50 Unique Self-Care Ideas for Mental Health
Darkness and repetitive thoughts are a recurring theme for people dealing with mental health issues. Breaking the cycle requires self-care and moving in a new direction. But those darkest moments often blind you from alternatives.
From personal experience, I have learned that the best way to reset a brain is to purposely do something out of the ordinary. Here is a list of XX ideas that I have personally used. And the best part, most of them are free.
Before you discount this list as childish, or before you male readers dismiss this list as not being “manly” enough, please understand that being something else is the whole point.
It is all too easy to get stuck in your own brain. Being stuck is the problem.
To be unstuck, you must think and act in a new way. It’s okay to not be you for a while.
Your brain needs a reset. What have you got to lose? It’s unlikely you’ll feel worse.
Pick one of these items at random and give it a try. Let me know how it works for you.
01. Walk barefoot in the grass or through a stream
2. Play one song on any instrument
3. Try to walk in the woods without making a sound
4. Watch airplanes land
5. Eat with your “other” hand
6. Chop up a photo you hate
7. Make a “greatest hits” playlist
8. Spend an hour in a field meditating
9. Go Bird Watching
10. Go look at a big city skyline
11. Sit in the dark for 20 minutes in silence
12. Teach someone something
13. Make a sculpture from junk
14. Dance to drum music
15. Turn your phone off for an hour (or afternoon)
16. Go on a garden tour
17. Make tiny pancakes
18. Clean out your desk (or closet)
19. Sit on a park bench for an hour
20. Make paper airplanes
21. Write a poem
22. Wear a disguise to the grocery store
23. Go to a museum
24. Follow a butterfly for as long as you can
25. Sleep in another room
26. Pick and give away wildflowers
27. Make cave paintings on brown paper
28. Catch bugs in a jar
29. Sing to a friend’s voicemail
30. Call an old friend you haven’t talked to recently
31. Lose a dollar where someone else will find it
32. Bake gingerbread men
33. Try to watch a plant grow
34. Make homemade soup
35. Visit a river or lake
36. Take a weekend retreat
37. Write a song
38. Finger paint
39. Draw a self-portrait
40. Burn incense
41. Write a letter to yourself with you “other” hand
42. Visit a library
43. Sit outside and listen to birds with your eyes closed
44. Build a blanket fort
45. Write a story from an animal’s perspective
46. Sleep outside
47. Count stars
48. Spend an hour watching clouds
49. Visit a pet store
50. Take a long bath
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This is a quick list I came up with of self-care ideas. You probably have others that work for you. Please share your suggestions and experiences in the comments below.