Jul 09, 2021 · 5 min read
Ah, self-care! The concept of caring for one’s self as a radical act comes from Audre Lorde’s essay collection, A Burst of Light. In more recent years, self-care has become increasingly discussed as the philosophy of caring for our physical, emotional, and social health.
Now, I’ve written a lot about skincare as self-care—but that’s actually not the focus of this post! That's the beauty of self-care: how you practice is totally your choice. Daily self-care rituals are sustainable when they’re easy and free (or at least low-cost). Here are some accessible self-care tips to inspire a transformation in your day-to-day life.
Nothing fancy here—just a few simple habits that may be worth cultivating as self-care to help reduce stress at home and boost wellness in your daily life.
Journaling can have a major impact on your mental health, and there’s tons of research to prove it. For example, a recent study found that mothers who participated in gratitude journaling exercises for six weeks had a significantly improved outlook on life. There are lots of styles of journaling to explore, including online journaling and bullet journaling!
Self-care tip: make journaling as low-stakes as possible—at least to start. Deposit your inner monologue into a spiral notebook, scrap paper, or make a private Google doc. Part of the fun of journaling is figuring out which medium works best for you!
My fellow doomscrollers: you are not alone. Social media interactions can trigger an influx of dopamine, which can make interacting with your smartphone an emotional rollercoaster. When you find yourself compulsively opening your Instagram over and over and over without even thinking about it, that’s when you know you need a social media detox.
Self-care tip: take a day off from social media weekly. For daily unplugging, log out of your accounts when you feel like you’ve had enough for the day—that will make you think twice before letting your next scrolling sesh keep you up past bedtime.
Too much screen time doesn’t just mess with your social life. It also impacts your sleep! Try replacing your nighttime internet tendency with a good read—paper preferred, since screen-based e-readers might keep you up.
Self-care tip: incorporate short reading time into your PM routine. Some sources say even just six minutes of reading can reduce your stress levels by 68%. That’s setting you up for a restful night’s sleep—plus you’ll make some headway on your Goodreads challenge!
Need a library refresh? Bookshop.org is a great place to order online while supporting local independent booksellers. Don’t forget to support your local library, too!
If reading a book sets you up for a successful night’s sleep, then eating a good breakfast can help set your intentions for the day.
There’s a lot of debate on whether breakfast really is the most important meal—a recent survey found only 34% of Americans eat it—but hear me out: breakfast rules. Why not start your day off with a tasty treat that fuels your body?
Self-care tip: make it drinkable—I’m all about coffee smoothies. I add coconut water, banana, peanut butter, and a little bit of protein powder to mine, but there are tons of recipes to explore! Drinkable breakfasts are easy and quick to make, and you can drink them on the go. Super convenient!
I used to hate talking on the phone… and then I spent most of 2020 going in and out of Zoom meetings. Jokes aside, phoning an old friend is a great way to catch up and get some of your social needs fulfilled. The best part is that you can do it from the comfort of your home in your comfiest clothes and no one has to perceive you.
Self-care tip: hit up an old confidant you’ve fallen out of touch with via email or DM and see if they’re up for a real-time chat. If exchanging numbers feels awkward, Facebook, Discord, and Instagram have audio call functions you can use instead. That may be a great option if you’re already liking each others’ posts on those platforms!
Most of us don’t think about our breath too much—our bodies breathe without us having to put any thought into it. That said, a few minutes of mindful breathing is one of the best ways to practice self-care. Our bodies relax when we breathe deeply, so it can really help to relieve stress.
Self-care tip: try 4-7-8—breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, then breathe out for 8. There are lots of other breathing exercises to choose from, and even just a few deep whiffs in and out can help you feel refreshed!
Who doesn’t love a good tune? Pick up your old guitar, put on your favorite album, or cut a rug—even just having the radio on in the background can make your work day a little more fun. Seek out good tunes at every opportunity!
Self-care tip: try a YouTube singing lesson (they’re free!). Exercising your voice is cool, and one study found that singing can be good for your psychological health. Feel ridiculous belting your heart out? Just embrace your inner child and roll with it!
I confess: I have had mixed success with walking to stave off the pandemic blues. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to take a stroll; one study claims that walking 12 minutes a day can help. But what better time to get creative with our natural environment than in summer?
Self-care tip: if you’re near a waterfront, try sports like swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling. Bring your journal to your favorite tree and do some doodling while sitting beneath it. Or eat your next meal somewhere outside—more backyard BBQ’s, please!
By the way, be sure to protect your skin from the elements! Did you think we’d tell you to go outside without also mentioning applying (and re-applying) broad spectrum SPF 30 on your face and body? And check out our skincare tips for swimmers, too, if you’re planning on spending any time in a body of water.
Editorial Review: We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Product Links: Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products or services in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).