55 Simple Self-Care Ideas for a Healthier Mind and Body

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These simple self-care ideas really work to help ease stress, prevent burn-out, and keep you mentally and physically healthy. 

If anyone needs self-care ideas, it’s the women of Gen X. We’re consistently ignored and forgotten about, but we are still pulled in multiple directions: caregivers to our aging parents, working busy careers, providing support to our children, maintaining our relationships. It’s no wonder we’re always exhausted.

Simple Self Care Ideas Heady

In fact, we’re often so busy that we forget to practice our own self-care, and we end up burned out and exhausted.

I’ve got a self-care checklist to help you remember to prioritize your self-care routine, but sometimes we’re just too tired to even think about what we need to do when we want to practice self-care.

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So I’m sharing some simple ideas you can use for inspiration when you know you need a little self-care. Some of the ideas are the usual things people think of when they think of self-care. And hey, nobody loves a good face mask more than I do; they are an excellent way to refresh your skin when it’s looking a little sluggish.

But some of my other self-care ideas aren’t quite as traditional. Scheduling a doctor’s appointment might not feel like self-care at the moment. It can be a pain to take time out of your day and head to a doctor’s office. But if that doctor finds something that can save your life, that doctor’s appointment was probably the most important act of self-care you could have ever undertaken.

After all, self-care is showing love and care for the most important person in your life: you. Self-care is making sure you are as healthy, as happy, and as stress-free as you possibly can be.

Here are 55 self-care ideas to help you give yourself the care you deserve.

Table of Contents

1. Define Who You Are

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If you want to take care of yourself, you need to know who you are. Try this “I Am…” exercise. Take a blank sheet of paper and write “I AM…” at the top. Then try to cover the paper with words that describe you.

Take as long as you need; this can be difficult if you haven’t thought about just who you are in a while. You might want to hang this some place you can see it frequently to remind you of just how awesome you truly are.

2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

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If you suffer from insomnia, my suggestion probably seems like a joke to you. But as a fellow insomniac, I have a radical solution for you regarding your sleep issues: get help. One of the best things you can do for your mood and your health is to get enough sleep.

If you can’t sleep, try to identify what’s keeping you from sleeping well and reach out to a medical professional for assistance. I promise you won’t regret it.

3. Stay Hydrated

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Staying hydrated is an easy way to support your health throughout the day. Get a fun water bottle and keep it with you all the time. Don’t stress if you don’t enjoy the taste of water; you can add in anything that helps you enjoy the taste.

I love cucumber water, but I’m also a big fan of these LMNT electrolyte drink mixes. I can sip on these all day, and I think they’re essential for staying hydrated in the heat we’ve been having.

4. Lovingly Moisturize Your Body

Self Care Ideas - Lovingly put on lotion

I’m new to the practice of using body lotion. For years, I was too busy to stop and put on lotion after a shower. But I started putting on lotion post-shower as part of my 2020 project to enjoy the little things (aka romanticize my life), and it was a game changer.

Taking the time to slow down and appreciate the lovely smell of the lotion, the feel of it across my body, and how soft my skin felt afterward was a powerful act of self-love. And each time I notice how soft my skin is throughout the day reminds me that I’m worth taking care of.

5. Wear Sunscreen Every Day

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When you get up in the morning and put on sunscreen, you’re saying to yourself that you care about yourself enough to take action so you don’t get skin cancer. That’s a powerful message about your self-worth to your subconscious.

Bonus points for adding moisturizer first because now you’ve created a daily ritual of loving self-massage. Good job!

6. Wash Your Face Every Night

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For years, I thought of washing my face and removing my makeup every night as a chore, something I had to do to avoid breakouts. So, guess what? I often skipped doing it. And then I looked in the mirror in the morning and hated how awful my skin looked.

I didn’t change until I had an aha moment and realized that washing my face each night was an act of self-care. Now, it’s a loving ritual where I wash off the worries of the day and prepare for the night. And, you know what the craziest thing is? Even when I perform each and every step of my skincare routine, the whole thing takes me less than three minutes. How did I ever think that was a chore?

