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Self Care Ideas For Students: 250 Options You Can Add to Your Routine Right Now

Young woman using some beauty self care ideas in the bathroom mirror Self-care ideas have been a major focus in recent years with the rise of mental health advocacy in our society. But how many times have you clicked on a list of self-care tips and found that none really appeal to you, or they’re all the same?

While the concept of self-care has had a rising focus, many people don’t realize what it really means. As a result, many people don’t prioritize it because we don’t always see options or ideas that fit into our lifestyles. However, as a student, it’s essential that you learn how to create your own self-care routine because it will help you with studying, focusing, and getting through your academic career successfully.

There are over 6 billion people in the world, and one simple list of self-care ideas isn’t a one-size-fits all solution that works for every individual human being on the planet. That’s why we’ve given you 250 different options in this list that will fit in with a variety of different lifestyles, personalities, and time frames.

Tray with wellness candles and mood boosting supplies on a cozy corner of a bed

The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care has become something of a buzzword in recent years, especially with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people are under the assumption that self-care means giving yourself a bubble bath or a face mask because this is what we see when we hear those words. However, that’s not entirely the point.

The truth is that self-care encompasses a variety of factors that work together to help you care for yourself. This includes things like lifestyle factors, socialization, mental wellness, disease prevention, and physical health – to name just a few things. Therefore, self-care can be as basic as tending to your personal hygiene by taking a shower or eating dinner.

True self-care is about emotional, mental, physical, and social fulfillment. You need all of these things in order to keep up with your personal wellbeing.

Self-Care vs. Destressing

Of course, stress does play a prominent role in your mental health and wellbeing. De-stressing, therefore, is a part of any self-care routine, but it goes beyond that.

De-stressing means removing the things in your life that are causing you anxiety and stress. That may mean putting your feet up after a busy day at work or taking a nice long hot shower after a sweaty workout. It also means figuring out ways to cope with how you handle that stress, while self-care is a little more broad.

In contrast, self-care is doing things that you enjoy to add enrichment and fulfillment to your life. It’s much broader in scope and includes many different factors that you may not even necessarily be able to feel right away.

Young man sitting outside meditating for his mental health

The Students’ Take: Mental Health and Student Life

As a student, you probably feel like you’re under a lot of stress and pressure; that’s because you are. Campus depression and anxiety is very real for college and university students around the world, and is something that many students have difficulty managing.

The Canadian National College Health Assessment from 2016 found some shocking observations: in the 12 months before the study, 60.6% of Canadian college and university students reported feeling overwhelmed with stress, 64.5% said they had overwhelming anxiety, and 44.4% said they had severe depression.

All of this data was collected well before the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw mental health issues skyrocket even more. A study from the United States found that 71% of post-secondary students were suffering from increased anxiety due to the pandemic and 82% said that they were concerned about their academic performance.

Young woman having a social video call with her friends

250 Self-Care Ideas For College and University Students

Since everyone is different and the point of taking care of yourself is doing things you personally enjoy for different aspects of your health, we’re going to break down these self-care ideas by category (mind, body, heart, and soul). We’ve put together a master list of 250 different ideas, so you’re guaranteed to find at least a few things that work for you.

Many of the ideas in these lists below can be done socially in person or virtually. Depending on how your local community is coping with COVID-19, or even if you’re reading this list long after the pandemic is over, you can still modify any of these options to suit safe local guidelines. Self-care never stops, regardless of whether COVID-19 does.

Female student working on her wellbeing with a makeup tutorial

Self-Care For The Mind

You’ve heard about hygiene for your body: those essential things you do every day to maintain your physical wellness like brushing your teeth, putting on deodorant, and showering. Mental hygiene works in a similar way, but it’s for your mind.

To learn more about mental hygiene, listen to our Homework Help Show Student Influencers Podcast interview with Shalmali Jadhav. Shalmali is the founder of Empathy For You, an organization dedicated to promoting mental health awareness and education for students.

Essentially, self-care for the mind means taking care of your mental health and mental hygiene in order to make sure your brain is in the right place to fuel the rest of your body. That means managing stress and anxiety, keeping yourself happy, and avoiding that dreaded student burnout.

