Welcome to the first post of the Bliss Bean March self care series! *fireworks* I’m excited, very excited. Before we start out, make sure you check out the other posts in the series, as well as an older self care post:
13 Ways to Show Yourself Love (Self Care Ideas)
1: How I Deal With Perfectionism + 28-Day SELF CARE Challenge
2: you're reading it!
3: 23 Resources (Books, Websites, Videos & more) to Continue your Self Care Revolution
I am 4 days into the #blissbeanselfcare 28-day challenge (are you?), and it has already changed my mindset radically. Putting self care on my to-do list every single day is new to me. It has made me realize that you don’t take time to relax and take care of yourself “once everything else is done”. No, you MAKE time to relax and take care of yourself. I hope all of you doing it along with me are having the same experience. And if you haven’t joined in yet, know that it is NEVER too late to start. So join us on day 4, day 14, day 27, who cares? Self-care happens every day, and every day that you do something for yourself is a step in the right direction.
The calendar for the challenge is full of self care ideas. But sometimes circumstances prevent you from doing that day’s task. For example, I had plantar fasciitis a few weeks ago and at the height of it, there was no way in heck you could have convinced me to “go on a walk” for “self-care”. “Goodbye”, I would have said, and promptly shut the door in your face to go back to living on the couch.
Or maybe you are really getting into this self care thing and you want MORE. You went on a walk, and it was amazing, and you still have some time before your next commitment, so now you’re asking, “What ELSE can I do?”
Never fear, friends. I am here to help you solve both issues. 50 MORE ideas for self-care, served up in a handy dandy 7-category format that follows the calendar. We’ve got mental, social, adventure, environment, spiritual, physical, AND emotional. Happy self care-ing!
1. Watch a tutorial video and learn something new
Lynda and Skillshare are great paid options, but there are SO many free resources out there. And don’t forget about YouTube, seriously.
2. Draw a pretty picture
When we’re kids, we often come up with a crazy idea for a drawing, set up camp on the floor with boxes and boxes of markers and pencils, and spend hours producing a masterpiece to go on the fridge. Unless you’re really into drawing, this is a pastime that is usually dropped as we get older - we draw only for practical purposes, and even then, as quickly and efficiently as we can. For a change, try putting on some music, flipping through some pretty books and magazines for inspiration, and putting the ideas in your head onto paper.
3. Close all of the apps, tabs, and programs you’re not using
Clutter is clutter, whether it’s physical or digital. I have a bad habit of not closing my apps and then I’ll open my multitasking carousel to 30-ish apps. Yikes… Closing them feels amazing. For a larger undertaking, clear out your desktop. For my Mac users out there, clean up your dock. I cringe a tiny bit every time I see a dock that takes up the entire width of the computer.
4. Read a fictional book
Non-fiction books are great. They teach you stuff. Learning stuff is good. But have you ever read a reallyreallygoodfictionbook… Something like… The Giver by Lois Lowry? Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell? All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr? Try it.
5. Delete or unsubscribe from the newsletters, apps, and magazines that no longer serve you
Again, clutter, except getting rid of this kind is a slightly bigger decision. That’s fine, though - all the more satisfaction you’ll derive from it! Good riddance.
6. Take time to plan out your week.
I really can’t properly start the week without my weekly planning session. I love planning. Sunday evenings are way less anxiety-inducing now, because my entire week is laid out in front of me and I don’t have to hang on to any stray thoughts floating around my head. Be as creative as you want! Some people like to turn their planners into pieces of art with markers, washi tape, stickers, etc. Others are like, no thanks, and that’s fine, too.
7. Donate money
The National Institutes of Health (they’re legit) found that when people gave away a portion of money they’d received, they activated pleasure centers in their brains. And activating pleasure centers = self care, wouldn’t you agree?
On that same note, volunteer. This is already on the calendar, but it never hurts to mention volunteering. You may be in a tight spot with money, but you can give your time.
9. Ask a friend how you can help them
Everyone has rough patches in their life. Maybe it’s something totally out of your control, like family issues, or maybe you’ve got a lot on your plate and are overwhelmingly busy. It’s hard to see our friends go through these things but we can check in with them and ask them what we can do to make their lives a bit easier.
10. Join a Facebook group of people who share a passion of yours
Traveling? Bullet journaling? A favorite band? Find inspiration, a community, and maybe even make friends!
11. Plan a surprise party for someone
I have to admit I have never actually done this. I’ve never planned one, participated in one, or received one. From what I can tell from the movies, though, they’re really freaking cool. And imagine how happy the birthday person will be!
