It's no secret that self-care is important for stress relief and mental health. But there's a common misconception that self-care has to be some expensive venture involving luxury and fancy soaps.
In reality, self-care is just about taking a second to make sure you're taking care of yourself, and it looks different for everyone. If the traditional self-care ideas like yoga, coloring, or taking a hot bath aren't in your wheelhouse, here are some self-care ideas you can try to give yourself some extra love and attention.
Sign up for that class you've been eye-balling
Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, humans are social animals, which means interacting and bonding with other people is good for your health and wellbeing. And while it may sound cliche, signing up for classes or going to workshops is actually a great way to meet new people and make friends.
In fact, a recent study found that it only takes approximately 90 hours of shared time together before two people form a friendship.
Classes aren't only for making friends, either. They're also a great way to get active or learn something new.
For instance, you can burn 420 calories in a single hour in a salsa dancing class. Or you could make four to eight new friends by taking part in an escape room. Find an activity that works for you and that you'd be interested in pursuing, and don't be afraid to sign up for a new experience.
Find an activity that helps you relax
Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga aren't for everyone. While sitting still and relaxing can help some folks unwind, it might make other people antsy. In fact, some runners actually use their time jogging for meditation.
Whether you find peace in sitting still or moving around, find an activity that helps your mind relax. For instance, puzzles activate your brain while also relaxing you psychologically, which puts your brain in a meditative state.
Going fishing can also be a surprisingly meditative and relaxing experience. And although it's a hobby associated with older generations, up to 60% of folks who fish are actually under 45 as of 2017.
Other relaxing activities include:
- Going for a drive
- Blowing bubbles
- Birdwatching or squirrel-watching
- Grabbing coffee with a friend
- Going for a bike ride
- Reading or listening to an audiobook
- Writing letters
Hit play on a good podcast
Podcasts have become increasingly popular in recent years, which means you can find one you like in a variety of genres. Consider listening to a comedy podcast on your way to work in the morning or listening to a spooky horror podcast while you clean the house.
You can even find podcasts that are directly related to self-care, mindfulness, and wellbeing like 10% Happier and The Brave Exchange. Find a show that you like, whether it's relaxing or exciting, a talk-show or a fictional story. Just like puzzles or fishing, listening to a podcast can put your mind in a meditative state while you do other things during your day or around your home.
It can be tricky to find self-care activities that work for you. But it's important to remember that everyone's self-care is different. Focus on what makes you feel relaxed, comfortable, and happy (as long as it's good for you).