50 Self-Care Ideas to Uplift Your Mind

Here are some self-care tips and ideas you can try to keep your mind healthy, de-stress, and balance out your serotonin levels for a well-rounded self-care routine.

1. Listen to music.
2. Take a break from social media for a bit. Social media can have a negative impact on your mental health.
3. Get a plant. Not only are plants good for your mental health and physical space, but taking care of a plant can be a simple way to add more fulfillment in your life.
4. Sleep well. Getting enough sleep is essential to your cognitive function and mental health (and your physical health, too).
5. Give yourself a bedtime and a wake-up time, even if you don’t have anything to do, to get yourself into a healthy routine.
6. Colour in an adult colouring book (or even a kids’ colouring book).
7. Meditate.
8. Read some uplifting news stories. It’s important to stay on top of current events, but there’s a lot of negativity and stress in the world right now.
9. Get outside. Fresh air does amazing things for your mental health.
10. Binge your favourite Netflix show.
11. Practice daily positive affirmations.
12. Reorganize your room.
13. Pet your dog or cat. We’re not joking – studies have shown that petting an animal releases serotonin (the chemical in your body responsible for happiness).
14. Keep a journal.
15. Put your phone away (or on silent) at least an hour before you go to bed.
16. Open your blinds and curtains and let the sun in.
17. Light a scented candle or diffuse essential oils.
18. Open a window and let some fresh air in.
19. Create a Pinterest board and fill it with motivational quotes and inspiring pictures.
20. Stargaze. Spend time staring into the stars and feel the power of the universe.
21. Buy yourself some flowers.
22. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.
23. Wear an outfit that makes you feel great about yourself, even if you aren’t going anywhere.
24. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, come up with a way to spin it positively.
25. Give yourself a mental health day when you feel overwhelmed or burnt out.
26. Make your bed.
27. Embrace your emotions. If you need to cry, let yourself cry.
28. Make a vision board.
29. Unfollow negative people on social media. You don’t need that in your life.
30. Laugh – laughter is good for your mental wellbeing and your happiness. Watch some comedies, tell some jokes, listen to stand up comedians, or even listen to a funny podcast.
31. Find a new game to play in the app store on your phone.
32. Get some window markers and decorate your windows.
33. Use sticky notes or window writers to write love notes to yourself on your bathroom mirror.
34. Go for a drive. It doesn’t matter where you go.
35. Take one photo a day and turn them into a photo journal of your life.
36. Sit down and do absolutely nothing for a little while. Let yourself be in the moment.
37. Go Marie Kondo on your home and declutter. Get rid of everything that no longer brings you joy (unless it’s something you need – don’t use this as an excuse to throw out your homework).
38. Organize your space. Clutter and mess can cause stress and anxiety.
39. Check in with yourself on a daily basis and ask yourself what you need right now.
40. Practice gratitude. Make a list of everything you’re grateful for.
41. Use a shower bomb to turn your shower into an aromatherapy haven.
42. If you start to feel stressed out, stop and do a grounding exercise. Make note of 3 things you see, hear, smell, and feel around you.
43. Eat mindfully. While you eat, focus on chewing every bite and eat slowly. Don’t turn the TV on or do anything else while you’re eating.
44. Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself and try to stop being so hard on yourself.
45. Collect motivational quotes in a Pinterest board, on your wall, or in a vision board.
46. Make a list of 20 things you love about yourself. If you can come up with more, that’s even better.
47. Write down positive things to say to yourself or little self-love notes and put them in a jar. On days when you feel stressed or not mentally well, pick one and read it to yourself.
48. Find a nice, peaceful spot and watch the sun set. If you’re an early riser, do this for a sunrise.
49. Make yourself a little self-care kit filled with things that make you feel happy and relaxed. These are fun to curate, and you can keep it on hand when you need a mental break.
50. Create a really cozy space you can lay down and relax in, whether it’s a pile of pillows or just a corner of the couch where you can spread out.
Woman doing yoga to stretch and stay healthy

Self-Care For The Body

As a student, sitting at a computer studying all day or working on paper after paper can take a lot out of your physical health. It also means sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re not giving your body the treatment and care it needs.

