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50 Self-care activities to achieve mental and emotional health

Updated: Oct 4, 2021


The word “self-care” often gets thrown around a lot. You may even think it is a spiritual, mystical, new-generation concept with much skepticism around it. But self-care is simply an intentional routine that you perform to take care of your mental and emotional health. Just like exercising and eating healthy maintains your physical health, your self-care routine should maintain your mental and emotional health. The good news? Your self-care routine does not have to involve meditation or journaling as you may have seen in the media (not that I do not recommend those techniques), but rather your routine should be personalized to whatever makes you feel mentally refreshed, renewed, and energetic.

If you do not know where to start, here is a list of 50 activities that you can perform (socially distant, of course) as part of your self-care routine:


1. Take a walk without headphones. Engage with nature. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells.

2. Play with your pet!

3. Learn the lyrics to your favorite song.

4. Play a musical instrument.

5. Join an online class- cooking, music, yoga, anything!

6. Take deep breaths for five minutes.

7. Do stretching exercises. Here is my favorite 3-minute stretch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_vTd1DcAAQ&ab_channel=VanessaMichele

8. Dance to your favorite song!

9. Drink more water.

10. Watch a documentary on animals.

11. Take a nap!

12. Soak up the sun (with sunscreen!).

13. Watch a comedy show.

14. Donate to a charity or organization that aligns with your values.

15. Call your family members or friends. Express your gratitude to them.

16. Borrow a new book from the library.

17. Indulge in your creativity – draw, paint, create music, bake a cake, or anything else!

18. Play a board game.

19. Sing out loud!

20. Learn about something new.

21. Make conversation with your neighbors.

22. Write down three things you like about yourself.

23. Send a handwritten thank you note to someone in your life.

24. Brain dump if you are feeling overwhelmed! Brain dumping is when you simply write down all the tasks and thoughts in your brain on a piece of paper. It is not a to-do list, but rather a brain declutter.

25. Get coffee with a friend.

26. Sit in a park and watch kids play.

27. Watch a new TV show.

28. Play some instrumental music in the background.

29. Light a candle.

30. Buy yourself flowers or create your own flower arrangement!


31. Organize your closet.

32. Do the “10 minutes tidy” – set a 10-minute timer and clean/tidy a portion of your home.

33. Look at photos of puppies online!

34. Take a break from cooking and have healthy food delivered.

35. Do an at-home date night.

36. Open up to a trusted family member or friend.

37. Do something nice for someone else.

38. Meditate or pray, if you believe in that.

39. Create alarms to remind yourself to eat regular meals and drink water regularly.

40. Play a video game you enjoy.

41. Color in a coloring book.

42. Find a mentally stimulating puzzle online, like a crossword puzzle.

43. Take a bath with Epsom salt without any distractions.

44. Declutter that drawer in your kitchen that holds all the random junk.

45. Eat without any distractions. Engage with your food and savor each bite.

46. Listen to an inspirational talk.

47. Take photos of nature.

48. Change your bedsheets.

49. Ask a neighbor or friend if they need help with anything.

50. Walk through a farmer’s market.




Images:

https://unsplash.com/photos/buymYm3RQ3U




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