Self Care Activities to Try This Week
Self care might just be the internet’s new favorite buzzword. The demand for self care activities for adults is soaring and for good reason—stress has become a daily challenge for many people.
A 2018 survey by Everyday Health found that one-third of doctor’s visits are related to stress. The National Institute of Mental Health reports stress contributes to serious physical health problems, like heart disease, diabetes and mental disorders, like depression and anxiety.
To restore a sense of calm and control, people are turning to different self care practices. This guide can provide you with self care activities for each day of the week so you can build a sustainable and rewarding wellness routine—whether you're a newbie or self care guru.
So light a candle and throw on a face mask as you learn how to boost your routine with these daily self care activities for adults of all ages.
What Does Self Care Really Mean?
Dr. Maria Baratta, chair of the NASW Private Practice Section Committee, defines self care as the process of paying attention to yourself to ensure all of your needs are being cared for. That might seem pretty simple, but you’d be surprised how often people neglect their most basic needs.
What Are Our Basic Needs? Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed that human needs fall into a set number of categories and that these categories form a hierarchy. Maslow defines them as:
- Physical: the need for air, water, food, rest, health
- Security: the need for safety, shelter, stability
- Social: the need for being loved, belonging, inclusion
- Ego: the need for self-esteem, power, recognition, prestige
- Self-Actualization: the need for development, creativity
This hierarchy of needs is organized in a five-level pyramid because Maslow theorized that if you were not meeting your basic needs, you would not be able to achieve self-actualization and personal growth.
Skimping on the essentials of food, water, and rest is easier than you think. Think about it: have you ever skipped breakfast because you were running late for your bus or worked late instead of enjoying a good night’s sleep? Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but if you’re constantly forgetting to address your basic needs, your goals and health will probably suffer.
We designed this collection of self care tips and activities so that you can find a little time everyday to prioritize yourself and your own needs.
With practice, you’ll find yourself on the road to self-actualization and personal fulfillment.
Self Care Activities
When you think of self care activities, you probably default to trendy rituals like a sheet mask or fragrant candle. But self care is a vast and beautiful spectrum. It can be anything from a daily probiotic supplement that supports your gut health to setting firm boundaries with your boss who always calls after hours.
If it supports your overall mental or physical health, it’s self care.
To that end, below we’ve outlined different activities—broken down by day of the week—to jog your creativity.
Monday, Funday: Get Moving
Start the week out strong by moving your body! Jump into the week with some physical self care activities. The benefits of physical activity likely come as no surprise. Exercise can help:
- Improve your mood
- Enhance your sleep
- Increase your energy
- Prevent disease
Despite the known benefits, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to exercise. So start light and work your way up to a regular routine. According to The World Health Organization, you can start with just 10 minutes a day of aerobic activity.
These activities can be anything, like:
- Going for a hike
- Attending a yoga or spin class
- Walking the neighborhood
- Swimming laps at the community pool
But aerobic activity doesn’t have to be so formal. Here are some suggestions for fun and simple ways to squeeze in 10 minutes of exercise throughout your day.
Dance Your Heart Out
Pick your three favorite songs and dance it out. Imagine you’re grooving and shaking at your favorite dance club. Your heart rate will go up, you’ll have a little fun, and who knows, you might just nail some new moves for the next time you hit the town.
Throwback to the Schoolyard with a Jump Rope
Grab a jump rope, and start jumping. Too easy? Challenge yourself to throw in some tricks. You’ll work up a quick sweat, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to the playground.
Retro’s back in style and so are roller skates. Grab your old skates from the eighties and blade around your neighborhood or local park. Don’t forget kneepads and a helmet.
Tasty Tuesday: Eat Up
After working up a sweat on Monday, you’ll probably be extra hungry on Tuesday. Channel that hunger into a new meal. The benefits of eating a varied diet speak for themselves. When experts say to eat the rainbow, they mean it. That’s because no single food provides every nutrient your body needs.
Take this opportunity to put some love and care into your meals. Pick a healthy recipe you’ve always wanted to try and go to town on organic, whole food ingredients. If you want to know how to eat clean, check out our blog for healthy and delicious recipes. If you need extra help focusing this week, try fueling your body with different food for brain power. You really are what you eat!
Once you’ve found your chosen recipe, pour a glass of sparkling water, turn up the tunes, and savor the cooking process. The time and effort you put into a nourishing meal will feed your body and your soul for the rest of the week.