Taking care of your physical body is not only important for your health, but for your overall wellness, too. Sure, sitting around on the couch all day snacking on chips is fun, but have you ever done this for a long period of time and realized you felt terrible afterwards? There’s nothing wrong with indulging when you need to, but keeping up with your physical health is a huge part of self-care.

Physical self-care isn’t entirely just about getting exercise or eating a healthy diet, either. It’s about doing good things for your body, whether that means simply taking care of your hygiene and hopping in the shower or keeping up with your cardio on a hike or run. You only get one body, and you need to make sure you treat it properly by giving it the care it needs to function at optimal levels.

Establishing a healthy routine plays a big role in regulating your mental health, mood, and productivity. In fact, there are so many aspects of life and personal wellbeing that are directly linked to healthy food and exercise.

50 Physical Self-Care Ideas For The Body

Here are some physical self-care activities you can try that will not only get your blood pumping but help promote body wellness. As a bonus, you can also do many of these with a friend, which helps with that self-care for your heart that we’ll talk about in the next section.

1. Go for a walk. Make it fun by using an app like Pokemon Go to catch wild pokemon along the way (and distract you from how many steps you’re taking).
2. Try out geocaching. There are likely tons of places right in your community where you can do this, and it’s a fun way to get yourself to spend time outside in nature.
3. Take a hike somewhere. If you already do this, try switching up your hiking spot.
4. Go on a run. If you hate running, make it fun using an app like Zombies, Run!
5. Get cozy. Let your body relax for a while to recoup.
6. Take a hot shower. Cleansing yourself is excellent for your hygiene and for clarity.
7. Dance like no one’s watching. Let it all out.
8. Take a nap.
9. Eat healthy foods.
10. Take a relaxing bath.
11. Do some yoga. Stretching helps prevent your muscles from getting stiff and sore.
12. Get a massage (if your budget or local guidelines allow it).
13. Scream into a pillow. No, this isn’t just for the characters on your favourite teen drama. It can actually help you process your emotions and unleash those pent up feelings.
14. Keep yourself hydrated.
15. Take your lunch break.
16. Look for free exercise classes in your community or online and try a new activity.
17. Go camping. Spend time out in nature and unplug for a while.
18. Have a beach day (when the weather allows it).
19. Use a foam roller.
20. Try acupuncture.
21. Do some core workouts.
22. Jump on a trampoline if you can access one.
23. Use a jump rope to skip rope and embrace your schoolyard nostalgia while you get a workout in.
24. Climb a tree.
25. Sit on an exercise ball. If you can, do this while studying or doing schoolwork at your computer.
26. Challenge yourself to add one new superfood to your diet every week.
27. Floss and brush your teeth at least twice a day.
28. Set up a game of road hockey with your neighbours, family, or friends.
29. Go to the driving range and hit some golf balls.
30. If you sit for long periods of time (like in online classes or at work), get up and move around every hour.
31. When walking home from somewhere like work or class, take the long way. Bring your tunes and put on a feel-good playlist.
32. Go fishing by yourself or with friends.
33. Play some darts at the bar or at home if you have a dartboard.
34. Get a game of dodgeball going.
35. Grab some friends and go play paintball.
36. Find a fitness challenge you think you can stick to and challenge yourself to complete it.
37. Play a game of tennis.
38. Go ice skating (depending on weather or local arena limits).
39. See if you can find anywhere near you to go ziplining. It’s fun and thrilling!
40. Take the stairs instead of the elevator when you can.
41. If you have the time or space, drink your morning coffee (or tea) outside.
42. Join a Zumba class.
43. Play a game of frisbee with friends, family members, or even your dog.
44. Go rock climbing.
45. Grab a jump rope and put those playground skills to good use.
46. Hula hoop! This is a great activity for your core, and it can also be made into a fun game or even a competition.
47. Do some yard work or help someone else do theirs. It’s great to get you outside and you’ll be doing something active.
48. If you have a meeting at work or for school, see if you can make it a “walking meeting” and go for a walk while you talk.
49. When you have to go somewhere and will be driving a relatively short distance, try to walk there or bike there instead.
50. Create an at-home gym using household items as weights and accessories. Make a game out of it to see what kind of funny things you can use that you have laying around.

