ODI Monthly Newsletter

What is Self Care?

Self-care is any activity that you intentionally do to take care of your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It’s all about taking care of yourself and doing things that improve your mood and reduce anxiety; maintaining optimal wellbeing and personal health while working on self-development and improvement.

As a rule of thumb, you want to fill your self-care routine with self-care ideas that cater to the following categories:

  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Physical

53 Powerful Self Care Ideas

Now let’s move onto the good stuff – the powerful self-care ideas you can do to fill up your week – and life – to improve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. So, go through the list and see what appeals to you.

Psst: Our anxiety subscription boxes are all about self-care, self-help, self-development, and feeling great!

Emotional Self Care Ideas

1. Do something that makes you happy

2. Practice breathing techniques

3. Share only positive things on your social media

4. Do some adult coloring to alleviate stress and anxiety

5. Try mindfulness exercises

6. Repeat positive affirmations

7. Define new goals each week

8. Write, write, write (journaling, poetry, bullet journals, etc.)

9. Create an inspirational collage or Pinterest board

10. Allow yourself to express all of your emotions in a safe (and appropriate) environment (journaling is also great for this)

11. Do something nice for someone else without expecting reciprocation

12. Refrain from being overly critical of yourself

13. Unfollow or mute toxic people on social media

14. Do something creative to release your fear, anxiety, frustration, etc.

15. Write a letter to people who have hurt you, then burn the letter and let it all go

16. Declutter and clean up your living space

Mental Self Care Ideas

17. Avoid toxic people

18. Take a guilt-free nap

19. Challenge your negative thinking

20. Practice saying “no”

21. Do a workbook for mental health

22. Change up your routine and try something new

23. Turn into binaural tones to rewire your brain

24. Read a book

25. Meditate for 7 minutes

26. Try a new hobby

27. Schedule “me time” into your calendar

28. Reward yourself

29. Use adult coloring to unwind and release stress and anxiety

30. Goof around

31. Identify your triggers or warning signs that self-care is needed

32. Listen to a podcast

33. Do something spontaneous

34. Unplug from technology for at least an hour

35. Take a mental health day

36. Create a to-do list to help clear the mind

37. Declutter and clean up

38. Make a playlist based on your current mood

38. Start a journal to release your thoughts and emotions

Physical Self Care Ideas

39. Start stretching

40. Do some breathing exercises

41. Go for a brisk walk around the block

43. Do yoga catered to self care

44. Stay hydrated

45. Workout and work out all your emotions

46. Get a massage

47. Spend some time in nature alone

48. Scream loudly into a pillow to let it all out

49. Dance

50. Sleep in

51. Use a foam roller to release tension

52. Get up, get ready, and be prepared for the day

53. Try acupuncture

Originally published at anxiety-gone.com.

Coping with Corona Virus…   From Harvard Medical School


Have Fun at Home Fun things to do to unplug

1)    Play A Board Game

2)    Watch A Funny Movie Together

3)    Cook a meal together

4)    Group Exercise

5)    Rearrange the Furniture in your House

6)    Talk to each other about things that matter



If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed by it all, be reassured that this is a very normal response. However, it’s important to go easy on yourself and to take time for self-care. We’ve put together this list of self-care activities that you can do from home. They’ll help you feel a little better and give you a sense of control during a very uncertain time.


1. Stay active

It’s pretty well known that exercise is really good for both our physical and mental health. There are heaps of different types of exercise you can do from home, thanks to YouTube and apps. We’ve listed a few free ones (share your tips for others on the ReachOut Forums), or continue doing whatever works for you.

  • Yoga with Adrienne is a well-loved yoga channel, with over six million subscribers. She’s quirky and down-to-earth and offers yoga classes lasting from five minutes to an hour.
  • Nike Training Club can help you stay active during this time by offering heaps of free workouts you can do from home. It also features wellness and nutrition guidance from experts.
  • Seven – 7 Minute Workout app (iOS and Android). These seven-minute workouts are based on scientific studies and are designed to provide the maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time. You can also link up with friends in the app to encourage each other (or, let’s be honest, compete!) – it’s a great way to stay connected. If you play sport and your games and training have been canceled, you could consider linking up with your team on this app.

These are just three ideas, do whatever works for you.


