What are Self Care Sundays?
I tend to spread myself thin trying to make all the things happen. That’s how it is for a lot of us these days, and the Winter season serves as an “opportunity” for self-care. I’ve been doing this thing lately called Self Care Sundays. The idea is that I take time each Sunday to practice self-care. Since this is a day my family usually spends quietly at home, this is the perfect day to reflect on the week, recharge, and take care of myself.
If you are someone who finds yourself feeling down during the winter months, it may help to carve out a day for self-care. In this post I’ll share 25 Self-care ideas for beating the winter blahs! I hope you use a few of them.
What is the Purpose of Self Care?
The purpose of self-care is to take care of yourself. Self-care replenishes your mental and physical energy, which in turn allows you to be more present for yourself and those you love.
I really like the topic of self-care. Why? Well, because most of us do not take care of ourselves. And we wonder why we feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious.
A lot of us tend to push away the idea of self-care because we associate the word “self-care” with those extremely indulgent spa moments that will take a day or two off from work. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s more about taking a step back from our already-busy lives and finding a way to be mindful, slow down and relax.
Ideas for Self Care Sundays
1) Spend Time Outdoors
My number one favorite practices for self care sundays is getting out of the house and connecting with nature which can do wonders for your body and your mind. In fact, the Japanese government has suggested that people get out in the woods, a practice they call shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. It’s more about playing outside than hiking or camping; just spending time with nature is beneficial for your health. A 2010 study found that spending time in nature leads to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure, and a lower pulse rate than spending time in urban settings.
2) Practice Some Yoga
Yoga can be an excellent way to keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy, and is an excellent way to care for yourself on self care sundays. Yoga can improve your health, happiness, and sense of well-being. It enhances self-awareness and strengthens emotional resilience so that you can face challenging situations with ease.
Meditation at home—which is basically being present in the moment—can have several benefits, from relieving pain to relaxing your mind, according to the Cleveland Clinic. There are lots of types of meditation, including mindfulness meditation and using mantras, and guided meditations are a good place to start.
4) Start a Journal
Keeping a journal can be an effective way to keep track of your feelings. As you go through your day, write down your thoughts and feelings. Doing so could help you identify the small victories as well as the true emotions surrounding certain situations and things you need to work on.
5) Plant Something
It turns out that gardening can be a great way to take care of yourself. Many people report that they think more slowly, breathe more calmly, feel less stressed and find happiness in the practice of caring for plants. Caring for another living thing is a positive intention that keeps us grounded in the present. It makes sense that gardeners are some of the happiest people on earth. They report feeling less stressed and more grounded in the present moment because, for them, gardening is self-care.
I love to do a little cleaning and organizing on self care sundays. It sets me up to have a better week knowing that things in my home are in order. Give your home a bit of TLC by throwing out old junk, sorting through things, and creating simple systems. This strategy could have a positive effect on your mind and body.
A recent study found that those who have a cleaner living space tend to be more healthy, find it easier to focus, and are likely to complete other healthy habits like exercising.
7) Cook a Nourishing Meal
Another thing I enjoy on self care sundays is cooking a nourishing meal for myself and my family. It’s common for people to reserve nice meals for memorable dates, celebratory occasions, or special company. However, you can benefit from enjoying a good meal any day. Treating yourself to a nutritious and delicious meal is great for your physical health. Plus, treating yourself to a tasty meal is a great personal reminder that you are worthy of nourishment and special treatment.
It’s important that we love and value ourselves – and a regular exercise program is one of the best gifts of self-love that we can give. Taking time away from ourselves for our busy lives and participating in physical activity is essential to a happy, healthy, and well-balanced life.
Many women report that meeting their own exercise needs bolsters self-esteem and helps them feel good about themselves. Exercise research suggests the positive effects of regular movement on mental health are well documented, and a robust body of evidence shows an association between exercise and decreased rates of depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
9) Take a Long Bath
A long bath to help you relax from the busyness of the week is a great way to de-stress. But it can help to add some self-care ingredients into that bath for added relaxation. Many of these ingredients can be made at home, or are ones that you probably otherwise have in the cupboards. I love indulging in homemade herbal bath soaks, bath teas, and handmade naturally scented herbal soaps.
10) Drink Some Tea
Tea has long been enjoyed for its health benefits—it has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties—and more recently, it’s been recognized as a powerful tool for self-care. Creating tea rituals for self care Sundays is an excellent way to create sacred time in your day.
