Many people have adopted a self-care practice to improve their mental and physical health. Self-care can be many things, so before you start it, you should have a clear idea of what truly fits the definition of self-care. Read ahead for details on what self-care is, some of its potential benefits, and some self care ideas to help get you started.
What does self-care mean?
Self-care is taking an action that benefits your mental or physical health (1). It is a conscious and deliberate practice that, ideally, you incorporate into your daily routine to promote continued well-being. A self-care regimen can make all the difference in shifting your perspective and calming your mood.
What are the benefits of self-care?
A self-care practice can lead to positive outcomes in many areas of your life. Here are a few possible advantages to prioritizing self-care.
- Maintain your physical health. Incorporating self-care is a great way to stay tuned into your body’s needs.
- Manage your stress. Self-care has gained popularity in large part because of its potential effectiveness as a way to reduce stress (2).
- Feel like your best self. Self-care can promote self-compassion and improve your self-esteem (1).
- Strengthen your relationships. When you take care of yourself, it’s usually easier to show up for others.
How do I start self-care daily?
Below are some steps to take when starting any new self care ideas.
When establishing a self-care routine, it can help to begin with modest, achievable goals. Try carving out a few minutes a day for the self-care act of your choice. A little can go a long way in turning self-care into a habit. With a small self-care moment, you can create a transformative experience every day.
Find what works for you
It can be easier to return to your self-care practice each day if it’s something you truly enjoy. This is why you should find self-care activities that resonate with you. Whether you prefer incorporating these activities into your nighttime or morning routine, it’s all about finding the self care ideas that fit you best. Use your self-care practice to discover your own unique space of comfort.
Stick to it
No matter what your self care practice looks like, consistency is key – the important part is showing up each day. Keeping yourself accountable to a schedule can make it easier to integrate self-care into your daily life. With regular practice, self-care can help you see your world in a whole new light.
Go with the flow
If you’ve been consistent with your self-care practice and still feel like it’s not working for you, it’s okay to try something different. Don’t be afraid to change it up as you go along. Try out a list of self-care ideas and note what connects with you the most. Get creative until you find what transforms your mental state and personal space.
10 simple self-care ideas to try daily
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few easy self care ideas to transform your daily life.
1. Connect with loved ones
Positive relationships can lead to better mental and physical health. The Mayo Clinic (3) has found that spending time with friends can help reduce stress and encourage you to lead a healthy lifestyle. When you can’t meet in person, connect through a text or phone call. Reaching out to a loved one is a great way to create a small moment of comfort and celebration.
2. Create a home spa
A spa day at home can leave you feeling relaxed and restored, and it often doesn’t require much effort. You can practice self-care through simple activities such as a bubble bath or face mask.
You can also use essential oils or soft lighting to invigorate your senses and create a soothing atmosphere. The BlissRadia smart ambient light can create a calm mood that you can control right from your phone. The result is an array of gentle colors and seamless effects. With the BlissRadia, you can turn your home into a peaceful resort with just a tap on a screen.
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3. Enjoy a warm beverage
Indulging in a cup of tea or coffee can be a great way to take a minute to yourself. In fact, one study found that consuming a hot drink can have a positive impact on your perspective and lead to better social interactions (4). When it’s time for self-care, you can create a small moment of wonder with your favorite warm beverage.
4. Write it down
Writing is often cited as a helpful stress management tool because it can help you process your feelings. Keeping a journal can be a great way to vent and improve your mental health (5). Journaling each day can help change what you see and how you see it.
5. Start a meditation practice
A daily meditation practice can reduce stress and improve your overall emotional well-being (6). The practice of focusing your mind can teach you to fully experience the present moment and quiet excessive thoughts. With frequent practice, meditation can become a helpful way to incorporate self-care and find daily moments of peace and calm.
6. Pick up a book
Reading a book can be a relaxing activity and a great tool to keep your mind sharp. In fact, a recent study found that frequent reading can prevent cognitive decline as you age (7). This means that self-care can include transporting yourself to another world with a good story.
