Do you ever get so stressed, so overwhelmed, that you take care of everyone and everything – except for yourself?
Even if you know you need some self-care, you might not have the time or the energy at the end of a long, draining day.
So you crash in front of the TV until you fall asleep. But this habit doesn’t rejuvenate you. Instead, you feel stuck in a cycle of hustling and escaping, hustling and escaping. Your stress levels remain elevated, and you feel like life is running you!
If any of this sounds like you, then you’re in some serious need of some self-care. And no, it doesn’t have to be a week off. In fact, a rejuvinating self-care ritual that boosts your energy and mood doesn’t even need to take more than 10 minutes.
I am going to share 25 simple, powerful, and PRACTICAL self-care ideas that you can immediately try – and most of them take anywhere from 5-10 minutes!
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is essentially any activity that heals or boosts your mental, emotional, physical, and even spiritual health – particularly in times of stress.
Self-care is not something you force yourself to do because it’s good for you. Forcing yourself to eat giant salads, or sweat it out on a treadmill, isn’t necessarily self care, even though these activities are good for your body.
For a self-care routine to be effective, you have to WANT to do the activities. They also need to be a regular part of your day-to-day routine, so they have to be things that you enjoy, and will stick to.
Self-care is not just about soothing yourself, or escaping trials and challenges in your life. Instead, I view self-care as a tool to empower myself, shift my energy toward a positive direction, heal from trauma or negative events, and affect change in my life.
And finally, self-care is NOT selfish! So just drop that guilt about taking a little “me time”. You’re not wasting time. You’re not being selfish. You’re not neglecting other people’s needs (what about YOUR needs?)
Taking the time to practice self-care is THE best thing you can do, not only for yourself, but for others.
Top 5 Benefits Of Self-Care
The 25 self-care ideas that I am about to share with you will help you:
- Better manage and alleviate stress and tension,
- Better control your emotions and automatic thought patterns (especially if those thought patters tend toward being negative),
- Reconnect with your loved ones (and yourself) in a deeper, more mindful way,
- Boost your energy levels and improve your physical (and mental) health,
- And feel a sense of balance and renewed purpose in your life.
Self-care takes practice, so commit to doing at least a couple self-care rituals every day for the best results over time. If you need a little help establishing a daily self-care routine, sign up for our free Mind-Body Reset.
25 Simple, Powerful, Self-Care Ideas
Here are 25 simple, powerful, and practical self-care rituals that you can begin doing today!
1) Practice Gratitude
Each day, Tracy and I sit down and share five things that we are grateful for.
Even if you are going through hardship or setbacks in your life right now, there are always things that you can be grateful for – and gratitude is a powerful energy shifter.
There’s a saying that “where your focus goes, energy flows”. By focusing on what is working well in your life, and on all the things that you consider blessings – no matter how “trivial” – you are directing energy in a positive direction in your life, and away from the negative.
2) Take A Walk In Nature
You don’t need to trek through the wilderness. A simple walk in a park, or even around the neighborhood, can do wonders to ease stress and inspire new ideas. Plus, a little sunshine is good for you – mentally and physically.
Gardening is an awesome way to spend time in nature.
If you can’t get outside, or if it’s the middle of January and your garden is under two feet of snow and ice, you can bring a little nature inside. Buy some cut flowers, or a potted plant (or five!), and lay out some of your favorite crystals or stones around them.
3) Take 3 Deep Breaths
When you are stressed or anxious, your breathing becomes shallow. This enhances anxiety and causes further tension in the body. To reverse this, take a quick time-out and breathe deeply three times.
4) Buy A Pet Plant
Nature is healing, and the color green promotes calm. I find that having even a tiny house plant near me makes me feel more calm and connected to nature.
There is a plant for just about any home. If your home doesn’t get much light, try one of my favorite houseplants – fitonia. If you often forget to water, try a cactus or succulent. There are so many options to choose from, and many indoor plants produce flowers that brighten your space.
5) Release “Overachiever Syndrome”
If you’re into personal development, you might find yourself caught up in feelings of inadequacy because you don’t feel like a “super-achiever”. Just let go of that and accept where you are right now.
Celebrate every achievement – even if it was just doing one of the self-care ideas in this article!
6) Read A Positive Book
Skip the news and read a positive, self-growth book for a daily dose of inspiration. Yes, even 2 pages a day is enough to kickstart motivation and fresh ideas.
7) Drink A Green Smoothie
This is Tracy’s and my secret sauce. Green smoothies have transformed our health, and our lives!
8) Do A Full Body Stretch
THE first thing that Tracy and I do after waking up in the morning is a 10-minute, full-body stretch. I find that this is a gentle way of waking up my body, and gets my energy flowing in no time.
There are a ton of full-body stretch videos on YouTube, but our favorite is this one.
9) Have A Cup Of Tea (or Coffee)
Sit down and drink a cup of tea (or coffee). Simple, right? But try doing this WITHOUT scrolling Facebook, or watching TV, or running around doing busywork.
Yep, just sit and watch the sunrise, or watch the birds/bees in your garden. Meditate or journal while you sip your drink. Turn your morning brew into a mindfulness meditation.
Find something every day to make yourself laugh. Watch a quick stand-up-comedy clip (we love Dry Bar Comedy on YouTube), or read a joke.
Laughter is free medicine!
11) Declutter A Small Space
No, you don’t need to go full-on Marie Kondo on your home. Just pick a 1 foot by 1 foot space on your desk to declutter in the next 5-10 minutes. Then do another mini-declutter tomorrow.
Even 1% improvements daily add up to massive transformation over time.