Friends sitting together having a social outing outside

Self-Care For The Heart

When we talk about self-care of the heart, we mean those social aspects like personal relationships, family, friends, and meaningful interactions. Typically, a good social life helps you feel less lonely, helps when you’re stressed, and keeps you happy. On top of that, it’s a common consensus in the science world that people who have a good level of socialization show increased cognitive function. The people you surround yourself with are important, too – if your core circle includes a lot of positive people who are good role models, typically you will be more likely to follow their influence.

Socialization and relationships are very important for many different reasons, but they actually can help your physical heart, too: some studies have shown that socialization can actually help curb your risk of cardiovascular disease and other physical health problems.

50 Self-Care Ideas For Your Heart

Here are some ideas you can try to work on self-care for your heart. Of course, depending on where you live and how your area is coping with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, some of these may need to wait or be modified for social distancing. However, many of these are completely quarantine-approved.

1. Try a therapy session (if it fits within your budget).
2. Call or video chat with a friend.
3. Take a family member or friend out for coffee.
4. Goof around with a friend and let yourself just be silly.
5. Go for a drive with someone and chat about life.
6. Write a letter to someone, even if you don’t intend on sending it.
7. Have a board game night.
8. Ask your friends to tell you three things they love or admire about you.
9. Visit an out-of-town friend or relative for a couple days.
10. Go wine tasting with a friend.
11. Do a puzzle together, or complete one while video chatting.
12. Put together a care package for a friend and mail it to them if you can’t drop it off.
13. Make a silly TikTok video to share with your friends or followers.
14. Participate in a Netflix watch party.
15. Start a Bad Movie Night with your friends and pick notoriously cheesy or bad movies to watch together. Don’t forget the movie snacks!
16. Split on a projector and have an outdoor movie night in your backyard (when the weather allows it).
17. Create a skill night, where each friend teaches the group something from their unique skill set.
18. Pick one small social interaction a day. This can be anything from leaving a comment on a friend’s Instagram post or calling your mom to check in.
19. Cuddle with a loved one or even a pillow. Don’t say anything – just cuddle.
20. Create a self-care squad with your friends and make a promise to check in on each other to make sure everyone’s following their own self-care routine.
21. Have a good, old fashioned pillow fight.
22. Throw a themed dance party (safely). You can do a specific genre, specific artists or bands, or even a particular theme (like Disney songs or songs about nature, for example).
23. Create a new board game, and then play it together.
24. Take turns telling each other jokes to see who can come up with the funniest (or the cheesiest) jokes.
25. Have a “chip and dip” night. Each person brings a dip and the host supplies the chips. Vote on which dip was the best if you want to add a little competition.
26. If you can, encourage a “bring your pet to the Zoom meeting” day for school or work.
27. Have a tea party. Dress up in ridiculous outfits to complete the experience.
28. Go to a thrift store and take turns picking out the most embarrassing outfit you can find for each other to wear. Challenge yourselves to see who can go the entire day wearing theirs.
29. Curate playlists for each of your friends or family members (like a modern mixtape).
30. Have your tarot cards read. Even if you don’t believe in it, there’s no harm in having a little fun and seeing what the cards say about you.
31. Do a DIY spa night. Look up scrubs and face masks you can make together and then pamper yourselves.
32. Have a picnic in the park – everyone brings a dish or a snack to share if local guidelines allow it.
33. Go bowling.
34. Play a round of mini putt together.
35. Hit up an arcade and play some retro games, laser tag, or even some skee ball.
36. Host a barbecue for your family or friends (or both).
37. Get together for a bake-off. Even if you can’t bake, pick something easy and give it a try.
38. Look up some free outline kits and have a murder mystery party.
39. Join forces and have a big yard sale. Use this as an opportunity to organize your space and get rid of things you don’t need anymore.
40. Hold a video game tournament.
41. Put together a scavenger hunt or find a template online and go around the city in teams to see who can find the most items in a certain amount of time.
42. Go to an open mic night and support some up-and-coming musicians. If you can’t go out, hold your own open mic night at home. No talent necessary!
43. Find a local garden you can explore together. This is also likely a great place for that picnic.
44. Go to an escape room.
45. See if there’s a place in your community where you can go axe throwing.
46. Have a costume party.
47. Do a tie-dye night. Grab a tie-dye kit (you can find tons online or in your local department store), some old shirts, or some cheap new blank ones, and get together to make some colours happen.
48. Give each other crazy makeovers with the most colourful costume makeup you can find.
49. Spend a day thrifting at local vintage or second hand stores. You never know what treasures you’ll find.
50. Make your own trivia night.

