This post may be collaborative and/or contain affiliate links. For more information check out my disclosure policy.
Ahh, a self-care day. We all need ’em. A chance to take a break, unwind, and…
A self-care day is everything. Without them, we’d all be miserable af. Sometimes life gets overwhelming and we just need to take a mental health day to settle our brains, and just slow down.
For me, 2017 has been non-stop working mode. Thesis writing, a million job applications, moving out/in/out/in again. I’d like to thank my friends and family, the academy & self-care days for getting me through the past few months.
Ready to feel refreshed and less stressed? Here are 20 ideas to spend your self-care days. Pull up a chair, grab a glass of wine and get set to chillax…
20 Self Care Day Ideas:
1. Find a new favorite Coffee shop.
There are so many tiny, hole in the wall shops and restaurants in existence that you don’t really get a chance to explore…and that’s usually because you’re too busy.
Find a new place! Take a breather from your daily Starbucks, or Dunkin and find a new, local coffee shop. Read up on reviews from Yelp before you go!
2. Journal Your Stress Away.
One of my favorite ways to relieve stress is by writing it outta me. For me, my journal is my blog. I use it as a creative outlet, and writing about things going in my life tends to relieve so much stress. If you’re an introvert and want to keep your sh*t to yourself, invest in a journal.
I’ve never tried bullet journaling but it’s all the rage over Pinterest. Maybe I’ll have to give it a shot!
3. Throw a Dance Party For One.
You know what they say…dance like no one is watching! When you throw yourself a dance party, it’s always a judge free zone. So go CRAZY! Put on your favorite tasty jams and get grooving folks. My favorite songs to dance like a maniac to are definitely 90’s boybands.
When I first started working, I did not realize how exhausting it was. By the time I got home from that 9-5, I just wanted to veg out and watch TV. #relatableAF
For those of you who don’t religiously work out everyday….you’re not alone!
It doesn’t hurt to add a little physical activity as one of your mental health day ideas. Get up and get active! Consider taking a Vinyasa flow yoga class. Get nature involved and go on an awesome hike. Get up, get moving and get those endorphins flowing! Namaste.
*You might also like: the benefits of an at-home yoga practice.*
5. Have a Spa day.
Nothing says stress relief like a spa day. Mani-pedis are a gift from God. If you can, splurge and get a massage. We hold so much physical stress in our bodies, it’s insane.
For those of us that can’t afford those luxuries (like me) create your own affordable spa day. Buy a face mask, crank that spa Spotify playlist and enjoy your peace. Check out this awesome facial in a box from Kohls.
6. Visit Your Local Animal Shelter.
Petting little puppers or kitties is such a great way to take care of yourself and an animal in need of some TLC. Who knows…maybe you’ll end up finding your new best friend?!
7. Dabble in Aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is super popular lately, and for a good reason. It’s amazing how incorporating essential oils into your daily routine can help you relieve mental and physical stress.
Each oil has a different purpose, so mix and match as you please!
8. Catch up on your fave show.
The worst is being behind on your new show, and seeing a million spoilers on twitter (I’m looking at u Game of Thrones).
Now that you have time to yourself, get some snacks, curl up on the couch and binge watch your favorite show. If you’re feeling super bold, take a solo trip to the movies and see that film you’ve been dying to see. No shame. It’s actually one of the most relaxing self-care day ideas out there.
9. Get Dressed Up.
Look good, feel good. Find one of your favorite outfits that makes you feel absolutely gorgeous and throw it on! Instead of being in a constant state of rush and having to pull off a decent makeup look in 5-minutes or less, take your time in getting ready. Style your hair the way you like it, and put on a face of makeup (if you want!).
Treat yo’ self like you’ve got 18 makeup artists getting you all dolled up for the runway. I swear, I always find myself feeling like a freakin’ diva whenever I am not in any rush to get ready. Move over Beyoncé, cha girl just did her makeup for the first time in 3 weeks.
10. Retail therapy.
Treat. Yo. Self.
Hit up the mall and buy yourself something you’ve been wanting for awhile. A new outfit? Maybe a necklace or bracelet? Maybe even a new camera or laptop. Try “window shopping” if the budget is tight. My Zaful online shopping carts are always full.
11. Spend time with friends and family.
Plan a mental health day excursion with the squad. Get some endless mimosas at brunch, or tour a local vineyard.
I’m a venter, so I relieve stress through talking about all my feelings with my friends and fam. If possible, take a day off on a Friday or Monday, and make a long weekend out of it. Use the opportunity to catch up with friends and family that aren’t necessarily close by. Book a cheap flight if you can!
*You might also like: tips to save money on airfare*
Okay, so I know the last thing you want to do on your mental health day/self-care day is clean…but hear me out on this one.
My mom is a cleanliness freak (luv u mom xox) and each day I realize how much I am growing up to be her mini-me.
But like how AMAZING does everything feel after it is thoroughly cleaned?! It could be a worthwhile addition to your self-care day.
13. Get Organized.
This goes along with cleaning, but I always feel like I have a million things I want to do, but not enough hours in the day to do them all.
It feels so good to sit down, write out everything you have to do, and get the f*** organized.
Reading is an awesome activity to add to your list of self-care day ideas because it provides an easy means of escape. You can get completely lost in a good story for hours on end. If you’re a millennial looking for a good book, check out this Buzzfeed article on 65 books to read in your 20s.
Now I’m a little bias here since these activities are my absolute fave, 😉 but knitting and crocheting help so much with stress relief, and just feeling good!
It’s so much fun to create different projects, communicate with others who enjoy the craft and make gifts for friends and family. It is such an amazing feeling to be able to create amazing projects like hats/scarves, shirts & socks with just a ball of yarn and a hook/needles.
16. Try a new recipe.
We all know you’ve been pinning those awesome recipes on Pinterest. During your mental health day is as good a time as any to finally give it a go! Share your success story with all your friends and family.
My garden has been producing so much zucchini lately that I’ve literally run out of things to use it in. I recently tried a zucchini brownie recipe, and I was not disappointed. 12/10 would repin again. Also, there’s no raw egg so I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t eat some of the leftover batter 😉
17. Donate your old clothes.
We all know you don’t wear everything in your closet…if you do, what’s your secret?!
Create more space in your closet and purge the things you don’t wear. If you’re crafty, find a new way to repurpose an old clothing item. For everything else, donate your items to those who need them!
It’s scientifically proven that people who claim to be happier in life find ways to give back to those around them. Take a moment to self-reflect and find something you’re passionate about. Donate your time or skills and give back to a charity or other organization you care about.
19. Try Something New.
We all constantly tell ourselves that we want to try new things, but we “never have the time.” On your mental health day is one of the BEST opportunities to make that happen! Look up an activity you want to do, and give it some research. Gain knowledge in the subject through a book, or get out and find classes.
There’s a pretty good chance that you’re not getting enough sleep at night. Take your self-care day to just relax in bed and catch some much needed Zzz’s. As [my favorite Disney character] Winnie the Pooh would say…
“Let’s begin by taking a smallish nap or two.”
Hope you take some of these ideas and consider them for your own day of rest and relaxation.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your self-care day. You deserve it, always. 🙂