Taking some time out for yourself is essential to your well-being, and these self care ideas for women are a great way to prioritize your mental health. From simple lifestyle changes like incorporating a bath into your nightly routine to trying new activities like yoga and journaling – our suggested 50 self-care ideas are sure to help you de-stress and relax.
Whether you have a few minutes or the whole day, here are 50 self-care tips to help women relax and recharge. If you’re not really sure what qualifies as self-care, check out this deep dive into what are self care ideas?
50 self care ideas for women to try today
We are offering a wide variety of self-care ideas in this post so we’ve decided to categorize them. Everyone’s idea of self-care is different so please pick and choose the activities that speak to you.
They are organized as follows: active, passive, for couples, health-related, group activities and spiritual. Some of these self-care activities take less than 15 minutes while others may take hours.
Please choose what you feel you need at this moment. Save this post and each time you read it, select the activity that feels best to you.
10 active self-care ideas
1. Go forest bathing
Taking a stroll among the trees can be an excellent way to unwind and cultivate self-care. Find a park, nature trail or wooded area nearby and take yourself on a 30-minute or longer stroll. If you live near a forest or a park, that is the ideal place to go for a walk.
The Japanese have long known about the benefits of forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku. Numerous studies and articles have been written about the many benefits of forest bathing.
There are so many proven benefits to forest bathing that it’s one of my favourite things to do on a stressful day. It helps me to relax and reset. Enjoy the trees, birds, and flowers as you move and breathe deeply to help your body relax. Taking this time to marvel at nature’s beauty will refresh your energies and restore focus.
2. Try a new type of physical activity
As we already know, physical activity is important for overall health and well-being, but sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise. Why not make it interesting by trying something completely new? Consider a dance class, martial arts session, yoga practice, or outdoor sport.
Do anything to get your body moving and take your mind off of what’s causing you stress. Physical activities like these can also help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as boost self-esteem.
3. Do something creative like painting or cooking
Taking the time to express yourself creatively can be incredibly relaxing and therapeutic, plus it’s a perfect way to nurture your soul. Have fun channelling your inner artist by painting a masterpiece or practice cooking something delicious you’ve been wanting to try.
It doesn’t matter if you fail because it’s all about having fun and exploring something new. Who knows what amazing creations could come from it? Besides, art is subjective so there is no such thing as failure when it comes to creating art.
4. Engage in a hobby you love
Hobbies can be a great way to take care of yourself and give your mind a break from the hustle and bustle of life. Whether it’s knitting, writing, scrapbooking or any other type of activity that you enjoy – spending some time doing something you love is an incredibly rewarding experience and it will help reduce stress levels and lift your mood.
Personally, I love creating photobooks of past travels, it’s a great way to reminisce and enjoy travelling from the comforts of your own home. Looking back at travel pictures always brings back good memories.
Far too often, our mobile phones are full of thousands of photos we rarely look at again. Creating photo books of past vacations is one of the self-care ideas for women that keeps on giving.
5. Go for a cold water dip
There are many benefits to going for a cold water swim. It doesn’t need to be a long one, just a few minutes are enough to reap the health benefits. If you don’t have a body of water nearby, you can always have a shower and turn it to cold for the last 60-90 seconds. This has a similar healing effect.
I’m not suggesting you go out on the town for a night of clubbing, although you certainly can. I know a night out dancing always puts me in a great mood and is one of my favourite self-care ideas to put into practise.
Dancing is a wonderful form of self-care whether you’re shimmying solo at home while doing chores, or dancing up a storm with your besties. The term ‘shake it off’ is meant to be taken literally.
7. Go for a long walk
No matter where you live, going for a walk can help to clear your head. You don’t have to walk through a forest or alongside the ocean to reap the self-care benefits of going for a walk. Simply being outside, breathing in the fresh air helps.
Bonus points if you take a canine friend with you. Dogs always boost my mood and since I don’t have one, in the picture below, I borrowed my sister’s adorable dog for my walk.
8. Try a boxing class
When we are stressed, our bodies need an outlet for all of that pent-up energy. We need a release for it and sometimes a physical release works best. Currently, I love hot yoga for both the mental and physical release it gives me.
