If you aren’t used to practicing self-care and aren’t sure where to start, it can get overwhelming FAST. There are a lot of “rules” floating around the internet for what is and is not self-care. While I don’t agree with slapping the self-care label on literally everything and anything, I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to practice self-care, as long as you are not hurting yourself or others. I feel that gatekeeping self-care pushes away some of those who need it the most.
I believe self-care is largely situational as well. Your self-care needs will likely change over time as you progress through life and become more in tune with yourself.
This list is not meant to be followed exactly as written; I wanted to throw a several self-care ideas out there in the hope that one or more of them will work for you. There are varying “difficulty” levels included, so just start where you are comfortable. I hope these self-care ideas for beginners help you on your own self-care journey!
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The Best Self Care Ideas for Beginners
Say One Nice Thing to Yourself Each Day
If you aren’t used to self-care or if you generally have low self-esteem, it can be extremely difficult to figure out anything nice to say to/about yourself. It can literally be anything.
Here’s some ideas if you’re struggling:
- I am good at makeup.
- I like my ability to put together cute outfits.
- I am capable and intelligent.
- I deserve love and respect.
The nice things you say to yourself don’t have to be extreme. You don’t have to say, “I am an AMAZING, powerful person!!” unless you want to, because if you’ve ever struggled with low self-esteem, you know that’s super overwhelming. You can just pay yourself a simple compliment.
The idea is that you get used to saying nice things to yourself, and over time you should come to love yourself more.
Related: How to Cope with the Winter Blues
Diffuse Essential Oils
I am a big fan of essential oils for general relaxation, and I also use them if I’m having a lot of difficulty with my anxiety or if I have a migraine. I have this essential oil diffuser in my bedroom! I love to diffuse lavender and bergamot together; they’re some of the best essential oils for anxiety. Lavender can also help alleviate stress and help you sleep better! I also use peppermint a lot… mostly because it smells good.
If you can’t afford essential oils or don’t want to fuss with them, try burning a scented candle instead.
Brush Your Teeth
It may not seem like much, but if you’re a self-care beginner this is one of the easiest steps you can take. Brushing your teeth is a quick activity you can do once or twice a day, and then you’re done. AND your teeth will thank you.
Just in case you don’t know, you should be changing your toothbrush at least every three months to help protect yourself from germs. I use these affordable biodegradable toothbrushes so that I’m not throwing away plastic toothbrushes 4+ times a year.
Photo Credit: rocknwool
Rearrange Your Space
Sometimes you just need to change your space. Lately, I’ve started moving around some of the furniture in my bedroom and rearranging some of my pictures and knick-knacks. It’s made a huge difference in my mood. I don’t even fully know why… it just makes me feel better to have my space looking and feeling different. It makes me feel like I can breathe, almost. Even just adding small, simple new things to your space can make it a more enjoyable place for you to be!
Do Something Creative
Draw. Write. Paint. Sing. Build a house on the Sims. Sew. Cook. Read. Garden.
If you have a creative hobby you enjoy, try to set aside some time for it each week. Maybe early in the mornings before school or work, or after you’ve put your children to sleep. I personally have a strange sleeping schedule, so any time I’m awake when everyone else in my house is asleep is when I try to focus on these creative hobbies.
If you don’t have a creative hobby you enjoy and are interested in starting one, consider picking one up. It’s never too late to try something new or enhance your skill, especially if the hobby is a creative outlet for you. See if there are local classes for something you enjoy in your area, or try taking some courses on Skillshare. If you use that link, you can get your first two months of Skillshare for free.
Spend some time cleaning up a cluttered area or organizing a messy section of your desk. If it’s too overwhelming to commit to finishing the task all in one go, or you’re stressed about the amount of time it will take, set a timer for 5-10 minutes and whatever gets done in that time is all you have to do, and you can forget about it for a while.
I always find that after I clean up or declutter a space, I feel a lot better to have more open space.
Take a Shower or Bath
I get sort of frustrated with people who say this isn’t a form of self-care because so many people with a mental illness struggle with this one. Also, as someone who worked in the service industry for over six years, I was on my feet a lot and my legs and feet often hurt after a day or two. I always loved coming home from work and taking a hot shower to relax my body.
Take a warm shower or bath, and let your muscles and joints relax. If you’re dealing with a lot of stress or anxiety, your muscles have probably tightened up and could stand to have a little rest.
Drink Water or Tea
I always feel so much better after I drink water. I’m sure there’s a scientific reason… but I just like the way my body feels after I give it water. I recently bought a Brita water filtration pitcher to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles I use, and I actually drink more water now than I did before and I’m reducing waste. Filtered tap water also tastes better (to me) than bottled water!
I am also a fan of drinking tea, and sometimes hot chocolate, to relax. I personally find warm drinks extremely comforting when I’m upset, anxious, or stressed.
I don’t always recommend drinking coffee, because it has the tendency to increase anxiety in a lot of folks. Some studies have shown that coffee can help those with ADHD, but overall the results have been mixed. I personally have taken a couple of ADHD tests and my results have been borderline, but I’ve never gotten an official diagnosis, and I do tend to drink coffee to calm down. It’s all about figuring out what works for your body.
I hope at least one of these beginner self-care ideas helped you in some way, and I truly hope that you can incorporate something from this post into your own self-care routine.
Do you have any favorite self-care ideas?
What’s your favorite part of your self-care routine?
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