14 Underrated Self Care Activities You Need To Try

A brunette haired woman with a black pen in her hand writing in a notebook whilst she is laying on white bed sheets.

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

Practising self-care is something you need to choose to do, setting intentions each week to look after yourself and making yourself a priority. Self-care is becoming more important in the world we live in; mental health struggles are becoming more and more evident. Stepping back and taking the time to take a breath and should not be a rarity but a necessity in our lives.

Life is busy for a lot of people; if you are working full time and have a family, time can run away from you. This is why scheduling some time to show yourself some care and love is so important and should be a regular part of your life.

Here is a list of 14 underrated self-care activities that you should be practising:

1. Create A Gratitude Journal

Showing gratitude is the smallest change that you can make in your like, but can be such a beneficial activity for your mental health and wellbeing. Life passes us by so fast and it is so incredibly easy to forget to be thankful for the small things in life. Studies have shown that consistently keeping track of what you are grateful for an acting these feelings of appreciation can boost your immune system, making you healthier and happier.

A gratitude journal is a diary where you can write what you are grateful for; it is that simple. Gratitude journaling allows you to keep your focus on positive areas of your life and appreciate what you have. The mental health benefits for journaling in general are so great. If you are struggling with your mental health, keeping a gratitude journal can help to improve your self-esteem and ensures that you are focusing on positive feelings and thoughts.

Here is a 4 step guide to set up your very own gratitude journal.

2. Edit Your Social Media Following List

Social media has a huge influence on people’s mental health and your self-worth. With a lot of our lives being online, it is so easy to get sucked into the comparing yourself to others and feeling bad about yourself. Editing your social media following list is a great way for you to practise self-care because when you engage on social media, you want to be surrounded by positive people, so removing people who do not add value to your life is a great form of self-care.

3. Challenging Self-Sabotaging Behaviour

We are our own worst enemies and critics much of the time and can be guilty of being too hard on ourselves; I am completely the same. I am always thinking about what else I should be doing, or how I could be doing better. Self-love is so important for your mental wellbeing and identifying when you are exhibiting self-sabotaging behaviour is the key to overcoming it.

Exploring the root causes, taking the time to self-reflect and speaking positively about yourself is where affirmations would work so well to improve your behaviours. Another way that you can challenge self-doubting and self-sabotaging behaviour is to set goals and make plans, so that you can move forwards with confidence. Making small changes like waking up using affirmations or just speaking positively tom your self is how you will overcome these thoughts and feelings.

4. Plan In High Quality Connection Time

Spending time with loved ones and friends is a majorly powerful form of self-care. Taking time out of our busy lives to have fun, make memories and be present is crucial to appreciating what you have. Put your phone down and enjoy the company of others. You don’t really think about socialising as self-care, but I would argue that human connection is probably the best form of self-care. With the lockdowns that we have all had to endure has proved how important social interaction and connection is to our mental health. There are so many health benefits of spending time with family including: reduces stress, boosts self-confidence, promotes resilience and an increased sense of belonging and self-esteem.

5. Declutter A Space Or Room

I have shared this quote before, but ‘a tidy space means a tidy mind’ and this is so true. Of you are surrounded by clutter and mess, your mind will be disorganised. Taking time out to clear and declutter a space or room in your home can be very therapeutic. Transforming a space and seeing the difference can really give you a sense of achievement and can make you feel good. Having a clear and organised space can help you to feel calmer and less stressed. Decluttering your bedroom, for example, can enable you to feel less distracted and help you to sleep better.

A blonde haired woman in a stripy fluffy jumper is in a bed reading a book. Behind the bed on the wall is a piece of a art.Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

6. Learn New Skills

Personal development is a form of self-care and learning a new skill is a great way to grow. It could be learning a new language, learning to be more organised, how to paint or use brush lettering; these are just a few ideas. Taking time to plan in an opportunity to explore what you want to learn for enjoyment or to better yourself is important ‘me time’. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can still learn something new. 

7. Cultivate Your Creativity

Art therapy is powerful and a great way to take care of your mental health. Being creative is not just about drawing or painting. It can take many different forms like: knitting, colouring, writing in a journal, writing a story or making a vision board. Focusing you mind on a creative activity can help you to alleviate anxiety, depression and stress. Being creative can lead to feelings of accomplishment and pride.

