30 Simple Self-Care Routine Tips for Your Mind, Body and Soul
This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for more information.
How much time do you spend each day caring about your well-being, nurturing your soul, taking some ‘me time’ or filling up your tank if you’re running on empty?
Here are 30 self-care routine ideas you can easily put into practice if you’re short on time or looking for free and inexpensive ideas to nurture your mind, body and soul.
Self-care of your emotional, mental and physical self is very important, but this can often be ignored when our lives are busy with work, family commitments or unforeseen circumstances.
Also, if you’re on a tight budget, you may not feel there is much you can do that doesn’t cost a certain amount of money. It’s easy to see how we neglect ourselves when we’re trying to juggle ‘life’, money and time constraints.
Just to highlight first:
Self-care IS NOT being selfish – it’s about looking after yourself. After all, if you don’t, then who will?
If you have a bad day and can’t commit the time, DO NOT beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity!
Start in a small way. Don’t attempt to incorporate many of these tips all at once or try to change your day-to-day life completely. This way you can build confidence as you try some of these, then you realise that you can fit them into your day/week, and then, more importantly, you find that they are making a positive impact on your life.
1. It Is OK To Say No
Only commit to work socials or family/friend gatherings that you actually have the time and energy for. Don’t do things because you feel you HAVE to, only when you actually WANT to. This may be easier said than done at first, but think about when people cancel on you because something has cropped up, or their child is ill, or they’ve had to stay late at work. Also, don’t feel like you’re missing out, because the majority of the time you won’t be. Be selective about the opportunities that arise and which you say yes to. Set yourself boundaries; you will feel so much better for it.
2. Go For A Walk And Find A Quiet Spot For A Timeout
Take 10 minutes out of the day to go for a walk around the block or to a local green space to get some fresh air and look around you to take in your surroundings to take a break from your PC/laptop/phone.
Make a snack and take a drink and find a quiet spot in the park to take some time out on your own to read a book or magazine, or spend some quality time with friends/family.
If you can, find a view where you sit and immerse yourself to clear your mind and relax. A skyline, the countryside, the beach, from a high vantage point – anywhere where you can be still, increase positive feelings, and maybe gain some perspective of life.
3. Try Something Creative That Takes Your Mind Off Normal Day-To-Day Life
This could be crafting, adult coloring books, setting up a Pinterest account and create boards on all your different interests, doing a jigsaw, drawing, painting or sketching, trying decoupage, writing a poem or short story, or having a go at crocheting or cross stitch.
These are really relaxing ways to spend a few minutes each day or week. If you find one that really resonates, you can turn this into a hobby to do regularly as your creative ‘me time’ – and you’ll have something to show at the end of it! (It doesn’t matter if your first attempts aren’t great, by the way, we’re not trying to create masterpieces, just yet!)
4. Take A Relaxing Bath
Treat yourself by using candles and enjoying some music in the background. Try a new bath gel or bath bomb, and enjoy a relaxing soak to ease away any tension. Use a face mask or hair treatment to take advantage of the time you have to turn it into a mini pamper session.
5. Download A Free Meditation App Or Online Music Playlist
Calm and unclutter your mind for a few minutes each day or when you can. This can help you to see things more clearly when you give your mind a break from churning over worries or stresses you may be experiencing currently.
6. List 5 Things Every Day That You’re Grateful For
This is a great exercise to carry out before you go to bed each night. If you’re not in the habit of doing this, it may be a bit difficult at first. But once you get in the swing, it will become easier and you’ll find even more things to add to your gratitude list.
7. Go To An Art Gallery Or Museum
Check out a local artist or learn about an era of history that has always fascinated you.
8. Set Aside $2/$5/$10 Each Month To Treat Yourself
Make this a purchase that you wouldn’t normally buy. It could be for you or your home or as random as you like. Pick a budget you can afford to make this a monthly treat.
9. Take A Powernap
Listen to your body if you’re tired. If you have a 15 minute window, take a short but revitalizing nap. Even if you just doze with your eyes shut, it’s better than keeping going when you’re exhausted. Your body and mind will thank you later.
10. Cook A Recipe Or Bake A Cake
Check out recipes online for free and try out something new or a meal from your favorite cook/chef. Have a go at baking a cake that you’ve never tried making before. If it’s good, share with others; if not, eat the non-burned bits yourself!
11. Practice Daily Affirmations
Do you tell yourself how amazing you are or say a mantra to help with a positive mindset? If not, why not?! Check out my Law of Attraction Affirmations page for some ideas to get you started.
12. Create A Scrapbook
If you regularly buy magazines, cut out pictures of your favourite outfits, celebs, home furnishings and décor, etc.
If you don’t regularly buy magazines, find pictures online and create your own online scrapbook by using a website such as Canva. (If you’re going to commercially gain from the use of images you’ve found online, such as creating a blog which you then monetize, only use images which are free for commercial use or where you have the owner’s permission.)
This pastime can also be used to create a vision board where you collate images of your dreams and aspirations. These can be anything from what your dream house will look like, your ideal partner, clothes you would like to buy, writing yourself a check for a set amount of money, and places that you would like to travel to.
Vision boards are based on the Law of Attraction. If you’d like to find out more tips and resources on how to manifest your dream life, check out my How to Manifest Anything Using the Law of Attraction page for more information.
13. Create A Photo Album
Go through the photos on your phone/laptop/table/PC and select those that are worthy of being in a photo album. Printed them either in a store or online and put them together in a special album to remember a holiday, group of friends, time with family, etc.
