100 Self-Care Ideas

Last week, I kicked off an experiment called the Self Care Project. It is a simple idea: give 50 Detroit-based activists $500 each for self care. No strings attached.

Even though there was only a 5-day application window, 347 local activists, organizers, and change-makers applied for the award and they proposed a wide range of self-care practices.

In addition to the applications, a number of people said to us directly (and indirectly via social media) that they were too busy, overwhelmed, or exhausted to consider self-care. Specifically, we heard:

“I don’t know where to start.”

“I really need this, but I have no idea what I would do” and

“I’m too busy to even think about self-care.”

Needless to say, the more we heard these sentiments, the more we realized how important it is to create a resource list of self-care ideas so that anyone who needs it, has a place to start.

Once my project team got into the applications, we realized that they were a ready-made treasure trove of self-care ideas. And a list of specific and concrete self care activities is a great starting point for those who are feeling too spent to come up with fresh and original ideas.

So if you’re looking for ways to practice wellness, here are the Top 100 list of ideas submitted to the Self Care Project:

  1. Acupuncture
  2. Aromatherapy
  3. Art therapy
  4. Assistant (hiring one)
  5. Being still
  6. Bed & Breakfast/hotel getaway
  7. Bed and/or bedding replacement (for deep sleep at home)
  8. Bonding time with friends and family
  9. Books/reading
  10. Childcare
  11. Chiropractic services
  12. Classes (hobbies, new skills, interests)
  13. Clothes
  14. Coaching (life coaching, leadership coaching, wellness coaching)
  15. Colonic
  16. Conferences (personal or professional development)
  17. Cooking (healthy, at home, take classes)
  18. Cranial sacral therapy
  19. Cross fit
  20. Crying
  21. Cupping
  22. Dancing (spontaneous, take classes, studio membership)
  23. Date night
  24. Day off (with no plans or responsibilities)
  25. D├ęcor (for home)
  26. Detox (from food, toxic people, environmental stressors)
  27. Dinner at a new/favorite restaurant
  28. Doula (hire one, learn to be one)
  29. Eldercare
  30. Essential oils
  31. Exercise (classes, equipment, gym membership)
  32. Facial
  33. Flotation therapy
  34. Furniture (for relaxation, socializing, gathering at home)
  35. Gardening
  36. Goal setting
  37. Group therapy
  38. Hair services
  39. Headphones
  40. Healer (see one, learn to become one)
  41. Healing circle
  42. Hobby equipment
  43. Hobbies (learning a new one, taking classes related to one, enjoying an existing one without guilt)
  44. Hosting a gathering
  45. Housecleaner (hiring one)
  46. Journaling
  47. Juicer/juicing
  48. Leadership development (course, workshop, online class, or reading)
  49. Laughing
  50. Learning (new skill or deepen an existing one)
  51. Library Card
  52. Makeover
  53. Manicure/pedicure
  54. Massage
  55. Meditation
  56. Meditation app
  57. Mental Health Gym
  58. Mentor (find one, call one, take one to lunch)
  59. Movies
  60. Museum
  61. Music (play some, acquire equipment, attend a concert)
  62. Nature (get into it)
  63. Pajama party/sleepover with friends
  64. Passion Planner
  65. Personal trainer
  66. Reiki
  67. Retreat
  68. Sabbath day
  69. Sacred space (creating meditation, yoga, reflection space at home)
  70. Savings/emergency fund (start or add to one)
  71. Self-defense classes
  72. Self-development (conference, class, reading, group)
  73. Set boundaries
  74. Sex toys
  75. Shoes
  76. Silent retreat
  77. Siting with an elder
  78. Sleeping, resting, and napping
  79. Social media/technology fast
  80. Somatics
  81. Spa day
  82. Spiritual healing
  83. Sports (play or watch live)
  84. Staycation
  85. Tai chi
  86. Tea
  87. The Alcohol Experiment
  88. Theater
  89. Therapy
  90. Travel to new places
  91. Vacation (relaxation only)
  92. Visit family, friends, comrades
  93. Vision board (make one, host a party)
  94. Vitamins and supplements
  95. Water (be near, in, or on it)
  96. Weed
  97. Wine
  98. Winter gear
  99. Writing
  100. Yoga (Bikram, Hatha, Kundalini, Trap yoga…)

If you’re curious about the outcome of Self Care Project, stay tuned. We’re notifying the award winners on October 15th!

Until then, I hope this list will help you get started, expand, re-evaluate or re-think your self-care practice.


Kerry Ann

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