27 Simple Self-Care Hacks That Are Easy and Free
Self-care is the practice of caring for yourself to ensure your physical and emotional needs are met and protecting one’s well-being and happiness. There’s much more to self-care practices than 12-step beauty routines, bubble baths, candles, and spa days. Though these may sound nice, self-care to one person may look completely different to another person. But if it takes care of your physical and mental well-being, it can fall into this category. And there’s no need for your self-care to cost a fortune, either. Try incorporating some of these simple self-care hacks that are easy and free into your day-to-day life to reduce stress and nourish your soul.
Life-Changing Self-Care Hacks
1. Go For A Walk
Walking is an enjoyable, stress-free form of self-care. Not only is the exercise good for you, but it can also help alleviate depression and fatigue, aid digestion, and boost your mood. Even a short 10-15 minute walk will help clear your mind and lift your spirits.
2. Create Better Sleep Habits
I’m sure we all know that getting 8 hours of sleep each night is what we should be aiming for. But of course, this is easier said than done. But good sleep habits are definitely worth striving for. That’s because good sleep is essential to maintaining mental health, physical health, and the immune system. It’s also when your skin repairs itself. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. Better quality sleep is one of the most important self-care practices to adopt. You can read some Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep here.
3. Make Some Music Playlists
Make a playlist of your favorite songs for every mood. You can add slow and relaxing songs for when you feel stressed or need to chill out. You can also create a playlist of meditation music or songs that inspire you and make you happy. No matter the mood, you’ll have the perfect songs queued and ready for you.
4. Write Down Tomorrow’s To-Do List Before Bed
Every night before you go to bed, take a few minutes to write down all your important tasks that need to be taken care of. This will help structure your day and make it easier to remember the important things. This will also make it harder to avoid errands that are always put off until later. Plus, it’s so satisfying to check stuff off your list! That feeling alone can motivate you to be more productive.
5. Help Others
Acts of kindness are associated with greater happiness. Spending time helping others, be it your community or the environment, will give you a sense of purpose and make you feel happier. Knowing that your contribution makes a difference is an empowering feeling that will boost your self-worth. No matter how big or small the act, everyone wins when you show kindness and generosity, even something as small as holding the door for someone. Sometimes, self-care hacks look like caring for others.
6. Take A Bubble Bath
It’s hard to think of a better way to relax than soaking in a hot bubble bath. For some serious self-care, allow yourself to unwind in a tub infused with bath salts, essential oils, and foaming bubbles. Create a tranquil mood by lighting candles and playing soft, soothing music. If you don’t have a bathtub, you can use some aromatherapy shower steamers or drops of essential oil in the shower for a spa-like experience.
7. Take Your Self On A Date
Put makeup on and get dressed up for yourself, or don’t! Plan an afternoon or evening that’s all about you. Go to the movies, eat at a restaurant you enjoy, or visit a museum. Do Whatever you’re in the mood for. Sometimes, it’s nice to not worry about anyone else and just do your own thing.
8. Practice Positive Self Talk
Self-talk is your internal dialogue that is fueled by your subconscious mind’s thoughts, beliefs, questions, and ideas. When self-talk is positive it can have great health benefits that include: increased vitality, greater life satisfaction, better physical well-being, and higher self-esteem. So, next time you catch yourself harshly criticizing yourself, stop. Then, start listing some of your good qualities and positive attributes. Spend time each day talking to yourself kindly, in the exact same way you would talk to someone you love and care about.
9. Read A Book
End your day by reading for 15 minutes or longer. Reading has been shown to help memory, empathy, and communication skills, reduce stress, and help learn something new. Checking out books from your local library is free, and you’ll always be able to find something that sparks your interest.
Journaling is a great way to work through your thoughts and feelings. With a journal, you have a private and safe way to reflect on things that happen and how you feel about them. Sometimes, it can be difficult to process emotions until you can take a step back and look at them from a different perspective. Journaling is a great way to do just that. If you are unsure if journaling is for you, start small and write 3-4 sentences each day. You may quickly find yourself filling entire pages.
11. Start A Gratitude Practice
Expressing gratitude has been shown to improve your mood, sleep, and mental health and boost your immune system. A simple way to start cultivating a grateful mindset is by beginning the day by writing down three things you’re grateful for. Focusing on the things in life that make us happy or grateful will make it easier for us to show our appreciation for the people and things that matter most to us.
12. Watch The Sunrise
Besides being a quiet and calm moment that you can use to set your intentions for the day, watching the sunrise has a lot of health benefits as well. Watching the sunrise balances the circadian rhythm, provides vitamin D, and supports the immune and nervous systems while instilling good vibes. It’s the perfect time to enjoy your morning coffee or tea.
13. Get A Pedicure
If going to the nail salon isn’t an option, give yourself a pedicure at home! Fill a large tub or bath with enough hot water to cover your feet fully. You can create a relaxing foot soak by adding a few tablespoons of bath salts and essential oils. Let your feet soak for at least 15 minutes or longer if you have the extra free time. This will help soften any dry patches and make it much easier to remove calluses with a foot file or pumice stone. Then, carefully trim your nails straight across and paint them if you like. For more tips on keeping your toes in top shape, read the 5 Steps To Summer Ready Feet.
