to look around at the trees and feel gratitude for the life that I’ve been given. I recorded a podcast episode about how I am trying to find more magic in everyday tasks that you can check out here.
Plan Your Dream Vacation: I love to daydream about all the places I want to travel to someday. One of my favourite things to do is to plan dream vacations that I would take if I had an unlimited budget. I like to pick where I would go, stay and eat in each place and then I pin all the locations onto a Pinterest board for inspiration. Daydreaming is a really important self-care practice for me and it helps me stay motivated to keep working hard on growing my business. I love looking at all the places that it is possible to travel to and to try and narrow it down to my very top places and experiences.
Connect with an Old Friend: As I get older I find that it is really easy to lose touch with old friends. I try to make an effort to at least send a text and check-in once a month. I love staying connected to old friends and hearing how everyone is doing. I also try to have regular phone dates with my close friends that live far away. Staying connected to old friends always cheers me up and it helps me keep from feeling isolated and alone.
Start a Blog: I love my blog so much you guys. I put off starting it for years because I was scared of what people would think. Every time I would go to start it I would immediately talk myself out of it and tell myself it was a “stupid idea”. I’m SOOOO GLAD I finally got over my fear and started my blog. If you want to hear more about overcoming fear and starting a blog you can check out my blogging podcast at www.faithmariah.com. If you have thought about starting a blog my advice is just to start! It really is the best thing I ever did for myself and has been an amazing form of self-care for me over the last two years.
Find a New Favourite Podcast: I am obsessed with podcasts. I have a post of all my favourite mental health podcasts you can check out here. I listen to them while I work, whenever I clean my house and anytime I drive my car. They really help me keep a positive mindset and give me a new way of looking at the world. If you’re looking for a podcast about managing depression and anxiety check out the Radical Transformation Podcast. I try to create a new episode every week to help women who are struggling to manage their mental health and mindset.
Make New Playlists: I recently broke down and signed up for a Spotify account and I have been really loving it! I like to spend time making playlists and then walk around my neighbourhood while listening to them. Create a cheer up playlist with all of your favourite songs that put you in a good mood. Having a bunch of uplifting songs in one place is great when you’re having a bad day or when you just need to have a dance party in your kitchen at the end of the day.
Go to a New Restaurant: It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and end up going to the same restaurants and coffee shops all the time. Going to a new place helps me feel inspired and gives me a fresh feeling. It’s great to get out of my routine and try something new once and a while. Going to new restaurants is one of my favourite things to do when I travel so I try to make sure I try new places when I’m home too.
Sign up for a Class: Trying something new always gives my mind a good reset. If you’re struggling with your mental health or just stuck in a rut I really suggest you go sing up for a class and try something new. Taking a group class is also a great way to meet new people in your area. Try a dance, fitness or art class and give yourself permission to suck at it at first. The whole point is to shake things up and get yourself out of your comfort zone.
Join a Club: Joining a club in your area can be a good way to meet people who have similar interests as you. Find a club that interests you and make a commitment to attending for a few months. The first couple of meetings you go to might be awkward but after you go a few times you will start to get comfortable and recognize people in your club.
Read Tarot Cards: Tarot cards give me a lot of clarity and it’s one of my favourite parts of my morning routine. It’s an easy and powerful way to reflect on what is happening in your life, where you’re at and what you want to start stepping into. I didn’t know anything about tarot but I bought this deck and it comes with a guidebook that I use to do my own reading each morning. Most of the time I just pull a single card and it’s a quick and easy way to get some clarity around whatever is happening in my life.
Buy Candles for Intention Setting: I like to light a candle in the evening and set an intention for the following day. You can decide to call in more joy, focus or whatever you feel like you need more of in your life. I just spend a few minutes reflecting and thinking about what I need more of and how I want to feel the next day. Once I’m clear about what I want I light the candle and let it burn for a while. I really love the ritual of lighting a candle and setting intentions for the next day. It makes me stop and reflect on the day and how I want to feel.
Journal: I really love writing in my journal and I try to write a few pages in the morning and in the evening to reflect and get clear about how I feel and where I’m going in life. I really love doing the morning pages practice which is where you just free write three pages without judgement. It gives me space to express my feelings without judgement and I’ve found that it really helps me stay inspired. I also like to write affirmations in my journal and I find that they really help my mood and mindset for the day. If you need some journal prompts go check out my blog post here.
Go Swimming: I don’t know what to say about this. I really like swimming.
Make a Fort: Build a cosy fort in your living room and watch some movies or read a book in it. There’s something really fun about doing something childlike and just doing something silly for the pure sake of having fun. Spend some time decorating it and making it extra instagramable. Have a photoshoot in there and take some beautiful pictures of your creation. I love social media because you can inspire other people to do activities for the sake of fun and joy too.
Go for a Long Walk: Sometimes I’ll challenge myself to go on a really long walk. Make sure you bring plenty of water, put on sunblock and wear a hat. If I really have something serious on my mind sometimes I’ll walk 5-8 miles. I set the intention before I leave to receive clarity and to become clear on what the next steps are in my life. You can set any intention that you feel like will be helpful to you and then as your walking try to have a clear mind. It’s kind of like meditating while you’re walking.
Cook Your Favourite Meal: In general, I don’t really like cooking but everyone and awhile I will want to cook a special meal for myself. I like to go on Pinterest and find a really fancy meal to try and cook. It can be fun to spend the afternoon going to the store, getting all the ingredients and then cooking something really special for yourself or for your friends.