2. Take 10 to be zen

When we’re stressed about something (such as coronavirus), our thoughts tend to speed up. Taking 10 minutes or so to practice mindfulness can help produce a sense of calmness. If you don’t get what mindfulness is all about, check out our WTF is mindfulness meditation.

Here are some suggestions for free mindfulness apps to try:

  • Insight Timer has over 25,000 free guided meditations, from 1 to 90+ minutes. Try searching by a topic that interests you (e.g. stress, learning to meditate, sleep).
  • Smiling Mind might be a good option if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by choice. The meditations are organized by structured programs, such as Mindful Foundations, Sleep, Relationships, etc.
  • If meditation isn’t for you, try doing an everyday activity in a mindful way – in other words, put aside distractions and focus fully on one small task. For example, while you’re having a cup of tea, pay attention to your senses (the smell of the tea, the warmth of the cup in your hand, the taste…).


3. Chat with your friends

Even if an in-person meet-up is off the table, try to stay in touch with your mates via text, Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime, or (gasp!) a good ol’ fashioned phone call. Ask them how they’re feeling and share your own experience if you feel safe to do so.

Check out our article on 5 steps to talking to someone you trust. You could even start a group chat where each person shares one good thing that happened in their day.


4. Check out our forums

If you’re feeling (or literally are) isolated, jump on to our online forums. ReachOut Forums are a safe, supportive, and anonymous space where you can chat with other young people. If you’re struggling, check out the thread Today I am having a tough time because… Or share what you’re doing for self-care in the thread Today I practiced self care by...


5. Make a homemade meal

Good nutrition is always important, but during stressful times there’s nothing better than a tasty, healthy homemade meal – especially if you made it yourself. You could ask a friend or family member for their favorite recipe, or check out Taste’s easy recipes section. See our article on how to make healthy food choices for some tips.

For many people, it may be challenging to get some ingredients at the moment. If you’re running low or not able to get certain things, it’s totally fine to keep it really simple. You could also get creative with substitutions or Google ‘[ingredient] substitute’ for ideas.


6. Take a break from the news

Between the news and social media, we’re all feeling saturated by coronavirus updates right now. It’s important to stay informed, but try to limit your media intake to a couple of times a day and use trusted news sources. If you catch yourself turning to social media because you’re feeling isolated, take a break and spend time on another activity, such as those we’ve suggested here.


7. Make a music playlist

Music can make us feel so much better. Hop on Spotify and make a playlist with your favorite songs. You could make a group playlist and ask your friends to add five of their favorite songs as well. If you want to get fancy, you could make several playlists for different moods/vibes (e.g. rainy day, feeling happy, etc.).


8. Declutter for five minutes

If you’re suddenly spending a lot more time at home, it can help to have an environment that feels good to you. Instead of getting all Marie Kondo and trying to overhaul your whole space in a day, try decluttering for five mins a day. Pick a shelf to start with, or pick up five things and find a home for them. For more five-minute decluttering tips, check out this article.


9. Watch or read something uplifting

Distraction can be a good thing. Watch something that you find uplifting and allow yourself to zone out from what’s going on in the world. Some suggestions include The Good Place and Brooklyn 99 on Netflix, or The Bold Type and Family Guy on Stan.

YouTube is a great option too, plus we’ve put together this collection of different relaxing videos that are sure to help you chill out. If reading is more your thing, go to your bookshelf and choose an old favorite or something you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, or if you don’t have physical books then e-books are a great option.


10. Learn something new

Have you wanted to get into drawing or learning a musical instrument? Now’s a great time to make a start. If you want to learn a new language, Duolingo is an awesome free language learning program you can access from your computer or phone. YouTube has great free online tutorials for pretty much everything.



Here are 7 Spiritual Self-Care Tips to help you maintain inner peace for your body and soul this in this stressful time.

1- Take Time Outs;

There’s nothing like gathering family and friends in one place to remind us of the sweetest things in life. And there’s nothing like gathering family and friends in one place to test your triggers, bring up old hurts and bring out your inner five-year-old, tantrums and foot-stomping included.

The best gift you can give yourself is to set up a pre-game strategy of taking well-placed time-outs.