14. Drink More Water
We know and probably hear this all the time, but another reminder won’t hurt. Drink more water! Drinking water has a long list of benefits, including weight management, better workouts, aids in digestion and keeping you regular, and improves your mood and your skin’s health. Aim for at least eight 8oz cups of water per day.
15. Take A Self Care Day
Dedicating a day to serious self-care can improve your physical and mental health. Sleep in, pamper yourself with a face and hair mask, read a book, take a nap, or binge-watch your favorite tv show. Do whatever gives you a feeling of joy and relaxation.
16. Cook A Healthy Meal For Yourself
Nourishing your body with a healthy, home-cooked meal is a form of self-care and a way to show love to yourself. Some people find cooking to be a good stress reliever. Create a vibe with some music, pour yourself a glass of wine, and get creative with your recipes.
17. Try Guided Meditation
Meditation can give you a sense of peace and balance that can benefit your emotional well-being and overall health. Meditation allows you to calm the mind and quiet anxious thoughts and feelings. Meditating has been shown to improve sleep, help control pain, reduce stress, help control anxiety, improve self-image, and more. Using a guided mediation app or YouTube video can be helpful for beginners.
18. Spend Time In Nature
Spending time in nature has been shown to improve sleep, reduce depression, boost immune function, improve emotional well-being, and more. For those of us living in a big city, spending time in the great outdoors may not be as easy as we’d like. But finding a quiet park or nature walk still counts.
19. Celebrate The Little Wins In Life
Tracking small achievements and celebrating small wins has huge value. Doing so will boost your confidence, help you maintain motivation, and keep you happy working towards larger goals. Celebrate every small win by rewarding yourself with something you enjoy to motivate your brain. A few small ways to celebrate are baking your favorite dessert or sharing about your success with a friend.
20. Have A Creative Hobby
A creative hobby is a form of self-care that’s all about doing something you enjoy for fun. It can also be an artistic outlet you might not otherwise get in daily life. Think of what you liked to do as a child, like paint or playing an instrument. Having a creative outlet that you work on for 10-30 minutes daily has been shown to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase dopamine levels.
21. Deep Clean Your House
If you need it, spend a day or several days deep-cleaning your entire house. Sort through your closets and remove clothes you no longer wear. Declutter cupboards and underneath sinks and wash all the bedding and laundry. Finish up your cleaning with some dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, and cleaning out the refrigerator and the bathrooms! Cleaning and resetting your space will help you feel more organized and improve your focus, productivity, and mood.
22. Donate Or Sell Items You No Longer Use
After cleaning out your closets and deep cleaning your house, consider donating or selling some of the items you no longer use.
- Consign– You can sell clothes, shoes, and accessories that are still in great condition but you don’t wear them anymore. Bring them to a consignment store, or if you have the time, list them yourself online. Sites like Poshmark or Depop make selling your unwanted clothes easy.
- Donate– Items that cannot be sold but are in “gently used” condition can be donated to your local nonprofit. Salvation Army or a women’s shelter are good places to donate.
- Trash– Throw away any pairs of shoes or clothes that are stained or ripped beyond repair.
23. Learn How To Say No
When you don’t want or cannot do something, learning to set boundaries and say no can be hard at first. But I promise the more you do it, the easier it will get and the happier you will be. We often say yes or agree to do something we don’t want to do in order to avoid confrontation, being scared to say no or FOMO. But that takes away time from the truly important things to you and adds more stress to your life. One of the most important skills to master in life is the ability to say “NO” politely.
24. Take A Social Media Break
Spending hours scrolling through multiple social media apps throughout the day is addicting. Although it may seem like a harmless way to pass the time, research shows otherwise. Studies show that the more time that is spent on social media sites, the more likely you are to develop depression. Our phones being with us constantly makes it much harder to take a break. Reducing social media usage will help reduce stress and improve mental health. Another big bonus is you’ll have more free time to work toward goals or relax more healthily.
25. Stretch Your Body
Stretching improves posture and helps release muscle tension. Regular stretching also helps in fitness recovery and preventing injuries. It’s a calming way to warm up your body at the start of the day. Stretching before bed is a natural sleep remedy that can help the body relax, reduce stress, and fall asleep faster.
26. Make Your Room A Sanctuary
A messy room is often a reflection of a disorganized mental state. Keeping your bedroom tidy and clutter-free will lighten your mood and have you feeling more organized from the moment you wake up! Start by making your bed every morning. This simple task only takes a few minutes but will leave you with a feeling of positivity and accomplishment that will last the day.
27. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Be deliberate in your choice of friends and associates. They say that we’re the average of the five people we spend the most time with. That means if negative people with many bad habits surround you, you’ll likely develop those same habits over time. The same applies to spending time with people who care about healthy living and positive thinking.