After a stressful day of work and tending to all the other responsibilities that you have in your life, making time for self care is extremely important. Prioritizing your needs is the best way to replenish your energy so that you can get back to business. Of course, there are days that bring extra stress and chaos. On those days, you’ll want to refer to these relaxing self-care ideas that will help you get the rest that your body and mind crave.
Social media will have you subscribing to this hustle culture lifestyle and trick you into thinking that working your fingers to the bone is superior to all other ways of life. And while I do believe in hard work, I believe in relaxation, too. I love a good Self-Care Sunday and any other time I can find to focus on my physical health and make sure my emotional health is in check, too.
Creating habits and adding activities to your calendar helps to increase your chances of actually practicing self care. Another way to keep things interesting is to treat yourself to things that really help you to relax. Adding new experiences to your self-care routine is like giving yourself a little gift every day. It’s a great way to stay motivated to do things to care for yourself.
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What should I consider when choosing self-care activities?
Choose relaxing self-care activities when you have extra time to really enjoy the activity. When your goal is to relax, you need to be focused and have enough time to allow your body to get into relaxation mode. Relaxing self-care activities are not meant to be rushed.
Once you determine what your favorite thing to do for a relaxing self-care day is, make a note of it. That way, when you’re really in need of some relaxation, you’re not at a loss about what activity works.
The end of the day is a great time for relaxing self-care activities. Enjoying one of your favorite relaxation activities prior to bed might encourage a good night’s sleep.
Be open to different types of self-care. You may not know that a particular activity will relax you until you try it. Don’t be closed-minded when it comes to trying a self-care activity that you’ve never tried before.
Don’t just focus on your physical needs. You also need activities that will allow your mind to relax.
Self-Care Ideas to Help you Relax
Some of the best self-care ideas are the ones that allow you to fully relax your mind and body and get a quick escape from the chaos of life. If your current self-care routine does not include activities that encourage maximum relaxation, you may want to try some new things. Even a small change to your current self-care practices can have a big impact.
Here is a list of self-care activities that might help you relax:
When is the last time that you’ve pampered yourself? Taking physical care of yourself in a pampering way makes us feel good. Take some time to schedule a special moment for yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Maybe consider scheduling a manicure, a massage, or a nice dinner.
Read Next: Self-Care Box Ideas
If you don’t celebrate yourself, how can you expect others to? Most of us don’t buy ourselves presents very often or even give ourselves little treats. You can change that starting right now. Think of something within your budget you’ve wanted for a while now. Then give yourself permission to buy it. Even if it’s something small, celebrating yourself can help improve your self-worth.
Enjoy the Little Things
Have you ever heard the saying, “little things mean a lot”? That applies to self-care, too. The tiniest gestures can be the most meaningful. Indulging in small free or low-cost treats allows you to spoil yourself more often. Have you ever bought yourself flowers? You’ll get a boost every time you see that beautiful bouquet on your table or desk. Think of your favorite food item, the one you have on special occasions. Why not make one day a week a little more special by trying a new version of it?
Write in a gratitude journal
Journaling is one of my favorite self-care activities. There is something very relaxing about decluttering your mind my getting all of your thoughts and ideas onto paper. I especially prefer gratitude journaling because it helps you to focus on the things in your life that you have to be thankful for.
The chaos of life can sometimes make it difficult for you to see how many wonderful things you have in your life. Writing in a gratitude journal is a great way to focus on the good in your life. By writing those things in your journal, you’ll have something tangible to look back on when the going gets tough.
Read a good book
Imagine cuddling up with a blanket, some tea, and a really good book. If you’re like me, this is the ultimate self-care experience. If I want to bring my stress levels down, I know that chilling with a good book can help me do that.
Do you have some books on your list that you’ve been wanting to read? The next time you’re looking for a relaxing self-care activity, try grabbing one of the books on your list.
Check out Bustle.com’s list, 18 Books That Will Help You Relax and Unwind Before Bed, to find some great book ideas.
Pro-Tip: Audiobooks can have that same calming effect. If you prefer to listen to books, sign up for Audible and have access to thousands of titles.
Live in the present moment
Living in the present moment is, indeed, a self-care practice that we should all do as often as we can. It’s so easy to get preoccupied when we’re in the middle of a beautiful moment. When you are spending time with loved ones, it’s important that you be intentional about focusing on the present moment.
Don’t rob yourself of beautiful moments by mulling over your past or looking to the future.
Color in an adult coloring book
Adult coloring books have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Studies show several benefits of adult coloring, especially in older adults. In addition to hand-eye coordination, coloring also exercises the left and right sides of the brain.
WebMD lists several additional benefits of adult coloring that might convince you to head to the store to grab a new box of crayons as soon as you finish reading this.
Find a peaceful location, grab your coloring book and crayons, and give your brain a moment to relax.
Listen to your favorite songs
With all the things going on in your daily life, it may be difficult to find time to do a separate self-care activity. But, don’t let that stop you from practicing self care. There are ways that you can incorporate self-care activities into your booked and busy schedule. Listening to your favorite songs is a relaxing activity that you can do alongside many other activities.
Do you have some songs that help you feel relaxed? Put those songs on a playlist so that you can easily access them when you need some relaxation in your life. Music can have such a positive effect on your mood so cue up your faves and enjoy the benefits.