7. Start an Exercise Program

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The benefits of exercise for your health are well known. The Stanford scientist John Ioannidis found that exercise was just as effective as medication (and in some cases more effective) in preventing death from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

However, starting an exercise program when you’ve been inactive for years can seem impossibly daunting. I’ve got some tips to help you get started but if you’re looking for someone to help make exercise fun and easy, even if you’re a true beginner, let me introduce you to Justin Agustin.

Justin offers tons of free workouts that are fun, easy, quick – and most important – wonderfully suited to the true beginner on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. I’m not an affiliate, I just love his encouraging attitude and how kind he is to his audience.

Even a little exercise is good for you for your physical and mental health. It might be the most important act of self-care you can do for yourself.

8. Schedule Your Doctor’s Appointments

self care idea - visit your doctor

You’ve got to take your mom to her gerontologist and your daughter to her sports physical. In the meantime, you’ve got a full-time job that your boss unreasonably wants you to take care of. In the short term, skipping your regular dentist appointment or not scheduling your annual mammogram can seem like self-care.

I felt that way when I was a single mom and had to take care of all the doctor’s appointments for three kids all by myself. I back-burnered all my own medical appointments until the day I ended up having a painful and expensive emergency root canal because I had been literally been ignoring my a broken tooth until it got infected.

Don’t be like me! Take an hour and schedule all your medical appointments for the year. If you do it now, while it’s not an emergency, you can schedule them throughout the year so that each appointment is not as disruptive to your schedule.

9. Celebrate Your Accomplishments, Big and Small

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Did you schedule those doctor’s appointments? Yay, you! Making phone calls is difficult for many of us. (If I need to know if a store is open, for example, I’ll drive there before I’ll make a one-minute phone call.)

If you accomplish something that was difficult for you, take a moment to celebrate that accomplishment, even if it seems very small. Close your eyes and mentally pat yourself on the back for making those phone calls. Or tell a friend how proud you are that you didn’t want to work out, but you went anyway.

You could even write it down in a journal so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. When we take the time to celebrate our accomplishments, we give ourselves permission to feel good about ourselves. And that’s what self-care is all about.

10. Take a Long Soak in the Bath

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See, I told you that I wouldn’t leave out the traditional self-care ideas! And a long soak in the bath is one of my favorite forms of self-care. It’s a wonderful way to carve out some relaxing “me time”. Light some candles, pour a glass of wine, listen to some of your favorite music and enjoy some time with a soothing book and a bubble bath.

If you want even more relaxation, skip the bubble baths in favor of a soak in these Magnesium Salt Flakes. I’m hooked on this stuff. The magnesium relaxes your muscles and the lavender helps promote sleep. There’s no scent, so you can add a few drops of your favorite oils if you would like. You’ll feel like a very relaxed limp noodle when you finally manage to pull yourself out of the bath, and you’ll get some of the good sleep that’s so important.

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11. Take a Drive and See Some New Sights

Self-Care Ideas Make My Drive Fun

My parents used to take a long drive every Sunday afternoon to relax, see the world around them, and enjoy some time together. The regular Sunday drive is probably a thing of the past, considering current gas prices and global warming, but a meandering, purposeless drive is still a great way to clear your head and see things from a new perspective.

To really see the world around you from a new perspective, check out Make My Drive Fun, my new favorite obsession. Simply enter your starting point and your ending point and the site will tell you all the interesting landmarks, unique museums, and fun sights along the way. Just check out this map of the route from Atlanta, Ga to Duluth, Ga, a trip I used to take at least 4 times a week for many, many years. I didn’t know about even half of these places.

12. Organize Your Photos

self-care ideas family photos

I’ve been on a years-long project of scanning all my photos and organizing them online by date and family member so that any of us can find any photo we want. It’s been kind of a slog, to be honest. I have to look at every photo, estimate when it was taken and who is in it, and then use my photo categorization software to update the information so it can be found later.

