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40 Unique Self-Care Tips You Haven’t Heard A Million Times Before

These are 100 percent guaranteed to inspire you.

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illustration, women, selfcare, reading, canoeing, jumping, lingerie
Agata Nowicka
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Self-care conveys different things to different people. With the help of some of our beloved Girlfriend readers, here are 40 diverse self-care practices guaranteed to inspire you.

  1. Birding: Keep binoculars by the window to catch these beautiful creatures in action.
  2. Shower by candlelight: Light candles for a soothing shower.
  3. Paint app: Check out Happy Color, a paint-by-number game.
  4. Peaceful exercise: The Legs-up-the-Wall pose at the end of the day helps banish fatigue and anxiety. 
  5. Zentangle: This form of art creates intricate patterns; a wonderful release — especially for those who love doodling.
  6. Get your laughs: When everyone is tucked in for the night, grab your iPad and crawl into bed to binge on your fav comedy clips on YouTube.
  7. Letter-writing: Free yourself emotionally by writing letters that you’ll never send to those certain people in your life.
  8. Sprinkle lavender essential oil: Before bed, give your pillows a quick spritz of this essential oil known to combat anxiety and insomnia.
  9. TikToks: Creating silly TikToks can relieve stress. Laughter is the best medicine, after all!
  10. Slow food: At lunchtime, shut off screens and devote yourself to making beautiful, wholesome food. Enjoy the feeling of restoring your body’s energy with healthy fuel.
  11. Art journaling: Tear pictures and words from magazines to form an expressive collage, helping what’s buried inside escape.
  12. Butterfly gardens: Visit butterfly gardens and relax in the company of these delicate creatures.
  13. Listen to Yanni: Yanni’s instrumental music is timeless for relaxation and meditation.
  14. Drop serious coin on these 3 things: Care for yourself by splurging on what protects you from the ground: 1) your bed mattress, 2) shoes, and 3) car tires.  
  15. Wear fragrance daily: Even if you’re working alone from home with nothing special planned, make this small effort to treat yourself right.
  16. Crocheting or knitting: Watching patterns quickly emerge provides instant gratification.
  17. Jump: When your kids aren’t looking, access your inner child and jump on your backyard trampoline. Then lie motionless, watching the clouds.
  18. Family videos: Organize videos in an accessible folder, and when you need it get a happy dose by clicking play to instantly connect with loved ones.
  19. Morning foot massage: Massage your feet each morning with Shea Body Butter to start your day “on the right foot.”
  20. Learn to golf: Grab a friend and learn this sport, finding satisfaction in each small skill you master.
  21. Fave shows: Ease the drudgery of housework by playing your favorite show in the background.
  22. Tarot card reading: Take an e-course for beginners to gain insight and learn what’s considered a soothing practice.  
  23. Share your bread: If you mastered making your own bread during the pandemic, drop some off at friends’ homes to stay connected.
  24. Collect treasures on the beach: Search for sea glass and shells to slow down and live in the moment.
  25. Sit in the sun: Find a spot bathed in sunlight. Eyes closed, lift your head and take deep breaths.
  26. Gratitude list: Keep a running list on your phone to remember how blessed you are.
  27. Scream when necessary: Release your stress with a good scream or profanity-laced rant into your pillow.
  28. Befriend hummingbirds: Plant some bushes known to attract hummingbirds and watch them magically enliven your garden — and your life.
  29. Color: Never underestimate a simple coloring book and crayons.
  30. Ice-skate: Treat yourself to a weekly spin on the ice to revive spirits.
  31. Incense: Burn incense to clear negative energies — or just because you love the scent.
  32. Photography: Escape, camera in hand, and feel yourself bewitched by the great outdoors.
  33. Splurge on lingerie: And especially on perfect-fitting supportive brassieres to keep you perky as you age.
  34. Calligraphy: Grab a guidebook and a chisel point pen, and practice this ancient elegant art.
  35. Practice Reiki: Treatments can help achieve balance — emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.
  36. Get a rescue dog or cat: Kiss them daily! The unconditional love you’ll receive in return is enormous.
  37. Research your family tree: The continuity of generations or seeing how your ancestry got from here to there is oddly soothing.
  38. Purge your home: Separating out things you don’t need to give to those who do is hugely satisfying.
  39. Kayak or paddleboard: Feel your stress melt away when out on the water.
  40. Buy fresh flowers: Once a week, bring home beauty and color.