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90 Self-Care Activities to Start in 2021

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For those looking to get into self-care this year, look no further. The following list contains self-care activities that go with your level of comfort. For those who are new to the self-care game, these activities are meant to help you value the importance of the practice. For more experienced self-care practitioners, the activities outlined below are intended to force you out of your comfort zone. Ready? Let’s start.

Self-Care Activities for Those Who Are Just Getting Started

If you’re new to the self-care world, welcome! We’re glad to have you. Through these activities, you’ll learn that self-care is much more than face masks and relaxation music. In the end, self-care is about putting in the work to become a GR8ER version of you. Regardless of where you are and where you want to be, the fact that you’re starting with something matters.

Keep in mind that self-care means something different to everyone. So, fine-tune this list to match what you believe self-care means to you at this moment.

  1. Dance a little. Turn up the volume at work or home and dance to your favorite tunes – no judgment.
  2. Drink more water. Perhaps the easiest self-care activity to try this year. If you need help in this department, here are eight ways to drink more water this week.
  3. Exercise more often. You don’t have to enlist for a marathon or hit the CrossFit arena to make this happen. Any form of exercise will count; even thirty minutes of walking will do.
  4. Drink some tea. Embrace the benefits of drinking tea more often. Beyond being antioxidative and highly beneficial for our health, tea is another way to ramp up our water intake.
  5. Paint your nails. Yes, self-care is also painting your nails and giving yourself a face mask. Let’s see if we can guess your nail polish with this quiz.
  6. Sleep more. We take sleep for granted. This year do your best to sleep at least seven hours a night and improve your sleeping habits.
  7. Go outside. A few minutes outdoors can bring your stress levels down. Every day do your best to spend at least five minutes outside breathing fresh air.
  8. Eat something you love. An instant way to pick your mood up is by eating something you enjoy. Try one of these healthier alternatives to some of your favorite cravings.
  9. Have a morning routine. What we do when we wake up can impact the rest of our day. Try to set a morning routine and stick to it and see what happens.
  10. Go to bed earlier. If getting your eight-to-nine hours of sleep a night is challenging, start by at least going to bed earlier. Before you notice, you’ll be falling asleep earlier as well.
  11. Call a friend. Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or too thoughtful. Sometimes, calling a friend is all you need to care for your social self.
  12. Clean your house. When we try to operate in a messy environment, our minds will be crowded with messy thoughts. Try to de-clutter your home so that you can de-clutter your mind.
  13. Smile. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, try smiling. Keep your smile for at least thirty seconds. You’ll be surprised at the difference.
  14. Get some pampering. You don’t have to wait for a stressful day or winning something to get some pampering. Schedule a massage or have an at-home spa day to relax.
  15. Find a quote and repeat it. While affirmations can be daunting to you, a positive quote can help you get started on this practice. Find one you love the most and keep it close, try to repeat this quote to yourself daily.
  16. Pet an animal. If you have a furry friend around, give them a hug, your stress levels will plummet immediately. If you don’t ask a friend if you can take theirs for a walk, this can also help reduce your anxiety.
  17. Indulge in a treat. Every so often, get yourself something you usually restrict. Maybe a piece of chocolate, a skincare product, or whatever “indulging” means to you.
  18. Take a bath. Take a long steamy shower and just be still for a few minutes.
  19. Listen to music. Find a relaxing or fun playlist to listen to for one day. Music has the power to change our mood and make us feel better instantly.
  20. Take a walk. Try to schedule a five-minute walk to break up your work schedule. Walking allows you to spend time alone and clear your mind.
  21. Watch a movie. Not everything has to be an elaborate self-care plan. Choose one day to sit back and watch a movie you love.
  22. Breathe. We often forget about the power of breathing. The next time you feel as if everything is going badly, take a minute and breathe. You will feel better after, for sure.
  23. Read a book. If disconnecting from the world is troublesome to you, try reading a book. Anything from self-care books to self-help books is always good to have around.
  24. Watch the water. Is there a pond or lake near you? Go over there and stare at the water for a few minutes. Looking at water can help you relax and reduce your anxiety.
  25. Organize your day. Self-care often feels like work because it is, you’re working on yourself. Try to organize whatever is going to happen tomorrow to help you start creating a routine.
  26. Listen to a podcast. If books are not your thing, try listening to a podcast instead to help you tune out the noise from outside.
  27. Analyze your strategy. If self-care is new to you, you might have a higher risk of going down the selfish lane. Make sure to analyze your self-care and watch out for selfish red flags.
  28. Work on yourself. You’re already here, which means you’re looking for a path to grow. Sign up for a self-development course to get some guidance.
  29. Turn off your phone. It might seem very simple, but most people are so glued to their phones that the thought of not having it for an hour or two already stresses them out. Do yourself a favor and set your phone on airplane mode at least thirty minutes a day and work your way up to an hour or maybe a whole day.
  30. Light a candle. The power of aromatherapy is key for many. Whether it works or not, that’s up for debate. But there’s little doubt, having a pleasant scent around the house is calming and soothing.