But every time I sit down to go through some photos, I come across a gem that brings a smile to my face: my mom looking beautiful and glamorous, me as a messy kid, and my kids hugging each other. Going back through the photos always brings a smile to my face and reminds me of how lucky and happy my life has been. Plus, now my own kids have them to look back on as well so I feel like I’m giving them a gift too.

13. Take a Mental Health Day

self care ideas take a mental health day

Sometimes we are just so overwhelmed by life we need to take some time to ourselves to rest and recover. If we don’t take some time to clear our minds and reduce our stress, we risk damaging our physical health or becoming less effective at the things we need to do.

Some things you can do on your mental health day are:

  • Rewatch some of your favorite movies
  • Curl up on the couch with a good book
  • Take a yoga class or follow a soothing yoga video online
  • Get out for a walk in nature and enjoy the fresh air
  • Stay in bed and rest
  • Take a nap

14. Keep a Low Effort Journal

Self Care Ideas - Day One Journal

I’m a big fan of journaling to get out my thoughts on the big issues, but I also like to look back at what I was doing on a day-to-day basis. Looking back at happy moments helps me relive the experience all over again, and even when I see sad memories, I can feel happy that I’m past that now.

I used to keep track of my day-to-day life in a variety of ways:

  • Facebook memories
  • Google Photo memories
  • A spreadsheet I kept of happy moments

But I didn’t really like any of these methods because they didn’t provide a complete picture of my day.

I recently found the Day One app and it’s everything I ever wanted. I can easily create an entry for each day that tracks where I am, the weather that day, my best photos, what I did and how I feel. I can’t wait until I have a full year of entries I can look back on.

15. Take Your Dog to a Dog Park

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If you have a dog with a social nature, take them out to a dog park on a regular basis. You’ll be happy seeing your dog so happy, and it’s so enjoyable to watch all the dogs play together.

Dogs need to socialize with other dogs just like humans need to socialize with other humans. It’s good for their mental health, and it helps them learn how to interact properly with other dogs.

If you don’t have a dog, you can still go to the dog park and enjoy watching all the furry friends play together. Maybe you’ll even make some new friends yourself.

16. Drink Your Morning Coffee in Silence

Cup of coffee in the morning light

Having a morning routine is a wonderful way to start every day with a bit of self-care. Even if you don’t have time for a long routine, starting your day by sitting quietly and mindfully drinking your coffee (or tea or water) can lower your blood pressure and help you increase your focus throughout your day. It can also help you be more creative.

17. Listen to a Playlist of Music at 60-80 Beats Per Minute

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Feeling stressed and anxious? Research has shown that listening to music with around 60 beats per minute causes the brain to emit alpha brain waves, which are the brain waves that are present when we are awake but relaxed. It takes about 45 minutes to reach this relaxation state, so if you are really stressed, put on some headphones and relax while listening to music.

I like listening to this Spotify playlist when I’m stressed, but you can also find similar playlists on Youtube.

18. Make Your Bed

Making the Bed

I’ve written before about the power of making your bed and I think it’s so important I include it on my self-care checklist. It really is one of the most powerful practical self-care activities you can do: it instantly makes your room look better and more organized which in turn helps lower your stress level. (Clutter literally raises our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.)

It’s a small win on which you can build other wins and even if the rest of the day remains stressful, easing into a bed that’s been made can help you sleep better at night.

19. Clean Your Sink

Cleaning the Sink

I learned how to keep house from The Fly Lady books and this is her most important tip: no matter what else happens, clean your sink.

She explains why it’s so important and her explanation is similar to my reasons for making the bed. It’s a simple chore that people tend to leave undone, but getting the dirty dishes out of your sink and making your sink shine gives you a sense of accomplishment. It can often provide you with the push you need to move on to another task and then another.

20. Declutter

Self-Care Ideas - Declutter

Clutter makes you feel stressed, anxious, and out of control. Take some time to eliminate the clutter around you, so you feel more peaceful in your home. If you’re overwhelmed by all the clutter, I’ve got some tips to help you get started decluttering.