Students working on self-care for their body outside in nature

Self-Care For The Soul

Your soul is what drives you. This is a concept that goes back to the dawn of time: the ancient Egyptians believed that the soul was the life force of a person’s body. Regardless of what happened to that person’s body over time, the soul was always the core anchor and the essence of that person.

When we feed our soul, we feed our wellbeing because we give ourselves those feelings of fulfillment. If your soul isn’t in something, you’re not going to find the drive and the motivation to keep carrying on.

Self-care for the soul is doing things that are enriching and rewarding deep down, whether that means contributing to a cause you’re passionate about or helping your elderly neighbour mow her lawn. Anything that gives you a sense of accomplishment can count for this, too.

50 Self-Care Ideas That Feed Your Soul

Here are some self-care tips and ideas that will help you fuel your soul:
1. Volunteer for an organization or cause you care about (you can do this online or in person).
2. Educate yourself. Whether it’s reading about a cause or social movement or just a new topic or subject, giving yourself new knowledge helps you be a better citizen and enriches your soul.
3. Explore your own city. This helps you get your steps in while enriching yourself.
4. Read more, whether it’s a book, magazine article, or even a textbook.
5. Learn an instrument.
6. Donate to your favourite charity or cause.
7. Drop off some non-perishable items to your local food bank. Be sure to check online to see what they need most, as sometimes food banks receive large amounts of the same items and not the items that the families actually benefit from.
8. Take up a new hobby.
9. Set goals for the week. Make a to-do list you know you can get done.
10. Do something nice for someone.
11. Clean out your closet.
12. Leave a positive review for your favourite restaurant or local business.
13. Teach yourself a new skill such as sewing or knitting.
14. Travel (virtually until it’s safe). There are some great virtual museum tours and online adventures you can take that are completely free.
15. Read inspirational stories or listen to TED Talks from people who have overcome adversity.
16. Learn a new language.
17. Build something with Legos, blocks, or any materials you have laying around.
18. Watch a documentary about something you’ve never learned about before.
19. Take a free online course.
20. Visit your local farmer’s market.
21. Bake something. If you can’t bake, find an easy recipe and follow the instructions or watch a tutorial.
22. Collect some rocks and paint them to make little rock creatures. Get some inspiration from Pinterest if you need it.
23. Write a story, even if you’re not a writer.
24. Do some Internet research and find an online group for people who share a common interest or hobby with you. Meetup is a great place to start.
25. Write out your bucket list.
26. Reach out to a friend who might be struggling. Helping them will give you fulfillment, and people are not always inclined to ask for help – but they appreciate it when you do.
27. Start a book club.
28. Pick a country on a map at random and do some research to learn about their culture and history.
29. If you create something and have always wanted to start a business, do it now. You can sell on websites like Poshmark, eBay, and Etsy, or start your own online shop on Shopify.
30. Write thank you notes. A little gratitude goes a long way to a friend, a family member, a business you purchased from, or a service you received.
31. Challenge yourself to be more sustainable in your everyday life. Try to cut out one small thing at a time and replace it with a sustainable option. For example, replace your makeup remover wipes with reusable microfibre cloths, or swap your plastic toothbrush for a biodegradable bamboo one.
32. Compliment a stranger or someone you encounter. It might make their day!
33. Start scrapbooking. Print off photos or have them printed at your local Staples, Walmart, or office supply store, collect some fun stickers and materials from a craft store, and get ready to head down memory lane.
34. Buy something from a local business.
35. Support a local restaurant instead of a franchise or chain restaurant every 2-3 times you order takeout.
36. Help someone move.
37. Sign up for a pen pal program. You can find plenty online with a quick Google search.
38. Help an elderly neighbour with weather-related labour tasks like shoveling their driveway, raking their leaves, or watering their garden.
39. Sign up to coach a youth team.
40. Organize your own club with other people who share a hobby or interest.
41. Work on your people skills and try making some new friends. If you’re an introvert, this can help get you out of your comfort zone and feeling confident.
42. Start a fundraiser for someone special or for a cause you believe in.
43. Bake cookies or make something to drop off to your local front line workers, EMTs, or firefighters.
44. Attend a local fundraiser, even if you don’t know anyone else who is going or aren’t familiar with the cause.
45. Adopt an animal through your local zoo if it offers this or through the World Wildlife Foundation.
46. If you live in a residential neighbourhood, start a free community library in your front yard.
47. Donate blood.
48. Pay for the person behind you when you order in the drive-thru.
49. Thinking of chopping off your hair? Donate your locks to charity. There are many charities out there that collect hair and make them into wigs for sick kids, cancer patients, and anyone else who needs them.
50. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters America or the branch in your country.
Female student taking a rest for her mental health

