While caring for friends and sending flowers to family are nice things to do, you don’t want to forget about yourself. National Self Care Day is a great reminder to set some time aside for your own physical and mental health. However, practicing self-care is often easier said than done, especially when you’re feeling stressed. And it turns out that’s when you need self-care most.
By knowing what a self-care day is and recognizing how to plan one, you’ll be on the right track to improving your mental health. All that’s left to do is pick out some self-care activities from our list and plan an hour or day of time for yourself. Because you’re worth it.
When is National Self-Care Day?
National Self Care Day falls on Saturday, July 24. Founders choose this date due to its special meaning. The seventh month and 24th day recognize that everyone should practice self-care 24/7 rather than just one day a year.
How to Have a Self-Care Day
First things first: there’s no wrong way to practice self-care. The most important thing is that you spend time on your own needs and wants. A self-care day should improve your mental health so you have a positive attitude to take on all life has to offer. So choose things that will reduce any stress and anxiety you’re feeling.
If heading to a spa sounds more stressful than relaxing, don’t do it! You may find that spending an hour organizing your closet or sitting outside reading a newspaper is exactly what you need. Be true to yourself!
While it’s great if you have a whole day of me-time, don’t be discouraged if you only have an hour or two to spare. Small moments add up to improve your mental health and outlook.
How to Plan for a Self-Care Day
Before you start planning your self-care day, decide what you’re not going to do. Do your best to clear your schedule of work, chores, and any stressors. Let others in your household know that you’re taking some time for yourself so you’re not interrupted with requests.
Whether you’re planning a self-care day or a self-care half hour, it’s a good idea to schedule it out in advance. When dishes pile up and your friends ask if you can join yet another video call, it’s easy for your own self-care to get pushed aside. By putting time for yourself on your calendar, it will be easier to stick to. So go ahead and add “me time” to your to-do list.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s important that it helps you reduce stress and release tension. Pay attention to how an activity affects your mood and don’t be afraid to try out new ideas until you find something that clicks. Once you find an activity that helps you relax, feel free to work it into your everyday life.
Self-Care Day Ideas
If you need some inspiration for a self-care day (or hour), check out these self-care ideas. And don’t forget you can create your own list of activities that work for you.
Send Yourself Flowers
It’s always nice to help a friend with flowers, but sometimes you need to treat yourself! Pick out a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers and send it to your own home. With easy summer flower delivery, all it takes is a click! Each time you look at your flowers, you’ll remember that you do deserve that little something special.
Plan a Spa Day
There’s nothing like a little pampering to make you feel relaxed and special. Of course, you can book a pedicure or massage at the local spa. However, another option is to create the luxurious feeling of a spa in your own home. Grab a face mask from the drugstore, light your favorite candle, and sip on some infused water or tea. To complete the day, enjoy a bubble bath or long shower.
Get Some Fresh Air
Stepping outside helps us reframe our perspectives and remember that the world is a big place. Plus, spending just 20 minutes in nature can help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Take a walk in your local park, enjoy your lunch break outside on the porch or patio, or head to nearby hiking trails. Even five minutes outside can help you feel refreshed.
Take a Nap
If you find that sleep takes a backseat to all the other things going on in your life, you’re not alone. Going to bed early or sleeping in isn’t always a realistic option. However, you can sneak in a nap! Mid-afternoon naps often feel like a luxury, yet they only require a half-hour or less. So go ahead and plop on the couch and take a refreshing snooze.
Make Some Art
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an artist to enjoy flexing your creative muscles. Spend an hour painting or grab some colored pencils and an adult coloring book. If you’re not into the idea of painting or drawing, you have lots of other options. Grab some old magazines and make a collage, or arrange some flowers for a beautiful bouquet. Enjoy the creative process and try not to worry about what the end result looks like.
Hang Out With a Furry Friend
Watching a dog roll around in the grass or playing with a cat and toy can quickly release all our worries and help us crack a smile. And research supports this: hanging out with animals lowers blood pressure and decreases the stress hormone cortisol. Spending some one-on-one time with your pet is an obvious way to get your fill of animal time, but you don’t need a pet to experience the benefits. Ask a friend or family member if you can spend some time with their pet, or volunteer at your local animal shelter.
Wash Your Sheets
Washing your sheets may sound a bit more like work than self-care, but have you thought about the dreamy feeling of crawling into a bed with fresh sheets? Throw your sheets in the wash and pour yourself a nice cup of tea or wine while they get clean. As they dry, enjoy a nice long shower. Make your bed and enjoy crawling into your clean and cozy nook.
Spending some time moving your body doesn’t only benefit your physical health, but it also helps your mental health! Exercise can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as improve your sleep. Plus, it offers an almost immediate mood boost since it bumps up the production of serotonin. So go for a jog, hop on a bicycle, or take a stroll to your local coffee shop. Your mind and body will thank you!
Enjoy a Slow Morning
While mornings are often associated with dreaded alarms and rushing out the door, they don’t have to be. If you have a morning to yourself, enjoy it! Spend a few hours in your PJs and take an hour to sip a morning beverage while enjoying a book or newspaper. Even if you don’t have a day off, you can still find time to enjoy a few extra minutes of calm.
If you’re looking for some more self-care ideas, check out this list.
- Sign yourself up for a flower subscription service
- Watch your favorite movie…with your favorite movie theater snack
- Put on some music and dance
- Plan healthy meals for the week
- Write a list of what you’re grateful for
- Look through old photos
- Choose a cook a few healthy recipes
- Meditate to enjoy the present moment
- Volunteer at a local non-profit
- Pencil in some alone time
- Order take out from your favorite restaurant
- Practice some calming breathing exercises
- Sit on the couch doing absolutely nothing
- Write a letter to a friend
- Spend some time in your garden
- Call up a family member you haven’t talked to in a while
- Curl up with a good book or magazine
How to Plan a Self-Care Routine
While self-care days are great, you can’t always take an entire day to yourself. However, you likely can put aside a few minutes every day to improve your well-being. By creating a daily routine, you’ll make sure you practice at least a little self-care each day.
One great option is to develop a morning routine you love. Morning tends to be one of the least hectic times of day…especially if you wake up just 15 minutes earlier. Enjoy the quiet and calm while setting the stage for your day.
Find a quiet space to meditate or reflect on what you’re grateful for. As you return to the same space each day, you’ll find it becomes easier to find a healthy headspace. Another option is to take 10 minutes to sit and enjoy your morning coffee. You’ll be amazed at the benefits of sitting and actually enjoying it rather than drinking it in the car at your desk.
Some other great self-care practices are little actions that improve your physical and mental health. Think things like flossing, opting to send flowers just because, developing a skincare routine, and buying a new scented candle for your office.
You can also set a self-care routine that’s weekly or monthly rather than daily. Maybe that means ordering a bouquet so you always have fresh flowers at home. Or it could look like going on a bike ride each Monday to your favorite coffee shop or cooking up some comfort food every Saturday afternoon.
No matter what activities you choose and how much time you spend on yourself, the most important thing is that you’re prioritizing self-care. By setting aside some time for yourself, you’ll enjoy the associated mental health benefits and be ready to tackle everything life throws at you.Shop All