Tea drinking can be a special and simple practice for self-reflection and for relaxing. Creating a tea ritual for self care Sundays creates time for slowing down, reflecting on our accomplishments and goals, and on the things we are grateful for in life.
11) Light Some Candles
Lighting a candle doesn’t have to just be for ambiance – it can have a positive effect on mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement, self-confidence, and physical and cognitive performance. Clearly, using candles can be a great way to show your body love and improve your health.
12) Make a Simmer Pot
A simmer pot is basically a homemade air freshener made from boiling fragrant pieces of fruits, herbs, and other spices in water.
Simmer pots are a great way to make some aromatic self-care healing brews. Sourcing herbs and other remedies from nature will help you create delightful scents and aromas to elevate your mood, increase feelings of self-love and calm anxiety and stress.
Ready to make your home smell divine? 10 Natural Simmer Pot Recipes for a Fresh Smelling Home is packed with delicious, easy-to-follow recipes that fill the room with beautiful scents.
13) Read a Book
Reading a book is always one of my go-to’s when I need some self-care. Books are an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether it’s a novel, non-fiction read, or collection of poetry, practice some affordable escapism with a good book. Don’t take your mind for granted. Feed it knowledge, soak it in a new world, and expand its horizons.
14) Watch a Movie
One of the things I like to do on self care Sundays is to watch a feel-good movie. I check out the Feel Good movie list on Netflix, every single week. This list is amazing and has led me to a handful of blockbusters that have made my life so much better. So if you’re looking for something uplifting and good feelings (and sometimes a little sappy), this list is worth checking out!
15) Make Time for Hobbies
Hobbies can help reduce stress and even increase happiness. The National Institutes of Health backs up this claim. Self-care — taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health — can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, improve your energy levels and make you feel better overall , the NIH says. Even the time-out you take to pursue your favorite craft can have an impact.
While social media can be a great way to connect with friends and family, too much social media can make you feel lonely, depressed, anxious, and tired. Social media, especially when viewed excessively, can cause feelings of isolation and dissatisfaction with your own life. Deactivating social media for even a day could help you sleep better, improve personal connections and feel better about where you are in life once you stop comparing yourself to others’ social media feeds.
Also, consider turning off your phone for an hour or two, or better yet, the whole day. It can be liberating to put your phone away during a day of rest. You might find it a relief to spend part of a day not answering emails, texts and other messages from your phone.
17) Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are a great way to practice self-care and feel less stressed. Podcasts can benefit your mental health. Humor podcasts and meditation podcasts help you relax and lower your cortisol level, which is the hormone that triggers stress. A 2016 study reveals that listening to narrative stories (much like podcasts) stimulates multiple parts of your brain.
18) Make a Gratitude List
Research suggests that writing down a few sentences every day about things you are grateful for can reduce anxiety and depression and improve your overall well-being.
To experience the uplifting benefits of gratitude, try journaling. In a 2003 study conducted in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 219 participants wrote down a few sentences each week. A control group wrote about what had irritated them, while two other groups wrote about either neutral events or things they were grateful for. People who wrote down the things they were grateful for reported feeling more optimistic and full of energy, as well as exercising more and making fewer complaints about their physical well-being.
19) Listen to an Audiobook
You can engage in self-care by listening to audiobooks about self-care. It’s crucial to make time to care for yourself. Listening to audiobooks on the subject can be a fantastic way to do this. The awesome part is you can listen to them while you’re meditating, cooking, walking the dog or exercising! Simply listening to these books is a way of caring for yourself.
20) Take a Nap
Give yourself permission to nap or sleep longer than usual on self care Sundays. Your body and mental health will thank you.
23) Listen to Music
Music can help you manage stress. Studies show that music can lift your mood by releasing dopamine—a chemical that lifts your mood. Make playlists labeled with words like hope, happy, and calm, so you’re ready for whatever mood strikes you.
24) Say Some Affirmations
Saying positive things to yourself can help you feel better about yourself. Be kind to yourself. Sometimes it’s a good idea to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve learned from both your failures and your successes. Make sure to congratulate yourself on the small things in life, too! Make sure you celebrate your wins and give yourself credit for the good even more than the bad.
25) Sit in Silence
It can be rewarding to take a moment to enjoy the peace and quiet of a quiet space. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not alone, for which we should all be thankful. Some of us need more silence than others, but I think self-care should allow for finding moments of silence. Embrace silence and take a few moments to go within. It can be good for the soul to give yourself time for self-care, even if it’s just for a few minutes.