12. Call up a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and schedule a time to get together and catch up
Do you ever reminisce about the good old days and remember the good times you had with a friend that you’ve lost touch with? Well, make these days the good old days and do something about that nostalgic feeling, gosh dang it. Meet for coffee or something!
13. Exchange song recommendations with someone
Sometimes I’ll just text a friend with a song and say “give me a song”. I know that sounds demanding but we’ve established the kind of relationship where that’s completely understood, haha :) Listening to music is fun but sharing your favorites with other people and listening to the songs they personally chose for you is even funner.
14. Start a new tradition
How do traditions even start? Try this: Think about things you’ve done with friends or family recently that have made you really happy. For example, I had a board game night with friends. Could you do that every month? Bring up the idea. Be the action force in your life and don’t wait for others to start traditions. If you really have no ideas, here are some.
15. Really treat your friend on their birthday
Make a nice card, get a gift that’s personal and creative (or better yet, make one), maybe even rally up your friend group to really make their day special.
16. Hug a friend
Sometimes we can have really great friendships but for some reason we just don’t take the time to ever hug. Which doesn’t make sense because hugging releases oxytocin which increases hormones that make us feel happy like serotonin and dopamine (USNews).
17. Go play mini golf
You don’t really have to be good at golf, and the obstacles are fun. I know the mini golf place in my city has structures you can play on as you’re putting your way through the course.
18. Climb a tree
Just pick a good tree and don’t fall.
19. Visit a trampoline park
I did this with my dad and brother and we actually had so much fun. The one we visited not only had trampolines, but also an American Ninja Warrior style course and a Warped Wall. I was SORE the next day!
20. Try a new recipe for dinner
What my family makes most often - roasted sweet potatoes, garlic green beans, and either chicken or salmon. SO good, but… it’s nice to change things up. I love trying recipes from my favorite blogs and Instagram accounts. Not only does it surprise your taste buds, but you incorporate new ingredients and thus a wider variety of nutrients into your life!
21. Take a photo every hour for a full day
This is a little random, but I thought it’d be interesting to see what a day in the life looks like, hour by hour. Perhaps doing this project would lead you to some interesting adventures? Imagine racing against the clock to get to a location you have an idea to take a photo in. And you have to click the shutter at exactly 3:00PM on the dot, no matter where you are.
22. Plan a trip
Whether round-the-world (okay probably not), or to a city an hour away, it doesn’t matter. Being in new environments and exploring will refresh you. And, on second thought, maybe DO plan a round-the-world trip, even if you can’t actually go on it, because oftentimes, the part of traveling that people derive the most happiness from is the planning.
23. Buy yourself a pretty plant and learn how to take care of it
I suck at caring for plants. But if I didn’t suck, I would totally fill my room with plants. Joey Doherty of 100th Seed puts it perfectly when he writes that “Being the reason a living thing is alive and well is beautiful and empowering.”
24. Do a little photography session with your living space
I was photographing this blog post when I noticed how pretty the light streaming into my room was. I took random photos of scenes around my room. I played around with some props I had out, sticking a bouquet of flowers into the arms of my IKEA artist’s figure and posing it for shadowy shots. As you do this, you’ll not only be tidying up your space a little bit, but learning to appreciate your home with new eyes.
25. Download an app like LetGo or Poshmark, and start selling some things
Crunched for time? Just take a quick walk around your house - check your dresser, your storage closet, your kitchen, etc. and make a list of things that you could possibly sell. That’s the first step!
26. Go to a nice library or a cafe to work
Not only do new environments encourage creativity (Huffington Post), you might work more productively. Bonus points if you get a little somethin’ cozy like a cup of tea to sip on while you work away.
27. Light some candles
This is actually a big part of the book I’m reading - The Little Book of Hygge. Every time I light a candle, I’m reminded that I shouldn’t underestimate the power they have to make any environment so ~cozy~.
This is a category that may also encompass emotional and mental. And if you practice a religion, that would definitely be a big part of this category. Thus, I don’t have many ideas in this category because I think it’s unique for everyone.
28. Write down everything that is worrying you
When you journal, your worries usually come out naturally, along with stories from your day, random ideas, etc. But sometimes what you need is just a good “worry list”. To get everyyything out of your head and onto paper. It really helps. To take it a step further, you might go through each item on the list and make a decision about it. Either create an action step, or decide why you will stop worrying about it.