Give yourself permission to tag out and find pockets of peace and quiet. Here are a few ideas include:

  • Take a walk outside to reset your inner peace.
  • Lie down in a quiet room with peaceful music.
  • Remove yourself from a conversation that might be getting heated and take a few minutes to breathe deeply. Be honest when this happens so you can model peaceful behavior.
  • Don’t drink too much to numb yourself, instead commit to giving yourself these pockets of peace and reset your well-being.

2- Say YES more;

Sometimes during the holiday season, we can already assume overwhelm before it arrives. The truth is, being around positive happy friends in the spirit of simple gratitude and celebration is like hot cocoa for the soul.

Say yes to hosting, initiating, and inviting dear friends or those you would like to get to know better. Simple celebrations don’t take much effort and pay large dividends of joy, laughter, and inner well-being.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Invite a few friends for hot cocoa and cookies.
  • Gather a few friends to co-host a pot-luck brunch or breakfast where you brainstorm ways to do some acts of service in your community for those who have less.
  • Start a new tradition with a new gratitude practice like delivering meals to the homeless or to local retirement homes. These acts will warm your heart, add love to the world, and put the focus back on people instead of stuff.

3 - Say NO more;

I know I know. I just said to say YES more. But this is important too, so listen up. One of the main reasons we tend to experience overwhelm during the holidays is because we try to make everyone happy and say yes to things we truly don’t want to do.

Sometimes we have a hard time saying no to someone at the moment. One Self-Care strategy that I teach my clients when it comes to learning the art of the graceful no is to say, “I’ll have to think about that.” Now, if you already know that your answer is no, it’s ok to say, “no thank you, that won’t work for me.” And don’t feel like you have to explain yourself. No is a complete sentence.

If you’re undecided, ask for some time to think about it. Usually, a bit of space and time is enough to hear your inner GPS response.

Trust yourself and give yourself permission to say, “no thank you.”

4 - Take Time to Sparkle;

My mom always says, “Honey, when you put on some sparkly earrings, everything seems better.” I used to laugh at that and think it was silly. But now I know better. When you take some extra time to sparkle yourself up, you really do feel better. The reason is not just that sparkle makes everyone happy. The reason this is important is because as women and moms, we tend to give time and energy to all those around us.

We’re good at giving to others. But when it comes to taking time for YOU, there’s always a sense of ‘cutting corners’ and ‘good enough’.

This season {and beyond}, I invite you to take an extra 5 minutes to put on that mascara, do your hair, or put on those sparkly earrings. YOU are worth your time. And from that place of nourishment, you’ll have even more energy and love to give to others.

5 - Hugs for the win;

In this modern era, we can mistake Facebook messages or emails as intimacy. And while we can build relationships online, there’s one critical element that is missing... the human touch.

There’s something SO beautiful about holding a hand, reaching out to someone you love, and getting a real-life-hug. When you get or give a hug, your body releases happy chemicals and you can feel yourself release tension in a way that is built into our human-ness.

There is no replacement for human touch. So how do we get it? Ask. I know it might feel a bit weird, but next time you’re with a friend, simply ask for a hug. Or better yet, become a hugging friend. That’s what I am. One caveat ... not everyone is as comfortable with hugs as I am. So you may have to learn to be comfortable with the occasional no as a response.

I have yet to hear a no when I offer a hug, and I never say no to one from a friend or loved one. Please use caution when you’re with strangers, not everyone wants to hug a stranger. Use your good common sense of inner wisdom to guide you.

6 - Embrace the Chaos;

Sometimes we suffer because we resist what is happening around us. Or we get so caught up in the house being perfectly clean and tidy before guests arrive. This type of control can raise the level of stress and tension for everyone.

What if you simply decided that you’re ok with a 5% increase in chaos around you?

Some of the results may include: more laughter, more play, a house well-loved and lived in.

Sometimes we can take ourselves so seriously that we forget to actually enjoy the moment we're working so hard to create. So this year, give yourself permission to embrace the chaos.

7- Grow Your Gratitude Muscle;

Gratitude is not a seasonal activity. Gratitude is a daily muscle that we can work on building all year long. One simple practice that I’ve done for years now is to keep a simple journal dedicated to gratitude. Sometimes I write down 3-5 things I’m grateful for each day. And sometimes I challenge myself to write 20 or 30. That’s when I get to the good stuff.

I invite you to create your own daily gratitude practice.