Start with one small area and work your way through the house. You’ll be surprised at how

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21. Turn Your Bedroom into a Relaxing Oasis

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My bedroom used to reflect how I neglected my own self-care. Just as I put everyone else’s needs ahead of my own, I put all my energy into decorating the rest of my house, and my bedroom was bare, impersonal, and unwelcoming. I finally began to appreciate the value of having a room that supported my emotional health and worked toward turning my bedroom into a place of serenity.

Some ways to turn your bedroom into your own relaxing oasis:

  • Keep surfaces free of clutter. Hang up clothes or put them in the laundry basket when you’re done wearing them, rather than piling them on a chair or dresser.
  • Keep colors soft and muted with rich, luxurious bedding.
  • Add sentimental items that remind you of happy times.
  • Add plants and greenery to keep the air clear and breathable.

22. Have a Spa Day

Self Care Idea - have a day at a spa

My son called me up recently to tell me that he’s discovered the wonderful, rejuvenating power of a spa day, so much so, in fact, that he now considers himself to be a “spa guy.”

He had this revelation after visiting Spa Castle, a traditional European-style bathhouse where you can spend the day soaking in heated tubs, relaxing in wet and dry saunas, and plunging into cold pools. I had a chance to visit a similar facility in Europe, and I’ve never felt more peaceful and relaxed.

But, you can still have a spa day even if you don’t have access to such luxury. Make your own spa day at home with a soothing facial, an at-home mani/pedi, and your own bath ritual. You’ll still feel pampered and relaxed at the end of the day.

23. Take an Afternoon Break for a Cup of Tea

take a break with a cup of tea

Pausing in the afternoon for a class of hot tea is a delightful way to stop and recharge in the middle of the day. Take time to really experience the warmth of the cup, the steam rising up to your face, and the aroma of the tea. I don’t like to have caffeine in the afternoon, so I like to use my afternoon tea break to have a cup of herbal tea, like my old favorite, this Kava Stress Relief tea.

You can also use this time to reflect on your day or set intentions for the rest of the day. Or just sit in silence for a few minutes.

24. Clean Out Your Purse or Your Junk Drawer

inside of purse

Does your purse weigh an extra five pounds from the weight of the loose change and CVS receipts you’re carrying around? Take a few minutes to clean it out and organize it so that you feel lifted up rather than brought down when you open it. Or clean out and organize your junk drawer and finally get rid of that collection of keys that don’t go with anything.

25. Buy Yourself Flowers

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Fresh flowers make any room beautiful and they make any occasion feel special. I love buying myself flowers because it sends a powerful message to my subconscious: you’re worth this. Fresh flowers make me smile any time I walk into the room.

And, if you’re looking for a way to bring some self-care into your office or workplace, buy yourself a plant. Office plants have been shown to boost productivity and improve indoor air quality.

26. Do That Thing You’ve Been Putting Off

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We’ve all got that one thing on our To-Do List that we avoid, and frequently it’s a really simple task. For example, I so hate making phone calls that I’ll procrastinate for weeks before I’ll do something like call the insurance company to make a policy change which will save me money.

Rip off that band-aid and do that one thing. You’ll feel free and strong when you’re done.

27. Get Up Early to Watch the Sunrise

getting up early to watch the sunrise

There’s something so optimistic about watching the sunrise. The day dawns fresh and unspoiled. Who knows what good things may happen? The fresh air of the morning is so crisp and clear and the beauty of the sun is awe-inspiring. You’ll feel grateful for the world that we’re so lucky to live in.

Watching the sun rise also forces you to slow down. After all the sun rises on its own schedule and nothing you do can make it rise any sooner. All you can do is sit and watch and appreciate the view.

28. Start a New Hobby

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Hobbies are a great way to relax and de-stress. They can also be an excellent source of creativity and self-expression. And they give you something to look forward to outside of work or other obligations.

Starting a new hobby is also a wonderful way to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. It’s so motivating to take on a new challenge and learn a new skill. If you’re looking for a new hobby, I’ve got tips on how to find the best hobby for you, plus a list of hobby ideas you can check out.

