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52 Ways To Reduce Stress & Practice Self-Care

This year, one of my goals is to practice weekly self-care. What exactly is self-care, though? Generally speaking, self-care is engaging in activities that have a positive effect on you. These actions can affect you either mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. There is a, somewhat outdated, view that self-care is a selfish practice. In reality, it is a vital part of your life. By regularly investing in and nurturing ourselves we reduce stress levels, strengthen relationships, and have an easier time maintaining balance.

In short, regular self-care allows us to be the best version of ourselves. It helps us to be better parents, spouses, friends, and employees (or employers). For all of these reasons, I have promised myself lots of love this year. A minimum of once a week to be exact! The great thing about self-care is that no one action encompasses it. Just take some time to do something you love, because you cannot pour from an empty cup.

With all that in mind, I put together a list of different ways we can practice self-care. I’ve got one for each week of the year, which means you now have no reason not to prioritize yourself.

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52 Ideas For Practicing Self Care

  1. Read a good book
  2. Take a relaxing bath
  3. Go for a long walk
  4. Treat yourself to some chocolate
  5. Order your favorite take-out
  6. Go on a date with your best friend
  7. Learn to meditate
  8. Binge watch your favorite TV show
  9. Take a nap
  10. Start a new journal
  11. Do yoga
  12. Attend a local paint & sip party
  13. Go to a museum or gallery
  14. Cook your favorite meal
  15. Get a manicure
  16. Learn to say “no” without feeling guilty
  17. Buy yourself some new underwear that makes you feel sexy
  18. Disconnect from social media for a few hours
  19. Listen to your favorite music, distraction-free
  20. Write a list of things you are grateful for
  21. Go to sleep early
  22. Treat yourself to a day at the beach
  23. Check something off your bucket list
  24. Declutter your space
  25. Lay outside and stargaze (or cloud-watch!)
  26. Draw, paint, or write – release your muse!
  27. Take yourself on a date – as simple as coffee or detailed as dinner and a show
  28. Do something that scares you
  29. Turn off the electronics and enjoy a cup of tea
  30. Wear something that makes you feel confident
  31. Recite positive affirmations
  32. Watch your favorite movie
  33. Try a new exercise
  34. Take a personal day from work & spend the day in pajamas
  35. Plan out your dream trip, even if you can’t take it right away
  36. Spend some time outside
  37. Splurge on something you really want
  38. Re-read a book that changed your life
  39. Discover a new favorite TV show
  40. Try a new recipe that’s healthy and delicious
  41. Forgive yourself for failures you’ve been holding on to
  42. Take a fun class (cooking, art, dance, etc…)
  43. Fly a kite
  44. Turn off your cell phone for a night (or day)
  45. Treat yourself to some ice cream
  46. Spend quality time with a loved one
  47. Perform a random act of kindness
  48. Get a haircut – try something new
  49. Settle in with a face mask
  50. Write a letter to yourself
  51. Eat meat-free for a day
  52. Do a DIY project

What ways do you practice self-care?




12 thoughts on “52 Ways To Reduce Stress & Practice Self-Care

  1. These are great tips. I am still trying to learn number 16 – saying no without feeling guilty. Of course, if you love to eat like I do, food is always comforting. Thanks for sharing these great tips.

    1. Food, especially good food, makes everything better and more comforting. I agree with you about saying no. It can be so hard, but we need to value ourselves first.

  2. Thank you for posting this! I love reading about self care and really need to practice it more. It’s hard to fit it in with all the craziness of life, but it’s so important.

  3. This is a great list! I’m trying to make mediation a daily self care habit, though it keeps getting put to the back of the list. I know I need to make it a priority.

  4. There is a, somewhat outdated, view that self-care is a selfish practice. In reality, it is a vital part of your life.

    YESSSS!! thankyou!! i’m also trying to make a conscious effort to practice more self care, as 2017 was quit a stressful year. i love your list. still struggling with no. 16 lol.

  5. #1 Read a good book – this used to be my foremost stress reliever but since becoming a mom I don’t have time anymore. Nowadays my stress reliever is binge watching on Netflix haha

    1. Girl, same. I joined a book club in hopes of reading more again. Some months I read and others I don’t but have that novel sitting here and nagging me is getting me back in the groove.

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