Self-Care Activities for Those Well on Their Way

You’re not new to self-care, but you don’t consider yourself a guru yet. Last year, you focused on learning more about the ins and outs of self-care. This year, you’re ready to take your self-care practice to the next level by incorporating health care and mental health as part of your journey. It took you a while to understand it, but you’re now aware that self-care is multidimensional and that if you don’t look at self-care holistically, you’ll be missing things.

Those at this level are not at the same stage. Some people have been well on their way to self-care for quite some time. Others just decided to start. Give these self-care activities a try and see what falls under your comfort zone and what’s pushing you to achieve more.

  1. Try acupuncture. An ancient remedy that can help channel your energies and soothe stress levels, as well as treat many ailments.
  2. Master some yoga poses. Whether you practice it already or not, try to master some beginner yoga poses to push your body and mind to stay still.
  3. Start meditating. If you’re not an avid meditator, try active meditation to help you get started on this mindful practice.
  4. Level your exercise routine. It’s time to kick-start a solid exercise routine that works for you. Find out what type of fitness style suits you and start planning your workouts around this style. This way, you’re more likely to stick with a routine.
  5. Analyze your diet. Part of self-care is caring for your body from within. Take some time and find out if your diet is truly healthy or if it’s time to update it.
  6. Learn a breathing technique. The power of breathing is undeniable. Try to learn a new breathing technique to control your emotions and ground yourself whenever needed.
  7. Start journaling. The easiest way to track your self-care journey is by journaling. Start by jotting some feelings and ideas down and work your way up to a thoughtful journal entry.
  8. Measure progress. Make sure you’re making strides when it comes to your journey. Look at how you’re doing by tracking your goals.
  9. Clean your social media. If you can’t stay away from your social media accounts, make sure they’re a safe place. Detox your social media to get rid of anything that might be harming your mental health.
  10. Go to therapy. At this point, it’s time for you to consider therapy. Move past the stigma associated with the practice and set up an appointment.
  11. Call someone. If you don’t feel comfortable with therapy (yet), then try calling someone. Reach out to a friend, colleague, or parent to discuss your mental health status.
  12. Check your self-image. You can be trying, but if your self-image isn’t in the right place, your self-care efforts won’t do much. Make sure you’re checking your self-image status to make sure it’s a positive and healthy one.
  13. Start planning. While we cannot plan for everything that happens in our lives, we can try to create some structure. Start planning your days to give yourself peace of mind and lower your anxiety.
  14. Get some plants. There is so much plants can teach us about self-care. By caring for something as fragile as a plant, we can remember to care for ourselves.
  15. Write down your goals. At the beginning of the week, set aside five minutes to write down your goals for the week. They don’t have to be grand gestures. If your goal is getting up at the same time every day, that’s more than enough.
  16. Start using affirmations. Find a few affirmations that you can tap into for emotional support. Learn about the power of affirmations and how you can use them in your daily life.
  17. Consider an app. If sticking to a self-care routine seems too challenging, consider a self-care app to help you stay accountable.
  18. Set some “me time.” Life can get hectic. There’s no doubt about that. If you’re committed to your self-care journey, then block some time for yourself each week.
  19. Eat something healthy. Self-care isn’t just about manicures, and you know that. Today, do your best to cook a healthy meal and start incorporating healthy foods into your diet.
  20. Cut the sugar. On the subject of foods, start by eliminating sugars from your diet. Most refined sugars and processed foods are incredibly inflammatory to our bodies, which can result in many issues, including depression.
  21. Forget about your weight. While we’ve been taught that the number on the weight scale means everything, it does not. Instead of looking at your weight, look at your health to determine how you’re doing.
  22. Be grateful. Make sure to practice gratitude towards those around you and your progress. Set a few minutes to write down three things you’re grateful for.
  23. Watch out for burnout. Sometimes we try to do more than we can, eventually struggling with burnout. Watch out for the burnout signs and be mindful of how you’re spending your time.
  24. Read a self-help book. It’s likely that through your self-care journey, you’ve become aware of specific areas of improvement. Find a self-help book to help you progress in these areas.
  25. Let go. As we continue to grow, we have to make room for our new self. While it might be difficult, we have to let go of the baggage we all carry if we want to push ourselves forward. Consider what the things you want to release to help you walk more comfortably are.
  26. Write something to yourself. The next time you sit down to journal, instead of writing how you feel, write a thank you note for yourself.
  27. Try a new workout. Step out of what you know with a new workout routine. Sign up for a fitness class that you wouldn’t usually go to.
  28. Learn something new. When we keep pushing ourselves to learn something new, there’s nothing that can stop us. Find a new set of skills or language you’d like to learn and commit to it.
  29. Check your gut health. It turns out your gut health dictates everything else in your body. Take some time to see if your gut is healthy and see what needs to change.
  30. Do something out of your comfort zone. Our comfort zone is warm and, well, comforting, but the magic happens when we step out of it. Give it a try.