29. Write an Encouraging Letter to Yourself

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You know best what you need to hear right now. Even if it feels fake and wrong and even if you don’t believe it, put yourself into the future and write yourself an encouraging letter from the perspective of your future self. Tell yourself that everything is going to work out and how it worked out for you. Keep the letter and reread it frequently. You may be shocked and how accurate it ends up being.

This is very similar to creating a vision board – an activity I’m very fond of. If you’re feeling pessimistic about your future, this is the perfect time to create a vision board for the life you want to create for yourself.

30. Remind Yourself to Use Positive Self-Talk with These Self-Compassion Quotes

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The greatest act of self-love we can show ourselves is to talk to ourselves with love and compassion. But that can often be so difficult to remember to do. I often find myself in an unhelpful cycle of being myself up for doing something wrong and then beating myself up for being so harsh to myself.

These self-compassion quotes can help you remember to treat yourself lovingly and with patience.

31. Dump Out All Your Negative Thoughts

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If positivity seems too hard right now, then lean into your negativity by setting a timer and writing down all your fears, worries, and other negative thoughts for fifteen minutes. Be messy and don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or nice language. Really curse and yell on paper if that helps.

At the end of the fifteen minutes, you can reread your writing if you like or just let it be. Tear up what you’ve written and throw it away dramatically. You’ll feel immediately lighter.

32. Go for a Mindful Nature Walk

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Take 20 or 30 minutes to go for a solitary walk out in nature and leave your earphones out. Pay attention to the sights and sounds around you. Really listen to the sounds of the birds and the rustling of the leaves. Smell the fresh air. Stop to appreciate the beauty of the wild flowers. Take the time to feel gratitude for the beauty around you. I

f you find your mind wandering to your problems, simply guide it back to noticing your surroundings. At the end of your walk, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to return to the real world.

33. Perform a Simple Act of Kindness

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If you can’t stop thinking about your problems, take a moment to lighten someone else’s burden. Send a quick email or make a phone call to someone you suspect may be lonely or struggling. Drop off cookies or a meal to a friend who may be in financial distress. Or write a thank you note to someone who has helped you in the past.

Studies have shown that acts of kindness help the mood of both the giver and the receiver. I know they help make the world a better place.

34. Make a To-Do List

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If you’re overwhelmed by everything you need to do or ideas you want to try, write it all down on a list. If you’re trying to keep it all in your head, you’re probably doing so by mentally repeating it to yourself, which can keep you anxious and overwhelmed.

If you’ve lost your job, for example, make a list of everything you need to do. If you don’t know what to do, start your list with “Research steps to take now that I’ve lost my job.” Get your thoughts down on paper so you can get them out of your head.

35. Do a Gentle Workout

If you don’t feel like jumping into a high-energy routine, it can still feel soothing to move and get in touch with your body. This yoga routine from Yoga with Adriene is suitable for beginners and is designed to help you soothe your worry and anxiety.

36. Perform a Body Scan

Do you feel restless or like you want to eat all the food? Do you feel just kind of numb? Take a few minutes to perform a body scan meditation. This will help you identify where you are holding your stress (you may not even be aware of it!) and relax your body.

37. Relieve Your Anxiety with the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

Invented by Dr. Andrew Weill, this breathing technique really works at reducing the physical symptoms caused by anxiety.

38. Meditate on the Present Moment

If you’re a catastrophizer like me, it’s helpful to train yourself to stay in the present moment. This meditation helps remind you that living in the present moment is actually all we have. As the saying goes, “The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.” ~ Robert M. Pirsig

39. Have Fun with Some Arts & Crafts

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A night of self-care and jigsaw puzzles

If you’re stressing out, try some craft projects. If you find a project you enjoy, you’ll be distracted while you’re working on it and you’ll experience joy and pride when you complete your project. I actually enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles so much, I can get into a flow state while working on one.

Other great projects ideas for stress relief include art journaling, crocheting, cross stitching, coloring in adult coloring books, scrapbooking, zentangle drawing.

By the way, my favorite jigsaw puzzles come from this company.