50 Bonus Ideas For Overall Self-Care

Some of these general self-care activities cover all your bases and can help you with mental, physical, emotional, and social wellbeing all in one step.

1. At the end of each day, write down three good things you did or that happened that day.
2. Go to a fancier grocery store and buy yourself a couple things (small things if your budget allows this).
3. Cook yourself a nice hearty breakfast.
4. Start a side hustle. Not only does this put some extra cash in your pocket, but gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
5. Change the way you think. Stop telling yourself you should be doing something.
6. Learn to budget your money. Managing your student budget is crucial in maintaining your wellbeing and ensuring you have financial security, which will help you throughout the rest of your life.
7. Pamper yourself with a spa day, complete with facials and exfoliating. This is great for your mind AND body.
8. Cook yourself a meal using only your favourite foods, even if they don’t seem to go well together.
9. Treat yourself reasonably. If you’ve been craving a sugary Starbucks frappe lately, go and get it at the end of the week for a sweet TGIF treat.
10. If you live a busy life, pick a day to meal prep for the upcoming week. You’ll feel accomplished, prepared, and cut down on time scrambling to figure out what’s for dinner.
11. Take yourself out on a “date.” Go to the movies by yourself, or go out to dinner on your own provided it’s safe to do so.
12. If you’re religious at all, take some time to practice your spirituality by reading passages, having a prayer session, or anything else you can do to reconnect yourself.
13. Do something adventurous to get your adrenaline pumping.
14. Clean your house. This counts as exercise, and also helps you declutter for your mental health and overall wellbeing.
15. Put together a fun outdoor day where you gather your family and/or friends and compete in some classic camp-style games for a “backyard Olympics.” Think egg and spoon races, three-legged races, wheelbarrow races, bean bag toss, or even water balloon fights.
16. Sign up to be a tutor in a subject you’re great at. You can make some extra cash while helping another student get ahead.
17. Wash all of your bedding. The fresh feeling of clean sheets does wonders for your mental hygiene, while the clean sheets help you stay healthy and keep bacteria away. If you time this out right, you can pull out fresh, clean, warm sheets before tucking into bed for ultimate coziness.
18. Offer to babysit for a friend, colleague, friend of a friend, or family member to give them a break. Keeping up with the kids keeps you physically active, while the babysitting likely really helps out the parents and their own self-care.
19. When cleaning your home or doing a chore you don’t enjoy but have to get done, change your mindset and thinking. Instead of opening your closet and thinking “I have to clean out this mess,” think, “I’m going to be so happy when I open this door and see my organized clothes.”
20. Clean out your purse, backpack, or everyday bag. You may even find something you lost!
21. Update and replace your expired or old makeup and beauty products. These do have expiry dates because bacteria builds up, and getting some fresh new products can help you feel great.
22. Make a to-do list of all the small annoyances or tasks you haven’t gotten around to doing yet, then work through it one by one. Getting these done will lift a burden off your shoulders while helping you feel accomplished.
23. Source some new artwork for your space. Try to find a local artist and support them in the process.
24. Go through your cloud photos or Google Photos and organize them. You get to see some fun memories in the process.
25. Switch up one small thing in your morning routine, like getting a different coffee or listening to a different playlist on the way.
26. Do a sewing tutorial on YouTube or online and fix up some of the holes, rips, or tears in your favourite clothes.
27. If you’re constantly setting a morning alarm to get up for things, try to give yourself one day a week to sleep in as long as you want (provided you aren’t skipping essential activities or tasks like classes).
