100 Easy and Free Self Care Ideas

by The Violet Journal

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Why is self care important?

When you have a lot going on, it can be easy to forget to look after yourself. But maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself should be just as important as anything else in life. When we don’t take time to ourselves we can get stressed or burnt out, which is not only hard for us to deal with, but for the people around us too. I like to do nice things for myself whenever I can to remind myself that there’s always someone to look after me, even when times are difficult.

Why am I writing this list?

One of the best ways to practise self care is to take small steps whenever you can, until looking after yourself becomes a habit. I’ve created this list of 100 easy and free self care ideas for when you want to take care of yourself, but don’t know where to start. You should be able to do most of the things on this list wherever you are, with things you already have lying around.

Self care can be difficult, especially if you’re already struggling with your mental health. If that’s the case then taking care of yourself may seem like an overwhelming task, and there may be items on this list which are too much for you right now. I’ve created this list to be accessible and I hope there’s at least something that sounds appealing to you, so that you can take at least 10 minutes out of your day to look after yourself.

You can read through the full list for inspiration, or if like me you struggle with decisions then you can choose a random number between 1 and 100.

I hope this list helps you out!

  1. Take a long bath or shower.
  2. Write in your journal.
  3. Go for a walk in nature.
  4. Listen to an uplifting podcast.
  5. Stretch for 10 minutes.
  6. Put on some music and dance.
  7. Write a bucket list.
  8. Play a game you enjoy.
  9. Change your bedsheets.
  10. Make yourself a healthy meal.
  11. Write a list of everything you’ve accomplished so far in your life.
  12. Read your favourite childhood book.
  13. Make yourself a hot drink.
  14. Practise some breathing exercises.
  15. Write a list of things you’re grateful for.
  16. Try some adult colouring.
  17. Donate some items you don’t need.
  18. Moisturise your skin.
  19. Call a friend or family member.
  20. Join an online forum or support group and talk to likeminded strangers.
  21. Read a lighthearted blog or magazine.
  22. Follow a drawing tutorial.
  23. Handwrite a letter for someone you care about.
  24. Meditate for 10 minutes.
  25. Watch a movie you love but haven’t seen in years.
  26. Have a clear out.
  27. Write a list of everywhere you’d like to travel.
  28. Read poetry.
  29. Write a list of 10 things you like about yourself.
  30. Go for a hike and sit in nature for a while.
  31. Declutter your work space.
  32. Listen to an audiobook.
  33. Cuddle a pet. Or someone else’s pet. Or watch some videos of baby animals.
  34. Compliment someone.
  35. Try a new recipe.
  36. Apply for a volunteer position.
  37. Create an abstract painting.
  38. Create a list of inspiring quotes.
  39. Research someone who inspires you.
  40. Recall some of the best days of your life and write about them.
  41. Make a list of local attractions you’ve never been to.
  42. Start a DIY craft project.
  43. Research how to get started with something you’ve always wanted to do.
  44. Make homemade lemonade.
  45. Watch a ridiculous documentary.
  46. Make a detailed plan for your dream holiday. Maybe one day you’ll use it!
  47. Follow a yoga tutorial on YouTube.
  48. Make your bed.
  49. Doodle.
  50. Change out of your clothes and into your comfiest underwear.
  51. Complete a guided meditation.
  52. Go through your full skincare routine.
  53. Make a flipbook.
  54. Do a 7 minute workout.
  55. Visualise your dream life.
  56. Make a smoothie.
  57. Change into an outfit you feel great in.
  58. Unfollow everyone on social media who makes you feel bad about yourself.
  59. Listen to nature sounds through headphones.
  60. Make a homemade pizza.
  61. Watch your favourite YouTube channel.
  62. Plan a passion project.
  63. Style your hair a way you wouldn’t normally.
  64. Write a list of everything you need to get done – then put it away and forget about it for now.
  65. Change your alarm clock sound.
  66. Listen to your favourite musical’s soundtrack.
  67. Write a letter of forgiveness to someone who has hurt you – you don’t need to send it!
  68. Reorganise your phone and delete apps you don’t use anymore.
  69. Learn about something new that interests you.
  70. Make a vision board.
  71. Write down everything that’s been worrying you lately.
  72. Take a nap – listen to your body if it’s telling you it needs a rest.
  73. Make a reading nook.
  74. Sign up for a free online course.
  75. Smile – seriously, just smiling whether or not it’s genuine can boost your mood.
  76. Write a list of books you want to read.
  77. Create a scrapbook.
  78. Make playdough.
  79. Plan a roadtrip.
  80. Meal prep for the week.
  81. Start learning a language you know nothing about.
  82. Binge watch a comedy show.
  83. Invite your friends over for a dinner party and plan a three course meal.
  84. Write yourself 100 nice messages, then fold them up and put them in a jar for you to open on your bad days.
  85. Unsubscribe from all the email lists you never read.
  86. Eat some fresh fruit or vegetables.
  87. Listen to an old album.
  88. Chat to someone with a different culture to you.
  89. Do some strength exercises.
  90. Create a positive mantra.
  91. Eat breakfast – no matter what time of day it is.
  92. Block someone who hurt you in the past.
  93. Search for some new music in your favourite genre.
  94. Research new hobbies you might enjoy.
  95. Learn some constellations and try and spot them at night.
  96. Look for some house plants you like the look of.
  97. Set a long term goal and then pinpoint one tiny action you can do today to put you in the right direction.
  98. Think of a city you’ve always wanted to go to and plan a day trip.
  99. Create a playlist of songs that make you happy.
  100. Go to bed early and congratulate yourself for making it through the day.

If this has helped you out, make sure you pin it so you can find it later!

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1 comment

Martin September 25, 2020 - 5:43 pm

That’s a great article. Self-care is very important. The small things really do matter. Just looking after yourself in some small way is telling yourself that you matter. Just doing something is very helpful. Sometimes it seems when we are in a dark frame of mind that the hurdles are impassable and impossible to scale- there is so much to do. But it doesn’t have to be. Small steps. Take small steps. I’m sure this will prove very useful to somebody out there.


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