8. Listen To A Motivational Podcast

There is something relaxing and soothing about listening to a podcast. Moreover, when you listen to podcasts, it makes you use your imagination and build pictures in your mind. So if you are regularly listening to podcasts, you may have a stronger and more vivid imagination. There are a range of motivational podcasts that can help inspire you, lift your mood and improve your mind set. It is a great form of self-care that you can do before bed whilst you are cooking dinner or when you are relaxing.

I recommend: Sophia Bush – Work in Progress, Got Clutter; Get Organised with Janet; Clear Out Your Clutter Inside & Out and Slob Comes Clean.

9. Cultivate Your Green Thumb

Being at one with nature is a great form of self-care and can be really grounding. Gardening is good for mental health. Not only does burn calories, it works your all your muscles; it so beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. Interacting with nature especially with the presence of water can increase self-esteem and mood, reduce anger and have positive effects on behaviour. Watching your hard work pay off as plants grow and flowers bloom, can improve your confidence and self-worth.

10. Saying No When You Want To

How many times have you said yes to something, but you really wanted to say no? I used to be guilty of being a ‘yes’ person as I wanted to please everyone; however, this can be detrimental to your mental health and you can burn yourself out by trying to please others rather than looking after yourself. Life is short and you should be spending time doing things that make you happy and spending time with the people who add value and joy to your life.

11. Organising Your Thoughts

Regularly organising your mind is a powerful activity of self-care. Carrying out weekly brain dumps as part of your weekly reset can be so beneficial to organise your thoughts, write down your worries, or everything that you want to achieve. Writing morning pages can allow you to use affirmations and prompts to express your thoughts and feelings. Clearing your mind can help you to: reduce stress, improve your sleep, reduce anxiety and improve your mood.

A book with a poem in opened on a bed with 3 red roses across the pages.Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

12. Read A Self-Help Book

Reading is a popular ‘go to’ self-care activity for a lot of people, but reading self-help books can help you to explore techniques and tips to help your personal growth. Reading can bring deep relaxation and calm which helps to fight stress and anxiety

I really recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear; The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*@k by Sarah Knight; and An Edited Life by Anna Newton.

13. Life Admin Tasks

There are certain tasks that you should get checked off your list that are all forms of self-care. Life admin tasks can be activities like: booking doctor’s appointments, clearing out your email inbox, paying bills, planning or purchasing gifts, planning home improvement projects and many more. These tasks can often get put aside or be forgotten about, but once completed, they will make you feel less stressed and more organised.

14. Have Those Difficult Conversations

Having a difficult conversation and not avoiding a scary subject can ensure that you stop being a victim of the situation or people who are in your life. If you avid these conversations, it leads you to burying your feelings which is unhealthy and can manifest into bigger and deeper problems.

If someone has done something that has upset you, don’t avoid it. The conversations become more difficult the longer that you wait.be open and honest about what you what bothered you, so that you can set boundaries between you and the other person. Just remember to have a purpose or end goal from the conversation, be empathetic, listen and remember to be direct and clear about your frustration and the reason you are having the conversation.

What are some underrated self care activities you do? I’d love to hear in the comments.


65 thoughts on “14 Underrated Self Care Activities You Need To Try

  1. Great post. All of these things are really important but definitely not what some would consider “self care” such as challenging limiting beliefs and having those difficult conversations but really, those things are self care on the deepest level and definitely shouldn’t be ignored! x

  2. This is a fabulous post and one that we could all do with reading! Reading a book is one that really works for me, and gratitude Journaling. I’ve found that writing down the things I’m grateful for really helps me on rough days x

  3. I love this post Lauren. I think we are all guilty of thinking that self care is having a bath or lighting a candle, but actually some of these are so essential!

    I find decluttering so so valuable, not only do I feel energised doing it, I have a new found love for that space again and often end up donating things, so it is this overwhelming sense of well-being and goodness.

    Brilliant, Thank you so much for sharing x x

  4. Great post! If one manages to implement all the points you give here, you’re sure to live a good life. I especially think the last 3 points are extremely valuable!

