What do you do when you desperately need some TLC that doesn’t involve baths, massages, pedicures or brunch with friends? Well, you can try one of these 20 unusual self care ideas for inspiration! Sometimes self-care is going to look a little bit different from what we usually think of – and that’s okay! We’re all unique, so it makes sense some of the things that help us through a tough time might seem like “unique and unusual” self-care to others.
While every one of these self care tips may not be relevant for you, this list contains a variety of self care tips that you can use as a starting point.
Experiment, think outside the box and remember to always do what feels in alignment with your current needs.
1. Have Fun With Feel-Good Words
Grab a notebook or sheet of paper and write down one word that makes you feel good (i.e. makes you smile or feel hopeful or motivates you to dream).
Then think of another word that makes you feel good and write that down on the next line.
And then think of another word and continue the process for 10-minutes.
For example, the word “calm” makes me think of “relaxation,” which makes me think of “simplicity,” which makes me think of “clarity,” which makes me think of “knowledge,” which makes me think of “books,” and “blankets,” and “cozy,” and “lazy afternoons.”
These are all words that make me feel relaxed, warm ‘n fuzzy and less tense.
Give it a try for yourself.
2. Share A Small Win
Cheer yourself on, because you deserve it!
Celebrate the small wins in your life – from making an important phone call you’ve been putting off and cleaning yur space to brushing your teeth twice regularly and getting enough sleep each night.
Write your small win down to remind yourself that even on the hard days, you’re pretty freakin’ awesome!
Better yet, send your small win to a friend and ask them what their small win is. Celebrate together! After all, it’s the small things that really matter.
3. Book An AirBnB In Your City
Save yourself the expense of traveling far away and plan a staycation, complete with booking an AirBnB right in your city. Whether you do it for a night or a weekend, this is a great way to take a break from the norm and treat yourself.
You’ll experience your city in a new way while enjoying a lovely cottage or modern apartment, without the hassle of traveling.
4. The Slow Down Menu
Choose to do as few (or as many!) as you want and enjoy a slow day.
BRIGHTEN YOUR SPACE
Let fresh air in ………………….. 15 minutes
Tidy your room ………………… 20 minutes
Play your favorite songs ……. 20 minutes
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
Do some stretches ……………. 10 minutes
Try a new workout …………….. 15 minutes
Take a walk ………………………. 20 minutes
DO SOMETHING FUN
Catch up with a loved one ….. 20 minutes
Cook from scratch …………….. 40 minutes
Read a book ……………………… 30 minutes
5. Sip and Meditate
Sometimes meditating is hard. You simply can’t focus.
So, instead of trying to force it, make yourself a warm drink (tea, hot coco, milk ‘n honey), sit on a cushion on the floor (or simply sit in a straight back chair) facing a sun-lit window.
Sip your drink slowly as you stare outside and enjoy the simplicity of the moment.
6. Wash Your “Forgotten” Laundry
Wash your bedding, towels, robes, and curtains. Once you’ve re-fitted them in their proper places, breathe deeply.
Remind yourself that stagnancy and sadness aren’t permanent. We all just need a little tumble-dry sometimes.
7. Have An Ugly Cry
There’s a fine line between trying to be strong or positive, and flat out avoiding your feelings.
An important part of self-care is allowing yourself to feel your feelings.
And sometimes that means having a big ole ugly cry!
Just let it go.
After all, crying’s not a bad thing. It’s a natural form of expression, just like laughter and anger.
So, if you need it, just let the tears out.
It’s a strong detox and once you release that stale energy, you’ll feel lighter.
8. Tap In To Your Interior Decorator
Change up the layout of your home, even if it’s just nudging the couch a little to the left.
Disrupt your flow in a positive and proactive way.
9. You Need A Budget
Organize your finances and create an accessible and sustainable budget.
Securing yourself financially, to the best of your ability, can remind you how valuable your time truly is.
10. Practice Non-Judgmental Observation of Yourself and Others
A lot of the exhaustion, stress, and lack of inspiration we experience comes from taking everything to heart.
Meaning, we are too strongly attached to how things currently are or how we think they should be.
Holding onto “shoulds” beans we don’t allow space for something new to emerge. This can lead to placing restrictions on ourselves, our kids, parents, spouses, and so on.
Through practices like mindfulness meditation, we can allow things to just be without infusing them with our judgments or criticisms. Those judgements or criticisms tend to drain us of joy, creativity, and inspiration anyway. So, practice letting them go.
11. Madam Librarian
Sort through your home library and organize your books by color or genre.
Donate the ones you no longer love and consider lending a few favorite to neighbors or friends. Write them a note letting them know why you thought of them and leave it on their doorstep.
12. Plant Mom
Wipe the leaves of your houseplants to give them a lovely shine.
Place them in the sunshine, and while you’re at it, sit in the sunlight with them. Soak it in.
13. Listen to Your Favorite Childhood Boy/Girl Band
We all had one or more boy/girl bands we loved as kids (or even all the way up to college… just sayin’).
If you haven’t listened to their music lately, then resurrect it and marvel at the fact that once upon a time you thought that music was absolute genius!
14. Try Looking At It Another Way
Lay out a blanket and stargaze or cloudgaze.
There is no goal, other than stretching your eyes and succumbing to your imagination.
15. Good For the Soul AND Skin
Update some of your makeup and beauty products that are expired. (Here’s a guide to general use timelines)
Recycle or refill old ones if possible.
Looking for something new that eliminates the clutter? Give this all-in-one compact a try!
16. Git ‘Er Done!
List the tasks that have been weighing on you and get them done, one by one.
You. Can. Do. It.
17. Release Your Inner Child
Make a blanket fort with your couch cushions.
Read a book by flashlight under your covers.
Remember what it’s like to be a kid again.
18. Those Good Ol’ Days
If you’ve turned one of your hobbies into a business, spend time participating in your hobby like the good ol’ days.
For example, if you’re a professional photographer, go out on a meandering photo walk.
If you’re in school, try learning or reading something new that isn’t on your syllabus.
19. Lose the Dead Weight
Spend twenty minutes unfollowing accounts on social media that make you feel less-than.
If you can’t unfollow, consider muting them – they’ll never know!
You’ll feel lighter afterwards.
20. To My Future Self
Set a reminder of a positive affirmation for yourself somewhere in the future – a week, a month, a year from now.
(“Hey Siri, remind me in twenty days that everything will be okay.”)
A Little Self-Compassion Goes A Long Way!
As you pick a few of the above practices, remind yourself they’re specifically meant to be caring and nurturing activities. And when you’re done, be sure to hop to the comments and share what works for you!
And remember, it’s okay if you feel like you haven’t got it all “quite right.” Some days I believe I’ve come a long way from self-loathing – and some days I’m right back inside it, engulfed by it. We’re human, and those days happen. Rest up, and try again tomorrow.