Self-Care Guru Level Activities to Try

If you’ve made it to this group, this means you’re fully aware of the importance of self-care. You’ve been through the trenches and back, and you value self-care as much as you value your health. While you’re still on a self-care journey, you make it a priority to fit some sort of self-care activity in your weekly plans. This year, you’re determined to make self-care part of who you are and, without a doubt, expand on your activities to those that once seemed too daunting to try.

Keep in mind that your level of self-care “guruness” is not the same as everyone else. Don’t feel forced or pushed to try something you don’t feel comfortable with yet.

  1. Elevate your meditation practice. You’re ready to take on meditation at a deeper level. Try moving on from those five-minute sessions to long thirty minutes to an hour meditation session.
  2. Embrace breathing. Learning a new breathing technique is challenging at first. However, you’re willing to learn different ones to use while you work, when you’re struggling with an anxiety attack, or when you’re ready for bed.
  3. Next level yoga. You’ve mastered the beginner poses and are finally understanding the purpose of the yoga practice. Now, you’re ready to try new poses and maybe consider a yoga retreat.
  4. Frequent therapy sessions. To you, going to therapy with yourself or as a couple is part of your self-care routine now. Every so often, you make sure to visit your therapist and check-in with yourself.
  5. Evaluate your relationships. Through your self-care journey, you’re now able to recognize toxic behaviors. Go through your list of family and friends and see if you’re keeping toxic relationships. But don’t stop there. If you’re ready to forgive toxic people in your life, go ahead and do it.
  6. Have a mental health checkup. Beyond therapy sessions, you should be fully aware of the state of your mental health. Now and then, practice a mental health checkup to make sure you’re not dismissing any red flags.
  7. Join an exercise challenge. You’re more than ready to make exercise part of your daily routine. If you’re still struggling with finding the right groove, try joining a workout challenge to help you get started.
  8. Challenge yourself. Speaking of challenges, this is your moment to challenge yourself to achieve more. Don’t think too small or too big, pinpoint that one area that you’re dying to improve and set your mind and heart to make it happen.
  9. Make journaling a routine. By now, you’re an expert at journaling. From what you eat, how you feel, what you did, and beyond, your journal is your safe place to practice self-reflection.
  10. Try a digital detox. Once you’ve detoxed your social media to protect your mental health, consider if it’s time for a digital detox. Whether you’re ready to go digital cold-turkey or want to start easing into it, time away from your devices will soothe your soul.
  11. Learn to relax. People believe that resting is as easy as 1-2-3, you know better. This year make it your priority to learn the art of relaxing once and for all.
  12. Go outside. Spend time outdoors doing an activity that you love. Breathing fresh air, as well as being surrounded by nature, can have a positive impact on your mental health.
  13. Volunteer. There’s nothing better than the art of giving. Overall, giving makes us feel good about ourselves, and at the same time, we’re helping others.
  14. Ask for help. Move away from the stigma of asking for help. As a self-care guru, you need to become fully aware of the importance of reaching out for help when you need it. There’s no shame in seeking help.
  15. Visit your doctor. As I said, self-care is not just about relaxing and pampering. Visiting your doctor, asking the right questions, and making sure your health is on point is the most important self-care activity you can try.
