29 Self-Care Ideas That Actually Work When You’re Having a Bad Day

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When you hear the term “self-care” what comes to mind?

Maybe self-care is something you already practice and seems completely normal to you.

Or maybe self-care sounds indulgent, selfish or a luxury for other people, not you.

If you don’t currently have a self-care practice because you’re short on time or money or because you just never gave it much thought, it’s something everyone can benefit from.

With how fast-paced and stressful life has gotten, it’s not just a luxury, it’s really important to your health and overall wellbeing. Being human is hard at times. It can be stressful, overwhelming, exhausting and just plain messy.

I’ve found self-care can help manage all that. Here are just a few other ways self-care can help you:

  1. Enhance productivity
  2. Increase energy
  3. Improve immunity (allowing your body time in a restful/relaxed state actually helps your immune system)
  4. Create self-awareness as to what helps you
  5. Refill your cup so you can be of service to others

What is Self-Care?

My definition of self-care is simple, it’s basically any habit or practice that helps you function better and maintain or improve your health — whether it be mentally, emotionally or physically.

Self-care is knowing when you need to take care of yourself and in a way that will improve how you feel overall.

What Self-Care Isn’t

With self-care, there are no rules and it’s important to do what feels right for you.

Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to be effective either. Self-care doesn’t have to cost anything at all.

And lastly, it’s not selfish — it’s simply taking care of yourself so you can show up in life better.

Some Unique Self-Care Ideas to Try

The following list has some of my favorite unique self-care ideas that are either low cost or free.

  1. Go to an art store and buy a fun project to work on
  2. Make a homemade face mask and pamper yourself a little bit
  3. Cook yourself your favorite comfort food only find a recipe for a healthy version (zero guilt!)
  4. Find a relaxing place in nature and write in a journal about your goals, perfect day or a dream you’d like to come true
  5. Watch a sunrise or sunset
  6. Take a detox bath with calcium bentonite clay and essential oils
  7. Take a drive with no destination in mind while listening to your favorite tunes
  8. Plan your dream trip
  9. Fix your hair, put on makeup (if you wear it) and your favorite outfit…just because
  10. Listen to your favorite podcast or explore some new ones
  11. Allow yourself a few hours to binge-watch a show you’ve been wanting to check out (guilt-free)
  12. Declutter an area of your home and donate stuff you don’t use
  13. Make some fruit-infused water to sip
  14. Write a letter to your future self on FutureMe
  15. Have a picnic with someone you love (or by yourself)
  16. Do something metaphysical like study crystal healing and sensing their subtle energy
  17. Learn something new – there are tons of courses online – premium and free
  18. Learn about and practice Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  19. Write a list of things you love about yourself
  20. Call a family member or friend and let them know how much you appreciate them
  21. Find a relaxing guided meditation on YouTube and turn off all distractions and try it out
  22. Create an inspiring Pinterest board and fill it with pins you love
  23. Take a cold shower for 15 minutes (I know this sounds harsh but you’ll feel amazing afterward…I promise)
  24. Buy a body brush and start doing it daily before you bathe. Start with your limbs and work your way towards your body
  25. Walk barefoot in your yard or a park for 10-20 minutes
  26. Make some homemade bath bombs and try them out. Pinterest has tons of recipes
  27. Have a solo silent retreat to unplug and recharge. This can be at your own house or one of these options

If you’re new to self-care, start with one or two things to try. If you love it, then turn it into a ritual you do as often as you like. If you don’t love it, then find something else to try.

Remember, self-care is an individual journey that doesn’t need to be complicated. Start small and only do what feels helpful. Making it a priority will cause a ripple effect of good things into just about all areas of your life.

Do you practice self-care? If so, what do you do? If you don’t, think you’ll start? Let me know in the comments. 🙂