Here are some of my favorite songs to listen to when I’m relaxing:
- Adele’s Someone Like You
- Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World
- Aretha Franklin’s I Say a Little Prayer
- Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud
- Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy
- The Jackson 5’s I’ll Be There
- Corrine Baily Rae’s Put Your Records On
- Coldplay’s We Never Change
- Leon’s Come Home to Me
- Mahalia’s Grateful
Take some deep breaths
Deep breathing can be done alone or as a part of meditation practice. Being thoughtful about your breathing is an easy way to help you relax. Deep breaths can be done anywhere.
Harvard Medical School identifies deep breathing as an effective response to stress. Employing deep-breathing techniques can help you to relax when you are feeling overwhelmed, making it a very effective self-care activity.
Do a face mask
If you want a relaxing self-care activity that checks two boxes, do a face mask. A face mask is relaxing and it also helps you remove excess oils and toxins from your skin. There are different face masks for different skin needs, so make sure to do your research before choosing a mask.
In addition to treating your skin, you also get some downtime while you’re waiting on your mask to do its thing.
Pro-Tip: My favorite mask is Skinceutical’s Clarifiying Clay Masque
Take a long walk
Getting outside for a long walk can be very relaxing. The peace and quiet that you get while taking a walk can give you time to clear your mind and be free. Plus, you get the physical health benefits that come along with walking.
In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, taking walks on a regular basis can help prevent or manage conditions like heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Grab some comfortable walking shoes and get moving!
Work on your vision board
Have you ever considered vision boards as a form of self-care? Vision boards are a great way to make your goals visible. When you make your goals visible, they might seem more real and attainable. You may be inspired and motivated by the images that represent your dreams.
Text an old friend
Friends are an important part of having a healthy life. Our busy schedules make it tough to spend as much time with friends as we’d like, so we have to find creative ways to stay connected. Sending a text to an old friend can help you stay in touch with people who are important you. Additionally, it just might make your friend’s day brighter to hear from you.
Learn a new skill
I’m a huge advocate of learning new skills. It’s a great way to better yourself and find new interests. Peidmont.org lists several benefits of learning new skills. Boosting your confidence and happiness are two of the benefits that intrigued me.
So, if you’ve been wanting to learn to sew, play an instrument, or maybe brush up on your photography skills, use your next self-care day as an opportunity to focus on learning a new skill.
Enjoy some bath bombs
Bath bombs are a great way to relax your body and unwind from a stressful day. After a long day, a warm bath using a soothing bath bomb might be a good way to take care of your body and steal a bit of alone time.
Bath bombs come in so many different varieties. Take some time exploring some different bath bombs and pick the perfect one for your needs.
Sip a cup of tea
Picture this: comfy pajamas, your favorite blanket, Netflix, and a cup of hot tea! Hot tea is so relaxing and it feels so good going down, especially on a cool evening.
If you’re not a fan of hot tea, check out the health benefits of hot tea that CapTel lists. The list will have you running to brew a cup of tea!
Burn your favorite candle
Almost every relaxing scene includes candles. People often associate candles with relaxation mostly because of their scents. Many of the scents used in candles promote relaxation, making them the perfect addition to your self-care routine.
Here are some popular scents of candles that are used for relaxation:
Diffuse some essential oils
Diffusing essential oils is an affordable and convenient way to practice self-care. Different essential oils have different properties that promote relaxation and improved health. The Cleveland Clinic provides details on how to choose and use essential oils.
Take a mental health day
Sometimes, the best way to relax and recharge is to simply step away from it all for a day. If your job offers paid time off, you may need take that opportunity to rest. Even if your job does not offer paid time off, you may need to make the difficult decision to take a day (or even a few hours) off work.
It is your responsibility to take care of your mental health.
Explore a new hobby
Hobbies are a great way to take a break from your hectic life. Additionally, some hobbies are known to have stress-reducing characteristics. Check out my list of hobbies that reduce stress if you want to explore a new hobby.
Create a morning routine
Life is less chaotic when there’s a routine in place. Creating and sticking to a morning routine is a great way to start your day everyday. When you start your day with a routine, you’re more likely to be less stressed and more relaxed which helps you to transition into your day more smoothly.
It’s not enough to simply have a morning skincare routine. You should also have a routine that includes simple chores, breakfast, reviewing your daily schedule, and other things to help you better prepare for what lies ahead for you for the day.
Take a bike ride
Taking a ride on a bike is a great way to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise, too. If riding a bicycle outside isn’t your thing, you can ride a stationary bike while using an app that allows you to view scenic bike trails, all from the comfort of your home.
Change into some comfy clothes
One of the best self-care tips is to change into some comfy clothes! Being in comfortable clothes helps your body to relax and fully enjoy whichever relaxing self-care activity you choose to practice. Pay attention to your body and choose clothes that are not restricting and that allows you to be as comfortable as possible when you are trying to relax.
Do a jigsaw puzzle
Another idea to add to your relaxing self-care plan is putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Can you remember the last time you put a puzzle together? Putting puzzles together requires concentration and exercises your ability to problem-solve. It’s also a great way to spend a little time focused on something other than work and other responsibilities.
Adding new experiences to your self-care routine keeps things interesting and can also help make them more meaningful. You don’t have to schedule expensive spa days in the name of self-care. (I do love a good spa day, though!) There are so many ways to practice self care and take better care of yourself. I hope these relaxing self-care ideas will help you get started on a self-care journey that will have you living your best life in no time!