  16. Set a routine. We’re creatures of habits, and the only way to develop healthy habits is by having a routine. Find the best way to establish routines that you’ll stick to and make sure to update them accordingly.
  17. Overhaul your diet. It’s time to realize that what you eat impacts how you feel. Overhaul your diet and get rid of anything messing up your gut, impacting your mental health, and even affecting your well-being.
  18. Love yourself. Being a narcissist, to a certain extent, can be healthy if you know your limits. Loving yourself is the greatest act of self-care you can do. Make sure you’re always checking your self-esteem levels.
  19. Take a mental health day. Today, we’re told that we must keep going no matter what. That’s the opposite of self-care. Realize the importance of taking a mental health day to regain perspective and work on yourself.
  20. Say “no.” At this point, you should know that saying “no” is a powerful act of self-care. Whenever you don’t want to do something, feel free to say “no” without guilt.
  21. Analyze your self-care. Hey, the fact that you’re a self-care guru doesn’t mean that it’s always perfect. Be mindful of the red flags pointing that your self-care routine has turned selfish.
  22. Consider a retreat. Maybe you’re ready to be alone, connect with strangers, and openly work on your self-care a few miles away from home.
  23. Check your vitamin levels. That’s how granular we want your self-care practice to be. Almost everyone around you has a vitamin deficiency. Who’s to say you don’t, too? Something as simple as checking your vitamin levels is a powerful act of self-care that means you genuinely care.
  24. Practice positive talk. Do you talk to yourself? If you do, make sure you’re using positive affirmations and positive self-talk to keep on improving.
  25. Take an Epsom salt bath. The power of salts in pretty amazing. And yes, sometimes self-care means taking a hot bath or shower and disconnecting from everything and everyone around you for a few minutes.
  26. Be honest with yourself. Are you honest? Find out who you genuinely are and check in with your true self every so often.
  27. Care for yourself. While this might seem obvious, I mean care for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally because those are all very different forms of self-care.
  28. Manage your finances. Most people don’t make this connection. But, managing your finances is a powerful act of self-care that brings peace of mind.
  29. Educate yourself. There’s so much around self-care that expands beyond its traditional definition. Make sure you understand the difference between self-care, selflessness, and self-healing.
  30. Continue practicing conscious self-care. Make sure that no matter where you are in your self-care journey, you continue to practice intentional self-care.

There you have it. No matter if you’re just getting started or you’re an official self-care guru, we’re glad you are here. Here at GR8NESS, we’re all exploring the world of self-care together and little activities here, and there will get us a step closer to a GR8ER us, whatever that means to you at this moment. Keep working on your self-care journey with us when you create an account.

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Geraldine
GR8NESS Writer
Geraldine is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about self care, clean makeup and beauty, mental health, and relationships – as well as natural remedies and fitness. She’s a coffee enthusiast with Venezuelan roots, a former ballerina, and the sunscreen patrol. Most of the time, you can find her working on her skincare routine or trying a new dance workout.
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