25 self-care activities

Some say that my generation, millennials, is obsessed with the concept of self-care but I think we should all care about it.

As explained on GoodTherapy.org, a website of resources related to mental health with a directory of therapists in the United States, “self-care is any intentional action taken to meet an individual’s physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional needs. In short, it’s all the little ways we take care of ourselves to avoid a breakdown in those respective areas of health.” Further, as stated in this article, self-care’s three crucial functions are to prevent “overload burnout,” reduce the negative effects of stress, and help you refocus.

Self-care can mean different things to different people. To me, self-care means doing what brings me peace and comfort when I need them most. It means engaging in thoughts and activities that make my mind slow down and relax when I am anxious, frustrated, sad – or all the above. When I practice self-care, I do something that I really like and enjoy instead of something less likeable or enjoyable.

In honor of my being 25 now, I share in this post 25 of my favorite activities and practices related to self-care. I encourage you to add a couple (or all?) to your self-care routine.

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25 SELF-CARE PRACTICES AND ACTIVITIES

Social

  • Talk to friends and family, especially people who are generally optimistic and positive
  • Shut out the rest of the world for a few hours (no messages, no calls, no emails, no Instagram or Twitter, mute groups and turn off notifications on WhatsApp, etc.)

Physical

  • Sleep
  • Sleep until you wake up naturally
  • Eat something you’ve been craving
  • Eat a meal you did not cook (order takeaway, go to a restaurant)
  • Exercise for 30 minutes – jumping jacks, sit ups, squats, leg raises, pilates, etc.

Psychological, mental or emotional

  • Laugh
  • Scream or cry
  • Travel
  • Go on a photography walk; take photos
  • Go for a walk, explore
  • Listen to music
  • Sing or dance
  • Say “no” when you do not want to do something; voice your disagreement
  • Read a positive quote, poem or story
  • Write a journal entry
  • Watch episodes of one of your favorite tv shows or your favorite movie again
  • Watch a vlog, music or funny video
  • Sit or lay down in silence, doing absolutely nothing, for a couple of minutes or even hours
  • Say or write a list of positive affirmations
  • Write a list of achievements
  • Write a list of things you are grateful for

Spiritual

  • Pray or meditate
  • Listen to a religious or spiritual message

Bonus

As a bonus, check out nine inspirational TED talks on the importance of self-care here. I recommend the famed professor, author and public speaker Brené Brown especially. She helped me understand why I should not be ashamed or uncomfortable about being “emotional” “sensitive” “imperfect” or “flawed” once in a while. Beyond her TED talk, Brown’s work on courage, shame and vulnerability is a useful resource to develop a better sense of self and figure out how to care for yourself in the best way possible. I encourage you to check it out.

 

What does self-care mean to you? How do you take care of yourself?

 

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