Incense or scented candles work, too!
Speaking of candles, there is something soothing about the warm, flickering glow of a candle. Candles can be used to promote a calm, peaceful atmosphere.
They can also be used to set intentions. I burn candles with colors to match intentions. For example, if you want to attract prosperity, burn a green candle while setting financial goals (and reciting financial/business/career affirmations.)
A red or pink candle can be burned while setting intentions related to relationships and love (including self-love.)
Yellow and orange candles can be used if you need a mood lift. White candles can be used when you feel you need an energetic cleanse. Black is good for “absorbing” negative emotions.
14) Get 8-Hours Of Sleep
I know, I know! Everybody tells you do do this. Better said than done. But trust me, you will feel much better with 8 hours of sleep than you will with 6, or 4.
A couple tips to improve sleep is to diffuse lavender (or cedar wood) essential oil, and keep your iPad or phone in the other room! Looking at a backlit screen before you nod off actually promotes insomnia!
15) Say Something Kind To Yourself
This may feel a little hokey and weird at first, but it’s super-effective! Stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eye. Say “I love you” and give yourself a compliment. Pretend that you are looking into the eyes of your best friend – the most important person in your life!
Tarot has been a game-changer for my mental health. I don’t use my tarot decks for divination. Tarot is not just about telling fortunes. I use tarot as part of my mindfulness and self-growth journey.
These 78, symbol-rich cards with evocative imagery is effective at helping you think through problems, discover self-sabotaging behavior, shed light on opportunities, and mine your subconscious mind for insight and inspiration.
17) Take A Digital Detox
Yep, this is exactly what it sounds like. Set aside a 24-hour period with NO Facebook, NO E-mail, NO TV – no screens. Read a book, talk to people the old-fashioned way – face to face. Get out in nature.
Yes, you’ll feel naked without your phone. You also might just feel more at peace, and discover something incredible that you were too busy to notice all these years.
If 24 hours feels impossible, then do it for an evening, or an hour.
18) Keep A Journal
Journaling is a powerful and effective self-care tool that I have been using for more than 20 years. I’ve filled up countless notebooks with stream-of-consciousness writing over the years.
Journaling helps me clear out the mental clutter, unclog mental bottlenecks, and gain clarity and insight in my life.
19) Take A Bath
Nothing is more relaxing than soaking in a tub. Grab a bath bomb (or essential oils), light a candle, put on some music, and just relax. Let the warm water embrace your body.
20) Do A Guided Meditation
A simple, 5-10 minute guided meditation helps reset your breathing, and shifts your energy into a positive space.
Try this 5-minute guided meditation that Tracy recorded:
21) Do One “Unimportant” Thing
Quite often, we don’t have time for what we love because we feel it’s unimportant. Our ever-growing To-Do list takes priority – everything takes priority – and we neglect our hobbies for weeks, months, or even years.
Take a half hour, or an hour, or an evening, and do one thing that you love, that isn’t on your to-do list. Just do that one thing because you want to do it. Leave the “must do’s” or “should do’s” for later.
22) Take A Nap
Just a 15-minute power nap can be an incredible stress-buster. But don’t just crash on the couch. Make it a ritual. Diffuse some essential oils, put on some relaxing music, and actually get into bed.
23) Recite Meaningful Affirmations
Chances are, you either say positive affirmations every day, or you think they are completely hokey and stupid (like I used to think.)
I was dragged into daily affirmations with a lot of resistance, but if you craft the right affirmations, they can be super-effective in promoting positive change in your life.
Affirmations help you stay connected to your goals, and shift your beliefs about yourself, your abilities, and how you are perceived by others.
Here are some sample affirmations to try:
- I am the creator of my reality. I have everything I need right now within me.
- I am grateful to be alive. It is my joy and pleasure to live another wonderful day.
- I am capable of doing and achieving more than I believe!
- My income is constantly increasing. I begin now, today, to open myself to ever-increasing prosperity.
- I prosper wherever I turn. I now see opportunities for abundance everywhere.
- I balance my life between work, rest and play — they all get equal time.
24) Listen To Meditative Music (or An Awesome Playlist).
There are two ways to use sound for self care. One way we use it is for relaxation. Calming, soothing music can help you relax and shift into an evening routine that promotes sleep.
On the other hand, an upbeat playlist that fuels you and gets you motivated and ready for action can help you shake off negativity and spark action.
25) Smoke Ceremony (Smudging)
One of my favorite self-care activities is to do a simple smoke ceremony using dried herbs or incense.
I find that burning white sage does wonders to “cleanse” away negative emotions and lift my mood. I also like to occasionally smudge my space by wafting cedar or sage smoke around my home or office.
You can purchase “smudge sticks” at New Age or metaphysical shops, or make your own using the plants or even certain weeds that you grow in your own garden or yard.
I’ve made my own herbal smudge sticks using Russian sage (perovska), cat mint (nepeta), lavender, mugwort, cedar/arborvitae, and juniper.
Self-care doesn’t have to take hours or days, and it certainly does not need to be complicated. Making time for self-care doesn’t mean that you need to get up an hour earlier, or try to cram more into your day.
My recommendation is to stack a few of these 5-10 mini-rituals into your morning and evening routine. Just pick two or three to start with.
As you ease into self-care, be mindful about how you spend your time throughout the day. Perhaps you can redirect some attention away from social media, TV, or other unfulfilling activities and toward rejuvinating micro-habits that promote peace, calm, balance, and inspiration.
What Are Your Favorite Self-Care Rituals?
Post a comment below and let us know!