If you need help focusing this week, try fueling your body with food for brain power.
Whine Wednesday: Let It All Out
Mental self care is important too. Stress, frustration, and disappointment are a natural part of life. And sometimes, talking about these feelings can help balance out your mood and improve your emotional health. In fact, research from 2017 found that complaining can help us process negative emotions and even strengthen bonds with others.
Enlist a friend and schedule a vent session. You can talk on the phone or meet in person and go for a walk while you express yourself. Either way, use this as an opportunity to bond and let go of the stress of the week.
Additionally, if you’ve been feeling a bit blue, there are plenty of online resources you can use to nurture your mental health. Today, a helpful, empathic, and effective therapist is just a phone call away.
If you are feeling stressed and don’t necessarily want to talk it out, you can also practice mindfulness in many different ways. You can do some breathing exercises, practice yoga, or meditate. If you have never meditated before, be sure to check out our blog on how to meditate properly.
Thirsty Thursday: Hydrate
Put down the kombucha, coffee, or cocktail and grab a glass of water. The Mayo Clinic recommends women drink a minimum of 11.5 cups of water a day and men drink a minimum of 15.5 cups of water a day. The benefits of drinking enough water include:
- Regulating body temperature
- Protecting organ and tissues
- Carrying nutrients
- Lubricating joints
- Flushing out waste products
An effective way to stay hydrated is by purchasing a reusable water bottle. If you know how many cups of water fill it to capacity, you can keep track of your hydration intake.
Freebie Friday: Focus on What You Need
By Friday, you’ll be a master at self care. After the past four days of completing these self care activities, you can identify which tiers in your hierarchy need an extra dose of TLC.
In which case, use this time to complete a self care audit.
Have you been barely managing six hours of sleep each night? Do you have 50 unanswered texts from friends and family? Is your reusable water bottle still full to the brim?
After you complete your self care assessment, use this time to focus on your wellbeing. Catch up on your wellness goals so you can launch into the weekend fully recharged.
Social Saturday: Have Fun With Friends
Schedule some time on Saturday to socialize with friends or family. It’s not just fun; it’s good for your health. According to Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a psychologist at the Mayo Clinic, humans are social animals by nature, so community is key to mind-body wellness. In fact, socializing can boost your memory and cognitive skills and increase your happiness.
If you’re looking to build more relationships, there are countless resources for you to meet like-minded people. Consider joining:
- A bookclub
- A hiking group
- A community college class
- A bowling league
You can even form your own club and help build community for others in your area!
Sleepy Sunday: Rest Up
Snooze your Sunday alarm, or better yet, don’t set an alarm at all! The Mayo Clinic describes sleep as the foundation for healthy habits. Getting at least seven hours of sleep each night promotes good health, while sleep deprivation disrupts your ability to focus on tasks and make decisions.
In addition, sleep is an essential tool to help you build a new routine that’s both sustainable and rewarding. It’s the fuel you need for all of your activities.
Building A Long-Term Self Care Routine
We hope these seven days of creative self care activities for adults have motivated you to prioritize your needs. At Bio-K+®, wellness is our north star. That’s why we created our clinically supported formula of three unique, proprietary probiotic strains chosen for their synergistic action and efficacy.
Backed by over 20 years of research and with a wide range of vegan, organic, and non-GMO options, our probiotics can give you the support you need to focus on self care—every day of the week.
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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 5 Things You Should Know About Stress. National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml
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Burton, N. (2012, May 23). Our Hierarchy of Needs. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/our-hierarchy-needs
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2019, May 11). 7 great reasons why exercise matters. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389
World Health Organization. (2011). Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health. The World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/physical-activity-recommendations-18-64years.pdf
Rotondo, C. (2017, May 9). Here's Why You Need To Vary Your Diet. Thrillist. https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/why-you-need-to-vary-your-diet
Higgs, M. M. (2020, January 7). Go Ahead and Complain. It Might Be Good for You. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/smarter-living/how-to-complain-.html
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, July 22). Water: Essential to your body. Mayo Clinic Health System. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/water-essential-to-your-body
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2019, April 19). Mayo Clinic Minute: The benefits of being socially connected. Mayo Clinic. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-the-benefits-of-being-socially-connected/
Stacy M. Peterson and Brooke L. Werneburg. (2018, May 18). Sleep: The foundation for healthy habits. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep-the-foundation-for-healthy-habits/art-20270117