31 Self-Care Ideas for March
January felt like 3 months and February felt like a week. How is that such a universal truth? Everyone I’ve talked to lately expresses the same sentiment. March is just a couple days away now and I wanted to take some time to follow up on my last post with some actionable ideas for how to spend that alone time I’m encouraging you to carve out for yourself.
Self-care is so important but sometimes it can feel a little daunting. Especially when we’re bombarded with the versions of self-care so prevalent on Instagram. Amil Niazi said it so well: The act of self-care has become yet another thing women are expected to be good at. Did you use the right filter for that ‘gram of your impeccably prepared acai bowl? Are the candles you just lit in your Snap story made from organic hand-poured soy or are they that mass-produced factory shit? And how can we stem the inevitable capitalist tide from turning something as simple as self-care into yet another thing to be bought and sold? These are all things I wrestle with as I order Dominos in sweatpants under the guise of ‘being good to myself.’
Personally, I’ve caught myself ‘curating’ how I share my self-care experiences. For example, instead of Instagramming that I’m watching YouTube videos of sea otters while I sip my chamomile tea, I caught myself going to post a photo of just my tea. Immediately, I deleted the post and had a long talk with myself about why I felt compelled to do that.
Amil is right. Self-care can often feel performative, like we’re just doing it because we’re supposed to. It’s important to ask yourself whether your acts of self-care are really filling you up and fueling your joy, or if they’ve become yet another task on your never-ending to-do list?
With all that said, here are 31 self-care ideas you can try in March. But…don’t take these 31 ideas as some kind of self-care challenge. They are not, I promise. You will not be tested on how well you did crossing all these items off of your self-care checklist. They are merely ideas to help you find that space between doing and being, so you can feel more you.
It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people. — Brianna Wiest for Thought Catalog
- Curl up with a thick blanket, a mug of peppermint tea, and a good book. Put your phone on airplane mode and read for as long as you have time to. Might I suggest Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward? It’s riveting.
- Make a gratitude list of all the people in your life who love you and lift you up. You can send them a sweet thank you text, if you feel so called.
- Do the dishes. Really. Self-care isn’t just about fluffy activities. It can also mean crossing things off your to-do list, like dishes. Having a clean, empty sink will help lift your spirits, if only slightly.
- Paint your nails. No need to go to a salon if that feels like too much work/money. Get some quick drying nail polish (this is what I’m currently using) and give yourself a quick coat at home. You’ll feel like a million bucks.
- Say affirmations out loud. Whatever negative thoughts are floating around in your mind, reverse them by creating an alternate positive thought. You will probably feel silly as hell at first but affirmations work.
- Drink a glass of water. There, now you’re more hydrated than you were a moment ago.
- Take a look at where you’re spending your money. Can this be scary if you’ve been avoiding it? Yes. But it’s also a huge relief to know. Consider this an act of financial self-care. Your future self (and bank account) will thank you for it.
- Clean out your closet. Get rid of items you don’t feel like a goddess/rockstar/badass in. Take them to a local shelter — the people there will get far more use out of them than you are. Plus, did you know that most clothing donated to thrift stores ends up in landfills or the ocean? Fish don’t want your old Lululemon, just saying. You’ll feel good about having less clothing that doesn’t thrill you and you’ll be doing something good for your community, too.
- Take 5 minutes to sit and look out a window. No agenda, just watch the world go by.
- Eat a cookie. Eat two cookies. Eat four fucking cookies. You literally do only live once, why not enjoy some cookies?
- Make a list of all the tasks you’ve been avoiding. Do at least one of them right now. You will feel so much better, I promise.
- Go outside without shoes on. Stand in the dirt and feel connected to this beautiful planet we live on. Even just a few minutes of fresh air can help you feel more grounded.
- Cut out one thing from your life that you know is not bringing you joy or serving your highest good. It can be your Netflix-bingeing habit, the booty call you keep going back to even though you’re not really getting your needs met from it, or your own story about something in your life. Decide you’re done, and then take whatever action you need to to see that through.
- Tell yourself the truth about something, even if it’s hard.
- Make a list of all the ways you’ve let yourself down. Anything that comes up, no matter how insignificant or irrelevant you think it is, write it down. Go back through the list and call up the feelings as best you can for each one. Then, forgive yourself and let it go so you can move forward.
- Blast Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings and embody the version of yourself that relates to that song, and the message behind it.
- Make a list of all the achievements you’ve made in your lifetime, big or small. Put it somewhere you’ll see it regularly.
- Remind yourself that there is no deadline for success, and that success looks different to everyone. You get to decide for yourself what makes you successful. You are not falling behind. You are right on time.
- Decide to binge watch a show you’ve been wanting to see. Shut down any guilt or shame around it. It’s ok to not be productive all of the time.
- Make yourself dinner. And I don’t mean cereal. Cook yourself real food, even if it’s something simple. Nourishing your body with nutrients is the most basic and necessary act of self-care.
- Breathe in for four counts. Hold for four counts. Exhale for four counts. Repeat as many times as feels good.
- Delete your social media apps off your phone for the day. Your accounts will still be there tomorrow and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get lost in living when you’re not glued to your phone.
- Take a nice long bath or shower.
- Write a letter to someone you’re angry at, or have unresolved issues with. Don’t send it. Just write it and observe how you feel afterward.
- Get rid of books you have no plans to read, or no plans to read again. Gift them to someone else.
- Take a trip to your local library. Borrow a book. If you don’t have a library card, go get one.
- Scream as loud as you can into a pillow. Or get in your car, crank up the music, and scream. I cannot begin to tell you how much better I feel when I do this.
- Go to Lush and try all the sample products. If you have the means, walk away with a couple bath bombs and plan a time to soak away your stress.
- Buy yourself a latte from Starbucks (or a local coffee shop). Enjoy every sip of that expensive elixir.
- Volunteer at an animal sanctuary or pet shelter. Being around and helping care for animals is a truly life-affirming experience.
- Give yourself the luxury of ease before you start your day. Whether that means doing your hair and makeup, meditating, journaling, working out, or something else, taking care of you in the morning is the best way to kick off your day.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these, or what your favorite self-care activities are.
Originally published on christinavanvuren.com