Self-care is a something I feel like a lot of people neglect — myself included. For sure. This is especially true if you have any type of mental illness too because they can be completely exhausting all by themselves, nevermind everything else you’re worried about or need to do on any given day. Yay life!
I’ve created this list of self-care ideas for mental health because it’s definitely something I need to work on and make time for. I’ve also created a high-quality, one-page printable for you to download and print for yourself if you like.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is taking the time to be mindful of yourself and to replenish your physical and mental energy. It’s about being kind to yourself and focusing on you.
I know as a working mom with depression and anxiety I’m overwhelmed more often than I’m not. One of the biggest reasons for that is because I don’t practice self-care enough.
When I was a teenager it was easy! Ever since I became a mom, I’ve been neglecting it even though it should be even more important now. I’m a natural caretaker and I tend to neglect my own needs which really doesn’t help anyone.
Why Practice Self-Care?
Self-care is important because it helps you live your best life and be the best person you can be and to be who you want to be.
As a mom or wife, we can sometimes forget about what makes us, us. Who we were before we had kids, things we enjoy doing, our favorite things. Personal time allows you to think about those things and remember who you are and what you want in this life.
Why Self-Care is Important
If we aren’t taking care of ourselves, who will? And how can we take care of anyone else? Self-care is not selfish. It provides an opportunity for you to get to know yourself better and it can reduce stress too.
I hope you find this list of self-care ideas to be useful and applicable in your own life. Definitely feel free to use this as a guide to come up with some that are more personalized to you.
- Take your prescribed medication
- Keep up with your med check appointments as needed (I really struggle with this but thinking of it as self-care does help)
- Take vitamins (vitamin D for sure!)
- Get your yearly physical or check-up
- Visit the dentist
- Schedule your eye exam
- Workout (I’ve never once regretted a workout — well, maybe this one because I’m pretty sure I bruised my shin and it still hurts)
- Lift weights! This one is by far my favorite.
- Find a new workout to try (FitnessBlender, Beachbody On Demand, PopSugar Fitness, Les Mills On Demand)
- Go for a walk outside
- Spend time with your pet
- Dance in the living room
- Bake cookies
- Go for a drive
- Do yoga
- Stretch out your muscles
- Go on a hike
- Go for a run
- Go shopping (buy a new water bottle, fun nail polish color or new workout clothes)
- Declutter a room in your home
- Clean out the junk drawer
- Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers
- Go to a park and people watch
- Garden (or start a garden)
- Create a new meal plan
- Plan a makeover of a room in your home
- Wash all of your bedding — fresh bedding is so nice to lay in!
- Get a massage
- Try a new recipe
- Vacuum/mop your floors
- Donate/volunteer your time to a favorite cause
I’m really not very good with this one but friends and people we love are important to be around because they keep us grounded.. and from going crazy. If you’re hanging out with the right people. Ha. Creating memories and nurturing relationships we really care about just feels good.
- Meet up with a friend for coffee and to catch up
- Visit someone you don’t get to see very much
- Plan a movie date with friends
- Plan a date night with your special person
- Call your mom or dad or grandma or sister
Personal Development Self-Care
Personal development has made a huge impact in my life. It sounds geeky and stupid but I promise it’ll improve your life and make you a more positive person.
- Listen to an audiobook (You Are a Badass is my favorite!)
- Read a good book
- Create a vision board
- Journal (write an unsent letter or choose a journaling prompt)
- Make lists (favorite books, movies you want to see, things you want to do, etc.)
- Find a good therapist
- Visit your therapist
- Work in a workbook – here are the 5 that I own and highly recommend
- Listen to podcasts to learn a new skill or tool to help you on your journey
- Write a thank you note
- Mail a card or letter to someone you don’t get to see often
- Shut your phone off
- Shut your phone off (worth repeating, ha.)
- Listen to a Ted Talk
- Make a list of everything you’re thankful for
- Soak your feet
- Work on a puzzle
- Listen to music
- Sit in the sunshine
- Play Candy Crush (or whatever)
- Paint your fingernails and/or toenails
- Take a hot bath
- Light scented candles
- Diffuse lavender essential oil
- Take a nap
- Apply a face mask
- Go to bed early
- Color in a coloring book
- Watch mindless, trash TV (I love Vanderpump Rules. There I said it.)
- Watch a funny movie (or one of your favorite movies)
- Listen to podcasts (true crime, comedy, educational, etc.)
- Find a new Netflix series to binge on
- Plan a vacation (plan your dream vacation!)
- Create a wish list
I think that’s all my brain has for now. I hope you’ve found some ideas that you like or have been inspired by!
If you’d like a high-quality printable PDF copy please click here.
Just a reminder: they won’t do any good unless you put them into practice. :)
Take care of yo’self,