14. Learn Something New
Check out online blogs or YouTube videos on a topic you’d like to know more about, whether it is self-improvement, health and fitness, how to travel on a budget, learning a new language, healthy eating, how to be a better painter/drawer, relationship advice, how to play a musical instrument, etc. The list is endless…
There is so much information out there and a lot of it is free, especially to get you started.
15. Don’t Beat Yourself Up When Something Goes Wrong
If you’ve spent too long in a relationship and now realise you should have ended it sooner, or you’ve wasted money on something in hindsight you shouldn’t have, or you’ve made a decision and are now wondering ‘what if’, try to forgive yourself. If it was your best friend telling you this situation, you wouldn’t be saying that they’re wrong, or a failure, or can’t do anything right.
So use this strategy for yourself. Have a conversation with yourself as though you’re telling your friend and see what advice you would give them, then apply it to yourself. Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda – we can all say that, but we haven’t got time machines (yet) to go back in time to change anything, so we have to move forward, learn from the past, and become wiser and stronger for it.
16. Trace Your Family Tree
Ask other family members about their older or distant relatives. Then check out records and censuses online (some are free and others will involve a monthly subscription). See how far back you can go in history, and find out about your ancestors and their stories.
Maybe you'll find that personality traits have been passed down, such as being adventurous, entrepreneurial, creative, an interest in the arts, amongst many other areas.
As feeling connected to others helps with well-being and mental health, this could enrich a connection to your roots and ancestors and a feeling that you're part of something bigger than you already know currently.
17. Tidy Up That Bookshelf / Desk / Room / Garage
Set aside an hour or two to declutter and clean that space you’ve been meaning to for ages. Being productive can be just as rewarding as taking time out to relax. Your mind will feel decluttered also!
18. Allocate A Set ‘Worry Time’
If there is something troubling you and you’re a natural worrier, spend just 15 minutes to concentrate on it and then do something else to occupy your mind. Try to set aside this time in the day so you can time yourself; don’t do this at night time before going to bed as it will probably affect your sleep. Use this time to either rationalize the problem, come up with a solution, or realise that there is actually nothing you can do about it.
This should help to stop the issue from being rehashed in your mind regularly throughout the day. Don’t think about anything else but what is concerning you or your worst fears during this time. You may find that 15 minutes is too long. This is to enable you to find an answer, learn to live with it a little better, or you may even realise that it’s not actually worth the stress when you dedicate a set amount of time focusing on it.
19. Read A Short Story Or A Chapter Of A Book Each Day
If you have some time before bed or on your lunch break or on your commute, just a few pages a day will mean that you finish that book you’ve been meaning to read in no time!
20. Check Out Free Workout Videos On YouTube
These can be as short as 5 mins to get your body moving which don’t involve signing up for a class/gym membership and can be done in the privacy of your own home.
21. Find Some Comedy In Your Life
Check out humorous videos on YouTube or find that old comedy boxset you haven’t watched for ages to lift your spirits and brighten your day with some much-needed laughter.
22. Make A Special Breakfast One Day Each Week
This should be a bit more than your usual cereal/toast, such as waffles, croissants, or salmon and scrambled egg. Start your day off in the best way possible. Spoil yourself, you deserve it!
23. Keep A Journal
This doesn’t have to be an essay each day, as you can just outline where you’ve been, who you’ve seen, what you’ve achieved, or your thoughts and feelings, for example.
24. Choose Your Battles
If something or someone has annoyed you, does it really warrant you either stressing over it or causing bad feeling? Ask yourself if it will matter in a year’s time. If the answer is no, then it’s probably not worth it even though it’s a problem right at this moment.
For your own sanity and well-being, not everything is worth the fight.
25. Join A Group Or Evening Class.
This could be yoga, pottery, photography, woodwork, cookery, psychology, a hiking group or learning car maintenance. This is a great way to learn a new skill, meet new people and expand your horizons.
26. Take A Drive Or Get On Public Transport To Go Somewhere You’ve Never Been To Before
This doesn’t have to be miles away, as there may be places near to where you live that you’ve always meant to visit but haven’t yet. Take some tunes and refresh your senses by going somewhere different.
27. Give Your Brain A Workout
Watch a quiz show, do a crossword, try Sudoku. Or try a brain training app to work your gray matter. Or take the MENSA quiz to find out your IQ.
28. Don’t Check Your Emails / Texts / Social Media As Soon As You Wake Up
Have a shower, a coffee, your breakfast, a quick workout first – it will all still be there when you check it later.
29. Change Your Routine
Take a different route to work, go for a walk in your lunch hour instead of eating at your desk, get up half an hour earlier to go for a run or a swim, do your shopping at a different time or on a different day, or change where you socialize with your friends/family.
Changing your habits refreshes the mind, throws up new opportunities, you may come across different people and it removes the monotonous, dull routine you may have unwittingly created for yourself.
30. Live In The Present
If you’re aware of mindfulness, you’ll know that this is a state of mind where you bring your focus back to the here and now, not what has happened or could happen. It is about being in the moment… Check out more about mindfulness online for apps, exercises and courses to improve your mental well-being.
As you can see, there are limitless ways to self-care and take time out for ourselves. It doesn’t have to be a momentous event or cost a lot of money or take all day. The most important aspect is to remember to make the time to try one or a few of these tips to be kind to ourselves, improve our self-worth, build our confidence, and nurture our mind, body and soul.