40. Chill out with Supportive Social Media

Woman on phone scrolling through social media

Social Media has a bad reputation for making us all feel bad about ourselves and it’s frequently well deserved but it can also be used for good. Use Facebook to reach out friends you haven’t spoken to in a while or dip into Instagram to follow some of the best accounts for self-care.

41. Take a Digital Detox

Midlife Women Hanging Out with Friends

On the other hand, sometimes it’s best to put your phone down and join the real world. If you find yourself repeatedly doomscrolling or filled with anxiety over current news stories, take a digital detox and put away electronics for 24 hours. Spend that time reading books, working on your hobbies, and meeting up with friends in real life.

You’ll be less stressed, you’ll have more time for other activities, and you may even sleep better.

42. Unsubscribe

Woman reading her email

How many emails do you get that you automatically delete without ever reading? How many email lists are you on? Even that half a second that it takes to delete that unwanted email drains a bit of energy from your life. Now imagine you’ve got dozens (or even hundreds) of these emails coming in.

Take some time today and unsubscribe from 10-15 emails you no longer want to receive. If you start each morning by unsubscribing from a few emails, you can get your inbox down to a manageable level in no time.

43. Have Some Laughs

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Laughter releases endorphins, relieves stress, and helps reduce pain. Take a break and watch one of your favorite funny movies or try one of the movies from this list.

Or check out funny YouTube videos. I laughed until I cried at many of the videos in this article.

44. Spend Time with an Old Friend

Two old friends spending time together

We all have the one friend who can make us feel happy even if we’re sitting around together doing absolutely nothing. Make sure to reach out to your friends on a regular basis and get together for lunch, a catch-up dinner, or even a quick phone call. Contact with friends increase your sense of belonging, improves your sense of self-worth and can even help you cope with trauma so reach out today!

45. Take Yourself on an Artist’s Date

Woman on an artists date

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, defines an artist’s date as “assigned play.” It’s a solo expedition where you can explore something that interests you. It’s important that you must be alone for your artist’s date; you want to focus on your own reactions to what you see and learn, rather than how your companion is reacting. However, your artist’s date doesn’t have to be explicitly art-related. You can visit a bookstore, walk through an interesting part of town, or tour a museum.

Cameron recommends you schedule an artist’s date once a week. I wish I could indulge that often. But I find these dates one of the best ways I know for nurturing creativity and breaking through blocks.

46. Write a Letter to Your Intuition

Woman writing a letter to her intuition

I learned about this technique from The Jess Lively podcast, and I find it really helpful during times when I feel like I need guidance but I don’t have anyone to turn to. I’ll turn, instead, to my own intuition.

The process is simple, but it can also be difficult. To begin with, write your question or your issue at the top of a piece of paper. For example, “Why can’t I stick with my diet, even though I want to lose weight?”

Then, you can do one of two things. Some people like to sit in silence until an answer comes to them. I like to pick up a pen and start writing. I’ll write quickly and without thinking, moving back and forth between questions and answers.

The ego often tries to control both parts of the conversation, so I’ll frequently have to write until I tire out the ego. Only then will I hear my intuition speak. This might take a few sessions, but I’ll know when the conversation is done because I’ll feel satisfied and confident about my answer.

47. Have a Dance Party

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Kids dance around all the time, but adults become slow and deliberate and all business. Throw that concept out the window and have an at-home dance party. Put on your favorite songs and dance like nobody’s watching. Copy some of your favorite dances or go freestyle. Just start up and the music and let your body take over.

Dance has so many benefits! It’s a great way to relieve stress, it’s a form of cardio exercise, and it can boost your mood. So crank up the tunes and let yourself go wild!

48. Get Those Knots Out of Your Muscles

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We all carry our stress in different ways. I carry my stress by tensing my neck and my jaw and can end up in fairly large amount of pain which causes, you guessed it, more stress. I’m a fan of anything that can help me relax my tensed muscles.

Obviously, massage works well any time I can get to a therapist, but for at-home, I really love this scary-looking tool. I just scrape it over the sore muscles until I feel them relax.

