How do you practice self-care? Self-care is extremely important whether you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia or not. It’s true when they say you can’t pour from an empty cup. Fill your cup with the following self-care ideas!
Burnt out from living with one or more chronic illnesses? Here are 28 self-care ideas that will add a little joy to your day!
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1. Drink plenty of water
I know this doesn’t sound like much of a self-care “treat”, but it is for your body!
Water helps maintain the balance of your body fluids, energizes muscles, and makes your skin look good!
2. Take a bubble bath
Fill your tub, light some candles, turn on some soothing music, and relax.
3. Call a friend and enjoy a self-care happy hour!
Carve out time to have a phone date with a friend.
Hearing my besties voice at least once a month makes up for us not being able to hang out in person.
Whether your friend lives nearby or out of state, a phone date is an easy way to make time for each other.
4. Go stargazing
Go outside and watch the stars.
If you have the energy, get out of the city. Go where the stars shine bright. For fun, try to spot various constellations.
5. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate
6. Spend some time in the sun
I get that not everyone lives where it is nice enough to sit outside during the month of February, but there are still ways to soak up some sunshine.
If you can’t sit outside, try sitting by a window that allows the sun to pour into your home. Open your curtains, let light into your house. Other options include light therapy.
7. Start a self-care journal
Journaling can be done in various ways. You can use it as a way to share your life story with future generations, to release your fears or anger, to keep track of your daily wins, or to learn more about your body and behavior to possibly prevent some nasty flares.
8. Practice self-care with a nap
Yes, I know that those of you with chronic illnesses take a lot of naps. But when was the last time you took one just because you wanted to?
9. Warm your pajamas in the dryer for a few minutes before putting them on.
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated, it could be as simple as putting on pajamas that have been just been pulled from the dryer!
10. Get dressed up for no reason
During the years that were spent in bed and even now with working from home, I don’t really have a reason to dress up. Every once in a while I will put on a fancy dress just to feel good about myself, even though I have no plans to leave the house.
11. Spend the day in your pajamas for no reason
If you are like I was before getting my chronic pain mostly under control, you probably spend most of your days in your pajamas. However, have you done it because you wanted to?
I find there is a huge difference in how I feel about myself when I am being forced by my illnesses to do something rather than when I choose to do the same thing.
12. Donate items you no longer use
I used to decorate my home with all kinds of knickknacks and trinkets. But after chronic pain entered my life, I didn’t have the energy to keep up with dusting or cleaning all the items I had out. Nor did I have the energy to sort through drawers or closets trying to find what I needed.
Purging my home of what I no longer used and decluttering my space simplified my life. It takes less time and energy to clean and I no longer have to go hunting for the items I do use.
Whether it be going for a run, walk, practicing yoga, or tai chi, do something good for your body. There are many options for doing yoga while seated. If chronic pain is preventing you from exercising or you are looking for an alternative to opioids, click here to check out a drug-free pain relief option that took my pain management plan to a whole new level of awesome.
14. Get a mani-pedi
Make an appointment at your local salon/spa or do it yourself. Having well-manicured fingernails and toenails always makes me feel better about myself.
15. Plan a spa day
Book yourself a day or afternoon at a spa. Schedule a facial, massage, or both. Can’t afford a spa day? Invite a friend over or have one by yourself at home. Purchase face masks, soak your feet, sip champagne, and nibble on some fruits and cheese!
16. Read a book
When is the last time that you made time to get lost in a book? Re-read a favorite or dive into a new one.
17. Become a self-care dancing queen!
18. Enjoy a smoothie
It doesn’t matter if you make it yourself or pick one up from Juice it Up, treat your body and taste buds to a delicious smoothie. Just make sure to take the time to savor and enjoy it.
19. Make a memory jar
Throughout the year, whenever I have a moment that makes me smile or jump with joy, I jot it down and place it in what I call my joy jar. Then at the end of the year, I go through it and am once again reminded of the good in my life. Click here to learn more about it and how to make your own.
20. Binge your favorite show
Sometimes the perfect self-care day is spent doing nothing but binge-watching your favorite show. I prefer binge-watching versus viewing a series once a week. It’s like watching a long movie!
21. Practice self-care with words, write yourself a love letter
It is easy to forget what we like about ourselves. Take some time to write a letter reminding yourself of all the reasons you love you!
22. Watch a comedy
When I need to escape, I like to get lost in a comedy. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.
23. Tidy up one corner of a room
Fully cleaning a room is typically too much for the chronically ill. Instead, try doing a corner of one room today, then another tomorrow, and so on. In time you will have tackled every corner without killing yourself and you will go to bed each night with a sense of accomplishment.
24. Make time for a hobby or try a new one
When is the last time you enjoyed your hobby? Maybe you gave it up or were forced to because your body wouldn’t allow you to do it anymore. Either way, make time to resume a hobby or try something new. Who knows, it may provide a distraction from pain.
25. Take a social media break
Every once in a while, I practice self-care by taking a mini social media break. Sometimes it is just a day, but when I find that my social media feed is fueling my anxiety and depression I take two or more days off. I don’t make a big deal about it, in fact, I never announce it. I just don’t open the app, post, or comment.
26. Create an uplifting playlist
Fill your playlist with songs that make you smile, tap your toes, dance, and sing out loud!
27. Practice self-care with a good cry
Most people would never know this about me, but I love a good cry. I love having the house to myself, watching a sappy movie, and just letting myself bawl like a baby. Having an occasional cry is why I am able to be as happy as I am most days. It is liberating to release the anger and sadness that chronic illness cause. Can’t get time alone? Grab a Bluetooth speaker, crank some tunes, take a long shower, and let those tears flow!!
28. Unfollow toxic people on social media
Practicing self-care includes setting emotional boundaries. One way to protect yourself on social media is to stop following people who are always angry, picking fights, or are emotionally abusive. You become what you are exposed to the most. Instead, follow people who inspire and uplift you.
How will you practice self-care today?