28. Bite the bullet and schedule those appointments and checkups you’ve been putting off.
29. Make small swaps for some of your less healthy habits. For example, swap out an energy drink for green tea. Doing things in smaller steps can help break a habit while reducing your body’s dependence on those items.
30. Take photos of the things in your life that make you happy, and put them in a digital photo bank you can look at when you’re feeling a little down or having a bad day.
31. Do some self-assessments, like the Meyers-Briggs assessment, to create a stronger connection to yourself.
32. Keep track of your mood changes or emotional patterns and the positive and negative factors that influence it that day. Which of these things can you eliminate?
33. Try a look or style you’ve always been too scared to wear. See if you can rock it for an entire day.
34. Switch up your work or study location by going to a coffee shop or somewhere you can use the WiFi to gain a fresh perspective (and possibly some inspiration).
35. Go to the park or the mall and people watch. Make up stories and backgrounds for the people you see to flex your creative muscles.
36. When driving alone, crank up the music and sing along at the top of your lungs.
37. At the grocery store, buy yourself a fun treat to reward yourself for staying healthy.
38. Let yourself say “no” to someone who is demanding something from you. It can be really empowering to say no and stand up for yourself.
39. Stand up straight and work on your posture. Good posture has a lot more benefits than you realize (muscle exercise, pain relief, confidence, and appearing taller).
40. Think about the things you loved doing as a kid and try to do them now as an adult.
41. Spend time alone. Socialization is important, but being comfortable being on your own is also important.
42. Make your chores more fun by making a competition with household members, cranking your favourite tunes, or even challenging yourself on how fast you can get them done.
43. Plan out your dream vacation just for fun.
44. If you’re writing out a to-do list, write another “I did it” list. Crossing off things you’ve done helps you feel more accomplished, productive, and inspired to keep going.
45. Develop a mantra for yourself that you can live by. Use it to inspire yourself when you wake up in the morning, when you need a pick-me-up, or just because.
46. Let yourself go down a YouTube or TikTok rabbit hole and watch videos of things that make you smile, whether it’s puppies, babies, people doing cosplay, or even music videos.
47. Download an old game on your phone or computer that you haven’t played in a long time.
48. Learn how to make latte art and enhance your morning coffee ritual, or serve them to friends for a fun gathering.
49. Every once in a while, take a new and different route to work, school, or home. If it’s going to be longer, make sure you account for the extra time.
50. Challenge yourself to go an entire week saying only positive things to people. If you get through the week, see if you can bump it up gradually.

Female student in the library looking for a book for her self-care

Final Self-Care Tips

While you practice these self-care ideas, make sure you follow some of these quick self-care tips. These are things you should always keep in mind when you think about taking care of yourself, or when you start to feel guilty about taking too much time for yourself.

● Make sure you do things you enjoy doing. Self-care is about keeping yourself happy and fulfilled.

● Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. Spend money on yourself once in campua while, even if it’s not a necessity.

● Learn to recognize when you feel yourself struggling and never be afraid to reach out to ask for help.

● Remember that self-care is NOT selfish. You need to do things for yourself and make sure you check on your own mental health and wellbeing. This is vital for living a happy, rewarding life.

● You can only help people if you’re in a position to do so, both mentally and physically. Help yourself first and prioritize yourself, and then you can put that amazing energy back out into the world.

Student doing a body stretch in bed while waking herself up

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