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Self-Care Ideas

written by Jennifer Nelson Written by Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

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July 12, 2022 Read Time - 5 minutes

Self-care may sound like a buzzword to encourage you to visit a spa, but it’s actually a critical part of your health and wellness that you shouldn’t neglect.

You may feel like you’re too busy taking care of everyone else to practice self-care, but the truth is that taking care of yourself helps keep you healthy, happy, and charged up so that you are better able to care for others.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at self-care. What is self-care? How do you practice it? What are some self-care ideas? Read on for a self-care checklist that you can use today.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.


What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is about taking care of your body, mind, and soul by doing things that keep you healthy and reduce stress. While self-care could mean going to a spa and getting a massage, it also includes things like eating right, exercising, reading, or crossing something off your to-do list.

Why Is Self-Care Important?

If you don’t take care of yourself, you will have a lower quality of life, a shorter lifespan, and less ability to care for others. We all know we need to eat right and exercise to be healthy, but did you know that managing stress is another big part of self-care?

Stress can cause or contribute to a number of health problems, including:

That means stress isn’t just negatively impacting your life right now – it may cause lifelong problems that could shorten your life.

Self-care is about handling both your physical and emotional wellbeing, which is why it is so important.

How Do You Practice Self-Care?

Practicing self-care is about doing things that improve your physical or emotional wellbeing. Those things will look different for everybody. You might focus on exercising every day, eating a healthy diet, getting regular massages, making time to read your favorite book, or anything else that you enjoy or benefits your overall health.

What Is a Good Self-Care Routine?

A good self-care routine should include things that improve your physical, emotional, or mental health. A self-care plan should consist of things like:

  • Live healthily. Exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, and avoid alcohol and drug use.
  • Do something you enjoy every day. Read, paint, watch your favorite TV show, sing, dance – anything that brings you happiness, even if it is just a few minutes a day.
  • Practice good hygiene. Not only is it essential for your physical health, but it is good for your emotional wellbeing, too.
  • Relax. You might try going for long walks in nature, going to a spa, yoga, meditation, or anything else that helps you forget your worries for a while.

What Are Examples of Self-Care Ideas?

Self-care activities look different for everybody. The key is to pick something you enjoy and can stick with. A few examples of self-care ideas include:

  • Go for a walk
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Read a book
  • Go dancing
  • Try yoga
  • Sing in the shower
  • Take a nap
  • Cook or bake
  • Get a massage
  • Listen to music

Self-Care Ideas for Anxiety

Here are a few self-care ideas if you are struggling with anxiety:

  • Practice breathing exercises
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Self-Care Ideas for Stress

A few self-care ideas for stress include:

  • Take a hot shower or warm bath
  • Cuddle with a pet
  • Watch a movie or TV show
  • Drive to a new place
  • Spend time in nature
  • Pray

Self-Care Tips for Mental Health

There are a ton of self-care tips for mental health, including:

  • Work toward goals
  • Focus on decreasing stress
  • Write in a journal
  • Connect with people
  • Get involved in your community
  • Take care of your physical health
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Take time to do things you love
  • Meditate
  • Go to therapy

Related: Five Tips for Excellent Sleep

Self-Care Checklist

When creating a self-care checklist, you need to find activities that you have time for, can afford, and you can see yourself sticking to.

The stress of paying for something you can’t really afford negates any positive effect. Trying to find time for something that takes a while can create stress. And even if you can afford an activity, it may not be worth the cost if you don’t stick with it.

With those things in mind, here are a few items you might include on your checklist:

  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Eating healthy
  • Get plenty of hugs or the occasional massage
  • Set boundaries
  • Reduce stress
  • Learn something new
  • Take breaks
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Spend time with friends, family, or pets
  • Unwind on your own
  • Go to therapy
  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.


Online Mental Health

Mental health care no longer has to mean searching for a reputable therapist in your area, driving across town, or spending forever in a waiting room. Now, online mental health care is available from PlushCare, making it easier than ever to take care of your emotional wellbeing.

You’ll get a weekly 45-minute online session with a licensed therapist who can help you with any number of issues. Whether you just need a space to vent your stress, or you want to learn how to manage your anxiety or depression better, a trusted PlushCare therapist could help.

Take care of your mental health and schedule an appointment with one of our state-licensed therapist or board-certified doctors today!

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.


Read More About Self-Care


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Mental Health America. Taking Good Care of Yourself. Accessed on May 12, 2021 at https://www.mhanational.org/taking-good-care-yourself

National Alliance on Mental Illness. Taking Care of Yourself. Accessed on May 12, 2021 at https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Taking-Care-of-Yourself

American Psychological Association. Stress effects on the body. Accessed on May 24, 2021 at https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body

Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School. Stress may be getting to your skin, but it’s not a one-way street. Accessed on May 24, 2021 at https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/stress-may-be-getting-to-your-skin-but-its-not-a-one-way-street-2021041422334 

Mental Health First Aid. 4 Self-Care Tips for How to Deal with Anxiety. Accessed on May 24, 2021 at https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/2018/07/how-to-deal-with-anxiety/

Amherst College. De-Stress. Accessed on May 24, 2021 at.

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