29. Write a mission statement for your life
I know, this is quite a big undertaking, so this might only be for when you’ve got a good chunk of time or are really feeling off-track. I first heard about this while reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens (based off of the original version for “people” in general, and actually an amazing book). Writing a personal mission statement is part of habit 2, which is “Begin with the End in Mind”.
30. Darken your bedroom and play some calm music
Spotify’s “Sleep” playlist is a personal favorite.
31. Start your day by journaling your intentions
You might try writing out some morning pages, or, like me, just a few “morning paragraphs” followed with a little self pep talk. It varies but I’ll usually write things like “Today is going to be an amazing day.” It really really changes your mindset, especially when you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed.
32. Take a phrase that you say too often and re-word it
Something I have been working on is saying “you’re welcome” instead of “no problem”. My time is valuable and I work hard at the things that I do. I don’t want people to think that what I do for them doesn’t use up my time and energy and that they can keep asking me for anything at anytime. At first, “you’re welcome” feels harsh, but with practice, it gets easier.
33. Have a dance party by yourself
Bonus points if you look up a dance tutorial and learn it.
34. Go for a walk with a podcast
I know a lot of us prefer more intense exercise but doing something easier once in a while is important. Walking, especially outdoors, is so refreshing, and you can really focus on a podcast while you’re doing it.
35. Have a long stretch sesh
Take the time that you would normally spend on a full workout and dedicate all of it to a nice, long session of stretching, foam rolling, etc. Our bodies do a lot for us, and taking a good chunk of time to listen to how they’re reacting to that and to work out the kinks can work wonders.
36. Roll out your yoga mat and just play
No need to follow a video, or to plan out a flow.
37. Go on a hike
Find a trail near you, grab some friends, and go!
38. Try a form of moving that’s unfamiliar to you
Maybe you bike to the grocery store every day and go on a run at least once a week. But have you ever rollerbladed? Skateboarded? (plus if you learn a new skill that’s also mental self-care! Double whammy!)
39. Sleep longer
I know, I know. Trust me, as a high school student, I KNOW this is kind of impossible, especially on weekdays. But please, pretty please, if you’ve been feeling sleepy and unfocused, give your body what it needs and sleep a few more hours during the weekend. It’s worth a few hours of “lost time”.
40. Try a new healthy drink recipe
41. Find a free exercise class and go to it
You can visit a new place, meet new people, and try new ways of moving your body, all at the SAME TIME! And a tip from experience: if you’re typically an evening exerciser and this free class is a morning class (for example, a barre class, ahem), make sure you drink enough water before you go or your legs will be absolutely quaking.
42. Bake a batch of cookies
Baking is so healing, and there’s something about cookies that is even more so. May I suggest chocolate chip?
43. Make some infused water
This could go in the physical category, for sure, because infused water is healthy to drink! But isn’t it also so nice to add a little extra flavor to something you drink so often it’s become a mundane habit?
44. Take a little time in the morning to plan an outfit you have never worn before
I feel like the older I get, the better I get at not only buying clothes that are versatile and long-lasting, but at pairing those clothes into new and fun combinations. If you love it, take a picture so you remember!
45. Put on (or get yourself) a nice pair of fuzzy, warm socks
I believe everyone should own at least one such pair of socks.
46. Buy yourself a sheet of pretty stickers
Stickers are just FUN.
47. Find a few YouTube channels that inspire you and subscribe
Maybe make a playlist of your favorite ones.
48. Change your phone’s wallpaper and re-organize your apps
I have gone for really long periods of time, just completely forgetting that changing my wallpaper is a thing I can do. Considering that people in the US check their phones an average of 46 times a day (TIME), having new image to look at can do a lot. Perhaps re-organize your apps and folders while you’re at it. And if you’re an Android user, you can have even more fun with widgets!
49. Make a jar of self care ideas to pull from when you are lacking inspiration!
I know where you could get LOTS of self care ideas, like 50 ideas in one blog post *wink wink nudge nudge hint hint*.
50. Watch a sunset/sunrise
Something about the consistent and perpetual nature of the sun is just so calming. Every morning it rises, every evening it sets. It makes your problems seem a tiny bit less difficult.
Whew, well that was one of the longest blog posts I’ve ever written and I may have underestimated how long it would take me, ha! But I hope this has helped you. Just writing it has certainly helped me. I feel so inspired to do something fun and relaxing for myself. But for now, I think I’ll just be going to SLEEP. Whew, I’m so tired.
Lemme know - what’s your favorite item on this list? What would you add?
Happy Sunday friends!