We all know that looking after ourselves is the key to a happier and healthier life. Investing in our health and wellbeing pays dividends not only for yourself, but those around you can enjoy a more energetic, loving, productive and self-actualised person. But how exactly do you ‘do‘ self-care? Where do you get started? We’ve collected seven simple self-care ideas (say that ten times fast) to get you started. All of these can be done for little or no cost, and in a sustainable fashion. Let’s get started.

1. Be Creative

Being creative is one of the best outlets for the soul. No, you don’t need to be a professional artist to enjoy this activity, nor do you need to go out and buy expensive brushes, paints or equipment to get started. Use whatever you have around you and unleash your creative spirit in whatever way you feel. Sketch on some spare paper, record a tune onto your phone, write a poem or fingerpaint with jam! It’s your artwork and you are the artist, express your creativity in your own style.

A child's hand in front of a canvas filled with blobs and swirls of neon paint.

2. Go Outside

Be it taking a walk around the block or a quick dip outside for some fresh air, sometimes all it takes is a moment away from your current environment to help energise your mind and spirit. Take a break and go outside, leaving your phone behind (if possible) to truly allow yourself the freedom to be present outdoors. Reconnecting with nature is also a wonderful way to catch a few moments of zen and may also prove to be a zone of self-reflection where novel ideas are often born.

A hand brushing by stalks of wheat on a bright, sunny day.

3. Eat Something Healthy

Looking after ourselves also includes what we put in our bodies, so why not choose to fuel yourself with a tasty and nutritious meal? Bonus points if you cook it, and triple points if you share the goodness with someone else. Not only will you feel great in knowing you’ve made a healthy choice, but it may serve as a welcome break from the same-old food you’ve been eating. Why not use this as a chance to be adventurous in the kitchen and add a new meal to the weekly menu! Get creative and see how many colours you can include in your next dish.

A salad bowl filled with colourful fruits, vegetables and grains.

4. Journal

Got an idea? A plan? A dream? Write it down. Take that first step toward making your goals tangible and achievable by journaling your thoughts, it will bring you this much closer to enjoying the outcomes. Or perhaps you are having trouble expressing yourself or letting go of a negative thought cycle? Again, write it down. Let the words flow and see what you discover.

A pen resting on a journal filled with text.

5. Exercise

Time to get sweaty! Perhaps flexibility or strength is more of your thing? Whatever the case, being active is essential to a positive frame of mind. The science is in – data shows that exercise is one of the key factors in fighting age-related mental health issues, showing that the benefits go beyond the immediate endorphin rush post-activity and even further than the mid-term strength, cardiovascular and general health benefits of physical activity. Even a small walk is better than no walk or time spent on the couch. Don’t feel like it right now? Just remember that mood follows action, not the other way around.

A woman wearing fitness clothing adjusting her shoes.

6. Learn Something

You are never too old (or young) to learn a new skill. In fact, right now is the perfect time! Grab a book, jump on the net, go to your library or search for some DIY shows on your streaming service of choice. Invest in your self-care through acquiring knowledge and expanding your mind. You might even become inspired to start a new career or take up a new hobby through what you learn.

Overhead shot of a person sitting on a bed cross-legged surrounded by books and a laptop.

7. Chill Out

Relax. Become zen. Take a moment.

However you can, give yourself some time and space to be free. Free from social media, free from noise, free from distractions. Perhaps by engaging in the previous activities you find yourself becoming more mindful, present and calm. Your mind is the very foundation of ‘self’ and also your greatest asset – treat it kindly and reward it with some goodness, it will reward you right back through clarity of thought and mental wellbeing.

A man relaxing in a hammock overlooking a lake.

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