When I was going through the anger phase of grief after my father passed away, I needed an outlet for all of my anger. I turned to boxing classes and martial arts. It felt really good to hit something! Stress and grief are different for everyone so listen to your body and do what feels right for you in the moment.
One of the completely free self-care ideas that not only costs nothing but it can be done anywhere, anytime. Believe it or not, crying is a form of self-care and it’s often overlooked. As a society, we tend to be taught to keep our emotions to ourselves. But the problem is that our emotions need an outlet and sometimes that outlet is crying.
I have had days when I can’t hold it in any longer so I hop in a hot, steamy shower and let it all out. There is something very soothing about an ugly cry – at least when done in the privacy of my own home. They say that salt water heals all. Sometimes that’s a swim in the ocean, a walk alongside it, or crying streams of salty tears.
10. Have sex
Yes, you read that right. There are many benefits of having sex. For one, the endorphins released by having sex are most certainly mood-boosting. Orgasms are reported to improve your mood, relieve stress, and even ease your pain. Sex is definitely one of my favourite methods of self-care.
If you don’t have a partner, don’t let that stop you. Self-love works too 😉
5 passive self care ideas for women
1. Listen to your favourite music or a podcast
Treat yourself to some tunes or a podcast that’s guaranteed to lift your spirits. Music and podcast recordings can be soothing and uplifting, especially if you queue up something that evokes happy thoughts or memories.
Pick the genre of music or type of podcast that speaks to your soul and gives you the joy and motivation you need to carry on in your day.
2. Read an inspiring book
From novels to autobiographies to nonfiction, there are plenty of books available that offer comfort and inspiration. Reading is a great way to distract yourself from negative thoughts and feelings while also giving you an opportunity to fill your mind with empowering words and stories of courage.
Choose a title that speaks to you and transport yourself into the immersive world created by its plot or characters.
3. Enjoy a warm bubble bath or hot, eucalyptus shower
Taking a warm bubble bath or a hot, eucalyptus shower is one of the best ways to end a long day and practice self-care. A hot shower can help relax tight muscles and relieve stress.
Adding some soothing eucalyptus oil to your bath or shower will also have calming effects on your body and mind, as it promotes relaxation by stimulating circulation and clearing any congestion in the sinuses. This combination will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed!
4. Watch a movie
One of the best and easiest self-care ideas for women is to cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and watch a movie. For some, this might be a romantic comedy, and for others, an action flick. Whatever is going to take your mind off what is stressing you out.
Bonus points for making salty and buttery popcorn to enjoy with your movie.
5. Watch or listen to a comedy show
Laughter really is the best medicine. Whether it’s a Netflix special, or a Spotify podcast, taking time out to laugh is healing. They say that if you are in a bad mood, smile for 10 seconds and it will improve your mood. I think I’d rather laugh for real than fake smile, how about you?
10 couples self care ideas for women and men
I know, we said these were self-care ideas for women, but that doesn’t mean we can include your plus one in some of them. After all, when our relationships are flourishing, we tend to be much happier. Try one of these couples self care ideas with your partner today.
- Indulge in a couples massage
- Go for a long walk together
- Schedule a date night, book a sitter if needed
- Play a game instead of watching TV
- Stay in and cook a meal together, bonus points for wine and music
- Tell each other 5 things you’re grateful for in your relationship
- Send cute texts throughout the day to show you’re thinking about each other
- Try a new activity together, like racing GoCarts or an escape room
- Start planning your next vacation so you have something to look forward to
- Go to the gym and do a workout or fitness class together
5 self care activities to do for your health
1. Schedule a check-up with your doctor
Taking care of your physical health is essential for overall well-being and should be part of your regular self-care routine. It’s important you take time away from the stresses of everyday life to visit the doctor and check in with them about any issues, or concerns or simply just for a general check-up.
This can help catch any issues before they become major problems and it’s also a great way to ensure you stay on top of any vaccinations or treatments that may be necessary for good long-term health.
2. Take deep breaths when feeling stressed
Taking a deep breath for a few seconds can release some of the tension and stress. This simple act can allow more oxygen to reach your brain, helping you relax and think more calmly in times of stress.
