During February, that sweet, short month bursting with 28 days of groundhogs and valentines and discourse of great presidents, I have decided to take on a challenge. My mind needs soothing. My heart needs comfort. My aching body needs support. I have gathered a list of 50 mindful self-care activities. During the next month I will choose one each day, complete it, and then write a short blog post pondering the benefits such tasks have on my mental and physical health. I will also be addressing my triggers. What flames my anxiety and pain, and what can I do to lessen or even avoid them?
Let the journey begin. If you want to follow me, I will be posting daily on my blog www.drunkonloveinthe.kitchen and on my Medium account at https://medium.com/@christieshumatemcelwee. If you want to join me on this mindful odyssey, comment on your own experiences. Who knows what we will discover together?
List of 50 Mindful Self-Care Activities:
(List ideas came from two articles on mindbodygreen.com: “30 Days of Self Care: Your Guide” by Danielle Orner and “28 Easy Self-Care Practices Anyone Can Do” by Rachel Gibbs)
1 Take a long evening walk.
2 Listen to my favorite album/set list with the lights low and a candle burning.
3 Dance — by myself, in the kitchen, in a class, out on the town.
4 Write in my journal.
5 Make a meal, set the table, and enjoy without distraction.
6 Go to my favorite coffee shop and order a special drink in a mug.
7 Snuggle a pet.
8 Visit a museum or an art gallery.
9 Draw or paint.
10 Do a favorite activity from childhood (color in a coloring book, swing on a swing-set, play with Barbies).
12 Spend time on a hobby.
13 Practice yoga.
14 Bake, just for the sake of it.
15 Meet up with someone who makes me feel supported.
16 Watch a funny film or a beloved classic.
17 Take a picnic or have breakfast in bed.
18 Reread a beloved book.
19 Knit, do a crossword puzzle, or play an instrument.
20 Try something fun or relaxing I have always wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to yet.
21 Sit in nature.
22 Enjoy a hot tub or sauna.
23 Get a massage.
24 Watch the sunset or sunrise.
26 Use aromatherapy.
27 Mindfully, eat some dark chocolate or fresh berries.
28 Write a letter or send a card.
29 Pay it forward or contribute to a favorite charity.
30 Try a new recipe, something challenging or foreign.
31 Play with a child.
32 Go to the park.
33 Go on a walk.
34 Try something new where I am not in control or the expert.
35 Visit a family member and get coffee.
36 Organize my books and sell or give away the ones I don’t want anymore.
37 Turn off my computer, tablet, and cell phone for two hours or longer.
38 Watch a favorite movie.
39 Spend time at the library or a bookstore.
40 Get a manicure/pedicure.
41 Get lost in a magazine or a book.
42 Try a guided meditation.
43 Visit a new restaurant.
44 Read for pleasure.
45 Eat alone at a restaurant.
46 Walk around a favorite store without buying anything.
47 Pick up the phone and call an old friend.
48 Be a tourist in my own town.
49 Start a gratitude journal.
50 Take a day trip to a new location.
“Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” – Thomas Carlyle
“Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners.” – William Shakespeare
“Allow yourself to enjoy each happy moment in your life.” – Steve Maraboli