  5. I began a small gratitude list around this time last year and it’s made such a difference. To actually write down one simple thing I’m grateful for each day and to look back on them has brought me smiles and laughter!


  6. I edited my social media follow list last year as well as distanced myself from people whom I find toxic. Definitely helped give me some peace of mind!

  7. Yes to this post! Writing gratitude lists, decluttering, and talking about hard topics are all things that help me. And I definitely agree about changing up your social media list – I do this often x

  8. Oooo I love these! Such a great range as well, and I like that you’ve mixed in the hands-on stuff like indulging your green thumb with the deeper level stuff like challenging self-sabotage. Fab post! xx

  9. This is such a good post and a much needed one! I’ve recently started filling in a gratitude journal and it has helped my mental health immensely!

  10. Decluttering as a whole is really helpful for me. Whether it’s on social media, in my office, or on my hard drive. It feels great to just let go of things that no longer serve me. This entire post is so fantastic! I love finding new inspiration for self care 🙂

  11. Such a great post. All of these are so good for you. I love my gratitude journal, I don’t remember every day to write in it, but I’m getting better at it. xoxo

  12. I love all 14 ideas here. I’ve recently decluttered and also discovered podcasts (don’t know why it took so long to discover podcasts). I think the key is to keep moving and doing those self care activities. Doing nothing does nothing for you. Thanks for sharing,

  13. <3! I edited my social media following just a few days ago! I thought why not now? It took a while, but I felt SO fresh and happy knowing that people I am not interacting with or interested in anymore are now removed from my circle and freeing up space for me to find new people to connect with. Love that I see this suggestion on your list, alongside decluttering, which I am also a massive fan of.
    Thanks for sharing some simple ways to look out for my mental health!

  14. Thanks for sharing, these are great ideas for self-care I have found opening photoshop and doing some creative has been welcomed recently as it has helped me find my passion again, which sometimes other self-care activities were missing in 🙂

  15. My daughter and I are starting a gardening project this spring. It should help. Although I have to admit, I like clutter. It actually makes me feel more comfortable.

  16. I love my gratitude journal. It is certainly a good start to the day and makes me feel better about my day.

  17. Great post! Thank you for sharing these self care activities! I love how unique and thoughtful these self care activities are! I’m going to declutter my room soon which will be great! I am guilty of letting stuff pile up (e.g. emails) so this is a helpful reminder to empty it!

  18. These are such great ideas! We always think of self-care as the things that make us feel good in the moment, but sometimes they are things that benefit us in the future or make us more productive. Thank you for sharing!

  19. These are great self care activities you suggested! My favorite is decluttering and having the difficult conversations. If you truly want to take care of yourself, you need to move forward by speaking your mind. Just by doing this, I’m freeing myself of the usual fears I experience. Thanks for sharing!!


  20. Such a great list! So far this year I’ve done a huge cull of my social media friends and follows, and cleared out my clothes by over two thirds! I havent tried podcasts but have been listening to audio books. Bookmarking the rest of these great ideas 😊

  21. Great post. You could say I am self-care junkie so I am practicing a lot of these. The one I found so important (and didn’t expect that) is Edit Your Social Media Following List – SO SO IMPORTANT!! The stuff we expose ourselves to through social media can really affect our mood and thoughts throughout the day. Getting rid of all the negativity can be such a game changer! Thanks for writing xx

  22. This was a well written post with positive intention throughout. Thank you! I agree with all of your points. The ones that resonate deeply with me are: 5. Declutter a space!!! This is the one for me. I literally feel like a new person each time. 7. Cultivate your creativity! Yes, I’ve always known art therapy was a thing for me. I just need to give it more time. The idea crosses my mind but I rarely act on it. 14. Have those difficult conversations! God knows I hate confrontation but when done correctly, it leaves me feeling free and empowered. It’s scary but the outcome outweighs the fear every time. Great post, thank you!

  23. Great list! When I am feeling down, I like to listen to your favourite music or we read a comfort book or maybe hang out with my friends online. Sometimes self-care is just laying on my bed and staring at the ceiling, and that’s okay! We all have different things that work forus 😊

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