8. Do something you love
It may sound obvious, but devoting time to something that makes you happy can transform your mood throughout the day. This can mean spending time listening to music or enjoying your favorite foods. Creating space for joyful activities is an easy way to experience a moment of wow.
9. Move your body
Exercise is one of the best ways you can protect your health, and it doesn’t have to be vigorous to yield benefits. A moderate exercise routine can boost your health physically, mentally, and emotionally (8). This can be something as simple as a nature walk or a gentle yoga practice. Intentional movement can also shift your perspective and transform your mood.
10. Take care of the basics
It can be easy to forget the essentials in our fast-paced lives. A self-care practice can encourage you to check in with your basic needs. Are you hydrated? Getting enough rest? Make a conscious effort to transcend the busy demands of your daily schedule and learn to check in with yourself. This can be a great start to achieving regular self-care.
11. Take time to unplug
We spend a lot of time interacting with screens every day, and it’s important to take time to recharge. Excessive social media use, for example, has been shown to exacerbate mental health issues (9). Scheduling regular screen-time breaks can help us regroup. Change what you see and how you see it with a screen-free moment of pause.
Do's and don'ts of self-care
Here are a few tips on what you should and shouldn’t do when creating a self-care plan.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Self care should feel like a treat, not a chore. If you’ve slipped up a bit in your self-care routine, brush yourself off and try again the next day. Be aware of what works best for you, and build a routine that feels easy and natural. Your self-care needs are unlike anyone else’s, and it may take time to find your niche.
Don’t spend beyond your means
Self-care can involve a healthy amount of self-indulgence, but it’s important to maintain balance and stay within your budget. Set a reasonable amount aside for self-care items and activities, then try not to go past that. Think of it as buying a self-care gift for yourself. There are plenty of free or low-cost options for self-care acts that can lift your mood and transform your surroundings.
Do ask for support
Self-care doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. If you’re trying to build healthy habits such as a fitness routine, finding an exercise buddy can keep you accountable and motivated. If you’re looking for healthy mental coping habits, consider seeking out a therapist or support group. Finding the right support can open you up to a whole new world.
Do use your senses as a guide
Appealing to any of the five senses can help ground you when you’re stuck. For example, you can dazzle your sights with a scenic walk through a flower garden, stopping to smell the roses along the way. Focusing on sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch can be yet another helpful way to drop into the present moment.
The Sky Lite Evolve can help you tune into your senses with breathtaking starscapes and galaxies that oscillate gently. With controls from your smartphone or home assistant, you can transcend your surroundings in an instant. It’s a low-effort way to create awe-inspiring moments of self-care.
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Start your self-care practice with BlissLights
A small act of self-care can make a huge impact on your overall well-being. To get started, put self-care on your calendar and stock up on self-care essentials you can use time and again.
BlissLights can be a big part of your self-care journey. Browse the BlissLights collection now to create endless self-care moments of comfort and calm.
- Circle Health Group. “What is Self Care and Why is it Important?” circ. lehealthgroup.co.uk,.
- Scott, Elizabeth. “Why Self Care Can Help You Manage Stress,” verywellmind.com. 2020.
- Mayo Clinic.“Friendships: Enrich Your Life and Improve Your Health.” mayoclinic.org. 2022
- Williams, Lawrence E., Bargh, John A. “Experiencing Physical Warmth Promotes Interpersonal Warmth.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2008.
- Watson, L Renee, Fraser, Marianne, Ballas, Paul. “Journaling for Mental Health.” urmc.rochester.edu.
- Mayo Clinic. “Meditation: A Simple, Fast Way to Reduce Stress.” mayoclinic.org, 2022.
- Chang, Yu-Hung, Wu, Chien, Hsiung, Chao A. “Reading Activity Prevents Long-Term Decline In Cognitive Function In Older People: Evidence From A 14-Year Longitudinal Study.” 2021
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Exercise.” hopkinsmedicine.org
- Karim, Fazida, Oyewande, Azeezat, Abdalla, Lamis, Chaudhry Ehsanullah, Reem, Khan, Safeera. “Social Media Use and Its Connection to Mental Health: A Systematic Review.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2021.
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