Dance Party: Dance parties always lift my mood. Ever since I went to Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within event I’m obsessed with having dance parties every day. Tony teaches people to dance and jump up and down as a way to use your physical body to change your mental state. It really works for me! Whenever I feel low energy I just have a really serious dance party and I start feeling better almost immediately.
Do a Workout: I actually don’t think working out is fun. In fact, I really loathe it most days. However, working out is so transformative for my mental health and I always feel better after I do it. I just had to put it on this list because it is such an important part of my self-care routine and it has had a big impact on my overall mental health.
Apply for New Jobs: I think getting a great new job is the most fun thing there is. Spend some time looking at your dream jobs online and figure out what skills you need to get hired for them. Start developing your resume to be able to get a job that you really truly love. I know so many people that stay in jobs that they hate for so long instead of taking action to do something they like to do. I know job hunts can be long and discouraging but the sooner you start the sooner you can get out of the job that isn’t serving you anymore. Finding a way to make a living that you actually enjoy is one of the best things you can do for self-care and your mental health in general.
Make a Plan to Move: If you don’t like where you live make a plan to move. What would you need to be happy with where you live? Start figuring out where you want to live and what you need to do to make it a reality. This is your one life and you don’t have time to waste staying stuck somewhere you don’t like. I can’t tell you how many dates I’ve been on where the g0uy just complains about how he doesn’t like the town we live and or he doesn’t like his job. This drives me crazy! You’re a grown adult pe0rson! If you don’t like something about your life change it or at least have the courtesy to not complain about it when you’re on a date with me! Don’t be like those guys. Figure out what you want out of life and go after it.
Create a Vision Board: I am one of those people that love making vision boards. I think figuring out what you want your life to look like is a great exercise. Plus I just think finding pictures and glueing them into a collage is really fun. I usually find pictures on Pinterest and print them out but you can use magazines too. Get really specific about exactly what you want out of your life over the next year. If you don’t want to cut out pictures you can also use Pinterest to create a board that has all the pictures of your dream life.
Draw: Making art is a great form of self-care. Doing something just for the sake of expressing your creativity is a beautiful practice. Challenge yourself not to judge what you create and just enjoy the process of making art. Worry about making it look good or to make it into something other people will like can kill all of your creativity and make the experience much less enjoyable. Give yourself permission to just paint or draw without any judgement about what you make.
Make Music: Learning how to play an instrument is a great way to practice self-care. I’ve always wanted to learn guitar and I think there’s something really beautiful about being able to express your feelings through music. The internet is such an amazing gift and you can literally learn to play just about any instrument by watching YouTube videos.
Start a YouTube Channel: If you’ve been thinking about starting a YouTube channel now is the time. Use your phone and just start today. The sooner you get started the sooner you can get over that awkward phase in the beginning. Being able to express yourself through video is amazing! If you want some inspiration you can see my mildly cringy mental health YouTube videos here. If I can do it literally anyone can!
Setup a New Planner: I really love my planner. Right now I’m using two that I adore. I like to use The High Performance Planner to set daily intentions and to score myself on how I do each day. For actually planning out all of my tasks and to-do lists I absolutely freaking love my Happy Planner. You can get tons of different paper, accessories and stickers for them and I love that it’s so easy to move all of the pages around. It’s the perfect planner if you need something with a lot of flexibility.
Start a Bullet Journal: I’ve also been keeping a bullet journal lately. This is where I keep track of all my random thoughts and ideas so I can find them later. Bullet journals are perfect for you if you’re a creative or have a lot of random notes you need to keep track of. Watch this video for a full explanation about how to keep one. Mine is not fancy or decorated. I mostly just use mine to write down lists and ideas. That’s the awesome thing about bullet journaling though, you can make it completely fit what you want to use it for.
Sage Your House: I love saging my house and setting the intention to energetically clear my space. You can really use any ritual you want to clear out the energy but I really enjoy burning sage. I burn it and set the intention that all of the energy in my house is free and clear. I love to do this anytime I need a fresh start or if I’ve been processing some kind of heavy emotion. It helps my brain signify that I’m letting the heavy emotion go and I find it to be a really healing practice.
Write 90 and 30-day goals: Ever since I read the book the 12 Week Year I’ve been all about setting 90-day goals. I usually set my 90-day goals first and then break them down into smaller 30-day goals. This is much more manageable to me than setting a year-long goal or resolution. When I set goals that are too long I give myself too much time to waste. Setting shorter goals gives me a feeling of urgency and I usually end up working a lot harder than if I had given myself an entire year to do something.
Go to a Park: I love going to new parks in my city. Google parks in your area and you might be surprised how many there are that you’ve never even been to. I was really shocked at how many parks there are where I live and it’s been really fun to go explore all of them with my dog. Going for a nice nature walk is one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon. Being in nature always helps me clear my head and I always feel better afterwards.
I hope this post gives you some ideas of fun self-care activities you can try out.
Setting the intention to spend time doing something special and enjoyable can be really powerful for your mental health.
If you’re looking for more mental health tips be sure to check out some of my other posts here and subscribe to my mental health podcast for weekly pep-talks.
Want to remember these fun self-care activities? Pin this post to your favourite Pinterest board!
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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