10 Ideas for Self-Care Activities

A man enjoying himself in a warm tub

You wake up, and you're already analyzing your long to-do list. You have these tasks to complete, social media competes for your time, and deadlines are staring you in the face. It may feel like there's always something to do, and time's never enough.

Life gets chaotic sometimes, especially as an adult. You may get so busy with work and family responsibilities and find that you barely have time for yourself from your waking to resting hours. Self-care involves setting aside a few minutes or hours to intentionally care for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Here are ten ideas for self-care activities you can explore:

  1. Take a Walk
  2. Taking a short walk can help you organize your thoughts while enjoying the fresh air. You can choose to do so in the morning, noon or evening. I prefer evening walks because of the cool breeze and dim light. If you want some company, you can invite a friend, sibling or partner to share this moment with you.

    A simple walk at dusk while sharing some thoughts with a loved one can improve your mood and leave a refreshing feeling afterwards. What's more? It's pretty simple. You don't need some special preparation. Wear some comfortable clothing and just take a stroll.

  3. Embrace Introspection
  4. How are you feeling? Introspection allows you to dig deep into your emotions and define your mental state. Do you feel down, excited, disappointed, hurt, enthusiastic, or stressed? Coming to terms with how you feel can help you navigate your reactions in varying scenarios. You get to understand how something or someone makes you feel and decide how best to behave or react to them.

    Take a few minutes to analyze how you feel about life generally and relevant specifics like work, relationships etc. Don't try to shut off your emotions. They'll always find a way to pop up. Identify them and use them as tools to influence your decisions. For instance, if something brings you great contentment and joy, you may build more capacity in that regard. If something consistently makes you feel stressed and disappointed, you can think of solutions to improve it or decide to avoid it altogether.

  5. Journal
  6. Writing out your thoughts can help you clear your head. Journaling helps me untangle knots of emotions in my chest when I feel overwhelmed. I don't journal religiously, but when I feel like expressing myself on paper, I pick up my notebook or go to the notes app on my phone to scribble down some things. It's also self-care to note down things you'd like to do or try, like ideas for your business, a new recipe or books to read. A reminder to do something worthwhile.

  7. Listen to Uplifting Music
  8. Who doesn't like to listen to wholesome jams every now and then? Organize a playlist or listen to your favourite album while relaxing or dancing in your room. You don't need to spend all your free time scrolling endlessly on social media. Just enjoy some music and move your body (hehe). It's hard to find popular music without sexual or questionable lyrics. Sometimes, I'd vibe to a song, listen carefully to the lyrics and go "ewwwwww." For some reason, those kinds of songs are more catchy everywhere.

    You can decide to find an album or artist that writes wholesome lyrics, like Nigeria's Johnny Drille. If you're a Christian, there are many Gospel artists to check out. Listening to wholesome music doesn't just help you feel good in the moment; it drops lines in your subconscious that you can hum or mouth at any time and never feel inappropriate.

  9. Cook a Healthy Meal
  10. a woman eating a salad

    I know your idea of spoiling yourself is getting junk food and sodas every other day, but your body might beg to differ. Eating healthy provides you with all the necessary nutrients your body needs to thrive. Go to your local market, get some fresh ingredients and make a healthy meal. Eat fruits and vegetables as often as possible. You can try out a new recipe you found on YouTube. The Zeelicious Foods channel has inspired me a few times. Treat yourself to a nice healthy meal as often as possible.

  11. Spend time with your Community
  12. Life in isolation isn't that great. It feels good to have people in our corner to share our milestones, perspectives, and emotions. Consider making time to bond with your family, partner and friends a priority. It's self-care to maintain healthy connections with those in your circle.

    Being around your religious community can be a source of strength and support if you're a person of faith. Attend relevant meetings and events that strengthen your spirit and keep you feeling refreshed and renewed.

  13. Organize your Space
  14. How's your living space? A messy environment may dampen your mood. Organize your clothes, clear out your working table, organize your room, and keep your living space as clean as possible. I feel more at ease when I organize and declutter my space. You may feel the same way. Even if you feel tired after some serious organizing or cleaning, the refreshing feeling you get when looking at the results is worth it.

  15. Read a Book
  16. Do you want to learn new ideas about a specific niche or topic? You may be curious about what the experts say on a subject. Does fiction ignite your creativity? Read a book. Learn what other creative minds have to say. I read The Defining Decade by Jay Meg over a year ago, and I'm looking to reread it because the stories and lessons from the book are so profound and valuable to me as I'm currently in my twenties.

  17. Go on a Social Media Break
  18. Social media is fun, profitable and can be a learning tool, but it can feel overwhelming. It seems like everyone is always saying or doing something. Due to our unlimited access to worldwide connections, there’s always new content. Taking a break and focusing on the reality before you is okay. You can go off social media for a few hours or days and invest time in something else.

  19. Invest in your Appearance
  20. A woman shopping

    Don't feel guilty about spending some money and time on your looks. I'm not a fan of extravagance but try to look your best. This is something I'm working on myself because I always wait until I'm in dire need of a new outfit or footwear before shelling out the money for it. Go to a store (where you can afford what they sell), and pick up something for yourself. You don't need to fill up shopping bags to feel great. A new tee or sweatpants may be a great addition to your wardrobe or closet right now.

    Parting Words

    It's not selfish to prioritize self-care. You need to feel your best to give your best. How do you plan to practice self-care today?

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