5 self care ideas to practice at home

5 self care ideas to practice at home

How often have you heard the word self care recently? It feels like a total buzz word that’s been flying around for the past couple of years. But what does self-care really mean? Do self care ideas always have to take the shape of pricey spa days, luxury travel and/or excessive spending?

In actual fact, self care or self-love is the total opposite. It’s the act of looking after your emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. It looks different for everyone but it’s often the most neglected element of our daily lives because some part of our brain tends to see it as “selfishness”. We shy away from the idea of giving time, love and care to our own selves, cause how self-absorbed would we look then?

Another huge reason many people don’t focus on self care is because we live in an “always on” kind of culture where it’s all movement, productivity, planning and organisation. Do more, be more, become more are mantras that we see plastered everywhere, whether that be through media and advertising or the celebs and influencers we follow.

Sadly, the world teaches us that whilst it’s not really okay to slow down, it’s okay to spend and consume. Go shopping and buy yourself a treat, go on, it’ll make you happy and it doesn’t hurt anyone. That couldn’t be further from the truth. By picking the path of superficial consumption, we take away from the work of REAL self-care. The type that really gets into our soul and creates space for us to grow into the people we’re meant to be.

Here I’m sharing five things I’ve been doing more of in the last year that sit at the core of self care, for me (and believe me, I feel the change inside of me). These self care ideas won’t work for everyone (remember, self care looks different for every single individual) but they should give you some ideas of what looking after yourself could look like.

Self care idea #1 – Reading/podcasts/Audible

Reading in your favourite spot is a great way to de stress.

One of the best ways to begin your self care journey is to set yourself on the path of knowledge. Reading feels like such a lost art these days but settling yourself down with a good book for an hour or so can do wonders for your mental and spiritual health. If you aren’t able to give yourself the full hour on say, a day over the weekend, build it into your work commute, lunch break or night-time ritual. Give yourself 10 or 20 minutes of bedtime reading and notice how transformational it feels after a week or so. Pick subjects that interest you – fiction, history, biographies, self-development, hobbies – the choices are endless but if you’re a complete non-reader, start with something you would enjoy and grow from there.

Two great self care ideas to swap out reading (if the thought of picking up a book is just utterly beyond you) is to listen to podcasts or audio books on programmes like Amazon’s Audible. Podcasts are a ginormous source of information on anything and everything and it is absolutely ridiculous that they’re mainly free! You can easily listen to them whilst doing chores, on your daily run, gym, drive (you get the idea) on Apple podcasts or Spotify if you’re an android user.

As a starting point here’s 4 podcasts I’ve been listening to that are solid recommendations for budding entrepreneurs and self-growth lovers.

Self care idea #2 – Spending time with nature

Walks in nature are a great self care idea

So I’m definitely not the first or the last person to rave about the benefits of spending time in and with nature. Nature has the most calming, healing effect on us if we give it the chance. Wide open spaces, blue skies, tall trees, a bloom of spring flowers, mountains, snowfall – all these things subconsciously remind us that life is so much bigger than the day to day slog. And so much more beautiful. Nature gives us the chance to come up and out of ourselves and almost view life from a bird’s eye perspective.

If you live in the country (lucky you), you’re very likely to be surrounded by lush greens and fields that you should take advantage of as often as you can. If you live in an urban city there will still be plenty of green spaces around you – such as national parks. For a year or so now, I often go for Sunday walks to the local woods with my other half.  You can also enjoy nature by adding plants to your house or keeping a little vegetable patch or garden. I don’t have a massive green thumb, so plants are limited in my house, but I constantly buy fresh flowers to make up.

If you live in London, here are 5 royal parks that should be on your list for their sheer beauty:

Self care idea #3 – Sit with your thoughts

Self care ideas - make sure to spend some time with your own thoughts.

This next self care idea is a little harder than the others but personally for me it has the biggest benefits. Another awful consequence of the ‘always on’ culture is that we find it extremely hard to JUST SIT WITH OURSELVES. And I mean just with your thoughts. No phone, TV in the background, music or distractions. You might make yourself a hot drink or a smoothie if you prefer that and take the time to just listen to your own thoughts. Very similar to meditation, the aim is to just see what comes up without reacting to it. If like me, you find meditation hard to do (because it seems slightly prescriptive), then this is a great way to slow it down with your daily morning coffee or tea.

The first time you try this, you’ll notice how hard it is to do. The need to pick up that phone, or thumb through a magazine or finish a chore will be amplified because sitting with ourselves doesn’t come naturally to us. You might fidget, look around for something to occupy your brain with or just finish your drink quicker but stick with it. Once you’ve done this a few times it becomes a beautiful part of your everyday life that helps ground you.

Self care idea #4 – Take up a hobby

Taking up a hobby like photography is a great self care idea.

I solemnly swear by this self care idea. There is nothing better than having a hobby that you’re passionate about. Having a hobby brings you the kind of happiness that is purely, entirely derived through yourself. You don’t need to depend on anyone or anything, you do it because it’s something that interests you which in turn will usually trigger your creativity and curiosity (both extremely positive emotions).

I’ve always been creative and enjoyed my Art lessons at school the most. Forever drawing, painting, crafting and writing – I’m not sure when I lost that desire to create but somewhere between university and adulthood, I realised I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush for years. But going back to any of those didn’t feel right, until I discovered photography two years ago. Suddenly I was back there creating, experimenting, learning, spending hours perfecting a craft that brought me the same joy I had as a child. This doesn’t mean to say your hobby needs to be “creative” per se. You could be a car enthusiast, a history lover or a sports fan. You could love cooking, cycling, chess, music, stamp collecting. There really is no limit in the things that trigger your passion and excitement.

Here’s a fun quiz that helps you figure out what you could be doing in case you’re completely stuck!

Self care idea #5 – Schedule your phone time

Manage your phone time.

Ok last of the self care ideas, and of course it had to be about the phone. Honestly there is no lesser evil or greater good known to man, that’s how I feel about the phone. It’s probably closer to us and with us for longer than even our partner. It distracts us, provides important reminders and frankly is the whole world trapped in a tiny device. BUT we all know that there is a lot more research into the harmful effects of screen time and being plugged in 24/7 than the benefits of having our phone on us 24/7.

Managing your relationship with your phone is one of the most important things we can do today so you can start living in the real world again. So that you can be more productive, motivated and live a fuller life.

Here’s a few tips that I’ve incorporated into my life that have a made a huge difference.

  • Don’t turn on and/or actively use your phone for the first hour of the day.
  • Schedule your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok etc. activity into slots. Give yourself 10 minutes at lunch time, another 10 on the commute home from work or your mid-day coffee (you get the idea). This way you’re spending time on the apps in a controlled way and don’t fall into the endless scrolling trap.
  • Turn on time activity metrics and notifications on the above apps so you can physically see how much time you’re spending on them out of your day, week, month.
  • If you’re working on an important task, try to leave your phone in a different room altogether and see how much more you get done. I find phone notifications really distracting and will look over at the screen every few minutes if it’s next to me. A great way to avoid this (if you still want it next to you) is to turn it upside down (placing it screen side down). After that, just resist the urge to touch it.
  • Create no phone zones/times in your house. We’ve been trying to implement the ‘no phones at dinner’ rule albeit it does require cooperation from your partner/family/friends.

And there you have it. Some healthy habits and ideas for self care that are sure to create a difference in your life. Let me know which ones you implement or which other ones you do already so that we can all learn from each other.


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