Deep breathing exercises are also a great way to practice mindfulness and be present in the moment—focusing on nothing but your breath. Doing this for just 5 minutes can have powerful effects on your mental state, leaving you feeling calmer and less anxious.
3. Silence all notifications while you sleep
I honestly have no idea how anyone sleeps with their phone buzzing and flashing away all night. My phone goes into do not disturb mode all night long. I turn notifications back on when I get up in the morning. Typically, I’ll put my phone away about an hour before bedtime so I can disconnect and get ready for bed.
4. Go to the gym
Exercise is a mood booster and an excellent form of self-care. Whether you hit the weights or join a class, any exercise is bound to help. Even if you simply walk on a treadmill while listening to music or watching a show, I guarantee you’ll feel better afterwards.
When you’re feeling down, the hardest part of going to the gym is actually going. Get dressed in your favourite workout outfit, lace up your sneakers and head out. Chances are that once you are there and moving your body, you will already start to feel better.
5. Try a float tank session
Sensory deprivation tanks, once closed, reduce external stimulation such as sound, touch and light. The tanks are filled with salt water, which is a combination of water and Epsom salts. This salt water makes you extremely buoyant so it’s very easy to float.
I tried a float tank session and, quite honestly, it wasn’t for me. I didn’t enjoy it. Why am I telling you this right after I suggest it? Because it’s important to remember that not all of these self-care ideas will work for you. We are all different so always be willing to try something new.
Self-care ideas for groups
1. Spend quality time with friends and family
Spending quality time with people who care about you and accept and love you for who you are can be a great way to relax, recharge, and boost your mental and emotional well-being. Make sure to spend intentional time with those closest to you.
Some ideas include hosting a game night, going out for dinner, or simply having meaningful conversations. Investing in your relationships can give you the energy and support system necessary to cope with life’s struggles. I don’t want to think about where I’d be without my friends and family!
2. Start or join a book club
A certain amount of me-time is healthy, but if you find that you’re spending the majority of your time alone, it may be time to add some social activities. Search for a book club in your area and join others in reading a book and getting together at meet-ups to discuss it.
3. Go to Karaoke
If you’re anything like me, you only sing when you’re driving alone in your car. Singing can be a very healing activity even if you don’t think you’re very good. When you’re surrounded by friends, it’s okay that you don’t sound like Adele because neither do they 😉
This is another one of my self-care ideas that I don’t enjoy but I know lots of people who do like karaoke. I’m a ‘sing in the shower’ kinda gal, not a karaoke one.
4. Visit a Rage Room
Rage rooms, also known as smash rooms are the real-life equivalent to the iconic scene in Office Space where the employees take turns smashing the printer. As mentioned earlier under boxing, sometimes we need an outlet for stored anger.
A healthy way to release this anger is through punching or hitting a boxing bag, or in this case, items in a specially-designed rage room.
5. Attend a concert or sporting event
Being in a stadium filled with excited fans is a vibe and there is no denying that. When we lack energy or motivation and feel down, we can feed off others’ energy and it can lift our spirits. This is why doing a group spin class is more motivating to some than hitting the weights alone.
Some people tend to hibernate when they get overwhelmed or stressed out. Getting out and surrounding yourself with fun and outgoing people can have a positive effect on our moods as well
10 spiritual self care activities to try
These activities might not be for you, but you’ll never know unless you try them! Before you scoff something off as ‘frou-frou’ give it a shot. You just never know, you might like it.
- Create a vision board
- See a psychic for a reading
- Try acupuncture
- Get a reflexology foot massage
- Engage in manifestation techniques
- Have your Tarot cards read
- Engage in grounding by placing your feet on the grass
- Cleanse your chakras
Conclusion – 50 self-care ideas
And there you have it, fifty self care ideas for women, men and couples to try today. Always remember that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s a necessity. We must take care of ourselves in order to have the energy to care for others.
Want more? Check out these ideas in my Awesome Global Wellness Day Activities to Boost Your Well-Being. It doesn’t have to be Wellness Day to enjoy them 😉