49. Just Do Nothing

Self Care Ideas - Do Nothing Poolside
Doing Nothing Poolside at the Opryland Hotel

Last Labor Day, my husband and I took advance of the Tennessee residents discount and booked two nights at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, where we spent our time doing, well, nothing. We sat on our balcony and watched the people walk by. We walked around the hotel and appreciated the decorations. We napped by the pool.

It was a glorious respite from the days we had been spending on a hamster wheel working frantically while stuck inside our home. And it also taught me the value of doing nothing as a self-care tool. You don’t need to spend an entire weekend doing nothing. In fact, you’ll get more benefits from a short regular “do nothing” break like just stopping to sit on your deck and enjoy the world around you or visiting a park to sit on a bench for a few minutes.

50. Make an Inspiration Board

Inspiration Board of Women I love

If you’ve been reading Midlife Rambler for any time at all, you know I’m a fan of vision boards. However, it would be more accurate to say that I’m a fan of what I would call “inspiration boards” and vision boards are a subset of inspiration boards.

So what is an inspiration board? It’s just a collection of images that inspire and motivate you. A vision board is a classic use for an inspiration board, but you can use them for so many other purposes.

For example, make a board of women who inspire you, women you would like to emulate. Or make a board showing forms of self-care you like.

The very act of making an inspiration board is an act of self-care because you’re treating yourself as a valued person by asking yourself, “hey, what do I want?” And looking at the board is an act of self-care because your board will continue to inspire you when you look at it.

51. Get Out and Play

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I originally titled this section “Incorporate More Playfulness in Your Life.” Doesn’t that make you want to get up and run around? But it vividly illustrates just how far removed we are as adults from giving ourselves over to some pure, unabashed playtime. Let’s change that.

Try spending time with a young friend, just playing along with them, rather than counting the minutes until you can get back to your grown-up pursuits. Or do something like visiting a petting zoo or riding the rides at a carnival that’s supposedly just for kids. Try to remember how you enjoyed playing as a kid and spend some time revisiting those pursuits. Whatever you choose, just be sure you have fun.

52. Plan Regular Staycation Days

Visiting the Lane Motor Museum on a Nashville Staycation
Visiting the Lane Motor Museum on a Nashville Staycation

You get a vacation once or twice a year, if you’re lucky, where you travel to a new spot and spend each day seeing the sights, trying new things, treating yourself, and relaxing. You return to your office tanned, reinvigorated, and a little worried about how much extra work you’re going to need to do to catch up when you return.

What if I told you that you could get the same mental health benefits as a vacation without leaving town, without spending a lot of money, and without taking (too much) time off work?

The answer, of course, is regular, planned staycations. A day you take every three months or so to explore your hometown or a nearby area.

We started doing this when we moved to Nashville because we wanted to explore the city so many people love visiting for their own vacations, but I realized later that we could have been doing something like this no matter where we lived.

Any city has a fun park to visit, an interesting place to hike, or a quirky small museum to visit. In fact, visiting quirky small museums has become my new hobby and they’re everywhere! Check out “best small museums” + your area and see what delights wait for you.

53. Start the Day with a Self-Care Meditation

stress relief and selfcare card deck

I love starting the day with some kind of inspiration to help get my day started on a positive note. There are so many ways to do this, but one fun thing I’ve been doing lately is pulling a card from this deck of mindfulness exercises. Each card contains a short mindfulness meditation or exercise that’s perfect for getting your day started off right.

54. Watch Empowering Videos

self care tip - empowering videos

I’m a sucker for an inspiring video, and I often watch them when I need a pick-me-up. These kinds of videos can also be great self-care tools because they help you remember what’s possible in life, and they give you a dose of hope.

I especially like to watch inspirational videos when I feel anxious. The message helps me calm down and stop catastrophizing and realize that things are going to be all right.

Here are some of my favorite videos for women over 40.

55. Reach for Your Self-Care Kit

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My self-care kit is an essential tool in my own self-care. It contains items that bring me comfort and happiness. Everything is stored conveniently in one place so I can quickly turn to it when I need a pick-me-up.

Here’s how to make your own self-care kit.

What are your favorite things to do for self-care? Let me know in the comments.

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