Finding ways to prioritize your mental and physical health (and yes, even pamper yourself) is paramount on a normal day but particularly essential in times of stress. But when spa days, yoga classes and the latest blockbusters are off the menu, it can be hard to find ways to relax. Here, 50 totally free ways to practice self-care at home.
50 Totally Free Ways to Practice Self-Care at Home
1. Make your bed. It takes all of two minutes and makes you feel infinitely more put together.
2. Plan your dream vacation. Even if you won't go on it for a while—or ever—it's fun to imagine yourself sunbathing in Mykonos.
3. Do one-woman karaoke. Without worrying that anyone will hear you completely miss all of Ariana Grande's high notes.
4. Take a long, luxurious bath. Pop on a relaxing playlist and wait for your skin to get pruny.
5. Write an it's-done list. Full of things you’ve already accomplished versus things you have to do.
6. Take a nap. Twenty minutes or two hours. Choose your own adventure.
7. Try a makeup look you'd normally be too scared to wear. Open YouTube, find a bold tutorial and take glam selfies to send to your friends.
8. Be selfish. Remind yourself that it's OK to prioritize yourself and your own needs sometimes.
9. Refill your water bottle frequently. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to take care of yourself.
10. Watch a motivational TED Talk. Anything with Brene Brown should do.
11. Call an old friend. A good catch-up sesh is sure to put a smile on your face.
12. Light your favorite candle. Really pay attention to the scent and see if you can figure out all the notes.
13. Watch a Netflix movie or show that always makes you laugh. Might we suggest one of these hilarious, female-led comedies?
14. Write a list of ten things you love about yourself. Self-love is self-care. Give yourself a compliment...or ten.
15. Do a yoga tutorial on YouTube. We’re huge fans of Yoga with Kassandra’s free videos.
16. Put your phone on “do not disturb.” If only for an hour, spending time without texts, emails and Instagram stories looming over your head is so refreshing.
17. Visit a museum—online. Google's Arts & Culture platform lets you take in some of the world's most impressive sights from the comfort of your living room.
18. Change your sheets. There's really nothing like falling asleep in a freshly fluffed bed.
19. Bake. Whether it's an old favorite or a totally new recipe, the point is to get some flour on your hands before eating more than one serving of cookies.
20. Marie Kondo your closet. If it doesn't spark joy, it goes. (To the donation pile or an app like Depop.)
21. Make a mantra. Start here for inspiration, then craft a word or phrase that embodies the way you want to live.
22. Curate playlists based on your moods. Next time you go for a walk, jam out accordingly.
23. Paint your nails. It’s cheaper and often longer-lasting than a salon mani.
24. Look at positive affirmations on Pinterest. Cheesy? Yes. Inspiring? That too.
25. Watch videos of animals being cute. Whether you’re into puppies, pandas or polar bears, @AnimalsVideos is an Instagram treasure trove of adorable clips.
26. Go through your camera roll. Reminisce about all the wonderful things you've done.
27. Re-download a phone game you stopped playing ages ago. Words with Friends is back, baby.
28. Go for a long walk. Queue up a podcast or your favorite playlist and just stroll.
29. Stretch. Who says you have to do a whole workout to show your muscles some love?
30. Tidy up your house. Do laundry, declutter, meal prep. You’ll feel so much better once it’s done. (In fact, here's a complete checklist for deep cleaning your kitchen until it sparkles...in less than two hours.)
31. Create calming morning and nighttime routines. Think about the things that set you up for a happy day and a restful night and turn them into habits.
32. Make yourself a fancy coffee drink at home. Starbucks be damned, you're the barista now.
33. Watch the sun rise or set. Without taking any pictures, that is.
34. Doodle. Even if you don't have an adult coloring book on hand, grab a pen and paper and let your creative juices flow.
35. Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Wine is optional but recommended.
36. Get into your comfiest clothes and meditate. Here are four simple ways to start.
37. Start journaling. You've been meaning to do it for ages; now's the time.
38. Clean up your social media follows. That Australian teenager whose abs always send you into a downward spiral? You officially have our permission to unfollow her. Or even just mute her posts.
39. Try a calming breathing technique. It takes only 16 seconds to feel more relaxed—what are you waiting for?
40. Create a gratitude list. Writing down the things you’re thankful for will make you appreciate them even more.
41. Make your own face mask. Then apply it and bask in your skin's silky softness afterward.
42. Learn something new. Download Duolingo, go down a Wikipedia rabbit hole, broaden your horizons.
43. Watch a movie with your friends (remotely). Download the Netflix Party extension and experience Tiger King with your nearest and dearest.
44. Jam out to your favorite playlist. You + Beyoncé’s greatest hits = unbridled joy.
45. Take your time going through your skincare routine. That 12-step routine you bought all the creams and serums for but never actually do? Give it a weeklong test and chronicle your results. Was it worth it?
46. Do something nice for someone else. Whether that means mailing someone a card or checking in with your neighbors via text, random acts of kindness are so satisfying.
47. Eat something green. Then follow it up with something chocolate, because balance.
48. Listen to a podcast. Cue up an inspirational or fun podcast to take your mind off things (or just make folding laundry a lot more fun). May we suggest Your Best Life with Anna Victoria or Royally Obsessed?
49. Pencil me-time into your schedule. Yep, physically block off a few times during the week where you can’t plan anything else.
50. Do absolutely nothing. Stillness is a virtue, folks.